Day 1: Michael woke up at 6 am and started throwing up. We still held hope that he’d feel better and we’d leave right after Christmas at his mothers. I dropped our male dog Rigby off at my mother’s house, loaded up the car and gave our friend, Jim, the rundown of the house so he could watch the girls (dogs) for us. By the end of Christmas celebrations, Michael felt worse than before and we decided to postpone the trip for a day.
Day 1 Take Two: Michael and I both slept a lot the day before so we were ready and rearing to go at 8am. I loaded up the car with the few things I could remember I’d taken out, but I forgot to put our pillows in the car. They were loaded up the first day! Just not the second…
So the first stretch of our trip was uneventful. We stopped for breakfast about an hour out of town. Michael wasn’t feeling great yet, but he managed to eat some eggs and fried steak. The eggs, toast and hashbrowns I had were fantastic. The trip was totally off to a great start.
For lunch, we stopped at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket. Michael’s stomach wasn’t doing great so he just got a brisket chili and I got baked mac and cheese. The food was FANTASTIC, but the chili was a bit too spicy for Michael’s stomach at the moment. Which was super depressing since he normally LOVES spicy food.
From there, the trip started to take a downward turn. The rain started in Illinois and didn’t stop. All through Illinois and Missouri, it rained. And not light relaxing rain, but pouring cats and dogs. Michael and I took turns driving, but Michael wasn’t able to sleep with me behind the wheel.
Once we made it to Oklahoma (around three am) the rain had turned into an icy mix. Michael took over driving since I wasn’t comfortable. He was a champ through the horrible conditions, but we had to take a break at 7am since Michael was exhausted. We grabbed breakfast at Subway and took about an hour to try to nap. By now, the icy mix had turned to snow.
We went down the freeway at about 40 miles per hour for the next few hours, making it a decent way into Northern Texas, but Texan drivers aren’t as used to the snow as us Michiganders. There were over 200 accidents on the interstate and our main route was shut down.
One of the main attractions Michael and I wanted to see was the Cadillac Ranch, which was right next to where the interstate shut down, but the road leading to that was closed as well. At this point, our southern vacation was starting to look worse and worse. I looked at the weather, and it seemed like the storm wasn’t as bad further south, so we tried to take a country road to another route.
Well we drove down the first country road only to see a big “bro truck” going in reverse towards us. We stopped for him and the driver let us know it was too bad ahead for us to continue. We thanked him for the warning, but went on ahead to see for ourselves. even if we could make it down the road, two other SUVs and trucks were stuck half a mile ahead.
So we turned around to go back the way we came only to see that bro-trucker had gotten stuck in a snow pile our Lincoln had made it over fine a few minutes before. Michael offered to help him get out, but his Texas size pride wouldn’t let him accept a strangers help.
So we turned around again to see if we could make it around the trucks that had been stuck. Still no luck. Okay…. we’d go see if bro trucker had any luck (since we didn’t want to stay stuck on this country toad any longer).
We went into a three point turn and one of the tires went over the edge of the pavement. Despite all of our Michigan snow knowledge, we ended up having to call a tow truck to winch us out. The tow truck actually got there in only twenty minutes, so that was the bright side.
Since all the roads were closed and back roads apparently weren’t an option, we decided to call it quits and booked a room at the Quality Inn 4 miles away. We got there without incident and when we went to go inside, the sliding door wouldn’t open. So I knocked on the door until a super friendly clerk came over and explained that the door didn’t close all the way automatically and, since it was freezing cold with winds over 40mph, I kind of understood.
So we were given room 250, two double beds so Michael and I could totally Ricky and Lucy it, but the second we opened our room door and saw some random guy sitting at the desk, we knew something had gone horribly wrong.
So back to the front desk we went. The aforementioned nice attendant was already running towards us to apologize. Apparently when conditions get bad like this, they let the hotel employees use the rooms and it didn’t get entered in the system. He walked us to our new room and let us in while he went back to have new keys made.
Now, for $60, the rooms weren’t that bad. Clean and the heater worked great. The next obstacle was that nothing in Texas was open because of the storms. So after about 15 phone calls to various restaurants and pizza places, we resigned ourselves to living off of the snacks we’d brought with us and vending machine goodies (We brought a lot of snacks, so there was no danger of starvation here…)
So I worked for a bit and then Michael and I both took a nap to refresh ourselves. Then when we were relaxing in the room later that night, cable and internet both went out at the same time. So we ended on a strange note too.