Subject: Re: First travel experiences

I was exposed to traveling from an early age on both sides of my family. As a boomer baby and product of parents who would never have met but for WW2, many of my early travel experiences were visiting my father's family up north. It was a little bit of world turned upside down; growing up in a Florida that seemed mundane and visiting north New Jersey which seemed exotic-rather than vice versa.

I don't remember my earliest trip when I was 18 months, but I remember being three or four and my whole family flying (when that was still something of a big deal) to NJ for a family wedding. I remember being made a junior stewardess and my brother being made a junior pilot and getting a tour of the cockpit. I also remember getting beyond tired on the flight and my brother (a year younger) and I running up and down the aisles and no one calling us to task. I was told why years later; the plane was circling La Guardia to get rid of gas as the instrument panel said the wheels had not come down. They had.

And of course, there was going to meet my grandmother or my uncles when they visited us. My uncle liked to come down on the train, which has given me several memories of the last hurrah of train travel. He arrived one Thanksgiving morning in a crowd of people. As people came up from the tracks, along the side of the waiting area were shields for each train; they covered the guard rails around the entrances. Twenty plus years later, just before the old downtown train station closed, I took the train and there were just 4 shields left.

My mother had to travel quite a bit on business mostly within the state of Florida and she took us along whenever she could- day trips and sometimes three or four days. I have memories of Florida that include great expanses of undeveloped land, even on the coasts, and Miami when it was just a tourist destination and not an international city.

And then there was my maternal grandmother-who had traveled all her life until she married by grandfather. After her children had grown and the war was over, she started traveling again. I think my grandfather might have preferred staying home, but he acquiesced and came along. My grandmother's cause was aided by my grandfather's baby sister marrying an Englishman and moving to the UK. My great grandmother would visit and my grandparents would help take her home. My grandmother would come back from her summer trips with presents for all the grandchildren and stories of her travels. She was quite a raconteur and going and experiencing different parts of the world seemed like the most fascinating-and most natural-thing to do.

Hope this isn't more than you wanted to know about penguins.

Tory N. FL