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30DW2-2 - Day 11: Road Trip

Back in the early 70s my ex-wife and I were lucky enough to score government grants to pay for our university tuition. In those days the majority of the money we received didn't have to be repaid, unlike today when the majority of the money is a loan. Of course it helped immeasurably that we knew the lady in the university awards office. Nevertheless, we came into a small windfall. Did we use it for tuition?

We bought a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle and took off to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. Now travelling from Ottawa, Ontario to Daytona Beach, Florida was a major undertaking. It was several days' drive. Did we know where we were going? Sure. South!


I think we actually took out a membership with the Canadian Automobile Association who provided us with a Trip Kit - a series of pages of maps with a magic marker highlighting our route for us. Kind of like the 70s version of GPS, if you will.

The trip was fairly uneventful. Being a couple of impoverished university types we camped on the way there as well as once we got there to keep our costs down. And we shopped at the grocery store and cooked on a camp stove we'd recently bought at Canadian Tire.

Back then you could still drive on the beach. And we did. Again saving money by parking right on the sand.

Two things I vividly recall about that road trip. On our way back the border guard couldn't believe his luck. Two long-haired "hippies" (long-haired, yes, but we weren't hippies) with nothing to declare? I don't think so. "Pull your car up over there" where another guard proceeded to pull the car apart. This guy thought he'd caught us not declaring a brand new camp stove. It took some tome to convince him the the sticker on the side really meant "Canadian Tire" and that we'd bought it in Canada. Not before the guy tore out the back seat and the spare tire and windshield washer tank which, back then, ran off the air in the spare tire. I'm not kidding. Better not get a flat!


The other thing I recall was on our way down I'd been driving for some time and really had to go to the bathroom - badly. So I finally pulled over to the side of the road and made a dash for the bushes.

As I was relieving myself - and feeling relieved - a voice shouted from the car, "Dear you can't go there, look at the sign!"

And sure enough there was a sign...

Very funny, dear.

Drive on over to We Work for Cheese where Nicky and Mike are coordinating everyone's trip today.

Comments

Ziva said…
That sounds like an awesome road trip, dufus. And I can see you were into the whole punning thing already back then. ;)
nonamedufus said…
I've never grown "tired" of road trips or, switching gears for a moment, punning, Ziva. Makes life fun.
Nicky said…
My parents had a Bug too. We loved it! 3 kids, no seatbelts and the engine in the trunk. What could possibly go wrong? :-)
Laughing Mom said…
Road trips were always more exciting before the days of GPS.
nonamedufus said…
The only problem with the engine in the trunk was the distance the hot air had to go to defrost the windshield. In the winter I had to drive with a scraper to clean the frost off the inside of the window!
nonamedufus said…
I'm an old school guy. I still don't have GPS. It makes for some interesting road trips sometimes.
Cadeaux said…
My road trip from Pahrump, Nevada to Las Vegas was NOT a fun one. I could have used a GPS for that one specifically. There are reasons why some locations aren't on a map with no streets to get to them, trust me.
nonamedufus said…
Sounds pretty ominous. Do tell!
Barb said…
Sounds like a fun trip!
nonamedufus said…
It was the first of many!
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Cheryl P. said…
Sounds like a fun adventure short of the dick that tore your car apart. What the heck? You seem to have an honest face...what was his problem?
Linda Medrano said…
Ah! The good old/bad old 70's. It sounds like you had fun anyway!
nonamedufus said…
We had a VW Bug jam-packed with camping equipment. We were in first-year university, had long hair...we had to have been doing something wrong.
nonamedufus said…
We made many more trips to Florida with the kids. We drove every time. Over the years the highways got better, there were more bathroom facilities and our time on those trips improved immeasurably.
Indigo Roth said…
Ah Dufus! 500 dollars? Wow, and I thought you'd be spending a penny. And yes, that's as close to a pun as you'll get from me ;) Indigo
nonamedufus said…
Only if I got caught. Good thing. Back then I didn't have two pennies to rub together.
mike said…
I once took a bus to Florida. Your road trip sounds like much more fun.
P.J. said…
Ha, that's a road trip. I love how you mention going south. For us in the States, going south is Florida. For you in Ontario, what's truly south? Niagara Falls? :D


Look at the bright side -- she pointed out the sign. She could have said "ARE YOU IN ANY PAIN?" :)
Cheryl said…
That's a trip I'd have taken in a heartbeat. A VW and thou, what more could a young man need?
mikewjattoomanymornings said…
I once owned that very same car! But you had more fun with yours. Clearly.
Jayne said…
That photo brings back memories. I owned a '64 Bug from '74 through '87. I suspect it's still running today.
KZ said…
My road trip stories aren't even half as interesting as this one I'll just live vicariously through you for a day.
nonamedufus said…
Did you drive right through or stop mid-way there?
nonamedufus said…
For those who live in northern Canada WE are the South. For those of us who live in southern Canada YOU are the South.


The bright side? Yeah, you're right or the consistency of my bowel movement.
nonamedufus said…
Oh yeah. We were young and careless. Times - and age - sure change.
nonamedufus said…
That was the first car I ever owned. I loved it. It was actually quite peppy.
nonamedufus said…
They were great cars. And cheap!
nonamedufus said…
This was our first. There were many more...with children.
ROAD TRIP ROAD TRIP ROAD TRIP! I love it! No dumping.... even better. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!
nonamedufus said…
Exactly. And every word of this story is true. I'm not making it up! It would have been 1972 or 1973. So long ago.
Linda R. said…
I would say that traveling from Canada to Florida in a Beetle was definitely a major undertaking.
nonamedufus said…
We were in our early 20s. What did we know.
meleahrebeccah said…
That is HILARIOUS!!!
nonamedufus said…
It's just one of those things I'll never forget.

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