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Monday, April 21, 2014

Muffins with Mom – College road trip

Postcards from Mackinaw

Have you ever seen the movie College Road Trip starring Martin Lawrence and Raven Symone? In the movie, Raven Symone’s character is preparing to visit a college with friends, but her overprotective dad wants to take her instead. Their journey is filled with many mishaps along the way.
My son was recently invited to visit a college that was a 5 ½ hour drive from our home. We didn’t begin our journey until 8:30pm due to prior obligations that day. We were headed to the Upper Peninsular and while it was a warm sunny day at home, I heard there was snow in the U.P.

We loaded the car with overnight bags, boots, blankets and snacks. Before I shut the T.V off, a news flash scrolled across the bottom of the screen, “Thunderstorm watch in effect until 9:00pm Lenawee County…” That was the direction we were headed and the beginning of our college road trip.
The first hour of the trip was smooth sailing, the boys listened to music through their head phones and I popped in an old school CD. When I glanced in the rear-view mirror, my oldest son was already asleep. My fourteen-year old would pull his headphone from his ear every so often to keep me company. My husband was asleep in the passenger seat, resting his injured shoulder.

Moments later the weather changed, it was as though we had taken a detour through hell. Rain bounced gently from the windshield, then it down poured for an hour. The windshield wipers slammed back and forth on high speed as I followed the lights of the car ahead of me.
I knew at could drive at least three hours before getting tired and I wanted to make it to the bridge (Mackinaw Bridge). The rain stopped for about 20 minutes then we were hit with fog. It was a total white out. There was no way to see whether the road was straight or curving. I just kept my eyes on the white lines on the road.

After another hour or so, I decide I would pull off at the next rest area. As we approached the rest area, the sign read, closed until spring. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I thought it was spring, but then again we had already driven through a couple of different seasons.
I kept driving until finally the Mackinaw Bridge was in sight. Different color lights illuminated the bridge. Reaching my goal, I pulled over at the first gas station and let my husband finish the last leg of the trip.

As we neared our destination, my husband searched for a hotel for us to spend the night. He pulled over at a motel, then the police pulled us over. My husband had made an illegal U-turn at a stop sign in order to see if the motel had vacancies. I didn’t see any of this because I was slumped in my seat asleep.

The police officer took our driver’s licenses as protocol, but also said, “You don’t want to stay there.”
As we were driving away, I looked at the row of drive up motel rooms and the illuminated No Vacancy sign. The place looked like the Bates Motel from the movie Psycho. I mumbled to myself, this will be a blog post and went back to sleep.

We found a nice hotel at the next exit and slept happily ever after.
Another bridge in the U.P.
College campus in the U.P.

Have you experienced any unusual road trips?

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