This Week's Topic is: In celebration of the release of Kristin Halbrook's NOBODY BUT US (hooray!!) we're asking: Zoe and Will set off on the road to seek a better life and encounter loads of drama on the way. What's the most dramatic road trip you've ever been on?
Since I had a car in college this opened the world of road trip possibilities to me. One of my more fun experiences was taking my best friend to Minneapolis. Seeing the city skyline for the first time a part of me knew that this would be home. But the most memorable trip was when I took my roommate, Val, to Chicago. Val was flying out of O'Hare for a year long study abroad program in Ireland.
Val, Eric, and I drove to Chicago. Val and Eric were both from Colorado while I was from Iowa and had actually been to Chicago. I also had a car. I'd been to Chicago before, spending two weeks there with a group of kids from church in high school. I'd also driven past Chicago on my way to visit my dad in Michigan.
We might have watched Adventures in Babysitting or at least talked about the movie in anticipation of this trip. I know that by the end of the evening we were all hoping that Thor, mighty god of thunder, would offer us some guidance.
We hadn't made hotel reservations figuring we would just find something when we got there. The only flaw in our plan, we discovered when we finally arrived in Chicago, was that you needed to be 21 to get a room at a hotel. OK, really?!?! We were all adults, we had all been able to vote, and do other things you need to be 18 to do for at least two years but we couldn't get a hotel room. One of us was traveling overseas and yet still we were unable to talk anyone at three hotels to rent us a room.
This was before wifi, GPS, and cell phones. So even if one of us had called our parents it was unlikely that they could have solved the problem for us with the speed and efficiency that today's internet is capable of. There
We thought we would get to the city, get a hotel room, and maybe go out and hang out in the city. This is not what happened.
At some point in time we ended up getting off the freeway and driving through what we were fairly sure was not the best area of town. But it could have just been that it was a weekend and a bigger city than we were used to.
We managed to get back on the freeway headed in the right direction for O'Hare and on our way we saw a sign for a motel.
It was still pretty close to the "bad area of town" detour we had previously taken. It wasn't one of the chain hotels so we thought maybe we had a chance at getting a room.
The place was called The Eden Motel and we were all fairly convinced that it probably wouldn't exist if we ever tried to find it again. The manager let us rent a room which was great because by this time it was pretty late and we were all pretty tired and crabby by this point. The room we rented was a little on the scary side. I used to have photographic evidence but the door to the room looked like it had seen better days, the carpet was stained with something we were fairly sure was bloom. The shower looked like you might leave dirtier than you started and the seat on the toilet was broken.
I tried to google the name of the hotel and while a historical photo from the 1950's shows up the other thing I've learned is that there is a high end grocery store there now.
We were cautious about the room but thankful that at least we had a room and didn't have to spend the night sleeping in the car. None of us dared to sleep under the blankets convinced that would be awful. The next day we took Val to O'Hare. Val began a year long adventure in Ireland and Eric and I returned to another year of college in Iowa.