We Survived Our First Road Trip

Our first road trip as a married couple was in 1990.  We had been married for four years, and decided to visit our friends in Pittsburgh.  We thought it would be fun to explore Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey while we were out there.  This was before GPS was invented, so it was also a good test to see if we could read and navigate a road map lol.

We flew into Pittsburgh, rented a car and visited our friends.  The next day we began our loop journey by heading North 128 miles to Erie, PA.   Then we traveled East about 116 miles to Niagara Falls, NY.  Being the “newbies” that we were to road tripping and exploring, we made a quick trip to Niagara Falls, Canada, but didn’t stay for probably more than two hours.  I highly recommend exploring this area for a few days, not hours!

Our journey then continued 160 miles East to Syracuse, and then 253 miles South to Philadelphia.  We stayed the night in Philadelphia and went to an NBA game.

The next day, we took a quick jaunt down to Atlantic City.  I say “quick” because it was just that lol.  We were so young and such naive travelers at the time.  We arrived in Atlantic City on Thanksgiving Day.  We thought it would be a lot of fun to have a buffet lunch at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino (which has since closed in 2014).  So we found a parking lot – it had a booth where you could pay to park, but nobody was in the booth.  There were several other cars in the huge lot, so we figured it would be ok to park here.  An hour or two after our feast, we came back to the parking lot, only to discover that our rental car was gone!  Conveniently, there were no cabs (or people for that matter) in sight. This was also before the age of cell phones, so we were really winging it.  We then have our “aha” moment and see the towing company sign, and conclude that our car has been towed.  We finally flag down a person and they direct us to the towing lot, just a few blocks away.  So we walk to the towing lot, and retrieve our car.


Rental car, check.  Luggage, check.  We’re good to go!  We stayed on course and headed back to Pittsburgh, where we would catch our return flight home.  En route, we did make one last stop in Hershey, and bought some souvenir chocolate for an extra treat.

Whew, looking back on that now… that was quite the first time road tripping experience!

Be Round Trip Ready:  Now that we have apps and GPS technology, it’s a good idea to have several of your favorite apps and routes on-hand before you start your road trip.  That doesn’t mean you have to stick to every detail, but at least it might save you from getting your car unnecessarily towed!