My first ever roadtrip was a 13-hour drive to Atlanta, Georgia, for Passion 2013. I, like a crazy person, decided to make this trip with two of my (male) college friends plus another person I had never met before (also male). The trip to Atlanta was literally pretty quiet. The guy I had never met before spent the whole trip either passed out in the back seat or zoned out listening to music. My “little brother” spent the trip working. And the other guy? He wasn’t up to talking that day.
I took a lot of pictures out of boredom.
On the way back, though, the trip got CRAZY. As in, this trip should be made into a movie. Or at least a TV episode. Here is the story of what went down on that fateful drive.
So the return trip was just me and my two college friends (the guy I didn’t know well wanted to fly back home…smart move). We ended up talking for five hours about the one thing you wouldn’t expect guys to talk about: relationships. Yep. You read that right. And it wasn’t about my lack of a relationship. Nope. I barely said anything during that conversation. It was surreal. For realzies.
One hour outside of Tuscaloosa, we stopped at a gas station to get drinks. I ended up getting a Fuze, because those blueberry flavored ones are de-licious. This was not a good idea on my part. Can you guess what is coming next? I bet you won’t guess all of it.
We got to Tuscaloosa and decided to eat at an iconic Southern Tex-Mex chain called Moe’s. I downed the rest of my drink because we were less than 10 minutes away from the location by the university. And lo and behold, what should we see on the side of the road? A sign! A sign saying “all traffic must exit” right after the last exit we could have taken to avoid that nonsense. Do keep in mind that this is the middle of the day on a major interstate on a Saturday after a major holiday. It’s like ADOT picked that time just to mess with us.
Understandably, the entire interstate was backed up because everyone is trying to exit at the same place at the same time. We’re talking 3 miles of interstate parking lot here. 15 minutes in to the traffic jam, I am starting to regret finishing my Fuze. 45 minutes in, and I am on the verge of tears from literal pain in my abdomen. This is the point where I told the driver to pull over on the shoulder and wait.
I got out of that car without another word, hopped over the guard rail, and proceeded to make my way into the Alabama underbrush in a skirt. That’s right, dear readers, I was in a skirt. An extremely feminine skirt with lace on the bottom. And I was traipsing through a wooded area on the side of a major interstate looking for a place to relieve myself. Yep. I climbed back over that guard rail, got in the car nonchalantly, looked at my friends who were trying so hard to keep straight faces, and told them, “Let’s just take a minute to consider the absurdity of what just happened.” We are still laughing about that little incident.
This is what the side of the road in Alabama looks like.
After that debacle with the resurfacing (Oh, I didn’t mention why ADOT had the entire interstate exiting? The construction crews were resurfacing an overpass.), we made sure to check the road ahead using Google’s traffic app. About halfway through Mississippi, we noticed that there was another line of red where a construction crew was….wait for it….resurfacing the interstate! We were all like, “Oh no you don’t!” so we exited the interstate and took a small highway running parallel. Now, remember, this is rural Mississippi; the roads really aren’t that well maintained. It was like a roller coaster in that little compact car. We also passed a lot of very…er…interesting buildings along the way, including one run-down motel that advertised proudly that it now had color TV. Welcome to Mississippi, ya’ll!
The rest of the drive home was quite uneventful compared to those two things. I mean, can a bear crossing sign in Louisiana (Louisiana? Louisiana.) or an impromptu dance party at a gas station when a DJ sets up his own little speaker system on a plastic fold-up table really compare? Well, the dance party might, if I had had the foresight to record it.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I will fly from now on.