Life sucks. No, but actually. You think you had a bad day? Bad weekend? Or maybe your family (okay, in-laws that you’re legally forced to call ‘family’) was just a little too much over the never-ending far too short holiday weekend? Yeah, well if you listen really closely, you’ll hear the world’s smallest kazoo (I know, how annoying) playing for you. Because 15 hours of my Sunday definitely top yours in suck-age. Guaranteed.
Besides the fact that I had the most incredible company with me on an unbearable journey through the beautifully landscaped route of I5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles (all you Californians will know just how sarcastic that last sentence was), everything went wrong. I left around 9:30am in the pouring rain (as if my departure wasn’t dramatic enough) and headed towards I5 South. I picked up my cousin Beau along the way (bless his soul), and about 4 hours into the trip, my car started making some startling *ding* noises. Freaked out (and knowing my horrid luck with car mechanics) I pulled over to find out that my engine was just a little warm. Okay, maybe a lot warm. But no big deal, right? Wrong.
We let the engine cool off for a while, ate our weight in leftover Thanksgiving desserts (thank you Auntie Janet for your extreme Pinterest interest), I used the ‘facilities’ and then we got back on the road… for a quarter of a mile. Much to my (anticipated) dismay, my poor car was already overheating. Mind you, it’s like 60 degrees outside and until you hit the Grapevine there isn’t a hill in sight; clearly Chuck (yes, I name cars) was throwing a tantrum. So, I did what any girl would do in this horrifying situation: I called my knight in shining armor to come rescue me (aka my incredible father) and pulled out Cards Against Humanity to pass the time. So there I was, in the middle of Lost Hills, California, on the side of the highway, stranded. For hours and hours. I told you, your weekend wasn’t that bad.
About as real as it gets.
Ten hours after my departure time, my dad liberated Beau and me by driving down to give us his car and taking my tired-engined baby into his hands. How did he (or will he) get home without a properly functioning vehicle and absolutely nothing within a what seems like a bajillion mile radius? I have no idea. But I’m sure he’ll figure it out. He’s a pretty smart guy. If he ever makes it back, I’ll let you know.
I rolled into Los Angeles around 11pm after some lovely and unexpected LA traffic. I finally got back to my apartment around 12:30am post a much-needed In-N-Out cheeseburger and dropping Beau off at school. It took me 15 hours to travel it 346 miles. Fifteen hours. Other things I could have done in that time:
- Driven to LA going 23 miles per hour the entire way
- Driven to LA, forgotten something, driven back to my house to get it, and almost made it back to LA again
- Flown all the way across the country… 3 times…
- Flown to Australia
- Run 90 miles at a 10 minute-mile pace
- Driven to Canada and become fluent in French
- Driven to Mexico (far into Mexico) and probably gotten arrested and detained
- Caught up on all of the reading I haven’t done in my classes throughout the semester (But why would I? Boringgggg)
- Sit on the side of the road trying to make my way to LA, laughing about each and every little thing that was going wrong (Obviously, I picked this one)
And pretty much just about anything else you can think of. And I mean anything.
To give you a taste of how high quality this day was (as if you don’t have an idea already), I started this post sitting in the parking lot of a Denny’s, in the middle of the “Golden State”, blasting Taylor Swift’s new album (while simultaneously killing my car battery—I mean who cares at that point), and snacking on some cooked, (almost) thawed chicken. I love my life, I love my life, I love my life. I’m hoping if I say it enough, I’ll start to believe it.
But as horrible as the day was, there were some pretty amazing parts, too. Not many people can say they’ve been stuck with their 18-year-old cousin for 15 hours and didn’t run out of things to talk about (thank you Lord for my uncloseable mouth). And not everyone has parents that would drive 4 hours to save their stranded kid who’s stuck on the highway on her way to back to school—one that costs them far too much money to begin with. I’m a pretty lucky gal. All I know is that it could have been worse.
How? I could be a Bruin.
See, there’s always something to be thankful for.
Keep doing you. Oh, and check your water pumps to make sure they’re functioning properly (where was this advice 24 hours ago?).