The Road Trip Of Our Lives

Yessenia Gutierrez

© Copyright 2023 by Yessenia Gutierrez

Photo by Rick Han at Pexels.
Photo by Rick Han at Pexels..

My love and I decided to go on a road trip during the worst time of the year, May. The month of May is characterized by raining a lot. He had prepared so many fun things for us to do. We were heading to Orlando, Walt Disney World. Where dreams come true. Where the magic happens.  

Unfortunately, our trip was not at all what we had planned. I was on dialysis so I had to schedule my dialysis at a clinic close to the area where we were staying. Mark was exhausted from working fourteen hours every day. We went out on a Saturday, after my dialysis treatment. Mark worked on Friday. We were both exhausted.  

Driving while exhausted should be illegal. In addition to being annoying, it can also be dangerous. Mark nearly crashed because his eyes were closing and he had no control over them. As much as he tried, he couldn't keep them open. I couldn't drive, I get very dizzy in the car.  

I brought a bag with me. I already knew how this would go. Orlando was four hours away. I knew I couldn't bear being in a moving vehicle for four hours, non-stop. I also brought an alcohol wipe to ease my nausea.  

Mark wanted to make me happy. He knew that one of desires was to go on a road trip. We played all kinds of music while driving there. Music satisfies our souls. Relaxes the mind.  

Well, that depends on the type of music you play. I was Cuban, I loved salsa. Mark, an American, loved his country and rock. We were excited to go to theme parks, visit friends, and eat at restaurants.  

But when a dark cloud appeared in front of the car... And the rain fell as heavy as whipped cream when placed on an ice cream cone. Our happy faces turned to disappointment.  

We didn't think it was going to rain. We wanted to see the sun on our way there. Things went from bad to worse with the rain and fog. We couldn't see well.  

I wore distance vision glasses and was not wearing them at the time.  

I hated them. Wearing them made me feel ugly. But, surely, I needed them at that moment, to help Mark drive. He wasn't feeling very well. And I had a stomach ache.  

The wind blew. The outside was damp. Our windows were steamed up. It was hard to enjoy our trip, when we had to be careful with our surroundings. We had no choice but to stop at a gas station in West Palm Beach. We were two hours and thirty-six minutes away from our destination. I wasn't sure I could take it anymore.  

I went to the bathroom to pee, while Mark stayed outside. It was two forty in the morning, it was raining, it was dark and windy. There was no one else at the gas station except us. I didn't see a cashier. Maybe he was busy in the back room. I was afraid.  

The bushes behind the gas station were making noise, like someone was crawling inside them. I looked at Mark from the other side of the store window and noticed him pumping up the car. I called someone to help me pay for my items. That's when I really got scared.  

An old man entered the store. He was smiling at me. He had no teeth; his clothes were torn and his nails were longer than mine! I asked if he was the cashier. He said that he was. At that moment, I felt so scared, I had a feeling that he lied so I put the things on the table and told him that I had to go.  

I ran to Mark. The old man followed me. Mark asked him if there was a problem, he told him that he only wanted to help us because there was no one else at the gas station. Mark told me to get in the car. I waited anxiously inside. Mark told the old man that we were in a hurry. The old man did not harm us and we were able to leave.  

At least we got free gas, but we were still two hours away and we didn't get food or water. Mark had an idea to stop at a nearby McDonald's. McDonald's drive thru was full. We decided to dine in very quickly. Mark had a double cheeseburger with fries and a Coke. I had chicken nuggets with fries and sprite. We were satisfied. Our stomach was full now.  

We went back to the car. Mark held me in his arms and kissed me. We were content. We would soon arrive at our hotel suite in Orlando. When we got to the car, we stopped in disbelief. Both front tires were punctured.  

How did this happen? Who could have done this? Mark was upset. I thought, what if the old man at the gas station followed us and did this? As payback for not letting him play cashier. We were unable to drive the car. We were going to be even later now.  

