Sunday, January 14, 2007

To Hell and Back: Day One of Our Trip to Paradise

They said it couldn't be done. Katie Couric said it. Dick Cheney said it. In a televised interview with Larry King, seven time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong said "I don't think it's humanly possible for Conor and Jessica Nicholson to drive 1,000 miles in a single day".

We did it. And then some. In one of the most tremendous feats in modern-day history, Team Nicholson covered an astounding 1,45o miles in a single day. When we arrived to our destination, the slightly ghetto Best Western outside of Fort Worth Texas, reporters from as far as Siberia were there to greet us. I told them that Team Nicholson was extremely tired and that they needed to talk to our publicist in order to get an official comment.

In all seriousness, we did in fact cover 1,45o miles on Friday. The trek started on Friday morning at 4AM after a luxurious night of sleep that lasted all of 4 hours. We took some pics before we started and you can see the misery adorning our tired and puffy faces.

Two of our tenants have already moved in so we spent the last week at Christine's luxury condo in North Bethesda. She was the most gracious and hospitable host ever (she gave us her bed and parking spot) and I told her that it was like living at the Four Seasons Residences. Her condo is about 3 miles from the beltway and within 2 minutes of us getting on the road for our trip across the country, Jessica says "Well, I better get some sleep before I take over". I didn't even get a single mile out of her. So much for company.

The trip was going very well for most of the day and we were both in good spirits. We took 81 down to 40 and the plan was to take 40 west for 2000 miles, all the way to Los Angeles. Jessica and I were listening to our mix CD's and taking pictures of the various cities that we passed through (Nashville, Memphis). Life was good.

Then the news came. We were around 100 miles east of Memphis and had already completed more than two thirds of the days trip. We get a call from Derek and then my sister Kate. There is an ice storm brewing and it's going to hit Interstate 40. It's the cover story on and meteorologist’s are saying that this type of storm occurs once every 15 to 20 years. What are the odds that our trip coincides with the worst weather Oklahoma has seen in eons? If your name is Conor Nicholson or you are married to Conor Nicholson, 100%. A hassle-free trip is never in the cards for us so we took it like a champ and decided to head south.

We took 40 to 30 West, through Little Rock, Arkansas (more on that gem of a state later). 30 run's into Dallas and from the weather guys were saying, we should miss most of the bad stuff. So instead of driving the planned 860 miles in great time and getting a good nights sleep, we decided to go as far west as humanly possible. We had to cancel our reservations for both Memphis and Albuquerque but the good news is that we got full refunds on both.

We loaded up on Red Bull and made a pact to drive until it was no longer safe to do so. One person would try to take a power nap while the other drove and we were moving at a good clip until the rain hit just before Dallas. Here is a pic of our trip odometer right before it hit 1ooo miles for the day.

All in all, we drove for 22 hours out of a 24 hour period. By the time we got to the hotel, we could barely keep our eyes open. We checked the weather channel and it didn't look good. It's 2AM and I have to get to bed so I'll post on Day 2 tomorrow.


Emma N said...

I don't know what you two did to anger the weather gods, but they have surely forsaken you. Me thinks you should never live on the coast or in a flood plane.

I'm quite sure that the Hawaii sunsets will help you two forget your terrible day. Take Care. -E

Christine said...

You two were the best guests ever! I can't believe you guys even cleaned the coffee pot prior to leaving well before the crack of dawn (4AM)!

I suffered severe depression from Nicholson withdrawal immediately after your departure but have since recovered with your play by plays throughout your roadtrip.

Incredible job on safely pushing thru your insane cross country intinerary! Team Nic is obviously indestructible!