I went on an astronomy class field trip back in the late 90's. It was a Community College class, but the profesor was affiliated with the state university. It wasn't anything extravagant, just the side of a hill outside Austin that UT had access too. Some hardcore amateurs were out with their computer driven geo synchronous scopes. I got to see a few really neat objects, including Jupiter and its discernable spot, but Saturn was easily the most impressive to me. Once I got the perfect focus on it the rings presented themselves so clearly! It was one of those jaw dropping moments, much like seeing a favorite artist preform live for the first time. I looked around at everyone like "OMG, have you seen this?" They just smiled and nodded. "This is what we do." They were generous with their scopes and let me choose a couple objects to point at. Nothing was as cool as Saturn though, probably because it was so tangible and identifiable.
When I was in junior high school, my father bought me a small refractor. We took it to the back yard and he set it up. He found Saturn and was just captivated by it - for a long time. I thought I was going to graduate from high school before I got to the eyepiece.