Travel Log 2009: Day 1

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So we FINALLY made it to a hotel in Angola, Indiana. I didn’t even know there WAS an Angola, Indiana.

Tammy, Jake and I dropped Savannah off at Camp Bow Wow today for her extended visit. She knew something was up as I started packing the car and kept following me in and out of the house as I loaded us up.

Kari and her crew at Camp really love Savannah and I know Savannah’s in good hands while we make our trek toward the Williamsburg.

We picked up Kevyn (aka Ben Seaver) hit the road around 2-2:30 this afternoon (June 25) with the back of the car packed so full that I had to make a vision tunnel so I could see.

Death of a Weirdo

As we were rolling toward Indiana, we heard the news of Michael Jackson’s death. The hosts on AM-890 weren’t sure how to react to the news and honestly neither was I. Sad for the loss of a life, but my feelings for the gloved one couldn’t figure out if I should be sad for someone who I believe did things with boys. Anyway, not the time nor place for that discussion. Just a historical note for the trip.

The Golden Dome

Our first stop was at South Bend, Indiana so Jake and Ben could see the campus. Even if all you’ve seen of the campus are from the movie Rudy or the football games on NBC, you know the campus is really cool. Even the new buildings are built to look old. The football history alone is enough to make walking around the stadium a truly memorable experience.

As we walked around the stadium where The Four Horseman played and the ghosts of Notre Dame’s football past were literally coming out of the walls. Pictures to come later…

The stadium, Touchdown Jesus and the golden dome were all breathtaking.

A Sweaty Piece of History

Jake, Ben and I even got to walk on the Notre Dame Football practice field. The gate was open and there wasn’t anyone on the field, but we could see someone had been there because they left the Gatorade containers.

As we walked on the field, we saw a gray t-shirt lying on the field. I told Jake to pick it up, which he did, then said, “Ewww… it’s wet,” as he tossed it to me. I grabbed it and stuffed it in my pocket.

Jake then picked up a Gatorade cup and ran toward the goalpost asking who wanted to see him dunk it. At this point I’m thinking we’re going to be kicked off campus for stealing a shirt and trespassing.

As I finished thinking that, I see Jake around the 10-yard line sprinting toward the endzone. I can’t say for sure if he dunked the cup or not, because I was putzing with my camera trying to take a picture, but he got close.

We told Tammy about the t-shirt and she was grossed out until we started telling her that the shirt could have belonged to Brady Quinn or Joe Montana or Joe Theisman. She realized we had picked up a potential piece of gold and dropped it.

Some Things You Can’t Learn from Books

We got back in the car and drove around campus, ending up at the campus bookstore. As we were walking toward the door, Jake let everyone know he needed to go to the bathroom. As soon as we walked int he door, Jake asked me, “Where’s the Poo Room.”

If you think that’s bad then just stop reading the next few paragraphs.

You’re still reading aren’t you… hahahaha…

So Jake takes off toward the “Poo Room” and I go begin looking through the ND t-shirts. Less than two minutes later, Jake and Kevyn are walking toward me and says “Well, I can’t go in there” and began telling me a horrid tale. I should have believed them, but NO, I had to check it out for myself.

“There’s only one stall and when I went in there, some guy was wiping up poo off the floor. It was everywhere and there was dirty tighty-whities on the floor.”

I’m thinking he CAN’T be telling the truth, right.

Wrong.

Lost Innocence

I walk in the bathroom and I’m instantly hit with the smell that let me know he was telling the truth. Next thing I see is an elderly man, mid-to-late 60s walking out of the stall holding a handful of something white. He looks at me and sighs as I turn toward the urinal.

As I’m standing there taking care of things, I see more “evidence” that Jake was telling the truth. So now I’m thinking this poor janitor had to clean up some punk kids crap (pun intended). As I turn back toward the sink, I realize just how wrong my thoughts were. This guy was cleaning up his OWN crap.

