Day one on the road

We had planned to leave Chicago at noon today. Pack up our two bedroom apartment, clean, fit everything into my pick-up and drive drive drive towards San Francisco. We didn’t, of course, make it out of the apartment until 4, and I found a dead fly while cleaning out our fridge and how in the hell did we accumulate 200 hangers and why didn’t anyone ever teach me how to tie knots?

This is the second time I’ve driven across the country. I used to really enjoy road trips. I was all Kerouac’d. Now I know better. Cars are scary and it’s all Shell stations and fast food nations. Plus, our friend Elia and his band just got in a horrible accident where their van flipped over 8 times. 8. If you have a heart (and by that I mean cash), please consider donating to the fund to help cover their medical expenses.

But back to the road. We hit the Dan Ryan Expressway, where it immediately began to rain. Rush hour had also just started and it took us two hours to make it to Willowbrook, a nearby suburb. We celebrated our victory of making it out of the city by going to Denny’s. By 6:30, we were finally traveling above 10 miles an hour, which is when the tarp covering all of our worldly possessions shredded completely. Bits of it broke off and started waving frantically in the wind, like a manic patriot. As all of our stuff started getting wet, we pulled over to tighten the ropes and hopefully try to tame the pieces of tarp flying every which way. It was at this point that we decided it’d be a good idea to tie a rope to our big book of CDs and wedge it into the bed of the truck.

This, you can imagine, did wonders.

By 9pm, we had gone all of 130 miles and decided to admit defeat in Bloomington/Normal. There’s apparently a softball tournament going on and all the hotels are filled with teenagers who wear aviator sunglasses at night. Not the light-toned ones, but the cop kind, full mirrors. And shirts that said “Strong Army.” Which is not nearly as catchy as “Be all you can be…in the army.” At least THAT rhymed. But that’s not the worst of it. No, we were turned away from a Best Western! After making us wait around for 10 minutes while they serviced the Zac Efrons of rural Illinois, Ellie overheard someone say the hotel was full. And it was. Now Bloomington will forever be known as the place where we were REJECTED BY A BEST WESTERN!

If I hadn’t been listening to Ellie’s delightful mix of musical theatre duets, I would have been really upset by this. “A whole new world” my ass, Aladdin.

Then we went to Home Depot and bought a tarp and asked this guy how to dismantle a bicycle with only a yoga mat and cookware. And he was all, “I’m not Chuck Norris.” And we were very disappointed, but we still wanted an answer. So we asked again, this time, calling him by the name on his nametag. And he told us it couldn’t be done. And I was like, “You sure AREN’T Chuck Norris. Good day, sir.”

Now it’s almost midnight and in our defeat and exhaustion, we thought, hey, why not start a blog. So we did. This is it, duh.

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10 Responses

  1. Totally subbed and wishing you both a good night’s sleep.

  2. Subbed? Is that slang?

  3. So, 1) how long is the drive going to take and 2) Ell, what did you end up putting on the musical theater mix(es)?

  4. Oh my god that sounds horrible. Hang in there, and good luck with the new tarp!!!

  5. How exciting! I’m totally looking forward to following your trip. Best of luck on your journey. Smooch.

  6. now, if you were coming to *alaska*, you’d totally find someone who could help you dismantle anything you want with or without appropriate tools, and do all sorts of unlikely and questionably necessary things with tarps. it’s a major state pastime, in fact…just sayin’…
    safe travels!

  7. Wow! Who knew you were leaving Chicago! I’m jealous! We’re coming in a few years behind you to Davis, the city of bikes! Have fun on your trip–our drive across country was one of the best times of my life! Chicago will miss you. 😀

  8. Thanks! I’ll miss Chicago as well.. Have fun in Davis.

  9. oh goodies! when i have internet addiction withdrawals i can come glom onto your stories. hooray!

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