How Bad Could It Really Be, Part 1

Brett and I went to a wedding in Tulsa, OK last weekend. We rented a car (a sleek and silver Mitsubishi Galant) and rolled out bright and early Friday morning. More accurately, we rolled out dark and early, as we beat the sun by a good two hours. We both had our belongings packed the night before and just had to grab some food and travel supplies in the morning. Looking ahead at the forecast, the weekend weather looked like it should have been ok outside of a few snow flurries on Friday and Sunday. For some reason, Rhiannon chose not to get up at 4:45 in the am. I think she loves sleep more than me. So with out any reminding from her, I remembered all on my own to pack blankets, a small shovel, and some gloves and other winter type paraphernalia. Luckily, we were headed to Oklahoma and away from the eternal winter that Denver seems to be stuck in. Honestly, I’m starting to feel like we live in Narnia in the time of the White Queen around here. The weather was supposed to be good, but better be prepared with supplies and not use them.

We headed out. Brett and I are perfectly capable of being normal humans around normal people, but left alone together for anything length of time (anything over 30 seconds really) we usually revert to our natural state of nerdiness and quickly cover topics of conversation ranging from computer programming to how the latest hybrid and electric car technology may save us from our dependence on foreign oil but not necessarily a complete independence from fossil fuels. Rhiannon thinks our conversations are riveting.

As the sun came up, we decided to tap our food supply for some early morning sustenance.

Brett: [looking in the back seat of the Galant] Do remember where I put those muffins?

Me: No. I though I saw them in the bag with the buns.

Brett: [slight panic creeping into his voice] No, not there. And not there either.

We strongly considered stopping the car and emptying the contents of the back seat out onto the highway, but thought that other motorists might not appreciate that. It wouldn’t have mattered. The muffins were sitting safely and sanitarily sealed in a Ziploc bag. At home. On the kitchen table. Right where we left them.

We may have been a little sad. Maybe a small tear was shed. And if sorrow was the prevailing emotion of the moment, it was justified. The muffins were probably lonely. And we, we were hungry. Fortunately, Brett makes it a point to never be too far from food, and we had backup reserves. They just weren’t cappuccino muffins with an espresso cream cheese filling that I made myself the night before.

All things considered, if that was the worst of the trip, I really couldn’t complain. We stopped to fill gas. We switched drivers. We had a little McDonald’s breakfast where one deep fried hash brown patty is 95 cents and two deep fried hash brown patties are five cents more. To the man behind me in line who only ordered one patty to compliment his two breakfast burritos, you got a bad deal. However, you did manage to make the possibly wise choice of limiting your intake of partially hydrogenated oils. I had an economics class in school, but not a nutritional one. I went with the 2 patty combo and enjoyed every bite.

Kansas was uneventful. We stopped again in Wichita to fill up and switch drivers. Brett made turkey sandwiches using the dash as a deli counter and the windshield as a sneeze guard (ah, the joys of not caring if you get a rental car dirty or not). And then the interstate had a tollbooth on it. All the lanes, all the way across. Not an option to bypass it.

Kansas has quite the racket going: drive over 300 miles across the state from the northwest. What? You want to get out of the state to the east or to the south? Well, that’ll cost you. We complained. We ranted about the injustice of it all. We drove really fast because we had a good lead car and there aren’t many cops on toll roads. We paid the toll. But we didn’t like it.

Apparently Tulsa thinks that Kansas has a good thing going. In order to get to the city on a major highway, more tolls are in order. Again, we paid them. Again, we didn’t have to like it.

As we rolled into Tulsa, we came across pot holes between lanes that would have easily swallowed two children, four dogs, three cats, and one small rabbit whole without a trace, if children, dogs, cats and rabbits were allowed to wander on a four lane highway, which they’re not. We were in a rental car. We may have aimed for the holes, just to see what happened.

The rehearsal dinner was before the rehearsal itself. Considering we had just driven over 700 miles and not had any muffins the entire trip, this was just fine with us. The dinner was at a Texas Roadhouse – again, just fine with us. We got there about 5 minutes before the rest of the party, washed up, and prepared to be normal humans again.

Part 2 tomorrow.