When I was fourteen years old, I took my first road trip without my family. I did a lot of babysitting for young couples in my neighborhood. One of the ladies I babysat for often was going to visit her family in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her husband had to work, and because she had a young baby, she wanted someone to go with her to help with the baby during the trip. So, I not only got to go on what was for me an exciting road trip, I also got paid to go! Once we got to her mother’s home, I was free to explore the area with Judy’s sister, who was close in age to me.
It was on that trip that I saw the ocean for the first time. Wilmington is on the coast of North Carolina. The hugeness of the Atlantic Ocean was awe inspiring for me. Even though it was winter, I went down to the beach and walked along the edge of the ocean for several hours. It was also on that trip that I had my first date. While the boy is forgettable, it was a very new experience for me so I will always remember it.
One of the other firsts I did on that trip, was to order a meal for myself from a restaurant menu. My family was large, and my parents never took us out to eat. We did get treats from fast food restaurants, but when we did, my mother stopped on her way home from work and brought whatever it was home with her. For me to look at a menu and decide for myself made me feel very grown-up. I remember that I ordered fried shrimp and a baked potato.
When was your first road trip without your family? How old were you, and where did you go? What do you remember of it?