It was officially spring when this happened and at the time there were some rare days I didn’t need to wear my winter coat. I never thought I’d look forward to things like not having to wear my winter coat but experiencing a true winter has turned this into a small pleasure of mine. Oh the things you learn to appreciate when you’ve actually got weather to consider. 🙂
So there I was, off to my first trip to the concrete jungle armed with nothing but two California jackets* and my jelly bean car.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I had a great time in the city and I certainly intend to make many more trips down there. The drive there was fine, only took about 3 hours plus another hour on the metro from Tarrytown to Grand Central. The drive back, on the other hand…let’s just say it was an experience and quite the adventure.
It was raining down in the city pretty much the whole weekend and on my drive back up. No biggie. I may be from California but I’ve dealt with rain before. But then it got colder as I drove back up and wet pavement plus colder weather equaled this thing called black ice I’ve heard about but never experienced.
I was going down the highway at about 65 mph when I noticed the road looked extremely shiny. Before I finished my thought of, “Huh. I’ve never seen the road look shiny like that before,” my car started going in a direction I wasn’t directing it to and the next thing I know I’m swerving in an S-like pattern until the car finally stopped…about 4 feet from the rail.
The following thoughts went through my mind in quick succession:
1. Holy shit.
2. Ok…time to go way slow on the highway.
3. Thank God I didn’t pee myself (right before this happened I felt like I needed to make a pit stop soon).
I slowed to 35-40 mph and eventually the black ice road turned into snow-covered road. This continued until I hit a straight-up completely stopped traffic, which lasted a little over an hour. I knew getting frustrated and angry wouldn’t help my situation, so I was determined to make the best of my situation.
I called my friends…who didn’t pick up (since these days it seems you have to text someone asking if they’re available to talk on the phone 😦 ).
Alright, well, I packed some snacks so might as well get my munch on while I wait.
Damn, I finished it all…Ok, no worries, I’ve got a smart phone so I can entertain myself.
Oh I have an idea! I should knock on someone’s car door and ask if they want to build a snowman!
Eventually, we start moving again and all is well until the car in front of me gets stuck in the snow. Unfortunately, this meant I also had to brake in order not to hit the car, which resulted in my car also getting stuck in the snow. Unlike the car in front of me, I didn’t have any passengers to help push the car so I got out of the car, closed the door to keep the precious warmth in the car, and attempted to clear the snow from in front and behind the front tires.
And then, no joke, when I tried to get back in my jelly bean car, I found that it had locked itself…Keep in mind that because it was not my intent to do this, all I had was my two California jackets and no cell phone.
At that point, my thought process went like this:
Fortunately, there was a truck driver behind me who was also stuck in snow so I asked to borrow his cellphone. It was at this point I realized how completely dependent I had become on my phone book because I did not have anyone’s number memorized who could have come to my aid that night. The only phone numbers I have memorized are my mom’s, my cousin’s, and a friend who moved to Japan. Yeah…
Lesson 1: Always have your phone on you.
Lesson 2: Create a Google doc with emergency contact numbers and send to your mother in the event that lesson 1 is not followed and you have no access to your phone book.
I called AAA first but they told me to call the state police instead because the roads were so bad, only the state police could get to me. Once I did that, the only thing left to do was wait…in the snow, with only my two California jackets on and the snow slowly seeping into my boots. I’m not even gonna try to front, it was straight up miserable.
By the time the state police came about an hour later, I had started involuntarily shaking and my jaw seemed frozen shut. It’s no wonder then that when the police officer asked me a question I couldn’t immediately respond. Since I didn’t immediately respond, he goes:
“Do you speak English?”
If my jaw muscles worked at the time I’m pretty sure I would’ve laughed. Why? Why would he ask that?
No really though, why?
It didn’t help that once he got me in the car with the heat blasting and started asking me questions, my jaw was still pretty frozen so I really did sound like I have an accent!
The state police called in a tow truck and eventually we were able to get my jelly bean to unlock itself via window crow bar. I had left NYC at 7:30 pm and didn’t get home until 3:30 am. I know I said I wanted an adventure, but man, this was SO not what I had in mind!
Silver lining though – I traded in my jelly bean car and ended up with a large pick-up truck that I affectionately call, “Monstrosity.”
The lady at the rental place apologized for the long wait due to cleaning because the truck was apparently covered in mud. “They must’ve gone through a construction site,” she said. Right. “Construction site.”
Now, where can I find a “construction site”…
*There isn’t really a thing called “California jacket” (that I know of), what I mean by this is basically all of my other jackets that is not my winter coat.