A few months ago my boyfriend and I decided to plan a trip somewhere. We considered a cruise, Vegas and a few other places, but eventually opted to stick to our childish ways and head to Orlando, home of Disney World and Universal Studios.
We consider ourselves to be adventurous souls, so this past weekend I met him in Ohio and we drove to Florida from there, approximately 13-14 hours. Of course no road trip is complete without surprises, so when we headed into North Carolina right as winter storm Pax was drilling it, we were in for a rude awakening. The roads were atrocious and I began to fear for my life when we could no longer see through the thick white snow falling from the skies. I forgot how awful and terrifying driving in winter is.
All of a sudden break lights were spotted and we came to a dead stop on Interstate 77. I was disappointed to be stuck in traffic but mighty relieved to have a break from driving.
“This should only last an hour or two,” we thought. Psych.
The snow was not letting up, and a semi had gotten into an accident two miles ahead of us. We were going to be there for a while.
Over the span of the next four hours, we took a nap, made sandwiches, watched people build snowmen in the middle of the highway and had a Bejeweled face-off, which I won. During the same time span a solid foot of perfect packing snow fell from the heavens. When I stepped out of the car it came up to my knees.
Once we finally started moving again we thought we had made it through the worst part of the storm. Little did we know that the next few miles of highways hadn’t been plowed and we were definitely not out of it yet. I frantically flipped through radio stations trying to get updates on traffic and road conditions, but the only advice I got was “stay inside,” and “don’t get on the roads today.”
Too little too late.
We found an alternative route and had hope.
As we approached the exit, we noticed it was also completely filled with snow. A semi-truck in front of us made it through, so we gunned it and hoped we’d have the same luck. Not even halfway down the exit ramp our car got stuck and we were in another pickle.
Really worried that we might be stranded if we didn’t act quick, Deej hopped out and began trying to push us backwards. I lightly tapped my foot on the gas pedal until I felt some movement. At first we weren’t getting anywhere, but eventually the tires caught and I started to make my way backwards up the exit ramp, back onto the highway. Not the safest of options but we didn’t really have a choice.
Deej ran in front of the car with his hands in the air cheering as I kept the car moving and we got back on the highway. I’m surprised that the car didn’t quit on us right there. We put that little Nissan through hell!
We took a detour to get around the messy roads and as soon as we hit South Carolina they started to clear. We cruised down the coast through the night, and with every few miles there was less snow and more green land. My dream of escaping the winter was finally coming true.
About 21 hours after we left Ohio we finally arrived in Orlando. A gust of clean, warm air greeted me when I opened the car door and I immediately thawed out as I walked towards our hotel. We had been driving since 4am and I was exhausted. The soft king bed in our room sucked me right in and I passed out instantly.
The next morning I woke up to blue skies and sunshine. We put on shorts and a tank top, grabbed our sunglasses, slipped on flip flops and headed to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Winter storm Pax may have given me a few mini heart attacks, but was now just a story to tell. We had escaped winter, and boy it felt great.