Last Friday, I left for my trip to meet my birth-blog pals, and to attend a viewing of Ricki Lake's documentary, the Business of Being Born. I had almost 400 miles to go, and my husband couldn't even get off work-- so my mother in law was going to come sit with the children in the early afternoon until our friend got there at 430 to spell her off (she had an early evening commitment) until Daddy got home at 6pm.
All 6 of us went to the rental car place on Daddy's lunch hour to go get my "economy car", and so to say I was surprised to see my sweet orange race car would be a grave understatement! This had to be a mistake-- wasn't I gonna get some tiny plastic-lookin thing with no trim and no radio? What was this? Only a 2008 Dodge Caliber---in sparkly flame orange! I was worried it wouldn't do well on gas but it really really did. Over 35 miles to the gallon. this thing was SO fast, and so responsive-- when you turned the steering wheel a tiny speck, it jarred over to the side. The brakes and gas pedals were insanely sensitive and, well, it was no '96 minivan, lemme tell ya! I felt like I was in a video game, down low in my growly sexy racecar with the THUMPIN Cd stereo system. Holy mackerel, I felt like I was hearing these bands for the first time...more on that in a sec.
So, With the car dropped off at the house, and then Daddy returning to work, we waited and waited for Grandma--my mental calculations of the trip taking 7 to 8 hours stressing me out more and more as the time ticked on....1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, finally Steve called her at 2:30 and she was just sitting at home! It turns out that she had no plans to show up at all, and that she thought the whole trip was "weird" and that something didn't "Add up". I was near to despondent tears, thinking how hard it was going to be to LEAVE for this trip so late in the day, all the running around and time-juggling we did to get this to happen....but she is from a generation (?) that is very suspicious of "the Internet" and had expressed concerns to Steve during the week about this whole trip being a scam, etc. I guess I should have spoken to her directly. Next time, for sure. I had no idea the extent of her disapproval or concern until she decided to no-show. So she came over at 3:30, well past Charlie's naptime, which was the plan, her to come when he was sleeping, because he is so afraid of her and he screams the entire time he sees her, being in the middle of a very extreme "stranger anxiety" phase, also well past when I needed to leave, almost at the time when our friend was coming to babysit anyways. I basically nodded my head at her "bye!" and took off in my racecar. I was so excited about my trip that I really didn't want to think about this uncharacteristic "statement" she was trying to make by attempting to sabotage my entire vacation. Fears of big time traffic jams etc were all now a real possibility but oh well. I had my glasses on which I need to see at night driving and I grabbed a big armload of CD's from the garage (we listen to MP3's and Records exclusively now, but this car had a CD player) and I was off!
Google maps oftentimes gives some funky-ish ways to get to basic places, but I was curious about this new way they suggested to get to the Ann Arbor area, so I tried it. It was SO fast and direct! Listening to Monster by R.E.M., and hearing every single sound in the music, trying not to go over 80mph, I was to Ann Arbor in a wink. Tres Cool. Then I was on good old interstate, heading towards the side of my state. Nevermind by Nirvana was blowing my head off, and once I figured out the strange cruise control, I felt better about being able to go 79 MPH, the speed I decided would get me "not pulled over" in a 70 zone. It was so cool to be the girl in the left lane, a lane I usually HATE and never use, and having people getting out of MY way!!! This car was just so---nice and safe and strong that I didn't feel that feeling of fear and trepidation and "being in the way of the fast and important people on the road" that I always have in my own cars, I guess. It was really really cool and I was finding myself wondering how much these Dodge Calibers cost, heh heh...ridiculous fantasies about "no food or muddy shoes in mommy's car" danced around in my adrenaline enraged head along with the absolutely pummeling sounds of Lithium, Polly, and In Bloom. Man, my little Kurt can sing. Sigh.
So, I was really making great time, and soon it was Welcome To The Next State--- YIPPEE!!! I stopped at a rest stop and was amused to see my car when I walked out. Where was this love of Dodge Calibers coming from? I tell ya. I pressed the "boop! boop!" alarm a couple of times, just to seem cool to random old people. (I have never had a car alarm before, dont really want one, but its still funny to me to have a beeping and booping car) I was off again, getting verrry excited to see a unnamed big city that i adore--- was I going to get to drive right through my favorite city in this galaxy??? Would I be able to resist the temptation to just stay there forever, somehow establishing a new life with approximately 80 dollars on me? Pant pant pant I was getting so overly excited about this all, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be this weird sweaty freak when I met my friends. Of course I was wearing deodorant, but I did not put on my usual patchouli, because as bizarre to me as this is, I know that some people REALLY hate patchouli, and my friend Kelley is newly pregnant, and I didn't want to smell sick to them. "Joy from Breast and Belly smelled like a dirty old hippie"-- you know? But the lack of perfume and the racecar rock n roll road trip and the overactive heater in an '08 vehicle, and the onions on my subway sub that I was dropping all over myself and my beautiful new car...well I probably did smell! Oh well.
Big City was drawing near, but the lovely view (and inevitable traffic!) was not meant to be. My route took me a different way, and I was disappointed and yet relieved. The night sky was black, but I looked that way and there was a glow...someday I will go to you, Big City, and it will be awesome. I motored on, making really, really good time.
The rest of the trip was smaller highways, and I had gone through all the CD's, and was trying to find a radio station. there wasn't much and for the first time, i was starting to feel sleepy and tired of driving. I was SOOOOO glad that I didn't have "just radio" or I never, ever would have made it. I put on the Root Down EP by the Beastie Boys and it really wasn't working. I was getting t-i-r-e-d. But the Google map was completely wonderful, really specific and helpful directions with small details that never ad me ever wondering if I was going the right way-- I appreciated that so much.
And then, I was there! My legs felt like rubber bands as I walked up the driveway and was greeted with cheerful hugs and exclamations of "lemmee see that green hair!!!" from the very friends whose blogs have meant so much to me, whose faces have only been tiny little squares on a computer screen, here they were, and here I was, and it was superb.