Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family Trip to Florida

In 1973, we took a trip to Disney World. We started our trip by leaving home around 8:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. In Atlanta, we found ourselves right in the middle of the traffic so it was difficult to find a gas station in the center of that town that time in the early morning. We finally found one, had a little breakfast, filled up the fuel tank, and headed south down the interstate. We had a new 1972 Ford Van that had five seats and in the back, a place for luggage, and a full size bed so some could sleep while others drove. I drove until we got past Atlanta before Pam took over while I got a little sleep then after a few hours Glenn drove the last leg until we arrived in Orlando, Florida.

We found a hotel with one room big enough for all of us. We had planned to rest up Sunday and go to Disney World for the day on Monday. The hotel clerk told us that we should go on Sunday because on that day we could get to see more because the crowds were less than half they would be on Monday. We all went to bed for a couple hours and we were ready to go to Disney World by 10:00 a.m. when they opened. It was a great day for all of us! We enjoyed everything in the park and by the time it closed, we were ready to go back to the hotel and get some much needed rest and sleep.

The next morning after getting a full night’s rest, we headed for Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. We had a good day there and later in the afternoon we headed for Tampa thinking we would drive until we found just the right place to spend the night. We found out that there were not any motels on the Bee Line Express so we just kept on driving until our gas gauge was almost on empty. We soon found out that the night before there was a big storm and all of the power lines were down and the gas stations could not pump any gas. We just decided to drive until we ran out, just as we were back in central Florida and entering the little town of Kissimmee, there was a station open and we had to coast up to the tank. Boy, were we happy.

We were all worn out and we found a little motel that had a room that we could all fit in and we took it. Hazel and I slept in one bed, Glenn and Mike in the other, and Pam on the floor. That was a good arrangement until Pam woke up and saw a big water bug go across the floor which got her off the floor. I got the plywood and the mattress from the van and put it up on the dresser and two chairs and then we all were finally able to get a good night sleep.

We were up early and had a good breakfast before we on to Tampa. We went to Bush Gardens and then to Clearwater Beach to watch the sun go down over the ocean. After spending the day at the beach we went over to a famous restaurant, The Kapok Tree. After waiting for about an hour we were seated and had a big meal fit for a king and for the big price of about forty dollars plus tip! After spending the night just outside of Tampa we headed home traveling all day. We had taken 8mm movies of our trip. After they were developed we enjoyed watching them but most were of the water we passed while going over bridges that Mike had taken. He said it was so beautiful that he just kept on filming.
  Listen to me tell this story.

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