Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Adventures of Jan

I love that I have a husband who likes to travel, as I am a fan of it myself. Throughout our marriage we have had the opportunity to travel to some great places, and despite the one breakdown over a cheeseburger in a spanish speaking area (sounds like a great blog entry), I've enjoyed my time in each different place.

Here's a list (b/c I love them) of places we've been since declaring to love each other for better or for worse (cheeseburger was probably my worst--thanks, Ben).

1. Destin, FL
2. Northern Michigan (a lot)
3. Pretty much all over Michigan
4. Chicago
5. New York
6. Cleveland
7. Detroit (a lot) (it's an experience in of itself)
8. Puerto Rico (location of cheeseburger incident)
9. Wheaton (which is really Chicago -- but for this list, they were separate trips)
10. Lexington, KY
11. Canada

And most recently...

12. Atlanta

Okay so number 12 is the point of this post. Over the New Year's Holiday, Ben and I traveled down to Atlanta, GA. Ben is taking a group of students down there for Spring Break and we wanted to check it out beforehand. While we were driving down there, I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a book I'm teaching in my American Lit. class. What an appropriate book to have read on this excursion. No, we weren't traveling on a raft, and no we were weren't helping prisoners escape, and no we didn't fake our deaths to go down to Atlanta. However, we did ride the subway a lot and we slept in our car. Sounds like an adventure to me.

So Ben found a great deal on a room in a hotel in Buckhead, GA, which is just outside of Atlanta. And by great room, I mean bigger than our current apartment. It was amazing. We drove up to the hotel and there were cars parked out front that I've only seen on episodes of Cribs. I half expected to see P. Diddy when we walked in, but alas, we did not. We had a corner room on the fourth floor. I walked into the room and just kept exclaiming "no way!" ((Note: must purchase a travel thesaurus))

I should mention that I've never met a bigger fan of public transportation than my husband. It's the little things with him. If a city has public transportation we are taking advantage of it. I'm sure if Spring Arbor had a bussing system (not including the Ganton-mobiles), we would not own cars. So, we bought a two day pass for the subway (called Marta). There was a station conveniently located a block from our hotel. We road the subway all over Atlanta, and oh the people we saw. There was one lady who must have been trying to make it as a cover act for Aretha Franklin...she was fun. There were lots of people who talked to themselves, thousands of Clemson/Auburn fans (the Chick-Fil-A bowl was held in downtown Atlanta on New Year's Eve--I love drunk sports fans), and some people of questionable gender.

We went to one of the most amazing malls I've ever been to (new favorite store: Anthropologie). We visited the CNN building (okay we ate there, but we saw it just the same). We walked through Centennial Park. On New Year's Eve, we went downtown where they were holding the "peach drop" (similar to the ball drop in NY) for a couple hours, but decided not to stay because it was boring...drunk people are only entertaining for so long. We had a great time.

Then we drove home...

The trip is a 12 hour drive (we broke it up on our way down) and we decided we were going to attempt it one day. Little did we know that it was going to be the windiest day in the history of mankind, which wouldn't have been so bad except we drive a box, not the most aerodynamic car out there. Then the weather went from 60 degrees and windy to -45 degrees, windy, and snowy...the perfect storm (or what I'm sure weather is like in Hell). We hit one stretch of highway that bore a striking resemblance to an ice arena (minus the Zamboni). We seriously were driving 15 - 20 miles an hour for about an hour. The roads changed from ice to snow as we drove further north. I've never seen so many cars in the ditch before. We were stuck outside Lexington for 2 hours....2 HOURS!!! We probably drove 5 miles in 2 HOURS!!! This is why I could not live in a big city unless I owned my own helicopter. The rest of the way was slow going as the roads were treacherous. We drove probably 35-40 miles an hour the whole way home. So it was around 11:00 p.m. (when we were still 4 or 5 hours away from home) that we decided to take a break and get a couple hours of sleep. Ben had been driving in this weather since 11:30 a.m. and was a little frazzled, and I was looking for any chance to unclench my fists and have the knot in my stomach disappear. We didn't want to stay in a hotel, b/c we only wanted to rest for a couple hours and just didn't feel like going through the hassle. So we found a Wal-Mart, purchased inexpensive sleeping bags (and by inexpensive I mean similar to sleeping in a plastic grocery bag), found a rest area and slept in our car. Surprisingly, I slept very well (I guess I missed my true calling of being a big-rig trucker). We slept for about two hours. Well, I slept, Ben wrestled with his grocery bag...I mean sleeping bag the entire time. :(

We finally made it home by 7:00 a.m. and were greeted by all the snow ever made EVER. What the...?

Fun times had by the Parkers. I'm sorry I don't have a camera so I could share the memories with you, but I know a tedious blog entry is just as good.


rachel said...

yet another blog that has made me laugh, literally, out loud. i don't know how to tell you this, but... most big rigs actually have beds in them (true story). so, if you think about it, you're basically stronger than a trucker. which is saying a lot.

Sara Luke said...

Shoot . . . we need to get you a camera.