what grits, walmart, my car and a driveway have in common

27 Jun

I’m officially in Yukon, Oklahoma staying with my friends and their two kids. An added bonus… one of our other good friends is staying here too! But getting here turned out to be quite the adventure. Here’s how it went down.

The plan was to spend the two nights before arriving in OK in Santa Fe, New Mexico, drive all day Sunday and arrive at their place in the evening of June 27th. Last week I messaged my friend to confirm when I’d be arriving and she said they would be home Sunday evening (this is important because in my mind, I interpreted this as meaning that they were away for the weekend but would be home by Sunday evening in time for when I get there).

However, I changed my plans and decided to head to OK early because I didn’t want to pay for another night of accommodation in Santa Fe. So at 5:30pm on Saturday, June 26th (New Mexico time) I left Santa Fe for the 9 hour drive to Yukon, OK, which would have me arriving in town by 3:30am (Oklahoma time). About half way through the drive I called my friend on her cell to let her know that I was coming early and to see if they were home or not. No answer. I decided not to leave a message because I was just going to call their house anyways. So I called their house. No answer. This time I left a message saying that I’m on my way and if you’re home to call my US cell number to let me know that you are home and how to get in the house when I arrive in the middle of the night. Feeling like I have done my due diligence to find out if they were home or not, I settled in for the remaining 5 hours left in my drive. The hours passed by and I hadn’t heard back from my friends so I took this as a confirmation that they were in fact away for the weekend (refer to my previous point). Okay, time for plan B. I’ll just find their place and sleep in my car on their driveway. No big deal I thought.

As I entered Yukon at around 2:45am, I looked to my GPS for directions on how to get to their house when I realized that I had entered the wrong address. Minor setback, but thinking it was a fairly quick fix I tried to correct it. Turns out, their street is not recognized by any GPS. Perfect. Okay, I’m thinking, I’ve been here once before and with my excellent sense of direction (sarcasm implied) I should be able to find it. No less than 50 minutes later (including a quick stop to get $4 worth of gas so that I didn’t run out as I was driving aimlessly around town) and passing the same circuit of stores approximately 5 times, I miraculously found my way to their house. At this point I am fully convinced that they aren’t home because I haven’t heard anything so I pull into their driveway and implement plan B. I didn’t bother to call, knock or ring the doorbell because even if they are home, I would hate to wake them up or scare them (there is a small chance that the combination of my hungry tummy and deprivation of sleep were causing me to not think totally clearly).

I step out of my car in their driveway and hot, thick hair fills my lungs and instantly coats me with a layer of some sort of film. Hmmm, the car could get quite warm I start to think. I decide that covering all the windows with sheets and blankets will be an excellent way to keep out the heat and also block the morning sun… you know, so I can sleep in. With the blankets and sheets in place, I position myself somewhat awkwardly in the passenger seat and settle in for the night. Approximately 4 hours later, I awaken in what feels like a pool of my own sweat and the sun beating down on my face like a blast from a furnace. Really needing to go to the washroom and craving some sort of washing, I decide that I will head to the local 24-hour Walmart that way I can use their restroom to change and wash my face. Good thinking. Not wanting Walmart to think that I am just using them for their facilities, I decide to buy an apple, a peach and a pack of gum. All things I thought I needed at the time. Feeling quite pleased with myself for being so resourceful I begin to realize that I am quite hungry.

I spot a Waffle House across the street and make my way there. I order a coffee and the two egg meal with toast and my choice of hashbrowns, tomato slices or grits. Grits? I ponder in my head. I have heard people rave of this and tell me how I have to try them in the south. Grits it is. My meal arrives with a bowl of an unappetizing looking grainy, soupy like concoction. Those are grits? I couldn’t believe that this is what the fuss is all about. But I’m really really hungry at this point and dive in. Needless to say, grits have made a new fan and it’s me. Grits should not be reserved for breakfast only I decide. With a full belly I get back into my car and start driving. Where to now I wonder. It’s almost 10am and I have about 8 hours I figure until my friends should be home from their weekend getaway, but before I get much further into thinking of what to do, I become quite aware of how tired I am. I guess 4 hours in my hot, humid car didn’t cut it. So I pull into the Target parking lot, lean my seat back and decide to take a nap. Less than 5 minutes in with sleep no where in sight, I decide that I’ll just try calling my friends once more… just to make sure they aren’t home. To my surprise, my friend’s husband answers. What?! They’re home. I tell him that I am at the local Target. “Great, come on over,” he says unknowing of the events of the past 8 hours.

As it turns out, they were out last night and my friend left her cell phone in the car when I called. Not recognizing the number and with no voicemail to identify it, she didn’t think much of it. Makes sense. And their home answering machine isn’t working so they didn’t hear the message I left when they got home. They had no idea that I was in town early and I just assumed from last week’s messaging and my unanswered phone calls that they were away. When I arrived to their house (after getting lost once again), I told them the whole story. All three of them laughed in disbelief and couldn’t believe I didn’t a) call again, b) knock on the door or c) ring the door bell both when I arrived last night and/or this morning when I woke up in my car. All valid points.

Somewhere between Santa Fe and Yukon I had convinced myself that they weren’t home and was quite proud of my ability to adapt and devise a clever back-up plan. I suppose my not wanting such a great plan to go to waste and genuinely not wanting to wake up or alarm them at such an ungodly hour would be the answers to that question. Ah well.

On a side note, I think I am going to start bringing my own peanut butter whenever I go out to eat for breakfast. The Waffle House this morning was the third restaurant that I have been to in the third different state where the servers have looked at me like I am crazy when I ask for peanut butter to go with my toast. I don’t get it. Is peanut butter a Canadian thing?


8 Responses to “what grits, walmart, my car and a driveway have in common”

  1. Ryan M. Camping June 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Wow, perfect road trip story. You should really think about writing a book. I’d for sure read it! Be safe.

    • Jamie Born June 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

      Sweet, thanks! And I’ll even give you a free copy :)

  2. Erin June 28, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Sleeping in your car is not fun! Hope you caught up on your sleep. Have fun!

    • Jamie Born June 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

      No, I wouldn’t say sleeping in my car was fun… but it was pretty funny and has given Cass and Ange many laughs at my expense ;)

  3. SB June 28, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Can you wire peanut butter via Western Union?

    • Jamie Born June 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

      hmm… I’ll have to look into that. In the meantime though, I have a back-up jar tucked away in my car somewhere that I can dig out :)

  4. grama June 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Wow! That sounds like quite a night! How was Santa Fe? Would love to hear about it. …………….always in our prayers…G & G T.

    • Jamie Born June 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

      Thanks Grama! Santa Fe was really cool and unique. I’ll post more pictures and an update tomorrow hopefully.

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