First things first: If you haven’t entered to win a copy of my first novel, The Clearing, click here to do so! The giveaway ends May 31!
Now that we’ve gotten the housekeeping out of the way, let’s talk about the Riley Weekend of Madness.
Friday, 5:00pm: Rob and I set off for LA PLAYA, which, for you non-Spanish speakers, is the BEACH! I haven’t been to the beach in a while, even though it’s only a few hours from where I live, so this was super exciting.
Well. Once I got over the trauma of leaving Little Bit for an entire weekend, it was exciting. But don’t worry – she had a blast with both sets of her grandparents, so it was all good.
We made it all the way to Prattville, Alabama, before getting sidetracked and ending up in a Jim n’ Nick’s Restaurant for dinner, like we had all the time in the world. And then? We went to TARGET. I don’t know what we were thinking. We still had like four hours to drive and by the time we got done with our Prattville shenanigans, it was after 7:00.
You’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? 11:00 isn’t THAT late to be checking in to your hotel.” Well, no. It’s really not. Except that I AM TERRIFIED OF DRIVING THROUGH BACKWOODS ALABAMA/FLORIDA IN THE DARK.
I don’t know why. It just freaks me out. I’m a city girl, people, and I DON’T like driving for miles and miles with no streetlights, dark farmhouses, and random animals running out in front of my car. So basically I sat in the passenger seat and whimpered until we reached something else completely unexpected: A police checkpoint.
In Crenshaw County, Alabama.
And if you’re wondering, yes, that is the middle of absolutely nowhere.
So anyway, long story short, we kinda didn’t have proof of insurance in the car and we have to go BACK to Crenshaw County with a copy of our insurance in hand, or else pay a hefty fine. We’re looking for a way to turn this into another vacation, so if anyone happens to know of a really great hotel or resort or amusement park or ANYTHING in or near Crenshaw County, why, by all means let me know.
After a couple more hours of driving through the warlocks and werecats that I was positive were watching us in the night, we finally arrived at our hotel around 11:15. And as we were checking in, do you know what happened?
This guy came around the corner with a golf club in his hand and started staring at me.
I stared back.
And after a second, we placed each other. It was one of my students, in town for a golf tournament. And staying at our hotel.
Now I will say this: Of all the students I could’ve run into that night at the hotel, this kid would be in my top 5 picks. He’s really great and very cool and I was genuinely glad to see him. We did not see each other again all weekend, so if we hadn’t been checking in so late at night, I probably wouldn’t have had any idea that he was there.
Saturday, 9:00am: Rob’s rugby tournament starts. I was told it would be over around noon, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that “noon” actually meant 4:30. But the Birmingham Vulcans won the whole thing (they actually brought two teams and the final ended up being Birmingham 1 against Birmingham 2, so they decided not to play the final game) so it was really cool and Rob scored a try! (That’s rugby-speak for touchdown/goal.)
We got to meet up with some other friends from Birmingham who happened to be at the beach at the same time (NOT students, thankfully) and I snuggled their baby. Yeah, I was going through withdrawals. What?
Sunday, 7:30am: We had to get outta town pretty early Sunday because I had to be at – you guessed it! – graduation. Not much to report about that; some really smart kids made speeches, and then everybody walked across a stage, and I had to wear a really hot black robe. Not “hot” as in, “Wow, that is a HOT robe!” But more like, “Wow, I’m going to melt, or possibly catch fire, in this robe.”
After that I went to the store, bought some baby food, and came home. And then… I lost my voice. So teaching will be exciting this week. *sigh*
How was your weekend?