Road Trippin'

As I mentioned, I went down to Columbia, SC for a football game last week. The trip was a complete shit show. This trip proved to me why they invented planes. I will never take another road trip, if I can help it. The day started off great. Roomie and I were so psyched; we were both up at the crack of dawn even though we weren't planning to leave until noon. I got my packing done, ran some errands and then was all ready to go. I had even had the good thoughts the night before to go up to my parent's house and get my dad's car to take instead of my SUV to save gas.

12:30PM Roomie and I have the car packed and ready to go, I am waiting in said car for her to run into Hardees to get some lunch.

12:35PM Hardees is taking forever when I notice that the check engine light is on. Shit. I call my dad and he thinks it would be best for me to just take my car because we have no idea what the check engine light is on for.

12:38PM Cam (the younger brother of a good friend from home) calls me and asks if he can ride with us. This made me 10 times happier about the ride because Cam is a great guy...incredibly funny. And I knew he would make the 3.5 hours more bearable.

1:15PM Finally get back to the apartment with my car and pick up Cam. Already 45 mins behind schedule. This is irritating.

1:15-4PM Endless driving at about 90 mph. I was driving so fast for two reasons: 1) I had Dad's radar-detector and 2) I will do anything to get to my destination faster if there is ice cold beer waiting.

4PM We hit traffic on 95. We sit in traffic for probably 30-45 mins. WTF!? By this time I was so ancy, I wasn't seeing straight. All I wanted to do was get to the hotel, check-in and be on my merry way to tail-gate.

5:30PM We finally arrive in Columbia. Not knowing my way around, and having bad directions, I was freaking out. I wanted to cry. Sitting at a stop light to turn left (I was the first in line); I look down when the light turns green to find that my car has shut off. How did I not feel the whole car turn off? I can't even explain what was going through my head. I kept thinking, "What if the people behind me honk!?" Roomie was smart enough to tell me to turn the key to the off position and then turn it back on. Thankfully it worked. I was so stressed by this time I was crying.

5:33PM Sitting in traffic, scared at every second that the car is going to shut off again, we realize that our hotel is on the other side of the street. With the daunting game traffic we realized it was near impossible to try to check in before the game and still have time to tailgate. We called the hotel and they informed us, since we paid with rewards points that we could check in at anytime. Thankfully - one sliver of good news.
5:45PM Still in game traffic. Cam thought it would be funny to put school flags out of the window. Next thing we know, the whole USC band (probably like 20 buses) goes rolling past. All I can hear are horrible obscenities. I have never been yelled at by people I don't know in such a threatening manner. I had heard USC fans were relentless, but I had no idea it would be this bad. Only adding to my stress, I started to cry again. Here we are in this city we know nothing about, trying to see the opening football game of our senior year and we are getting screamed at.

6PM We finally get to what seems to be a suitable place to park. It happens to be a boy scout fundraiser, which made me feel a little better. Finally able to crack a beer, I was happy. The little kid who was working the parking with his dad was hilarious and entertained us for a short while.

7:45PM We start making our way to the stadium. I had heard from my friend Dru that they weren't going to make it to the game because they got a late start leaving home. Our quarterback got knocked out in the beginning of the game, and I was ready to leave immediately. The whole place reeked of BO because it was so hot. Finally I convinced Cam and Roomie to go back to the hotel so I could freshen up and they could watch the game before we met up with Dru and friends at the bar.

10:30ish PM We finally get to the bar. Dru arrives, and is as charming as ever. He bought drinks all night and we had a great time. Roomie, who usually doesn't get out of control, was 'getting low' on the dance floor and having a great time. It was so much fun I would relive it in a heartbeat. Definitely worth all the trouble.

Next Day: We wake up pretty early, shower and get out before check out time. I had to take Cam to another hotel somewhere outside of downtown so he could meet up with friends who were taking him home. Relying on my trusty iPhone to guide me I Google 'Hyatt' because that is where the other friends were staying. Because I am stupid and fail to look at the details, I didn't realize Google had thought I wanted to go to Hyatt Street in the ghetto of Columbia. After driving around aimlessly (and leading Dru on a wild goose chase) I realized that was not in fact the hotel, and the hotel was on the other side of town. Now is it 10:57AM and check out is 11AM. In my hungover state I didn't even think to check out when we left the hotel. We did manage to get checked out by phone in time, but only after we had called the wrong hotel and tried to check out.

Frustration. But all was good when I dropped off Cam, and went back to IHOP to meet Dru and friends for breakfast. They, of course, offered to pay, but I was in no mood for pancakes. I wanted real food. We sat with them while they ate and enjoyed their company. We said our good-bye's and Roomie and I were off to Kiawah Island for some much needed rest and relaxation.

It was sad to say bye to Dru, because I don't really know what is in store for us. I guess time will tell. Overall, with all of the mishaps and frustration, I wouldn't change the trip for anything. It was hilarious looking back and a good time had by all.

Oh and I got my car fixed yesterday, so now I'm not scared each time I turn it on. :)


kk said...

What a nightmare!

About 10 years ago I was driving from Florida to Connecticut and got caught in a blizzard...it took a me a WEEK to get back up here, because the highways shut down due to the snow. Oh, and people in Virginia don't have plows. LOL

Dana said...

i too like to drive fast so i get to my destination much quicker!!