My First Road Trip
We woke up to the final snooze just in time to hit the road for our very first road trip together. The team bus left at 8:30am, so we figured that a 9:00am departure would allow us plenty of time to drive, eat, and get Joe to the field for his game on time. After doing long-distance for so many months, saying that I was excited to go on our first road trip would be an understatement.
I've always had a crush on the world, and a keen desire to travel to every corner of it. In fact, my favorite song is La Vie En Rose, because I have always viewed life through “rose-colored lenses.”
Piling our bags into Joe's car (affectionately named Ted), we were eager to get some much needed iced-coffee before hitting the road. Instead of a freezing cup of “help-us-wake-up,” we froze when we went to start the truck and realized the battery was dead.
It seemed like hours passed as we tried to get help. Exchanging glances, it was evident that we both were running through the list of worst-case scenarios and what would happen if we couldn’t get him to the game.
Our landlord was at the house but every entrance I tried to knock on was locked. We needed to get someone to help jump the car, and it needed to happen quickly!
Finally, I decided to go get help from the neighbors. This darling girl named Audrey graciously agreed to come help and even lent us her portable battery charger. I have never sought out my neighbors for help growing up, so going to a random house I had never been to, in a new city I just moved to was somewhat intimidating.
Looking back that seems so silly, because she embodied everything I teach my students every single day in my classroom. Compassion and the power of being kind. I keep a gratitude journal and that day, Audrey was at the top of my list.
Finally we were on the road and only about thirty minutes behind schedule. We even saw one of Joe’s teammates on the road, which assured us we were golden! Of course we had to stop for gas, but were terrified to shut the engine off in order to do so. All we could picture was that scene in Zoolander and getting blown up with our iced-coffees from Starbuck’s while jamming out to “Jitterbug…”
Thankfully my father, who is brilliant, ensured us that we could fill Ted up without shutting him off and we would be ok. Cue Orange-Mocha-Frappuccino dance moves. We drove for about three and a half hours and were able to get to Altoona in time with no issues (other than the harsh realization that I learned just how awful I am at playing 20 questions). I mean, I didn’t even think of a “starfish” as being an animal found in Australia, that wasn’t fluffy, and could fit in my purse.
We were so relieved to finally get checked in as we headed for our hotel room with Chick-fil-A in hand. But what a boring story this would be if there wasn’t another plot twist! Joe went to open the door to our room, but the door didn’t budge, so he went to get help as I sat in the hallway and ate those glorious waffle fries sans ranch.
Turns out we weren’t locked out after all and simply had to pull the handle up, not push it down to get in. We got settled in to the room and set out to get Joe to the field for BP before the game. With our fingers crossed, we jumped into Ted, put the keys in the ignition and...drumroll please...nothing happened.
We slumped back into the lobby so that Joe could catch the team bus and I could wait for AAA to come rescue me. Can you guess who made the next slot in my gratitude journal that day? I called a local auto-body shop that was able to come jump Ted and then I followed him back to the shop so the battery could be replaced.
The entirety of the “battery episode” took around three hours. What better way to spend my first three hours in a new city than to sit in a tiny store watching Judge Judy and getting that bouquet-of-rubber smell in my hair, am I right?
I made it to the game in the top of the third inning, with a Chick-fil-A cup full of rosé, and a grateful spirit that Ted was up and running. Reflecting back on the whole incident, I wouldn’t change a single thing. It made me realize just how well Joe and I work together as a team.
Seeing him jump into action, while being as cool as the backside of my pillowcase, was beyond refreshing to witness. That same level of patience was tested again when I navigated us on a 45-minute detour right into the hilly suburbs of Pittsburgh on our road trip home.
I was so proud of myself for finding a scenic overlook of Pittsburgh, since neither of us had ever been there. Turns out that 8 Grandview Ave is not the same as 8 N. Grandview Ave. Oops.
Needless to say, we both needed a cold beer, so we successfully routed ourselves to a rooftop beer garden in the middle of the city. We both have an unhealthy obsession with elevation and views, so getting to take in a new city from a rooftop on a gorgeous sunny day was the perfect end to a not-so-perfect-escapade.
My whole life I have lived in Denver with my family, so some might say I lived a “sheltered” life growing up. While I will be the first to admit to being well taken care of, we grew up traveling the world, with a constant passion for culture.
My parents instilled this sense of wonder in both my twin sister and me from the moment we could crawl, so I’ve always watched the world with glittering eyes. Although my twin sister and I studied abroad in Rome, Italy together, I have never left Denver otherwise.
I was apprehensive about taking this leap with Joe and leaving for the summer, but it has been absolutely exhilarating. I'm proud of myself for listening to my gut and for following my heart.
As a teacher, I have the option to just relax for two months, but I'm choosing to chase this American dream with the man of my dreams. In fact, we were able to visit the “World Famous Railroad Horseshoe Curve” in Altoona after eating at the cutest crepe restaurant for brunch in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. I mean, how American is that?!
This adventure has only just begun, but has already brought me to places I would have never traveled to otherwise. It has reassured me just how wonderful people can be, and has pulled me out of my shell entirely. I am smitten with life.
Cheers to cultivating happiness, chasing dreams, and living “la vie en rosè.”