Monday, April 23, 2012

Get Outta Town! Part I

This week, my honey and I reached a new milestone.  We went on our first road trip together.  That's right, we packed up the car and headed outta town.  It was only a short, two day jaunt into the Appalachian Mountains, but this trip had plenty of peaks and valleys all on its own.

My honey had already booked his vacation for the year before we started going out and this was the week he'd picked.  This turned out to be a little problematic for two reasons: 1) his beloved hockey team had made it into the playoffs and they had two home games that week, and 2) it was a school week for me.  To accomodate these issues, we decided to leave town after Monday night's home game and I would only be going up for two days, instead of the whole week.

We got off to a slightly bumpy start, which was largely my fault.  In addition to needing two days worth of sub plans, it was also report card week and I was late getting home from work for the hockey game.  This put us behind schedule for our normal hockey pre-game ritual of stopping at my honey's favorite watering hole for dinner, drinks, and socializing before heading into the game.  Instead, we had to skip the watering hole and grab fast food across the street from the arena.  I was tense because I hadn't finished everything I needed to finish for work and because I was worried he was going to be annoyed with me for making him late to the game (or the pre-game, as it were). 

Plus, it was a barbarically hot day, the first day above 90 degrees for the year, and I was in jeans and a hockey jersey.  Comfy wasn't the word to describe me that afternoon.  Hot, sweaty, tense, and distracted by thoughts of what I still needed to get done for work, I headed into the game with my honey.  His beloved team put in a valiant effort, but they went down in flames in the third period.  I had mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I was relieved that the game hadn't gone into overtime or double overtime as it had in the previous game, since we still had a 90 minute drive ahead of us.  But, on the other hand, I was now going to be trapped in a car for 90 minutes with a cranky hockey fan.

This isn't my honey, but he was just about this sad after the game.

His fellow season ticket holders from section 405 straggled out onto the concourse and exchanged handshakes and hugs.  It's a strange little friendamily that has been formed by the season ticket holders after years of sitting in the same section together.  When I first met them, I was surprised to be included in the post-goal rounds of high fives and the post-game rounds of hugs, but now I'm oddly accustomed to the ritual.  I've even advanced to post-goal hugs from my honey's hockey BFF.  There was a head count to see who would be attending Thursday's home game and we reported our out of town status to the group.  We were forgiven our absence as we would be providing acceptable substitutes (Mr. and Mrs. Mynd) that were well-liked by the group.  The group broke up in a subdued manner, with some discussion of heading to the watering hole to drown their sorrows.

We trudged down the four flights of stairs from our section to street level discussing the Oscar-worthy performance of a player on the other team who had fallen down and feigned injury after being shoved by a player from our team.  At street level, navigating the crowd became difficult as we had to move against the flow of traffic to get back to the car.  Most days, we navigate the crowds like salmon swimming upstream, determined and looking for our opportunity, but we weren't as successful this time.  My honey was holding my hand and pulling me through the crowd when we seemed to make it to a gap where I could walk beside him.  Unfortunately, the reason for the gap was due to the lack of sidewalk where a tree had been planted next to the stadium.  My honey pulled me up next to him, my foot hit the edge of the brick sidewalk and the drop off to the tree mulch, and I fell down. I fell down hard.

I wish I'd had Holtby's pads to protect my knees. 
He hits the ice forty times a night and never looks like it hurts.
My weak ankle was protesting its rough treatment, but luckily I hadn't turned or rolled it.  I had gone down forward onto my knees, so my left knee was really sore and scraped from taking the brunt of the fall.  On the bright side, my hockey fan was no longer grumpy or cranky.  He was panicked that he was going to have to take me to the emergency room and that our vacation was about to end before it began.  I got up, wiped the mulch off my knees, and assured him that I was battered, but not broken.  He kept asking me if I was sure I hadn't rebroken my ankle and was I sure I didn't need to go to the emergency room.  I told him that since I could get up and walk, we were all good.  When I broke my ankle last fall, there was no getting up right after it happened.  I went down and stayed down for a good ten minutes.  Since I had been able to get up, I knew I hadn't broken anything this time. 

We walked the five blocks back to the car with my honey shooting me nervous looks and asking over and over if I was sure I was alright.  His bad mood was gone.  My bad mood, on the other hand, was just getting started.  Yes, I told him repeatedly, I was fine.  I just needed to get back to the car so I could check out my knee and ankle.  I admit to biting my lip a little bit on the walk back to the car, but I made it there without shedding a tear or whining about my aches and pains.  I was being a tough cookie. 

Our first aid kit: bless you, ice cold coke can.
In the car, my honey gave me a soda from the cooler and his rally towel from the game to create my own makeshift ice pack.  I checked out my knee and saw that I was going to have a wicked bruise the next day, but I hadn't broken the skin.  I also had full rotation on my weak ankle.  Sweet!

Injuries triaged, we set out on our road trip.  We drove north out of the city, through the foothills, and eventually into the mountains.  I am a little sketchy on the details at this point, for as my honey was about to discover, I suffer from a severe case of "road lull".  On long car trips, I have the stay awake power of an infant.  The hum of the engine and the gentle sway of the car as it rolls along lull me to sleep like a sedative.  I remember driving out of the city across the county line and the next thing I can recall is my honey telling me we were almost at the hotel as he pulled off the highway and onto a country road.  Good thing he didn't need my help staying awake on the drive, huh?

We arrived at the hotel and my honey did something that made no earthly sense to me.  Rather than pull up by the lobby and check-in before parking, he parked around the back of the hotel, we unloaded the car, and then hauled everything we'd brought back to the lobby.  Who does that?  Plus, HELLO!  Girl with scraped knees and a bad ankle here.  Why in the world did he think it was a good idea to make me walk the length of the hotel while carrying a cooler on a bad ankle and knee?

At this point, my honey would like it noted that he carried all the luggage and all he allowed me to carry is my purse and the soft nylon cooler with three sodas in it. Men!

If I wasn't cranky before that, I was really cranky now.  But, I kept my mouth shut because I knew I was cranky and I didn't want our mini-vacation to start off with our first argument.  We checked in and as it turned out, our room was in the back of the hotel near where he had parked the car.  So, we got to walk the length of the hotel again to get to the room.  By the time we got to the room, we were both exhausted - him from driving and the lateness of the hour and me from my boo-boos and the combined effects of a full day at work, a night at the hockey game, and the long drive.  Not even the massive king size bed with its scarlet comforter could excite us for anything more than brushing our teeth and crashing into an exhausted sleep.
Our vacation was off to a fantastic start!  And if you can't read between the lines to hear the sarcasm in that sentence... trust me, it's there.  Don't worry, it got better after that.  No sarcasm, just the truth.

1 comment:

  1. Well the trip started off with some bangs hope it perks up from there. :)