Me: Don’t worry, I’m gonna live blog.
Henry, muttering: That’s great. You do that.
8:24am: Well, today is the day that we eventually make our way back home. We just checked out of the Microtel in Columbia and are now foraging for breakfast. I found a place on shitty Yelp, but I’m worried that it will be a fail since yesterday’s Yelping was actually successful. It’s storming and Henry is grumbling about how this place better have a lot of indoor seating since neither place did yesterday. This is the first day of bad weather we’ve experienced all week, and also the first day I had to wear jeans so EVERYTHING FEELS WRONGS. Gimme back Orlando.
9:02am: We had to walk through a rainstorm down an alley to get to the Wired Goat Cafe, and it was a little glimpse of what it must feel like for Henry to walk beneath a black cloud all day e’ryday. Anyway, this place might end up being a bust. A guy with a handlebar mustache gelled into place with a hefty dollop of ambivalence crafted my French toast latte while the other barista flitted around in absent-minded confusion after someone approached to ask her how much longer they would have to wait for their food. Henry is sitting here with his GOOD ONE, ERIN smirk twisted upon his dumb mumbling lips.
Now he’s accusing me of reading he reviews for the other location and not this one, which apparently has a reputation for being uninviting. LOLFOREVER. At least we got a table outside on the porch-thing, safe from the rain and the judging once-overs of adult women in rompers.
Also, Henry unwisely let Chooch and I pack for ourselves without supervision and neither of us ended up packing enough on account of our ADD and inability to keep count. Luckily, our room at Star Island had a washer and dryer so Poor Henry had to do laundry on vacation.
“I went to go get my water. Locally-sourced….from a tap,” he muttered miserably because he hates places like this LOL. Henry doesn’t give a shit where the eggs came from because they’re all gonna end up in the same place later— the commode.
10:04: Back on the road! Only 7 and a half hours to go! KILL ME!
10:22am: Well, Henry just hydroplaned and is now congratulating himself for not killing us. “THE TRICK IS TO NOT TOUCH THE BRAKE” he’s instructing his imaginary class.
10:30am: He’s still discussing the science of hydroplaning with himself. I just want to stop somewhere and pee, please.
10:40am: Chooch is scarred for life because Henry made him use a gas station bathroom that had a CONDOM DISPENSER. He came running out to scream about it to me. “YOU PUT IN A DOLLAR AND IT GIVES YOU A CONDOM. THEY HAD ORANGE FLAVORED, STRAWBERRY FLAVORED—” and then I shut the car door on him.
At least he can tell his teachers this was an educational vacation. Seven more hours of condom talk.
11:50am: Somewhere in NC, listening to Balance & Composure and Chooch’s heavy backseat breathing.
And I just finally bought his VIP Bled Fest ticket (it gets him a meal, plus drinks and snacks all day long, so it was worth the extra money to ensure his mouth will stay full with food and not whines). Less than a month away! Not even home from this trip and already anticipating the next! Literally the only thing this Florida vacation was missing was a concert. That would have made it perfect.
1:06pm: Henry’s mom-mom-mommy just called and he made Chooch answer it! Rude.
1:36pm: HELLO VIRGINIA. Five more hours, ugh to the max.
3:00: At a Shoney’s in WV. Chooch was alone at the buffet for what was probably an unlawful amount of unsupervised time for a child according to buffet laws. I watched him, from the comfort of our table, struggle with the mashed potatoes. He came back and is just livid. “The man before me got this perfect scoop of mashed potatoes on his plate and then when it was my turn, I could hardly get ANY!” And now there’s a problem with his jello too, but I stopped listening. Buffet Woes with Chooch.
Meanwhile, Henry is on his third pork chop.
EW YOU GUYS THE CREAMED CORN TASTES LIKE WHEN A DENTIST HAS THEIR LATEX FINGERS ALL UP IN YOUR GRILL.
Chooch and I are so wasteful at buffets. Thank god Hank the Bottomless Pit was our shares along with his own.
JUST LIKE GOD.
Accidentally grabbed two of these brochures and Henry is all exclamatory about it: Why did you get so many???
Dude, it’s two. Not a ream.
4:12pm: Chooch and I just let go of our sanity at a rest stop near Tamarack and Henry is PISSED. Chooch keeps swearing and Henry is like STOP SWEARING and then I started dry-heaving because I saw some man kiss an ugly baby and Henry was like STOP BEING YOU and then I said for the 87th time in 15 years that I don’t understand what the fuck Tamarack even is and Henry yelled AND YOURE NOT GOING TO FIND OUT EITHER which prompted me to ridicule the way he says “going” (sounds like GOYng) and from there I started singing Henry’s version of “going” in the style of a grandfather clock and I think I saw actual steam come out of his nostrils.
6:35pm: STILL IN WV. Is WV spreading? It’s like a geographical STD. Did it take this long to drive through WV last week?! Anyway, we stopped at a Sheetz because I have some terrible Throat Affliction and can’t stop coughing and all I could think about was HOT TEA WITH HONEY. But I always get coffee so I walked in and felt paralyzed and literally said WHICH WAY DO I GO and then I finally found the tea bags but I couldn’t find the cups because it didn’t occur to me to use the same cups that I would use for coffee?! Then I couldn’t find the hot water but by then Henry had emerged from the rest room so I slammed the empty cup into his hand and said “You do it” and then walked away. It was all too much.
7:05pm: location update–still in motherfucking WV. “Whyyyyyyyyy?!” she screamed in the Key of Kerrigan. And not even being low key about this but we’re listening to old school Finger Eleven right now, driving through a rain storm. That’s what’s up.
My friend Wonka and I hung out with them after a show once in 2000 (ugh sixteen years ago?!?! Might as well keep my Nancy Kerrigan WHYYYY out for awhile) and the singer was questionable but their guitarist James Black was an absolute gem and even though I was annoyed when F11 became radio-friendly, I was happy that he was getting to experience that success because dude was chill as fuck.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Last week at Universal, we rode the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit which is a coaster that has speakers in each seat so every rider can select a song from the mini-jukebox screen in front of them. Henry was riding alone behind me and Chooch, so when we all got off the ride, I asked him what he chose, prepared to mock him, and he said “Finger Eleven” and I was like “OMG ME TOO!!” so he high-fived me (this might have been the first time he’s ever initiated a high-five with me, btw) and we bonded for like a split second until I said, “That was the only tolerable option i could find in the limited time we had” and he was like”inorite” and then breathed the wrong way or sneezed too loudly so I went back to being completely annoyed by him.
8:04pm: In PA now. 20 more long ass motherfucking minutes. Nancy Kerriganing my fucking face off right now. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!???!!!
Well we’re home and I just finished assessing the damage. One of the idiot cats pulled the tassel off one of my swag lamps but other than that, everything seems ok! Thanks to my brother for keeping the cats alive! Just watered my plants and am currently ignoring Henry who keeps inexplicably asking for “help” as if he is not an able-bodied man capable of bringing some luggage into the house. Come the fuck on, dude.