In 2005, my husband and I embarked on a holiday road trip from sunny Southern California to chilly Vancouver, Canada. We packed up the car with our warm wool coats, cozy mittens, and rainboots. We even bought a set of snow chains for the car--which luckily we never had to use considering that, as Southern Californians, we had no idea how to put them on.
We stopped at a dozen or so places along the journey--from coastal San Luis Obispo to urban Seattle, with lots of stops in between. We stayed at motels, hotels, and on friends' sofa beds. We celebrated the holiday season at a ski resort one day, in a Chinese garden the next. We stood at the top of the Space Needle, drank coffees at the first-ever Starbucks, and ate pastries in a little Bavarian village.
On New Year's Eve, we ended up in Portland, Oregon. I should mention that we had no concrete plans set when we left on the road trip--no hotels booked in advance, no definite plan of where we would be on any given day--so ending up in Portland on New Year's Eve, like everything else about the trip, was completely spontaneous.
We pulled into the city late in the evening, checked into our downtown hotel, got prettied up, and walked to Pioneer Square to join in the cities festivities, whatever they might be.
Unbeknownst to us, there was a big 5k race scheduled for the evening. A gigantic tent was set up and inside the tent were fabulous things--snacks and party favors and sparkly hats--all for the 5K runners. I hate to be left out of any merry celebration involving sparkly things and snacks, even if it does require running, so we paid the fee to join the race. It was a definite case of crashing a party, at 30 minutes to midnight, but they seemed happy enough to have us, especially since Will even sprung for a T-shirt (he couldn't run in a dress shirt, after all).
We joined the crowd in the square, the clock struck midnight, we kissed, and then it occurred to us that we had no idea where the race actually started. Where were we supposed to start the race? After cruising around the square, asking some people, and finally asking a police officer, we were directed to the start line, completely on the other side of the square.
We started the race in dead last.
It had been, like, 10 minutes since the race started. We were in even deader last when we stopped by the hotel to drop off our cozy wool jackets (the course took us right past the hotel, anyway, and wool jackets and running are simply not compatible). Racers were already coming back by the time we really even got started. We ran. I acted dramatic, of course, faux-complaining the entire route. Will, a natural athlete and probably embarrassed to be so far behind in a race, encouraged me to keep on jogging. Keep on! Keep on! Sprint to the finish! (Okay, okay, maybe he didn't exactly say "Sprint to the finish" but I am taking a little creative license here, because so clever! Right?)
I do dramatics well.
Having no idea that we would be running that New Year's Eve, I was wearing a brand new pair of Express denim slacks and a gorgeous pair of velvet and suede loafers. Y'all, I ran a 5K race in a pair of velvet and suede loafers. I almost wore a pair of heels out that night. Can you imagine which what kind of total disaster that would have been?
We finished 782 out of 930. Not bad considering the late start, the stop-off at the hotel, and the velvet loafers (now ruined). Not bad at all.
We continued on our journey, less one pair of shoes but with one more merry memory of a holiday spent on the road.
Also: I got snacks and a snazzy party hat.
I'd love to hear your holiday road trip stories! One lucky road-tripper, chosen at random, will receive a $200 Visa Gift Card from the wonderful folks at Sprint.
To enter, leave me a comment below and share your holiday road trip story. If you prefer, you may leave a link to a road trip post on your own blog in the comments below. The contest will begin at Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 9 am and will end Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 5:00 pm. Please make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.
- No duplicate comments.
- You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
- You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
- This giveaway is open to US Residents aged 18 and older
- Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
- You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
- Please see the official rules here: Official rules
Visit the BlogHer.com special offers page where you've got NINE chances to win a $200 Visa Gift Card!