Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coming home: The true story of a road trip as told by the daughter (#2)

Today, I am thrilled to have my #2 write a guest post.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did experiencing it.

*****


So, it’s over. My freshman year of college is officially over. So long are the days of being defined by being a “first-year,” farewell dining hall, and sorority recruitment: been there, done that. Okay, so sprinkle in one or two parties, only two tickets (one was completely absurd – seriously, dad), getting towed, a costume box stuffed to the brim with questionable items, and a libation here and there – that was my freshman year. And I haven’t even failed out yet.

Don't worry, I kept it classy. 

As my freshman year drew to a close, a looming threat began creeping up on me; the threat of being crushed by the sheer quantity of knick-knacks that had “somehow” accumulated in my room. It took me three days straight, but I am proud to say that I almost singly-handedly filled up a 10x10 storage unit – get excited for move-in, mom and dad!



On Sunday I left school with my boyfriend to go and pick up my mom for lunch from the airport. She was thrilled because we went to Whole Foods – only the nicest restaurant I know. She was pouting because she wanted to bring us out to a "nice" lunch where they actually had a waitstaff and she could get to know Paul better. I haven’t been to a restaurant in at least a month, so I insisted on the nicest.


After a quick lunch we hit the road. What was neat was that the GPS route that I used only added 1 hour and 40 minutes to our trip that day. We rolled into Chattanooga, TN at roughly 12:30 a.m. Fortunately, we had a vivacious valet that wanted to strike up a conversation – I think our sparkling personalities may have injured his spirit, though.

How my GPS decided to navigate my trip. This would've been faster.

So help me God. If I hear "recalculating" one more time…

The hotel – The Read Hotel – is absolutely stunning. Very haunted hotel-esqe, fashioned in such a way as to reflect an earlier era. After both hotel keys failed us, I ran downstairs and got a new one only for the two of us to stumble into the room and collapse onto our respective beds. Apparently Big Momma decided that would be a good time to experiment with Breaking Amish on TLC.


After our alarm clock neglected to sound, I woke up and we immediately left. But not before being greeted by the same loquacious valet. At 6 a.m. And one more thing, at this point I had gone 24+ hours without changing out of my T-shirt and nike shorts.

We hit the road with a supposed 12-hour drive in front of us. After “efficiently” moving right along – Big Momma kept asking me my speed and grabbing the passenger handle – we hit morning + construction traffic. It only added two hours to our day… There was a growing fear in my mom’s eyes as we aggressively exited and reentered the highway about 20 times.  I just know in my heart we saved time.  OK, maybe about 20 mins.
As I kept telling my mom, it's not road rage, it's road frustration



It was finally time to switch in the drivers seat, and by this time I had definitely made a good case for my cursing worse than a prison inmate. We pulled into another, uh, "spotless" gas station and Big Mama took the wheel. A total of 12-seconds after exiting the station she was pulled over for speeding. Apparently a cop, traveling the opposite direction on a two-way road, clocked her at 49 in a 35. So basically just stretching the 10% rule, right?

We saw it all; the Exxon’s, Valero’s, Shell’s, Route 66’s, Pit Stop and more. Unfortunately they began to be harder and harder to tell apart. Then, at one unnamed (literally) gas station, I noticed the tire was looking a little deflated. That’s when I broke the news to Big Mama, to her dismay. We googled the nearest auto repair shop and found one just a few miles ahead.



The store’s name is King’s Auto Repair, they’re a family owned and operated company with the boss comfortable enough with his customers to discuss their vehicles as he walks into the bathroom and stands there with the door open. The walls were covered in football memorabilia and hunting mementos. They were beyond nice and discovered my need for an oil change. After quickly fixing our problem that had been causing the maintenance light to glow for the past few hours, we had a moment of relief that we could finally press on.

The next few hours flew, well not exactly flew but rather crawled by and we finally arrived home. My evening concluded with eating an inordinate amount of food, leaving the car completely filled, and passing out.



Let’s just say that Big Momma and I are on a whole new level of close. I think that our 48-hours together almost makes up for the year that I spent away. I’m kidding.

Momma, I love you and thank you for driving with me. You took over for me when I was about to fall asleep at the wheel, let me rap to Lil Wayne, listened to my stories, endured my hysteric, expletive-filled traffic rants, and sat in a car with me for 24 hours. I love you and can’t think of a better person to spend my summer with.



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