Getting to Graduation

Okay, ya'll bear with me here.. I'm still tuckered out but the fog is slowly clearing.

The Amazon and I headed out for G'boro after work Thursday with the intention of stopping over at a hotel with about an hour left to go. I was looking forward to getting somewhere, kicking back and watching television. I wasn't at all surprised when we'd barely made it past the gorge and traffic came to a complete and total stop.

I have no idea why we stopped, but there were shiny red brake lights ahead for miles. We passed the time sitting there making jokes about the little Latino woman in the other lane who was flossing her teeth with some kind of big plastic contraption while her husband was licking the cheese off a burger wrapper. They were a lovely couple.

After a while, cars started pulling over in to the emergency lane, turning around and trying to drive back to the last exit. Ya'll do realize that is the only way emergency personnel have to access whatever happened up the road right? Soon there were cars lined up in the emergency lane, backing up, trying to find someone to let them back in line as the volunteer fire department tried to make their way up to whatever the crap had happened. That there wasn't another accident as a result is a miracle.

Once we got moving again we made pretty good time. About half way there it dawned on me that I'd forgotten to pack anything for my snot churning problem or any of my prescription drugs. I'm such a ditz.

As we neared G'boro we started looking for a cheap place to spend the night. We really just needed a place to sleep, nothing fancy. We spotted a roadside sign for a Scottish Inn. I told the Amazon that I'd never stayed in a Scottish Inn and I had no idea if it was reasonable or not, but we'd go check it out. I took the exit, turned in the direction pointed out on the exit sign and started looking. We drove for quite a while but we never found the elusive Scottish Inn. I turned around, thinking maybe I'd looked at the sign wrong, it was after all late at night and my 41 year old allergy stricken eyes aren't the most dependable things in the world. I drove back past the interstate ramp and a few more miles, gravitating instinctively towards a Super Wal-Mart, then turning around and heading back. No Scottish Inn. I heard the shrill squeal of sirens and saw the whirling flash of blue lights in my rear view mirror.

Rut roh. My inspection sticker expired like.. a year ago January.

I held my breath and pulled over out of the way, silently praying that he wouldn't pull in behind me. As he whizzed past, I took a deep breath and after some debate we decided we'd get back on the interstate and drive a little longer. Once we'd taken the split that directs I-40 around Winston-Salem and into Greensboro, we knew we had to find something. Following a sign towards a Super 8, we both breathed a little easier, anxious to just lay down. I took the exit and stopped at the light, spotting the motel directly across the road. There was some debate on how, exactly, to get to the parking lot from where we were. It looked like all I had to do was pull straight across. I began easing out across the road and I swear, I heard sirens again. I was scared to death that I was pulling out right in front of speeding squad car because I couldn't figure out where the heck the sound was coming from. The Amazon was trying to help, directing me across the intersection, but unfortunately, straight across the intersection lands you right back on the interstate you just left.

Damn.

Oh and the sirens? An ambulance went flying past us as we re-entered the highway.

We both laughed at ourselves, contemplating the odds of facing sirens twice in the middle of nowhere at each of the exits we'd taken. The next spot we found with any lodging listed was the same little town where we'd stayed the night that we first journeyed to Greensboro for the UNCG open house before the Amazon's freshman year. It seemed fitting that we'd spend the night there on the last trip as well.

Unfortunately, the desk clerk at the hotel seemed to have other ideas. I can't be certain, but she seemed to look over my shoulder and out the window at the vehicle I was driving before cockily explaining that it was going to be $99 for one night, single occupancy. This wasn't the Hilton. It was part of a well known chain of hotels, with names which suggest reasonable places to stay. I asked her if there were any other hotels in the area with more realistic prices and she presented me with a card, explaining that if I drove back about two miles to the hotel named on the card, I would get a reduced rate.

I was beginning to think we were gonna have to spend the night in the back of the van at a rest area.

We drove back to the other hotel, which actually looked nicer than the one we'd just left. The friendly desk clerk bore a striking resemblance to Captain Kangaroo and asked us about the mineral springs here in Frog Pond Holler. There were some questions about nudists frolicking about as well, but that was just weird and I'd rather not think about it. I mean, Captain Kangaroo and nakedness don't mix.

We finally got to our room, which really was just a place to sleep. The air conditioner never really kicked in like it should have, the bed wasn't that comfy, there was no little coffee pot or blow dryer, but it was clean.. and there was a television, so I didn't have to miss Craig Ferguson (yaay.) It had a tiny bathroom with a shower resembling some kind of pod that could suck you back up into the mother ship. I had a hard time getting out of it the next morning, there wasn't an obvious handle on it. I was momentarily horrified that I'd have to scream for help and the Amazon would have to come free my naked, dripping body from the space pod.

Anywho, I need to tend to some things around here. You'll have to come back tomorrow for the rest of the story.

Ya'll enjoy your weekend.