Vacation 1984: The trip home

What can I say about our journey home to complete our Florida/Georgia vacation of April 1984? We left Atlanta early, got home at about 8 p.m., went to sleep, woke up the next morning and went to school. The end.

We must have stopped to eat someplace along the way, but I don't remember where. We stopped at a gas station in which I saw a Turtles tape; when I mentioned it to the family, they said I should have alerted them and we could have bought it (we had seen the Turtles the summer before at ChicagoFest). It was a pure driving day, and my dad pushed to get us home. The end.

From all these posts I've written, it might seem I didn't have fun on this vacation. That's absolutely not true. The trip was great, a vacation we desperately needed, and one of the last real family adventures we had before my parents separated two years later. It just wasn't quite as wondrous as the first Florida trip two years earlier, and as an adult, it's not evoking the deeper memories as the other vacation. I have some theories why:

  • I said this in a previous post: The 1984 trip was more planned, more structured, and less seat-of-our-pants, let's-see-where-this-car-takes-us-next adventurous than 1982. There's something to be said for spontaneity, and with this trip, there was just a little less surprise.
  • I was a teenager, so naturally, I was less attuned with the wonder. I was already so sullen during my last few months of eighth grade that it was natural for it to spread to vacation. Thus, the memories aren't as intense because I didn't relish the experience quite as much.
  • Our 1984 trip wasn't new. The 1982 vacation was our first real vacation. See the above thought on lack of surprise. 
  • I was 13 and, well, maybe vacations with your family are just less fun at this age (I hope not, otherwise, we just have a few good ones left before Michael hits his teen years).
We were lucky that we took vacation when we did (again, my dad as a policeman was assigned whole weeks off and didn't get to choose as freely as other jobs do), because we got back on Palm Sunday, had 3 1/2 days of school, and were back on vacation for Easter break -- we just didn't go anywhere for that.

School resumed on April 30, and May whizzed by and I was no longer a grade schooler. This might have been the last hurrah of my true kid years; that summer flew past (and was a good summer), but then high school and life was so much different. So much changed. And other than a little three-day trip we took in summer 1985 (I sense another vacation post!), I wouldn't have another real vacation of more than a hundred miles away until college.

With that in mind, the 1984 vacation was important. And memorable. And great.


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