Tuesday, February 10, 2015

10 Things on Tuesday - Carmageddon Edition!

Rather than writing out the story of my crazy last week, I'm going to do it in listy form because hey, why not?

1. It sounded like such a great plan. Drive a few hours up to St Louis on Weds, check out the awesome River City Casino Hotel who was putting me up for the night, do a little sightseeing, hang out with a friend that would be in the area who I've been trying to meet up with for like 6 months, generally enjoy getting away from home for a little bit, and then drive back the next afternoon.

Spoiler alert: Things did not go according to plan.

2. I left home around 1 pm on Weds, because the weather said that St. Louis might get some light snow that night so I wanted to get all settled before dark. I wasn't that worried though - weather forecasts always seem to over-estimate, so I figured that "light snow, possible accumulation less than an inch" probably meant a few flurries, no big deal.

3. First half of trip was totally chill. It's basically 200 miles on the same interstate after I hit Springfield, so usually the trip is a good opportunity to rock out to embarrassing music, eat deliciously gross gas station food and generally get lost in thought. That's what happened until about the halfway point when freezy mist started sticking to my windshield, and then (even worse) my windshield wipers! My wipers got all coated in ice which totally interferes with the whole "wiping" thing and instead just makes them make a sort of awful scraping noise.

Yeeeah, that's ice on my windshield. 

I had to pull over three times within about an hour to de-ice my wipers and windshield, but eventually I made it out of that ickyness and things were clear again. Mentally patted myself on the back for getting through the slightly worrisome conditions, celebrated what would surely be smooth sailing for the last 50-ish miles. Whew, right?

4. WRONG, obviously. On the outskirts of St. Louis, it started snowing. Traffic wasn't really affected, it was just that sort of fluffy dry snow that blows around. The only time it was a problem was when a big truck would pass me and kick a bunch of it up into the air, making a big snow cloud. Pretty, but akin to driving in heavy fog for a few seconds.

The thing about that delicate little layer of snow is that while it is no big deal on its own, it was coating the road and covered up spots where ice had formed. Don't worry, I found one anyway.

5. Have you ever paid much attention to those big concrete dividing walls that run between the lanes of some big highways and interstates? Me either. At least, not until my car was heading straight into one. The pic above isn't the exact place that my accident happened (I'm not even sure where it was other than the name of the city), but pretty close. Everything was fine, and then I noticed the car in front of me skid just a tiny bit, and before I even had time to finish the thought "Oh, it might be slick there..." my car was fishtailing to the left, then right, and then doing a fancy spinny thing and crashing into that wall. Then it spun around a bit more and hit the wall again, just for good measure. I was probably going about 50 mph by the time I hit. 

6. So, there I was, just hanging out in the fast lane of the interstate, facing the wrong way into oncoming traffic. NBD. I instantly tried to pull my car over to the other side of the road before anyone could hit me, but it wouldn't move. Craaaaaap. I dialed 911 really fast and by the time I managed to shriek "I just wrecked my car on I-44 and omg I think this truck is about to hit me!" a police car was pulling up. And the giant pickup that I thought was about to hit me actually stopped a few feet away and blocked anyone *else* from hitting me. Thanks, truck dude.

7. I honestly don't remember that much from what happened next because lets be honest here you guys, I was freaking the you know what out. I know that when the police officer opened my passenger door to check on me, I was like "I hit the wall and I can't get my car to move!", and he kind of glanced at it and said "Yeeeah, it's not going to move." Oh. 

8. An ambulance showed up within a couple of minutes to check me out, and I have no idea how, given that I just slammed into a giant concrete wall going 50-ish mph in a convertible, but I'm pretty okay. I was shaking like crazy and I told the (omg super cute) paramedic that I have panic attacks so I was basically just trying to keep breathing. I was actually weirdly happy that I couldn't stop shaking - trembling after a traumatic event is your body's way of releasing adrenaline. If it doesn't do that, you can have some not so awesome side effects later. 

There was another accident just up the road involving two tractor trailers, so the ambulance dudes were pretty quick to let me go so they could move on to help out there, which I was totally fine with other than how very adorable that one EMT was. I made friends with the police officer's K9 partner in his car until the tow truck showed up. 

