When you’re not stuck at work, weekends are made for adventures, right? Well, I certainly had one last weekend.
In a bid to escape an impending snowstorm, the Boyfriend and I ended up far from home. The storm turned out to be a bit of a dud, but we didn’t know that when we made our plan to escape.
We decided to amuse ourselves in the Valley. No snow there, and we planned to grab a cheap (read $25) hotel room when we were ready to retire for the night.
When that time arrived, we cruised into the motel parking lot and I headed to the lobby. No vacancies.
Same thing happened in three other, slightly more expensive, hotels. There was not a room to be had at a reasonable price — and no, we didn’t check any of the more expensive joints. We’re not rich.
Why the dearth of rooms? Turns out that not only was there a big NASCAR race in Phoenix, but it was also the first weekend of spring training. There was some big dart tournament going on, too. Darts? I guess enough people love the game …
After a third stop with no success, I was beginning to develop a stress headache. So the Boyfriend drove on to the next hotel while I laid in the back seat, trying to de-stress.
When we turned up empty at the fourth hotel on the outskirts of the city, it was time to implement Plan B: Driving back home. In the rain. Since my head was still pounding, I chased four ibuprofen with a bottle of Diet Dr Pepper and let the Boyfriend go to it.
I dozed off and on until I heard an “uh-oh.”
I cracked one eye open. “Uh-oh what?”
He said, “I see snowflakes.”
Have I mentioned the Boyfriend is a California Boy? He freaked at the first sign of snow.
Luckily, it came just before we hit the only major rest area between home and Phoenix.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t your Mama ever tell you not to stop at a rest area after dark? She did, but
we were the Boyfriend was desperate to stop driving in the snow … and besides, I had him there to protect me.
He climbed into the back seat while I tried to get comfortable in the front seat. The plan was to get some sleep and then, at daybreak, I’d drive us the rest of the way home. (I’m the one with experience driving in snow.)
I’m not sure how long we stayed there, dozing, before the Boyfriend decided to attempt to make it home. All I know was my head was still pounding, so I wasn’t in any shape to drive.
We set off again, with me pretty out of it and the Boyfriend creeping along. (In retrospect, the roads probably would have been better had we kept going at the first sign of snow instead of stopping for a couple of hours. But with my headache, I wasn’t coherent enough to think of that.)
The road got progressively worse, until, as we approached the hill into Camp Verde, there were just two little ruts in the snow. We saw a couple of cars in the median and another one or two in the ditch.
Needless to say, the Boyfriend had had enough. Not about to attempt going down a snowy, icy mountain in the dark, he pulled off in the safety chain-up area to wait for daylight — at which time we figured my headache would be gone so I could drive the rest of the way.
I tried in vain to convince him to follow a snowplow down the mountain. “Find a plow and stay behind it. You just have to drive really slow.”
“Well, this time I’m taking the back seat.” I’d learned at Sunset Point that the front seat of a pickup truck is not suitable for sleeping.
So I climbed into the back of the truck and made myself comfortable enough to take a nap. I listened to his attempt to call someone to tow him down the hill. “I’m stuck at the top of the hill and need a tow down. No, I’m not in the ditch.”
Brilliant plan? Not so much. I imagine the tow truck operator laughing his a$$ off.
When they told him it’d be three hours, things quieted down — and, in between shivers, I finally slept.
The next thing I knew, we were moving again.
I popped up in the back seat. “What’s going on?”
His answer involved not wanting me to suffer, manning up and driving down the mountain despite his fear. He said he figured that dozens of other cars seemed to be making the trip safely.
His attack of manliness came not a moment too soon, since I really had to use the bathroom. (I wasn’t crazy enough to get out of the car at the rest area after dark, even if I was willing to sit there in the locked truck.)
So what did I learn from this grand adventure?
- Never try to get a hotel room in Phoenix on a weekend with two major sporting events and a dart tourney.
- Don’t call for a tow down the mountain just because you’re scared of a little snow. You won’t get what you want.
- Spontaneity has a place, but that place has nothing to do with winging around the state without having a plan for lodging. Reservations rule!
You’d think I’d have learned that last one in college, when my Mom, brother and I gave up our hotel room in Paris before we went to Bayeaux to see the famous tapestry depicting the Norman Conquest. (My brother was a history buff even then.) We thought we’d take an overnight train out of the city to Amsterdam
? but when we got back to the train station, there were no overnight trains. The station was closing and we had nowhere to stay.
We walked the streets of Paris, me towing my two big-a$$ suitcases behind me … in the days before they had those nifty two-wheeled pilot cases. My suitcases were top-heavy and kept falling onto their sides. We eventually found a place to stay, but I remember it wasn’t easy.
What can I say? I’m a slow learner in more than just the diet/exercise arena. 😉