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Road trip? Can I gouge out my eyes and feed them to the pigeons instead?
24 August, 2003 :: 12:55 p.m.

I made it back from Ocean City alive...woooo. School starts tomorrow and I have no classes and I'm not even sure if I'll have financial aid...woooo. I'm just now realizing that technically I could have had them put me into classes yesterday when I was up there...woooo.

I'll start with my trip...I was planning to leave around 10 or 11 for Ocean City from Williamsport...hahahaha.

I left here at 11 so it was noon by the time I got to Williamsport and found the airport where I'd made an online reservation with Avis. I went up, told them who I was, they said ok, I gave them my driver's license and debit card... This is where the day began to go awry. They wouldn't rent to me without a credit card...the lady was incredibly bitchy like it was my fault that it said this no place while I was making the reservation online. And as though it were my fault that an elderly couple had just argued the same thing with her. She told me Enterprise would rent me a car with a check card...then walked away. I looked and Hertz was the only other rental place at the airport so I waited and she came back...I explained I was from out of town and asked where the hell Enterprise would be exactly. She gave me the wrong directions--yes, I was an asshole to her, but only because she was a bitch to me first...but I probably would've done the same thing.

So half an hour later, after driving all over, calling Lacey and getting Enterprise's number and getting directions, I arrive there. Everything is fine until I mention going to Ocean City. The guy informs me that they only rent for instate use with a check card. Apparently w/o a credit card I may decide to leave the state and keep the car. Because, y'know, Pennsylvania is a tiny state and if my intentions were to steal the fucking car, I couldn't possibly do it anywhere but out of state.

So I drive back home, make some calls and end up renting from a local place...the whole reason I didn't do this to begin with was because Avis had unlimited mileage and I was going to be doing a lot of driving...I was going to use Enterprise only because they were down there and I wanted to get on the road. But anyway, yes, I got my fancy little no-tape-deck-no-power-steering-having-Chevy-Metro and I was 3:30 in the afternoon.

Things went fairly smoothly until I was on the PA turnpike and it started getting dark...then I missed an exit, backtracked but not far enough, took the same exit, backtracked again, got the right exit, missed the second part of that exit and ended up at a fucking mall...I chase down the security guard driving around because I see no way back to the highway and the mall is just closing...he points to the stop light and I find out that I'm a right turn and a mile from getting on the road I need.

So finally I'm in Delaware and it's a little after 10 and I start realizing that I should call Erin at some point to let her know that yes, I'm on my way...just hours and hours after I planned to be. Then it hits me--I left her cell phone number in my car at the rental place! Sweet. So I take an exit, call my mom because at this point Lacey is already at work and I have no one else to call to get into my email and retrieve the number for me. No answer. Call back a couple minutes later. No answer. Call back 5 minutes later. No answer, so I'm back on the road--to discover they are doing construction and I can't get back on where I thought I would be able I drive on down 113 not knowing where I'm going because my mapquest directions say nothing about this...about 10 minutes later I pull into a Wawa's and ask--to find out yet again that I'm like a mile from where I need to be, but at least I'm back on track. After passing through the toll in Delaware about 50 minutes later, I see a pay phone. Call Mom step-dad answers, informs me he is in bed and that he's not getting up to get me some stupid number. Who cares if I'm stranded in a strange state, right?

The next thing I know, I'm seeing signs for Ocean City, but not for the road mapquest says I need. Before I know it, I'm recognizing hotels that I'd looked at online when looking for a place to stay and I realize I'm in Ocean City, but not the way I was expecting to come in. So I pull over and now it's around more call to Mom. Thankfully she's home and awake this time and gets me Erin's number. I call Erin, find out I'm just down the street from her and finally the whole trip is over. Only 9 hours after I left home expecting to be in OC in 7.5 hours...and only 13.5 hours after trying to start out the first time.

I had a good time while I was to see some of the sights, got to eat some crabs, Erin and I went to see Radiohead and it was great (although I totally fucked up and didn't remember after my trip from hell until we were actually on the way to Radiohead that the one person I hadn't called was the one I promised to call as soon as I got into town--Lacey. Biiiig mistake. She was pissed when I finally talked to her on Thursday and I don't blame her (I did at least call on Wednesday and leave a message for her--go me!). I got to eat at Fat Daddy's, a place I'd been hearing about since Emily and I dated, I got to walk the boardwalk in the middle of the night when it was peaceful and again the next day while it was full of people (I'll take the middle of the night version any day). It was a little odd finally meeting Erin in person and I don't think that I was totally myself around her, but I still had a good time. And I got to meet Loki and put faces with a few other names that appear in her diary, so it was cool. Good thing, because I didn't know what I was in for on the trip home...

I started again in the afternoon, actually leaving OC around 4. Totally smooth going through Delaware because I didn't need to get off on any exits for anything. Then, as I was supposed to pick up the turnpike, everything went to shit. I missed the first chance for the turnpike and when I got close to the second, it was closed due to an accident. Of all the inconsiderate things someone could do--have a fucking accident when I'm trying to get home in a much smoother manner than I got down there. So I got to go through Philly in Friday night the same time a bunch of people were trying to get to a preseason Eagles game...woooo. 45 minutes or so later I'm getting through Philly and I freak because I see signs for Trenton, NJ. Hell no! Going to New Jersey is not on the I take an exit, stop and buy a map and a drink and ask the guy where the hell I am. Apparently I picked the right exit in one regard--they had preprinted directions to the PA turnpike, so apparently it's a commonly asked question. But because I'm backtracking, I still run into that fucking accident and end up bogged down in traffic moving all of about 8 miles in an hour. This includes one little burst where they let us get up to about 35-40 mph before peeing on our parade and making us come to a screeching halt.

Smooth sailing after that though, right? Wrong. I'm on the turnpike and everything is fine, I'm looking for White Haven because the exit I took to get off 80 onto the turnpike going down was for White sign for that, but it seems I must be getting close. I almost take an exit and think, no, I'll wait til I see the familiar exit. Instead I hit the tolls and have to pay $4.50...then just a few miles down the road without having a chance to get off, I have to go through another and pay 35 cents. I know damn well I didn't do this on the way down, so I turn around and go back, pay another 35 cents, go back and what do you know, going south, White Haven is on the exit--the same fucking exit it wasn't on going north! From there it was cake, but I pulled into walmart to let Lacey know I was home at 2 a.m.--10 hours after I began. So I'm not doing any long drives for a bit, especially not to unfamiliar places. And if I venture south again, I make sure I study the directions from mapquest ahead of time and compare them to my handy PA map that I now own.

As far as school...I was thinking I couldn't have them plug me into classes because they couldn't last year before fall...the difference? Last year I owed them $90 for library fines and this year I owe them I could've gotten classes. I'm a fucking idiot. We'll see what tomorrow, the first day of classes, brings my way... Again, wooooooo...

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