Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Freak out on Route 99

The travel part isn't so hard. I consider myself a master of the basics: shoe and belt removal at TSA check points, essentials in your personal item bag while the rest is checked in, no large liquids in your carry on. I know to not show up to the gate smashed, and to try and stick to the present time zone schedule to minimize jet lag. I walk the blocks to absorb the scenery and adapt to the locale. I check out downtown and then head to the smaller neighborhoods. I've got this shit down.

A recent trip to Seattle was no exception. It was 4 in this party of awesome, and a hotel would simply not do, not for space and not for the budget. Seattle is gorgeous, and with its beauty comes its inflated costs. A decent hotel guaranteeing non Heroin injecting inhabitants on the stair landing started at a minimum of $200.00 a night, and that was just for a room. And for as much as I love my family, I really had no desire to share one room with three other adults. I rented a studio on West Seattle from a young couple who were nauseatingly enthusiastic on Airbnb. What can I say, I like being buttered up with free beer and sea salt hand soaps after handing over my money. 420 bucks for 3 nights, two rooms, and all night binge drinking...yeah, I will fucking take it! Didn't even dawn on me that the short "10" minute drive to downtown would be an impediment...amateur fucking move on my part! Of course it was an impediment. We either relied on cabs or car2go. But car2go is a 2 seat smart car. So unless we wanted to split up in to teams, we were shelling out for cabs.

Let me lead you to the main reason we are here. I know that at some point in your history with me, you have read previous posts. Maybe you know me in real life. I am cute. But I am also a borderline nervous wreck that trips on her own feet with the occasional seasonal snot in her hair. I have a car,  I drive the car, but I am not a lover of driving. I get nervous, I get angry, I get antsy. I yell at inanimate objects and threaten to burn down a city. This is just a few of the occurrences that happen in a familiar place. Driving to a new location creates a completely different experience.

The Seattle trip was coming to a conclusion. In our  quest to be the coolest kids on the block, we ventured to Sonic Boom in NW Seattle. We were scheduled to be on a flight to San Jose at 8 pm that night. I love to be early. And it was only three in the afternoon. There was just enough time to shop, get a bite and catch a cab back to SW Seattle, roughtly a 20 minute drive. It was all timed perfectly. I called the cab company at 4:30 pm. When able, I tend  to contribute to the under dog establishments. I prefer small owned companies who could potentially benefit from my patronage. I decide to call Orange Cab Company. The dispatcher was abrupt, but assured me that the cab would be at the restaurant in 20 minutes. Wonderful! We concluded the final meal of the trip and headed to the street awaiting our ride. We allow the five minutes to pass the pick up time...not a thing. I try not to panic but I begin to call the cab company. The phone dies. My future sister in law passes me her phone. I call, I wade through the ridiculously long prompt for such a small company, it rings. It rings. And it keeps fucking ringing. Mother Fuckers. Followed by an audible, "mother fuckers". The panic begins to set in. I call again. It rings and continually rings. We walk to the corner hoping to catch a glimpse of some god awful prius with a terrible orange glow. Nothing. My boyfriend dials Yellow Cab. They tell me that because I am in Ballard (NW Seattle) it will take 30 minutes to arrive to our location. This is not including the traffic we will have to sift through to get down to SW Seattle and then to the airport. Suddenly the ugly troll of anxiety is tip toeing on my chest. That bitch. My boyfriend quickly locates two Car2Go cars right next to each other. He turns to me and says "you take my sister, I will follow you. Call the yellow cab and tell him to meet us at the house." Bless his heart for entrusting me with his sister in my car, or entrusting me with the ability to navigate a mobile sardine can in to unknown waves of what is considered the worst traffic north of San Luis Obispo.

We begin navigatgion from the phone. From the multiple cab rides, I am well aware that I need to get to the 99 and on to the bridge. But machines are assholes. It gives us directions to First, and then gives us directions to Fifthe Avenue where it will eventually lead us to Highway 5. The difference of taking 99 and Highway 5 is 30 minutes. The troll is now tap dancing on my chest and this shoe box with a motor has suddenly shrunken down to a pill box. I can't breathe. I make a rash turn right. I don't know where I am. The navigation is continually re-routing. I am screaming at inanimate lights and threatening to perform crude painful acts upon the participants of normal rush hour traffic. "Oh my God, what have I done! We aren't going to make it on the plane." I am almost crying, but the fact that I am hyperventilating stops the tears and has me clutching at my chest. My saint of an almost sister in law continually tells me we will be ok, that the worst that can happen is that I will pull over and she will drive. I want to believe her, I am listening to it all and apologizing for her witnessing what can be considered a full blown anxiety attack. The signs for 99 are a quarter of a mile away, and there, I see the turn right. AND I FUCKING MISSED IT. There are tears, but I just want to get to the 99. We turn the block, I am on the 99...and then I realize, I am about to piss my pants. I peddle my go cart hard enough to reach 80 miles, I am flying and I need to pee. Once I am on the bridge, the panic has subsided but the reality of pissing catastrophe is eminent. For the first time since 2nd grade, pissing my pants while sober, is a mother fucking reality.

We make it to SW Seattle. I scramble out of the car where my boyfriend was already waiting. He found the 99 much sooner than I. I let him finish the Car2Go session, or rather, he tells me he is ending the session as I rush in to the house and expel sheer relief that I have not had an accident. I am sailing in to relaxation. Only I begin to cry and become embarrassed. Fuck. The anxiety regarding anxiety is now toying with my chest, lightly but with a perserverance. Fuck you anxiety. And fuck you Seattle traffic.

I can't wait to visit Seattle again.