There’s not much better than going on vacation.
And there’s not much worse than the drive home from a vacation.
But that’s where we found ourselves on Saturday. But we were determined to make a good day out of it. By we, I mean my daughter, my niece, and me. We were leaving Orange Beach on the Gulf in Alabama. Sure it was a long drive – about seven hours – but we weren’t in a hurry. In fact, we planned to stop somewhere and watch the World Cup game between Argentina and Belgium. We could go at our own leisurely pace . . .
Little did I know . . .
After about two hours, I had traveled about a block and a half from the condo. Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but it felt like it. Traffic was bumper to bumper all the way to Mobile.
Now, at this point, you might need to know something about me – I have a GPS. And in the past, I would have checked the map to have at least an idea of where I was going, this time I had none.
We had initially planned to leave the condo early, then stop some where like Hattiesburg, Miss., for lunch and the second half of the World Cup game. So as we were driving by Mobile on the interstate, we were discussing whether or not to take the exit our GPS (I think she is a cousin to Siri on the I-phone) wanted us to take, or drive ahead on the Interstate and look for a place to eat.
Interstate = non-moving traffic. The exit offered us sweet freedom, an open gateway to a smooth trip and easy driving. Well, for a couple of minutes.
Before long, Siri’s cousin had us driving on what felt like the back streets of Mobile. The sad part was we knew where we were, but we didn’t know how to un-get from where we were. In fact, we weren’t even sure if you could even get to our house from Mobile.
At some point in time, we did escape from the clutches of the city of Mobile. And then we were on the road. Running smooth and steady. There was only one problem . . .
We had already missed all of the game. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? So we decided to pick up just a bite of something then, and we’d stop in either Jackson, Miss., or Monroe, La., for supper, and watch the SECOND World Cup game of the day. I saw that if we timed it just right, we could get to Monroe just in time for the second half of the game.
If I timed it right, and sped for about the next two hours. But I figured it was a holiday weekend; don’t the police get those days off, too . . .
Anyway, I’m cruising along, jamming to my I-pod, my daughter is desperately searching for a place for us to eat and see the World Cup, and my niece is desperately hoping I’ll stop somewhere – ANYWHERE – that has a bathroom.
So as we’re entering Monroe, we’re looking on both sides of the Interstate to see if we can find a place to eat. And it’s at that exact moment that I look down and notice my gas light is on. And I’m not sure how long it’s been on.
And the first thing I think is, why can’t I ever run out of gas on a date. But then I realize, and say almost at the same time, it’s a good thing that we’re stopping soon because I’m about to run out of gas.
And it was at THAT exact moment that traffic around us came to a complete stop, for what turned out to be an overturned Fed Ex truck waaaaaay on up ahead.
So there we were, stuck in traffic, no way to move, me worried about running out of gas, my daughter worried about running out of time to see the World Cup, and my niece just worried about stuff running out.
My daughter said maybe we should turn off the air conditioner to conserve gas. I told her I would just as soon walk to a gas station as I had to sit in a hot car.
We didn’t run out of gas. We did finally make it to an exit that had a Chili’s restaurant.
And you’ll be happy to know that we stopped to watch the World Cup and eat first. After all, we do have our priorities straight.