There’s a First Time for Everything

There’s a first time for everything — your first day of school; your first car; your first kiss … your first time visiting Cincinnati, Ohio?

Last weekend, I took a road trip to the home of Lebanon Ford. This was my first time in the Queen City, and I really enjoyed the few days I spent there. I got to do a lot of neat tourist-type things like stop by the Cincinnati Reds Museum (Go Cardinals!), hit up a few of the town’s hottest spots, and walk through the Newport Aquarium, in addition to hanging out with my awesome friends.

During my five-and-a-half-hour drive from St. Louis to Cincinnati, I did a lot of thinking. I mean, what is there to actually do when you’re alone.. in a car.. with not much else to keep you entertained other than your own thoughts and really good music. A person can only have so many karaoke sessions with themselves before getting bored, BUT ANYWAY, back to the point. Like I mentioned earlier, I did quite a bit of thinking during my quest from Missouri to Ohio about the very first road trip that I ever took. Whether you want to count driving with your family in an over-packed SUV to the beach as your first road trip, or that time when you were able to haul four of your closest friends in a cramped Mustang to Chicago with no parental supervision, it doesn’t matter! I want to hear about it, you know… because there’s a first time for everything. In this case, it will be the first time that I get to meet and interact with Lebanon Ford customers. Since I’m not at the dealership each day, I don’t have the opportunity to say hello, so this works.

If you want to share your first road trip stories with me, you can leave some feedback in the comment section below or on the Lebanon Ford Facebook Page.

To kick things off, I’ll share my first road trip story with you. It’s only fair, being that I’m the one demanding to hear yours, right?

The first city I ever took a road trip to was Chicago. I was 16 at the time and had my license for about four months. One weekend, my favorite band was playing in the Windy City and I had FINALLY convinced my parents to let me drive there with some friends because the group was not touring in St. Louis. I couldn’t believe it; they said yes.

It’s the day of my big road trip and all my friends meet at my house. We start packing my tiny little Mustang with our clothes for the weekend and within minutes we hit the road. Pulling out of my driveway as my dad stood there and waved was emotional — probably because we were both pretty nervous about this whole situation. Here I am, about two hours into my journey with friends when all of a sudden — dun, dun, dun —  I GET PULLED OVER. Yeah, that’s right. I get stopped by a police officer on the side of the highway near Effingham, Illinois. Immediately, I start to panic because all of my fears about this experience were unfolding before my eyes. I knew if I got in any trouble on this voyage my parents would never let me take another road trip with my friends. The officer approaches my window, so I start to play it cool and get out all the necessary materials (license, insurance, etc.) because I’m not really sure exactly why I got pulled over. I definitely wasn’t speeding, driving recklessly, or anything of that nature because I didn’t want this to be my first and last road trip without a chaperone. The officer tells me that he stopped my car because it looked like my friends and I had road rage. WHAT!? Are you serious?! How is this even possible!? My friends and I are like, the least terrifying, most-gentle-look people ever. I explain to this extremely intimidating man that my friends and I were just singing to some sweet tunes, but he doesn’t believe me so he calls for back up. PERFECT. Now two more patrol cars roll up to the shoulder of the highway to investigate. As if I weren’t freaking out enough before, this definitely didn’t help. The officers come to my window again, but this time they want to play 20 questions, to which I answered all truthfully and respectfully. After making me sweat bullets for a good 10 minutes, the officer ended the 20 question game by asking to search my car.  I assume it’s because a bunch of teens are piled into one vehicle and we’re automatically up to no good, but either way, I agree because again, I didn’t want to get in any trouble. One by one, the officers take out all of the suitcases and duffle bags in my trunk and set them on the side of the highway. UMMMMMM, hello?! That is precious cargo, please don’t scuff my fancy Italian leather bags. Kidding. Fast forward 20 minutes. The officers wrap up their search, and alas, did not find any thing incriminating in my vehicle. My friends and I begin to pack our bags back into my car and the nice man who pulled me over apologized for the inconvenience. He even helped reload my Mustang and wished me a safe trip. That was it. I was released back to the highway and within two hours my friends and I made it to Chicago.

Thinking about my first road trip makes me giggle, and hopefully it made you laugh, too. I remember every single detail about that terrifying yet fun experience. What better way to instill proper driving habits and fear into the eyes of a new driver than by having not one but THREE police officers stop your vehicle? I want to speculate that my parents had something to do with this, but no one knows for sure.


About Brittney French

Brittney is a journalist and media relations specialist who lives in St. Louis, Mo. When she's not blogging for Lebanon Ford, she is the author of a women's column and also writes about music, events, and St. Louis sports. Having little knowledge in the automotive industry, Brittney provides valuable insight on cars for those who may be in the same boat. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter @brittfrancois.