Thursday, August 11, 2011

The day that never ended, Part I

After one last scrumptious breakfast and a quick car jump (guess that's the result of camping out of a car), we pulled out of camp on time on Friday morning around 10a. Our plump tummies were more than happy (can you say food baby?!) and although the journey ahead was ominous, we hit the road in it for the long haul. This is the view from the road as we drove away from Crescent Bar and what had been our stretch of river for the past five days.
When we found ourselves almost through Spokane, I spotted the infamous bold, orange lettering of HOBBY LOBBY.
I squealed.
Needless to say, my hubs, being the man that I adore tothemoonandback, calmly took the next exit and backtracked. (He backtracked! Aah, I am so loved!) We entered this creative person's mecca and I paused for a moment just inside the front sliding door. Let me tell you, that place is overwhelming. A classy bronze fall was in my face and just aisles beyond Christmas in July was bursting fourth in all it's sparkly, colorful glory! Oh, I love pretty things and oh, how I'd longed for this day. Many of the blogs I follow refer to Hobby Lobby. Everyone loves it and it's a great resource from fancy drawer pulls to a seemingly endless array of picture frames and all together pretty things. I made it out a happy, happy girl.

Here I am, no time for pictures, bee-lining it for the front door.
Once inside, the pumpkins were so pretty I didn't even care it was only July.
Then came the alphabets! Multiple full-fledged alphabets! I found myself in a perfect place to officially begin collecting for my alphabet wall.
So I did.
Wee One is going to have such a cute room someday... :)
I snagged a funky black 'J' for Janna. It was my hope that the anticipation of seeing her would get me from WA to NE without leaving my mind behind somewhere in the never ending state of Montana...
The daintiest, most detailed drawer pull I ever set eyes on.
There I was, among all the moms and their minivans, sooo happy.
We continued on, made a pitstop in Missoula, MT and fiiiinally, after many hours of grumbling and whining from a certain one of us who doesn't particularly love roadtrips, we rolled into a very dark Bozeman, MT.
Notice the contrast of the bright, pastel sky behind us and the daunting darkness ahead.
The sky was a deepening charcoal as the rain began pounding on the roof of our car.
Our view from inside the car.
The radio forecast thunderstorms ahead. We were supposed to make it to a campground 30 miles east of Bozeman where Brian had reserved a site for us but he was considering bagging it. As a means to regroup, seek shelter from the weather, and avoid another moment in the car, we resorted to a sitdown restaurant. It was a rare and exciting opportunity on an efficiency-focused roadtrip but all things considered, there was no way I was going to let the stubborn, gotta-be-cheap voice inside my head win.
While at dinner, Brian made the final decision to Priceline a hotel. Unfortunately, he ended up paying bank for a Super 8. In fact, I felt physically sick when he told me how much. [Yes, I admit, I can be dramatic.] Despite the night's complications we endured 45 minutes with The World's Worst Waiter (for those of you who didn't know, it's true. He's real, he's earned the title, he lives in Bozeman.) and headed to the nearby Super 8 relieved to soon close our eyes and put an end to a long day.
We pulled into the Super 8 parking lot, unloaded the necessary bags and entered the hotel. Brian mumbled a tired bit to the lady at the front desk. She searched and then promptly informed us that she had no reservation for us, that she had no vacancy to offer and that we'd have to take it up with Priceline.

Here's Brian, in the hotel lobby attached to the wall by his cell phone charger's cord, trying to knock some sense into the people of Priceline.
Fortunately the hotel manager took pity on us. After nearly an hour of the manager calling other hotels and Brian getting nowhere on the phone with Priceline, we gave up. Due to a local fair and a bike rally, there were no accomodations available in all of Bozeman.

The good news: we no longer had to pay such a ridiculous amount for an icky hotel room.
The bad news: we were going to be homeless for the night, bums, sleeping in our car outside a Super 8 somewhere in Bozeman, MT.

I lugged my bag down the hall to their communal bathroom. If I was going to be spending the night in the car, the least I could do was have clean teeth.
The two of us wandered out to the car, tired, dejected, homeless; Brian feeling like he'd failed, me feeling like this might actually be fun...might(?) I've always loved a good sleepover, I thought... We retrieved our sleeping bags and I took the driver's side so Brian didn't have to deal with the steering wheel. I tried my darndest to shuffle things in the backseat so that his seat could recline but it was to no avail. We thought about closing our eyes but quickly realized that we'd chosen the parking spot directly beneath a huge light attached to the side of the hotel. Hello, huge vapor light illluminating our entire car! I turned on the car, drove out of our spot and then backed in so the light was behind us rather than shining in our faces. Once again we attempted to settle into our seats beds. Subaru after Subaru began streaming into the parking lot loaded down by bikeracks, each of which carrying occupants on the lookout for a place to park. What they found was a beyond-capacity parking lot complete with a "sleeping" homeless couple in a dented, bug-spattered VW. I kept reassuring Brian, despite how much he didn't want to hear it,
"Someday Mr., this is going to make such a good story." 
Looking back it does make me laugh, but at the time we were wound so tight. It was our biggest fear that the hotel manager was going to be notified and that we would have to bear the embarassment and assume the lowly role of homeless couple ousted from Super 8 parking lot. It didn't take long for Brian and I to crumble under the Subaru occupant's stares. The fact that we would not be getting any sleep became obvious so we left the hotel in search of food. We spotted an IHOP, so we stopped. We ordered gargantuous amounts of food because, well, we were hungry but mostly because, quite frankly we had a lot of time to kill. When Americans don't know what else to do they eat, just to pass the time. The sad truth is, Brian and I discovered there's not a lot of power to resist negative American tendencies at 1:00 in the am, so we succumbed to the American way. 
Eventually we became bored with IHOP so we headed to Walmart. We rented a Redbox movie, parked in the back of the parking lot among all the campin'-for-free loonies, and watched it on my laptop. That is, until three quarters of the way through when my laptop battery died. We returned the movie unfinished and surrendered to the reality that was our night.

Part II of The Day That Never Ended is soon to come...
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  1. Oh my goodness, Megan... that is SO funny! On the bright side, your own car is sooo much better than a scummy hotel room!:)

  2. o man....I can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

  3. All I can say is "" What a night!!

  4. After going to Glacier N. Park w/o reservations, I can relate. Makes for some fun stories!