9. At some point while I was in the ambulance or police car or something, I was smart enough to email the lady I'd been in contact with about blogging about the hotel, and she instantly went into superhero mode. She not only called to make sure I was okay, but first tried to send one of the hotel's shuttle buses to come get me, and when that wasn't available arranged for a taxi to pick me up at the McDonalds where the tow truck driver agreed to drop me off (near their garage), which was almost 20 miles from my hotel. Given that this was just supposed to be a quick overnight trip, I definitely hadn't budgeted for a $60+ taxi expense, so I can not even begin to tell you guys how grateful I am that the casino covered that for me, not to mention the fact that I was definitely not thinking super clearly at the time so it was priceless to have someone step in to take care of me and make sure I got there safely. (I'll be writing about my hotel stay soon!)

I finally made it to the hotel, still got to meet my friend for drinks later that night (he was awesome enough to come to the hotel bar since I clearly had no way to go anywhere else!), and then as I was pretty much expecting, woke up super sick the next day. You guys might remember that my body does this super charming thing where major stress = about 24 hrs of vomiting. Luckily I had one of the pills from my last ER trip with me, so that knocked out the worst of the stomach-y stuff and I spent most of the day sleeping with a wet washcloth on my head to keep cool. It was a miserable 12-ish hours, but I finally started feeling better around 8 or 9 that evening. 

10. This is #10, so I should sort of sum up and bring us up to the present, huh? I think I'll do a separate post about my St Louis shenanigans, because I did actually get to have a little bit of fun while I was stuck there. I made it home on Saturday and just got a quote from my insurance today about how much $ they'll be sending me to buy a new car with. That police officer wasn't kidding when he said my car wasn't going to move - I had a totally broken back wheel (or wheel axle? Whatever, my wheel was at a freaky angle). I couldn't bear to look too closely at the damage to my car as I was leaving it, but I know that my driver's side door wouldn't open (had to crawl out the other side), the hood was dented in, and there were some various other bumps and scrapes. I'm guessing from the damage that the back passenger side wheel is what hit the wall first, which is freaking lucky since that's about as far away as you can get from where I was sitting. Anyway, as much as I love my car and am sad to see it go after all of the adventures we've survived together, it was a 2004 so the cost to repair it would have been more than it was worth, thus the insurance check and car shopping.

Want to end this post on a super freaky note? I did a search last night for 2004 Mustang convertibles within 200 miles of me to get an idea of the actual market value of my car. Only ONE showed up. It was silver with a black top just like mine, and even had the 40th anniversary special edition stuff like mine. Super freaky part? It was for sale in Pacific, MO, which is 196 miles from me and... the city where I had the accident. Is that nuts or what? I actually kind of want to look into buying it just because of the craziness of that. 

So, let's all have a moment of silence for Apple, the car that has been with me for the past 10 years (almost exactly - I bought her in Feb 05) and hope that whichever car becomes my new adventure pal is able to fill her shoes (tires?). 

Looking all shiny and pretty on the day I bought her a decade ago. She was a rental car in Vegas for a few months before she came to me, so I loved that she had a questionable past and had probably seen some things, man. 

Oh, one last thing. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows about my all consuming love ginormous crush on Chris Hayes. So when I tweeted the reason why I wasn't tweeting about his show as usual after my accident and got this in reply, I was pretty darn happy.

Ummmm, I AM NOW. (imagine that I inserted glittery heart gifs here, 'cause I'm tired and too lazy to Google some up.)

Hope that your week was better than mine! Hopefully I'll have a new car to introduce you to by next week's 10 Things!


Jas said...

Wow, you must had a guardian angel with you that day. Glad you weren't injured and that car thing is super freaky! I'd consider buying it too, just because it seems someone up there is moving puzzle pieces for you. Found you on Hump Day Happenings. Hugs and drive safe!

Fizzgig said...

Wow. What a horrific ordeal! Amazing that everyone took care of you! I know how much of a blessing that would be as along with my panic attacks my brain turns into complete jelly, I'm amazed you were able to think/ speak about calling 911 right away! Glad you're ok and still made the most of your trip!