Road Trip to Indiana

February 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

I traveled home this weekend to spend some quality time with my friends and family.  January and February seem to be extremely popular months for women in our family to give birth and so we often get together to celebrate the birthdays all at once.  This year was no exception and we spent Saturday evening having a grand ‘ol time in a private room at a vegetarian-hating place called Beef O’Brady’s.  I resigned myself to the fact that I would be having beer and fried appetizers for dinner and settled down to visit and chat.  One of the first appetizers brought out was chips and queso, and since I’m a bit of a cheese head I was excited to dive right in.  I asked a nearby cousin if the queso had meat (and to her credit, she really didn’t think it did), so I took a bite.  Then I paused, as the bite seemed a bit…well, heavier than it should have been.  I looked at my cousin and asked her again (around my mouth full of queso) and she said she really thought it was okay for me to eat.  After that, I turned around and saw the worried expression on our waitress’ face, and she just shook her head and said she was sorry but it wasn’t vegetarian friendly.  I didn’t want to turn into one of those vegetarians who freak out and go ballistic over a tiny bit of accidentally ingested meat, but I was still beyond grossed out.  I spat out my bite, rinsed my mouth with water and proceeded to drink lots of beer while trying not to focus on what had just happened.  Not so easy when your entire family thinks it’s hilarious and thoroughly enjoy teasing you for it.

Other than that, our dinner was decent.  The room we reserved worked out perfectly because my family is large and loud, and it includes a few small children who love to run around and make a general ruckus.  We’ve learned that keeping us away from the other patrons is usually a good idea.  It also made it easier for us to open presents and cut through the cakes.  Have I mentioned how much I love my birthday?  I especially love celebrating it weeks after the actual day.

After the eating, we all headed to a favorite family hangout – Horseshoe Casino.  Personally, I’m a bit too much of a tightwad to spend large chunks of cash at the casino boat, but the place makes for great people watching.  I had a few beers bought for me by my wonderful aunt and cousin and I managed to hang out and only spend $10 in a three-hour period.  A few other family members had a bit more luck and one cousin in particular walked away with $60 – which may not seem like much but I think leaving with even a dollar more than you started with is something to be proud of.

The people watching at this casino in particular is especially great.  Have you ever been to  Yup, it’s something like that.  I had quite the enjoyable evening sitting and watching others lose their hard-earned money.  After my sister and I tired of the casino (which was about midnight – my mom, aunt and uncle were there until four-thirty in the morning) we headed to her apartment in Louisville (Looavul).  I hadn’t seen her place yet and was quite impressed with the size and quality of her apartment.  It sure beats the house she used to live in where hoards of rats had constant parties in the basement.  An old high school friend of mine ended up coming over since he was in the neighborhood and it was fantastic to see him and catch up.  We all hung out for a while and then it was time to crash.  I even had a bed all to myself, since my sister has my bed from my mom’s house in her spare room.  At least I have my own bed someplace.

The next morning I woke up with a bit of a beer headache and promptly regretted the offer my sister and I made to go babysit my cousin’s three children under the age of five.  I don’t get to spend much time with these kids because they are currently the most popular members of our family, so I was excited for some one on one playtime.  Until the beer headache.  A breakfast at Waffle House helped and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in Playskool toys and dirty diapers.  I don’t know how my cousin handles it every day – the three hours that my sister and I were there was enough to make me consider celibacy for life.  Okay not really.  The kids were actually fun and adorable as hell…it was just a lot of work.  Props to the moms out there, you all must be superhuman.  Or on lots and lots of cocaine.

I was scheduled to return to Chicago on Monday but it started snowing Sunday night and people all over southern Indiana began freaking out about another foot of snow.  I swear, Indiana has had more snow this summer than Chicago.  There were five fresh inches of snow Monday morning and my mom decided she would rather risk being stuck in the snow rather than listen to me bitch about not being able to get back to my apartment, so we headed out into the elements.  She made sure to pack enough food, water and blankets to last us a week in case be became stranded, because my mom is like a boy scout on steroids.  It’s one of the many reasons that I love her.  The drive to Indy usually takes us an hour and a half but yesterday it took us close to three, because people were going so slow.  Fine by me, I didn’t want to end up stranded on the side of the road like this car here.  We counted roughly 27 cars that were stuck in ditches or on the side of the road between Louisville and Indy, plus one overturned semi.  Most of them had already been vacated by their owners but we definitely saw a few that were fresh.  Perhaps it’s not a great idea to drive 70mph in icy, blizzard like conditions?  Just a suggestion.

Eventually, we made it to Indy.  The trip actually reminded me of another winter journey I made a few years ago, only that one involved an extra 6 hours tacked on to my commute and me coming thisclose to eating my cat for survival.  It’s actually a good story, now that I can laugh about it.  Perhaps inspiration for tomorrow’s post?  We shall see.

I believe I’ve talked about the megabus before, seeing as how it’s the transit system that takes me from Illinois to Indiana on a somewhat regular basis.  They were an hour late again picking me up last night and I have come to realize that the megabus customer service department is actually a black hole of endless telephone prompts that will never actually get you anywhere.  I think they make it so difficult to reach a real, live person that you eventually hang up in frustration and contempt.  At least, that’s what I did after sitting on hold for 15 minutes.  By that point the bus finally showed up and I no longer needed their run-arounds.  So a warning to all of you potential megabusers – you get what you pay for.

Thus ends my weekend journey.  As usual, my trip home was filled with lots of family, lots of food and the occasional dear old friend.  I was glad that my mom and I both made it home safely and a delicious pasta dinner made by a cute, funny guy upon my arrival home was a great way to cap the long weekend.

If you’re lucky, tomorrow I will tell my tale of the longest, most horrible road trip I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing.  It involves me urinating in a stranger’s coffee cup on the side of the interstate, so get excited.

1 Comment

  1. Lucy Berger said,

    First of all, I have to say that I would bet you the AT&T automated phone system is WAY worse than the Megabus one. By the time you actually get to talk to a real person (upwards of an hour sometimes) and ask to speak to a manager, they tell you there is a 24-36 hour return call policy. I think they just don’t want to get yelled at because of their terrible automated phone system. Also the story about the worst road trip ever is a good one to share! Glad you had a good time in Indiana.

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