A recent study showed that the current generation of teenagers and young adults are less attached to their cars than their parents used to be. Especially in the major cities, where car ownership is not as common, independence is achieved through cell phone ownership. With their phones, today’s young adults can gain access to ride sharing, Uber, or mass transit schedules and still remain incredibly mobile.
However, the generation of their parents and grandparents has not completely faded away. We remember America’s love affair with the automobile. Car ownership was a privilege of the wealthy at first, but it became common in the 1920’s when Henry Ford’s model T became an affordable option for many families. When soldiers came home after World War II there was a perfect intersection of money in their accounts and manufacturers resuming automobile production. The Interstate Highway Act passed during the Eisenhower administration also helped promote our national affection for the road trip.
It is sad and surprising how many people drift into a routine of doing the same thing over and over, failing to appreciate the blessings of their environment. How many people live close to the beach but seem to never find time to go? Do you know people who express affection for art and music, but cannot remember the last time they went to a play or a movie or concert or museum?
One helpful technique for creating more joy in your life is to approach your home city as a tourist would. Why not determine to enjoy the gifts your home has to offer rather than waiting until you are out of town on vacation to indulge in a good time. If you set aside one Saturday each month as “tourist day,” then by the end of the year you will have enjoyed the equivalent of a two-week vacation without having to spend any extra on lodging.
If you live on the Space Coast of Florida, the options are many. Of course the beach and many beachside parks are a major attraction, but too many people overlook the natural beauty available on the mainland. Erna Nixon Park in Melbourne and Turkey Creek Sanctuary in Palm Bay are just two of many parks that offer elevated boardwalks and nature trails. Palm Bay has an extensive system of trails for jogging, walking, and biking. The Brevard Zoo in North Melbourne is small but still relatively new and very well designed.
Both Melbourne and Eau Gallie have resurgent downtown areas with inviting shops, restaurants and bars. Foosaner Art Museum in Eau Gallie and Henegar Center for the Arts in Melbourne are just two of the highlights.
Next time, you are tempted to pick up the remote control to find out what is on television, why not Google “Things to Do in Melbourne, FL” and aim for some more adventure. Of course, you will want to make sure your vehicle is in top shape, even if you are only traversing Brevard County. Contact Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, Florida today for a tune-up. We are a family-owned shop, and we are well equipped to perform major repairs or provide routine maintenance on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966. We can help you prepare for road trips of any length.
Here is a recommendation for all of you who find yourselves making the same road trip over and over for years: Vary your route, and see more of the world. In 1982, William Least Heat Moon published a travelogue titled Blue Highways in which he encouraged road trippers to get off of the interstate highways and literally take the roads less traveled.
My wife and I moved eight hours away from her parents and her extended family over twenty years ago. Since then we have made over fifty road trips back and forth to visit our family. For way too long, we stuck to the same route, the fastest one we could find. However, several years ago we embraced a dramatic change in our attitudes toward these trips. We decided that the vacation could start once we pulled out of our driveway rather than when we arrived at our destination.
At first, we took small steps toward enjoying the journey on the way to the destination. We started by taking time to enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant with a server rather than just grabbing the fastest food we could find. We found that routine to be a nice break in the trip that did not add too much time to the trip.
About five years ago, we took our explorations a step farther. We determined to “add to our collection” at least one new place every time we made the trip to see family. Usually our destinations are within an hour of the interstate, and we will spend anywhere from one to three hours exploring before we get back on the road to our ultimate destination. Sometimes we will just pick a new town and walk through downtown looking for an interesting restaurant. We have also taken trolley tours and toured forts on these side trips.
One of the grand things about having family so far away has been our ability to create memories along the way. We have discovered incredibly unique places all by taking a chance and getting off the road. One memory none of us ever wants to deal with is a breakdown on the side of a country road. The vehicle you take on your road trips undoubtedly plays a role in the kinds of experiences you will have along the way to your destination. It is always wise to make sure your car is ready to handle the journey.
At Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, we will be glad to give your vehicle a checkup before your next road trip. We are a family-owned shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.
Many Floridians scoff at the idea of winterizing their vehicles. Isn’t that why we moved to Florida, so we would no longer have to shovel snow and buy special tires and such? Yes indeed, and many of the more extreme precautions, like snow chains, are most definitely a thing of the past. However, Central Floridians should not completely abandon the notion of paying attention to the change of seasons.
First of all, are you taking any road trips this winter? Nowadays Grandma’s house is usually much farther away than over the river and through the woods. Many of us have to drive up Interstate 95 and cross several state lines heading much further north to visit family. Consider the weather at your road trip destinations when you take seasonal precautions. The coldest place you plan to visit should determine the winterizing necessary for your vehicle.
Moreover, it does not take much of a change in temperature to affect the performance of your antifreeze. It is true that Brevard County drivers do not usually have to worry about the most extreme winter weather, and sub-freezing temperatures are rare, but we still need working antifreeze in our vehicles. A relatively new, longer life, antifreeze is now on the market, but mechanics are not unanimous in their endorsement of this product. If you are using the longer life antifreeze, it is a good idea to have it checked to see that it is still effective. For the Space Coast a 50-50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water should be sufficient.
Finally, any rubber part in your engine is also at risk from even moderate temperature fluctuations. So it is a good idea to get your belts and hoses checked at the first sign of cold weather. It is also a good idea to check them again when it heats up because extreme heat (a more common problem in Melbourne and Palm Bay) also puts the belts and hoses under added pressure.
Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, Florida is a family-owned shop, and we are well equipped to perform major repairs or provide routine maintenance on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.