J.J. Jenkins is a journalism freshman and Mustang Daily freshman columnist.
But how did we end up sleeping in my car 300 miles from home after one of the greatest nights of my life? Note: it had nothing to do with the bra. The reason can be summed up in two words: road trip.
The quest for the perfect college road trip is a timeless pursuit. The unique challenges a road trip presents to a gang of college students can sometimes appear insurmountable, but that has not stopped my friends and I from trying this year.
Our first attempt was after finals week fall quarter. The group of us five freshmen hopped into my car and headed south toward UCSD where our favorite band, The Black Keys, was playing a holiday show.
We struggled through backed-up Santa Barbara only to hit Los Angeles traffic — I was not aware that 9 p.m. on a Friday night was a prime time for rush hour. Nonetheless, I barreled down the 405, dropped one friend off at her house (as she picked up her laundry, a bra was left behind — my apologies if you were reading to hear about the bra) and arrived at UCSD to meet up with another friend a day before the concert.
We made plans to stay at his house in Corona the night after the concert and hightailed it up the freeway. The next night we rocked out to The Black Keys and made fun of Tokoyo Police Club and Sleigh Bells and their poor excuse for music before heading north.
We ate some delicious In-N-Out Burger, reminisced and blasted music to keep us awake (it was now 1 a.m.) all the while texting our friend our whereabouts, “Thirty minutes out, 15 minutes, be there in five.”
But the closer we came to our friend’s house, the less texts we received. Pulling up into the driveway, we saw all the lights were out and a quick check at the door revealed that no one was in the house, so we retreated to the car.
After 10 anxious minutes and five or six phone calls, we admitted defeat. Our friend fell asleep minutes before we arrived. After spending hours in the car for two days, we were going to spend the next couple of hours making friends with my car seats.
With drooped heads we shuffled back to our car thinking about how our best laid plans had come crashing down upon us.
Inside the car we drifted off to sleep in the sweaty T-shirts we had picked up at the concert while coming up with some of the most ingenious and profane commentary on our sleeping beauty friend — most of which I have blocked from memory. Sometime later, around 7 a.m., our phones went haywire.
Having awoken from his slumber, our friend raced to find out where we were — which was about twenty yards away from his house. Groggy and still pissed off, the group staggered inside and crashed on the nearest soft piece of furniture, too tired to scold our ashamed friend.
In any case, we gave him enough crap about it to last a lifetime (see: this column).
Thankfully last week he had a chance to redeem himself as 10 of us headed north to catch the final game of the Giants’ opening series against my team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
This road trip pitted a minivan full of six women and one guy (shout out to Alan for getting through the weekend) as well as a Subaru with sleeping beauty, myself and another friend.
The trip to The Bay was uneventful. Other than spotting a half-moon passing through Salinas, there were no major hiccups, missteps or notable occurrences.
That all changed on game day.
Aside from forgetting our tickets, which forced me to run into a high-end hotel dressed in my Cardinals jersey and jeans to print them out again, our exit from the Emerald City was less than graceful. But at least the “man car” trumped the “mommy van.”
As the San Francisco freeways conspired to trap us in the city limits (I assume this is to hotbox the city and get people high), the two cars naturally split up before the on-ramp to the 101. Though, being guys and having no sense of direction, we turned to our phones to guide us out of the horrendous traffic while the females directed (and redirected Alan).
By the time we got back to San Luis Obispo, our superb man-skills had amassed a 45-minute lead over the minivan. Though I must say, the cop who pulled over the minivan, and asked the driver if she had been drinking (though she has never been drunk in her life) might have slowed them down a bit.
I do not know when our next adventure will come, but I do know that I’m still in search of the perfect road trip. But, on second thought, maybe imperfection is exactly what makes road trips perfect.