Please note: The following events are all real, except if you are our parents, and then the following events were grossly exaggerated just for conversation sake..
It was a week in my life that I will never forget and I don’t even remember how it happened. Sharon High School, Sharon Massachusetts: three friends in their last year of high school hatch a plot to take the road trip to end all road trips. The plan was simple. We’d drive from Boston to Daytona Beach for spring break. But first we’d have to convince our parents. I still don’t know why they let us go. I think they slept on it. I think they prayed on it. I think they were off their rockers. But all our good behavior throughout our entire lives up until that very point left them with no other logical decision but to say yes. They agreed. I couldn’t believe it. We took the maroon Ford Tempo, the Toby mobile affectionately named for my mom. It was a four-door, boxy, lackluster, four cylinder, family automobile, designed for zero acceleration and even less sex appeal. But the engine worked and that’s all we needed. Ask most New Englanders and they’ll tell you Florida is a 24 hour drive if you do it straight through. We did shifts through the night and must’ve made it in 19 hours or less. Three teenagers, fifteen hundred miles away from home, fifteen hundred miles away from any parental control or rules or curfews for the first time in our lives. It. Was. Awesome.
And so began a week that can only be described as teenage debauchery. We lived the dream. Over the course of the next five days: we rode motorcycles, jet skis, and dune buggies. We went to our first topless bar. We were too young to drink, but not too young to sit and relax and enjoy the “sights”. Oh, and we went bungee jumping. Yes, even this big chicken. I gave in to peer pressure, climbed up on a tower, attached myself to a bungee cord, and took the leap of a lifetime. It. Was. Insane. We saw sunrises on the beach, we swam in the ocean, we traveled from Daytona Beach to West Palm Beach to Miami. We took in a baseball game in what was the inaugural season of the Florida Marlins at Joe Robbie Stadium. And lest you think we just went around all irresponsible and insane, us three amigos penciled in time to go and visit my grandfather and his wife at their senior living complex. That’s right, we hung out with the old folks for one afternoon. I think we actually took them out to Olive Garden or something like that or maybe they took us. It made up for the other meals when we’d have Dinty Moore beef stew, or an all you can eat buffet, or a five pound bag of Costco buttered popcorn, all so we cold just save our money for more debauchery.
Somewhere during the trip we got pulled over for speeding. I should say “I” got pulled over for speeding. I guess three teens from Massachusetts in a Ford Tempo wheezing down the road at 80 MPH stood out a little bit. At least we just got the ticket and didn’t get arrested. I forget if I ever confessed the ticket to my mom.
After a week of criss-crossing the state, it was time to go home. It was time to go graduate high school. It was time to move on with our lives. All these years later, it’s safe to say, the three of us have drifted slowly apart. I still consider Mike and Tom very close friends even though life has gotten in the way as it often does. But I still remember that road trip. I still remember all the incredible things we did. I still can’t believe our parents ever said yes. I still can’t believe it. These guys will be friends for life.
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