Thursday, 22 November 2012

Vacation Disaster

I laughed when I read this week’s topic! How strange it seemed to me. Here’s the thing. You’re going to be shocked at what I have to tell you. You won’t believe you’re reading this correctly. I am a person who LOVES to travel. I dream incessantly about traveling the world. I fell in love with Julia Roberts in Eat.Pray.Love and would drop everything to take my family on such a trip!
However, I’ve never been on vacation!

That’s right. I said it! NEVER! Okay, when I was little we took a few trips to see my family in Georgia and I spent weeks every summer riding around in my dad’s semi as we traveled across the states. But these weren’t vacations really! As I got older, I planned my trip, but then ended up moving here instead and got married! So that definitely can’t fall under the disaster category!
Instead though I will tell you about the most memorable trip I have with my dad in the semi! This particular trip will be a story I tell my grand children. It constantly reminds me of what it was like the first time I experienced a life so vastly different from my own!

When in the trucking business there are times in which involve a lot…I mean a ridiculous unimaginable amount of time sitting around and…waiting. You drop a load and travel to a truck stop and wait for your next load. There are times where you receive you next load before you’ve even dropped the one you’re carrying but other times you just sit!
This particular day was a sitting day! Luckily joining us at the stop was Jeff, Scott, and another driver I’d never met. Truckers develop a keen friendship with each other and my dad was always good at maintaining these friendships. Jeff, Scott and my dad drove together a lot and always had a great time!
We all piled into my favorite truck stop, Gateway, in St. Louis. We ate breakfast, checked about a load, mused over the stores, and proceeded to the arcade! Further proving my point that boys don’t really grow up!
After 3 hours of gaming, we ate lunch and checked about loads again. Still….NOTHING! Now my little 8 year old self can only stay busy so long. The men decide a nap is in order for the after noon because if we do get loads now it will be a long drive!
Killing hours on end in a truck stop is only so entertaining and for the guys who do it on a daily basis, each stop begins to be the same!
After about an hour of rest, we get the call! This was before cell phones were really popular so we all rush into the building and hit a pay phone! I remember prancing anxiously as I built up excitement towards hitting the open road again!
We get our load details and the men plot the route. One problem….the dispatch must have made a mistake. The town isn’t even on the map. Spelling must have been wrong!
Phone again. Nope that is the town. It is on the map we must just check closer. Soon enough we find the little dot. It’s there and we’ve never heard of it!
But we’re ready to go! So we pile in and hit the road.
5 hours later we see a sign. This is suppose to be it but wait….there is NOTHING! I’m not joking. The old saying ‘a one horse town.’ This was it. This is what all the stories are based on. At the very bottom of Tennessee, is a one street town.
We drove straight through it looking for the town. We turn around. Nothing like seeing 4 18-wheelers driving up and down a mile strip!
We stop. I  need to use the bathroom. And I’m hungry.
We ask a local police officer who is parked in the parking lot across from us where we can get a bank. He points at the local grocery store.
That local police officer was the ONLY officer. Yea it was that small of a town! Not even a deputy!
This ‘grocery store’ wasn’t much bigger than your average McDonalds. The bank was inside and it also operated as the gas station!
After walking around looking ridiculous (and probably what felt like agonizing hours of complaining from me!) we asked the only employee in the store where we can find an atm.
She stared at us as if we were aliens and then proceeded in her very movie like southern accent to ask “Is that one them machines what you put money in and it give you a card?”
Stunned my dad finally informs her it is the other way and that you put a card in and you get money.
Her response you ask…well…
“No we ain’t got nothing that fancy ‘round here. Hey, yall must be from New York or something!”

And this is where my trip went very sour. Between 5 of us we managed to get $20 out of the trucks in change! Hardly enough to eat dinner on. Even better was that we only off loaded in the morning! And there wasn’t a restaurant or a place in sight with a public bathroom. Where’s the southern hospitality?

Needless to say we made it through the night, although I’m pretty sure I thought I was dying! We left in such a hurry the next morning and never looked back! I’ve never seen my dad drive so fast to a truck stop! Breakfast never tasted so wonderful!

This topic came from Theme Thursdays!!
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Shana

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