One more thing to be thankful for this season is the ease of travel in our day. Just one hundred fifty years ago, if part of your family moved to the west coast it was a grand farewell. “Have a nice life, and we will look for a letter next year if you survive the journey.” Now you can catch a plane tonight and have breakfast with your family on the other coast tomorrow morning.

Improvements in transportation technology have come gradually but steadily. In the early 1800’s, the voyage from New York to San Francisco took you around the southern tip of South America, and it lasted six months. Clipper ships, introduced in the 1840’s, cut the time for that voyage in half, so that you could make the trip in three months. The Transcontinental Railroad, completed in 1869, cut the time for a coast to coast trip to about a week. Now we can make the trip by plane in a few hours.

America’s love affair with the automobile in the twentieth century has dramatically changed family dynamics and holiday travel. Because of the increased mobility of the American family, grandmother’s house is less likely to be “over the river and through the woods” and more likely to be eight to twelve hours up Interstate 95. Yet this is still an easy trip for Thanksgiving or Christmas or even for a long weekend. It is easy to forget what a challenge it used to be to visit your family who lived three or four states away from your home.

The holiday road trip is a favorite childhood memory of many Americans in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Of course a key component of the holiday road trip is a reliable working vehicle. Nothing can ruin a family road trip faster than a breakdown away from home. If you need help checking your equipment before a big trip, Cassels Garage is here to help. We are a family-owned automotive repair shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.