I know this because I could see it on his white socks, he was wearing black sandals, his legs and his shorts. My next thought was, “Whoa, this guy is going commando” which was quickly followed by, “I wondered how that happened.”

This was no ordinary “shart” this was one of those I gotta fart, oh man, that’s not a fart moments. I always kid about saying you’ve got explosive diarrhea when you want to get out of doing something because NO ONE will question you about it. I never knew it actually happened. Until now.

Misty Water Colored Memories

Of all the cool things we say at Notre Dame, the one thing that will forever be etched in our minds is Mr. Poo Pants and his dirty tighty-whities.

So we roll out of Notre Dame with thoughts of Mr. Poo roaming through the bookstore looking for some ND undies to get him through the night.

We finally stop in Angola, Indiana after our stop in Freemont resulted in NO places to eat. I shouldn’t say that, they had a McDonalds and a Wendy’s… Oh and Bubba’s. I don’t want to eat fast food on the road because I like to find places where we can enjoy the local cuisine.

Goog’s

As we drove into Angola, I was thinking we were going to end up eating at Applebee’s until I saw a sign for a “fun” place called Goog’s and turned in.

Since it was nearly 9 p.m. EST there was more of a bar crowd and we were shuffled into the non-smoking section. I thought it was weird that they even still had non-smoking sections because around Chicago it’s ALL non-smoking. You can’t even smoke with 25 feet of the buildings.

So we sit down to eat in a huge banquet hall and there is a band on stage going through their sound checks. Something about them seemed pretty cool because they had two big speakers with Confederate flags on them, not just draped over them but actually built into the wiring on the front of the speakers.

They started up around 10 pm as we were finishing up. They were pretty good. Played some Hank Williams, Jr., Brooks and Dunn and were having a good time on stage.

You Want to be on Top?

We left Goog’s and headed back to the Ramada Inn to get a room. The lady at the front desk asked if I wanted a room on the bottom floor, which I thought was funny because there’s only TWO floors. I told her it didn’t matter and she asked if I wanted a smoking or non-smoking room. She then said she had a room on the bottom floor, if I wanted it.

At this point I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with the bottom floor but I told her it was fine. She looks at me and says, “The room is $89” in a way that made it seem like she was thinking I was going to walk out at such a high price. She goes into telling me about the breakfast that’s served in the morning and how they have biscuits and gravy, waffles and there’s a real “chipper girl” that serves it.

I told her that’s good because I’ve got two Butthole Boys in the car that will love her. She chuckled as did the other lady behind the desk.

His Wife Could Eat No Lean

As we pulled around to the side door closest to the room, we see “Mutt and Jeff,” as Tammy called them. It was more like Jack Spratt and his wife. She was a big woman followed by her stickly man in shorts and no shirt. It WAS hot out so I guess he gets a pass.

We gather our things and head toward the room. Jake and Ben had already gone inside and were in the room when we got there.

Butthole Boys are Back

Jake tells us that they had dropped off their stuff in the room and went to check things out and walked into the lobby. Ben looked at the lady behind the counter and said, “We’re the Butthole Boys” to which the lady replied, “Nuh-uh” in such a deadpan, awkward way that made time stand still.

Ben looked at Jake and took off running back toward the room.

Now, I don’t know if it was the same women at the counter when I was up there, but what would your response have been if two teenage boys came bounding up to you and said, “We’re the Butthole Boys.” I think you’d have had the same “Nuh-uh”-type response.

The Potter

So not only has the trip been pretty funny, it’s also been educational. Tammy and I have learned things that we would have been better off NOT knowing. Things like the Double-Decker, The Triple, The Quad and the Super Dooper should never be discussed. Jake comes out of the bathroom and tells us he had “Potter” (poo-water) to top off the day’s education.

Now it’s WAY late and everyone’s sleeping and I’m going to have to stop writing. It’s getting cold in the room and I’m getting sleeping.

I’m looking forward to biscuits and gravy in the morning and introducing The Butthole Boys to Ms. Chipper.

Until tomorrow…

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