Ali's Basement

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My Life: Seattle – Packed House (Day 5)

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The next morning we all woke up early for check out, I showered, packed and got ready to leave. We went downstairs to check out and use the wi-fi. We needed the wi-fi to book a rental car from Seattle to Missoula. Oh shit! There were no more rental cars! We were fucked. I checked websites for buses, trains, flights and none of them were leaving until 11pm or later. We had no idea how all 6 of us were going to get to Missoula.

To clear our heads and consider more options, we decided to go find coffee and some breakfast. Two of us went down to Starbucks to get a breakfast sandwich and coffee, while the other 4 went down to the Fisherman’s Wharf to get some fresh fruit. After I finished my breakfast, I got a call from the GTB that they were sitting down to eat some chowder and that I had to come try it. We walked down to the Fisherman’s Wharf and through Pike Place Market which was an outdoor market selling fresh fruit, veggies, and fish. We turned the corner into Post Alley and came upon Pike Place Chowder. The GTB ordered me a small cup of clam chowder and before I had just eaten my egg sandwich I wasn’t really in the mood for soup but he was raving about it. So, I tried it … WOW, it was delicious! I’ve had clam chowder before and it’s usually been good but this was phenomenal as I couldn’t put it down. I stopped talking and just kept eating and eating my chowder until it was all gone and then I went back for seconds. It was hands down the best clam chowder I’ve ever had and I’m still thinking about it. I may need to go back just for the chowder next time I’m in the Northwest. After we all ate, we sat and deliberated for a few minutes about our travel dilemma. We all decided that since we were all in it together, we needed to stay together, and we were going to all drive together in one car. Plus, it was really our only option unless 2 of us wanted to wait until 11 pm to take a bus. 

We walked back to the car and started adjusting the luggage around. Most of it fit in the trunk, but we had to tie one to the roof rack. Now, at times we had been cramming all 6 of us in to get to places but most of those rides were less than 15-20 minutes. We were about to embark on an 8 hour trip, how would we survive?!?

We crammed into the car based on size and tried every shift, position, angle, twist, turn, curve possible to fit in well. But nothing was really working and all of us in the back were uncomfortable. Then one of the guys decided to try sitting on the floor in the back. So, the set up was 2 guys in the front, 1 guy on the floor in the back, and 3 guys on the back seat with their feet up. This was illegal and unsafe, but we now had 6 guys seated in the Accord to the best of our abilities. Since the guy on the floor was making a sacrifice and would be in the most uncomfortable position all while sitting on floorboards that heat up after a while, we voted to take shifts on the floor every 2-3 hours. 

It’s a good thing that we’ve all known each other for 15+ years because we were physically as close to each other as we’ve been. Even though we were uncomfortable, we all realized that we were like a family and the best thing we could do is laugh at ourselves.  Soon after, we started cracking jokes at our own expense. We must have told every gay joke possible to laugh at our own predicament, we were snacking on fresh cherries that we got at the market, and we reminisced about old times and our favorite group stories.  It was a good way to pass the time and ignore how uncomfortable we all were and I realized that this was an experience only brothers could go through.

The plus side of the floorboard rotation was that we got to stop every 2-3 hours and check out a new town. We passed through a small town that had a hilarious sign at a local store that read “for sale: teenage chicks” and ironically it happened to be located right across the street from a middle school, haha, we all got a good laugh out of that. We grabbed lunch at a subway attached to a gas station where two enormous cops sat complaining about how the kids in the town didn’t respect them. I bet if they took better care of themselves and presented themselves better, they’d get more respect. Those are two examples of the random things we saw on our 8 hour drive through the mid-section of Washington state into Montana.

It was about 10:45 pm MST, it was pitch black outside, and we had crossed into Montana. The two friends who live in Missoula knew we were getting close and they were itching to get out of the car. That got all of us antsy because we could feel that we were close and you know that feeling, it makes you want to jump out of the car and run to your destination. We finally arrived at our friends house in downtown Missoula around 11 pm and we were all SO grateful to be able to stand up, stretch our legs and breathe easier. I was so ecstatic to get out of the car that I almost thought about kissing the ground.

My friend had a neat little townhouse that he shared with two other roommates and Merf, his awesome dog who has a lab and husky mix. We were told that Merf prefers the ladies, but after one small bark as we walked into the house, he took an instant likely to all of us. We met the temporary roommate for a minute and then later on his permanent roommate walked in after her night out downtown. She said hello and went off to bed. We played a few card games for a bit, then set up our sleeping areas, sprawled out and passed out. Merf even came and laid down with me while I fell asleep. I was extremely happy to be going to bed but also very excited that I was finally in Missoula and I couldn’t wait to explore the town all week.

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Written by Ali's Basement

July 20, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Posted in My Life

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