Happy Monday everyone! Allow me to share a story with you.
This weekend I was in Vegas hosting a bachelorette. Let’s just say I’m not too fond of Las Vegas now that I’m married and jobless, it’s an expensive place for single people. Regardless of my negative feelings toward the city I tried to stay positive. I guess my feelings of anxiety and resentment were only foreshadowing what my Sunday would be like. I had a great time hanging out with friends and getting to know the girls better but the weekend flew by and soon it was time to go home. I’ll point out that my least favorite part about going to Vegas is the drive. After a scurry to clean and pack our belongings we were on our way to In n out for a post Vegas ritual meal. It was 100+ degrees and the line was almost out the door, with nowhere to sit except for a blazing hot outdoor table we finished our burgers quickly and hit the road.
I’ve been to Vegas twice before this and I was never the one driving because my car was older and a major gas guzzler. This time I thought, I should offer to drive since I now have a gas efficient Honda and because I get carsick, I would much rather be the one driving. What I failed to realize is that I should have replaced a few tires before I drove old Zippy (my car) into the blazing hot desert. She was fine on the way there but with two extra bodies and twice as much luggage on the way back combined with 111 degree weather and crappy rear tires, we had a tire blowout about an hour into our trip home.
I was probably going around 70 mph when I heard a weird clacking noise, I looked over at Alina and we both had concerned facial expressions. I slowed down a bit then BOOM, the tire blew out and it sounded like my rear bumper was dragging. I slowed down rapidly and checked to make sure I could get over to the side safely all while thinking “shit shit shit shit shit”. (I know, I’m quite the multi-tasker) I got out and checked the tire, a strip had flown off and gotten stuck in the bumper. The bumper was not falling off, but the tire tread was banging against my bumper which caused it to pop off a little.
So there we were, four girls stuck on the side of a freeway in 111 degree weather. Oddly enough there were two ladies pulled over in front of us who had a tire blow about about 20 minutes before we did. I had just gotten gas and wasn’t worried about having to turn the car off and sit in the miserable heat. Luckily we had some cell service even though we were in the middle of nowhere, so we called AAA and they told us that our wait time was approximately 2 hours. We had no way of accurately describing our location since there were no signs for miles and the only things in sight were dirt, hills and tumbleweeds. AAA also told us that we would only be able to fit two people in the tow truck, but thankfully the other girls were behind us a ways and were able to pick up the two girls in my back seat.
So there we were, just two girls melting in a hot car since after about an hour my A/C was no longer blowing cold air. Feeling unsafe on the drivers side of the car I moved to the back passengers seat incase we were to get hit by oncoming traffic. A woman from the car in front of us came over to see what our situation was. She explained that they and been there longer and that her sister was suffering from a panic attack. She called triple A multiple times and they told her that the tow truck couldn’t find them and had passed their location a few times so she had them send a CHP to help the towing men locate us. When the officer arrived he explained our location to the tow truck drivers and offered to let us sit in the back of his patrol car since his A/C was cold and he wanted to wait and make sure the tow trucks made it to us. God bless him.
Alina and I hopped into the caged backseat of his car and hung out for another hour or so feeling a little bit of relief knowing that we would soon be rescued. When the tow truck finally arrived we got in and for the first time all morning I felt ok. The air in the truck was ice cold and we were only 11 miles from Baker where there was said to be a 24 hr tire place. My feeling of relief was soon replaced with discomfort when we exited the freeway in Baker and suddenly the air stopped blowing cold and the tire place was only a towing place after hours. This meant that we were stuck in that hot death box for about 70 more miles until we could reach the next 24 hour tire place in Barstow. As we passed the big thermometer in Baker the temperature read 117 DEGREES!! I wanted to cry but held it together, feeling comforted by the fact that I wasn’t going through it alone and that I had my best friend with me.
For over two hours we sat on black leather seats in over 100 degree weather with the windows down and hot air blowing hard on our faces. About 10 minutes into the drive, we hit an area filled with smoke from a big fire so thick that we could only see the lights from the cars on the other side of the road. Sitting in a puddle of my own sweat I could not move due to the fact that cookies could have been baked on every surface of the interior other than where I was already sitting. Alina and I shared multiple looks of desperation and fear, especially when our driver pulled out his phone to text for the 10th time. Having Sprint meant that I couldn’t even distract myself with Facebook or Instagram because service was spotty and I could barely see my screen through all of the sweat coming off of my hands. The only thing comforting me was the fact that the two ladies who were pulled over in front of us were just ahead of us and headed to the same place. Even though our driver turned out to be a nice man, he was pretty creepy looking with murderer glasses and a gross beard… he basically looked like someone from americas most wanted. So when he exited the freeway and took a back road we both admitted later that it crossed our minds that he might try to take us into the desert somewhere and skin us. Fortunately he was only taking back roads to avoid the agriculture checkpoint.
After over two hours of heat blowing in our faces, puddles of sweat under our butts and backs, tears of desperation and fear for our lives we exited the freeway. The city was covered in smoke from the fire with a big red sun ready to set, we passed rundown shacks and meth addicts wandering around abandoned roads in Barstow. It was like a scene from a horror film and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. We got to the tire shop as the sun began to set and finally the temperature was somewhat bearable. We peed in one of the most disgusting restrooms we had ever been in and then sat on he floor waiting for the tires to get changed. $260 dollars and 2 new tires later we were back on the road and I was driving like a grandma because anytime the wind blew hard, the car swayed and I was still a bit shaken from the tire incident. With terrible traffic and my grandma driving skills we made it home just before 10pm and rushed over to Panera bread since the only thing we had eaten all day was In n out at 12. Smelling the worst we have ever smelled in our lives, with a layer of sweat and desert dirt on our bodies, Alina and I sat across from one another in a booth at Panera and expressed our thankfulness for one another. We made it through a day straight out of hell and were still able to laugh about it because we had each other and we couldn’t believe that it was finally over and that we were alive.
What was supposed to be a 4 hour drive home turned into the most uncomfortable 10 hours we had ever experienced.
So no matter what kind of Monday you’re having, it can’t be any worse than my Sunday. Moral of the story is that life goes on, and everyone has their bad days so don’t let Monday be a bad day just because it’s the beginning of the work week.