I was irritated! Mark called the tow truck. I sighed. This meant that we would be stranded there until the tow truck arrived. Everything was going wrong. Nothing had gone right since we left Miami. I guess May isn't the best month to plan a road trip. Mark's phone rang. It was the tow truck man, he said it would take him four hours to get there.  

Four hours? And we were about two hours from Orlando. We weren't going to sit and wait that long. Mark called a friend of his, Steve, who lived in Pompano. He agreed to come take a look. While we waited, we went back inside McDonald's to get free WiFi.  

I was really upset about the whole situation, but Mark made me feel better. He always does. He told me that sometimes things happen for a reason and the reason is what makes us happy in the end. Mark was a very patient man. It's one of the things I love most about him.  

I, for one, was not patient at all. I hated waiting, it made me anxious, nervous. I kept looking at my watch and thinking about how late it was. Where was Steve? How far was he from West Palm?  

Once again, Mark made me feel better. He told me to stop, that nothing I did or said would get us to Orlando. But to be more patient and understanding, then maybe things can get better with time. Finally Steve arrived. Mark walked him outside to take a look at the car. Steve had gloves on and brought tools for the car.  

In less than fifteen minutes, he fixed it! We were very grateful to Steve. And so glad he could come. We were now able to continue our road trip.  

It was five fifty-eight in the morning. I was tired. Mark was too. But we had to keep driving, we were only two hours away! Mark was too tired and was falling asleep on the steering wheel.  

I told Mark, let's pull over and get some sleep, you can keep driving when you wake up. You will be more relaxed and fuller of energy. He knew I wanted to get there before the sun rise, but I told him it was okay. It didn't matter when we arrived, what mattered was that we arrived safely.  

Also, driving in these conditions could be dangerous. I didnít want to have to make any more stops. So, we parked the car in an abandoned garage and went to sleep. A few hours later, we woke up and it was ten in the morning.  

We brushed our teeth in the bathroom. Mark started the engine and drove.  

I felt so much better after that nap. Mark seemed brand new. He wasn't so tired anymore. We needed that power nap. I turned on the radio to play music. Mark smiled at me. I smiled at him and started to sing.  

I was making him laugh, so our trip wouldn't feel so dull. Time passed quickly and before we knew it, we were in Kissimmee, Florida. Thirty minutes to Orlando! We were so excited.  

Seeing Mickey Mouse ears on one of the road signs made me very happy. Mark told me that my wish was about to come true. The desire I had to come to Walt Disney World.  

We ran into some trouble along the way, met some scary people, and almost crashed, but it was worth it. Suddenly, we hear police sirens in the background. We were afraid they would stop us. Maybe the music was too loud? But this is a free country, right?  

I lowered the volume of the radio. Mark spoke to the officer. Great, the last thing we needed was a speeding ticket. But Mark wasn't even speeding, he was going forty miles an hour.  

We stopped and the officer walked towards the car. I feared the worst. Mark told me to calm down. The officer had stopped us because our trunk was open. Wow! I was laughing. All that fear and my heart about to break for nothing. The officer was kind enough to tell us. He also gave us a free box of donuts.  

He was very kind. I ate two donuts. Mark ate three. Well, I guess that was our breakfast. After that, we each drank a bottle of water. It was so hot that I opened the window to get some air, and I noticed the Walt Disney World sign with Mickey and Minnie on the side.  

I was thrilled. We made it! We were officially in Orlando. We looked for the hotel we were staying in. It took us a couple of minutes to locate the exact suite, but we arrived safely.  

Our hotel suite was beautiful. Two nice bedrooms with one and a half baths. It felt like we were in paradise. There was food waiting for us. A good breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, and toast.  

Wow! Is this how the rich live every day? Our hotel suite had an amazing view. The water park was right downstairs! We were so happy, but what made us happier was the fact that we arrived safely and that we were together.  

Mark and I love each other very much and that's what started this adventure. We had some rough patches at the beginning of this road trip.  

But, in the end, everything worked out. And we still had fun despite everything that had happened, why? Because we were together, and indeed it was the road trip of our lives. 

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