Monday, January 18, 2010

The Countdown is On

In ten days... I will no longer be a twenty-something.

That's right. In 10 days I will be 30 years old. 3-0. In honor of my thirtieth I thought a little countdown was in order. Each day for the next ten days I'll be posting about one year from my twenties. It will be an interesting trip down memory lane I'm sure, but also a fun way to celebrate my entrance into a new decade.

So here we go... the year was 2000 and I was 20.

I was a wee sophomore in college and living the easy life where the Bank of Mom & Dad was still open for business and I didn't yet feel guilty for making frequent withdrawals. Ah, the good old days. I went to a small, private Christian college in the Pacific NW where taking a crazy, booze-ridden trip to Cabo during spring break wasn't exactly the norm. Since our parents weren't about to fund a trip to Mexico, my closest girlfriends and I wanted to at least do something together for spring break. The answer to our problem: a good old-fashioned roadtrip. What better way for four twenty year old girls to spend some quality time together than 16 hours on the open road crammed in a tiny hatchback?! That isn't a recipe for drama or anything.

My car looked exactly like the one above, except that it was royal blue. We called it "the blueberry." While it was reliable, it wasn't exactly a luxury ride. Two out of the four of us were from Boulder, so we decided to pack ourselves and our luggage like sardines into the blueberry and drive the 16+ hours to Colorado to spend spring break at the homes of our two families. Fabulous. Four girls, about fifteen pieces of luggage, a seemingly endless supply of cds, and we were on our way.

Our first pit-stop was a gas station/restaurant/mini casino in Missoula, MT. I mean, really, who doesn't feel the urge to hit the slots when they're at a gas station in the middle of the mountains? I know I get a hankering to gamble after a few hours in the car. At least they had nice restrooms. We gassed up, picked up some snacks and were ready to be on our way, that is until one of us (who is now Mrs. S) dropped the car keys in the trashcan next to the gas pump. Seriously. Keys in the trash. At the gas station. Anybody need some hepatitis?? Check. Luckily the keys hadn't fallen too far in and after another trip to the restroom for some intense handwashing, we were good to go.

Let me just take a minute to interject here on what I believe to be one of the true highlights of a roadtrip. Highway-style junk food. When else do you not feel the slightest bit guilty for buying beef jerky at a gas station? I don't even like beef jerky on a normal day. Even writing about it kind of makes me cringe. But on a roadtrip, it might as well be the nectar of the gods. You know you agree.

By the next stop, the two girls who were riding in the backseat (now Mrs. J and Mrs. C) were no longer speaking to each other. Keep in mind we had been in the car for only about six hours. To this day I'm not really sure what happened back there, but it did, and after we had all hit up the restroom they refused to sit next to one another. Did I mention how awesome this trip was?

It's been a long time so the details aren't fully clear but at some point we got pulled over. Mrs. S was driving and we were in Montana where allegedly there was no speed limit on the highway. Wrong. We pulled over into the large median strip in the center of the highway. When the officer came to the window and asked for her license, Mrs. S handed it to him but unforunately at that very moment a gust of wind whipped the ID out of her hand and across the road. The look on her face was priceless, as was his. Here's where things get suspicious. She ended up getting a $40 ticket which the officer said she could pay then and avoid having to appear in court. However, he couldn't accept out-of-state checks, just cash. Hmm. Lucky for us we had 40 bucks to essentially buy our way out of ticket.

There's only one other moment from that drive that really sticks out in my memory. It was late, we were tired and we still had a ways to go. We stopped at yet another gas station to fill up the tiniest gas tank ever. I was in the front of the two-door hatchback and Mrs. J was in the seat behind me. I got out to use the restroom and thinking that no one else was getting out, flung the door shut behind me. Wrong again. Mrs. J had one foot out of the car when I shut the door without looking.
Me: I'm so sorry! Oh my gosh. Are you okay? I'm so sorry!
Mrs. J: Stop. I'll be fine. Just don't talk to me for a few minutes.
Me: (Shit)

All in all, we made it in one piece with all of our luggage and the car in tact for the most part. Of course we were so sick of one another by the time we got to Boulder that we really had no interest in being together, but luckily that feeling passed (mostly) and we survived not only the week at home but the car trip back to school. Needless to say, the four of us never made a repeat trip, but it is an all-time favorite memory when I look back at my 20th year.

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