Friday, February 10, 2012

Harry Potter Vacation Part 1: The Drive There

So we did so much on this trip and there's so much to share I figured I'd break it up into a few different parts.

For those of you who might not know, the boyfriend and I just got back from vacation to Orlando, Florida.
Specifically, we went for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios.

We had a BLAST!
But the drive there was INSANE!
I'm talking ridiculous, crazy, nerve-wracking, terrifying, horrible.

It started at waking up at 3 in the morning, loading up everything, and trying to leave.
We had to run back inside several times because one of us forgot something or another.
We finally left, only to get almost out of my neighborhood, when I realized I forgot my cassette tape converter so we could listen to our ipods.
Very critical item.
So I turned back around and got it.
I'm driving by the way.
Here's us getting ready to leave {sorry it's so blurry... poor lighting}

Anyways, we've got everything and are ready to leave.
We were not going to follow Yoda (aka GPS- my boyfriend has it set with Yoda's voice "Right you must turn. Then, the motorway you must join"; "When possible, around you must turn").
Our parents always take this back way when heading south so we were going to go that way.
We get going and everything was fine.

Well at some point I missed a turn.
Now we were trying to do this from memory and apparently weren't that good.
Oh and did I mention it is POURING RAIN!
I'm not talking a light drizzle.
We realize we're going the wrong way.
So we tell Yoda to get us to the town we know we need to go through and we will just reset the GPS once we get there.

Yoda proceeds to take us the COMPLETELY BACKROADS way of getting there.
And it's been raining horribly.
So the roads it takes us on are COMPLETELY FLOODED.
It was like driving through a LAKE.
Water at least a foot deep.
I had to rely on the GPS to be able to tell when the road made any turns.
It's a miracle I didn't drive into a ditch.
It was one of those moments where you think, "Oh, it will be over soon enough".
But it never was.
30 minutes later we finally got back onto a highway.
I would have turned around but I could never find anywhere to.

So I'm ECSTATIC when we finally get back on real roads that aren't flooded.
And then my engine light comes on.
Then it starts flashing.
Then it's solid again.
So I'm having Skyler (el boyfriend) look through my manual to figure out what's wrong.
It's 5:30 in the morning.
We drive slow until we reach an open gas station.
I'm popping the hood to pretend I know what I'm looking for.
I don't see anything significant though.

I feel sick to my stomach.
I just wanted a nice vacation.
Why did this have to happen?

I try to call my dad, aka the person I rely on anytime something breaks.
No answer.
I call my parents' house phone.
Mom answers, half awake, says he left for work already.

I decide to go ahead on, just drive carefully.
I finally get a hold of my dad and tell him what happened.
He figures something in my engine got wet when I drove through the water and it would all clear up once the engine dries out.
We talked about how I could just take it to a Ford dealership in Orlando if I needed.
And I have roadside assistance if anything happens.
So we keep on driving.

We finally get south, hit a little traffic, then hop on the interstate to head east.
We stop for breakfast in Baton Rouge... Chick-Fil-A!

Then we carry on.
The rain is terrible.
I'm driving 35 mph on the 70 mph interstate.
I'm straining to see.
I can't visualize anything more than 50 feet ahead of me.

I can't even count how many ambulances and emergency vehicles I see from all the accidents.
I see so many cars that simply slid off the road.
One car is off the road a bit at the bottom of the hill.
I almost miss seeing it.
I don't know if anyone is in there.
But just in case I called 911 and told them where I had seen the car and it's description.
I only hope everyone was ok.
It didn't look like they had hit anything.
Just slid off the road.
We go through Mississippi, then Alabama.
We finally start to see a glimmer of light off in the distance.

But of course it goes away and the dark clouds come back.
You can see in this picture how the tips of the buildings stick into the clouds.

About an hour or so after we turned south in Florida, the rain stopped.
I attempted to let Skyler drive for a little bit but that only lasted an hour.
I'm very paranoid about letting other people drive me, particularly at high speeds {see my 5 years of bad luck accidents}.
Every time the car would move I would be violently jerked awake.
So I had to take back over driving.
After I attempted to drink a 5 hour energy thing.
Oh. My. Goodness.
That was the most disgusting thing EVER.
I couldn't even get half of it down.
I almost started throwing up.
But it worked on waking me up.

Gradually the sun started shining.
And THEN.... drumroll please... my engine light turned off!
So the wet part must've dried off.
YAY! No trip to the mechanic!

We finally made it about 8 pm Eastern time (7 pm central).
We start unloading everything.
And then I realize I forgot my flat iron.
Hhhhh... great.
A week of ugly wavy hair.
But I got past that, determined to have a great week.
And I slept like a ROCK that night!

Be tuned for part 2!


Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

Haha, this sounds a lot like my NY trip over the summer. It was RIDICULOUS raining/hurricaining. Ahh, I'm still so jealous, can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

Laina @ Vibrant Serenity said...

Wow, sounds like quite the adventure getting there! Reminds me of our trip to Esbjerg yesterday. Thankfully, we only had to endure 2 hours of 'adventure'.

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