This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Sprint
I received $75 in compensation in exchange for sharing my (I hope) funny story about a holiday road trip.
Want to win a $200 Visa Gift Card? Read on for my story, and share yours for a chance to win. Plus, seven other bloggers and BlogHer are giving away additional $200 Gift Cards. Visit the BlogHer.com special offers page - you've got 9 chances to win a $200 Visa Gift Card!
Everyone always wants to go home for the holidays, especially the recent college grads who like to pretend their independent and above it all but really just want some home cooking and laundry and comfort.
The first Christmas after I graduated college, I was living in Chicago in an apartment by myself. My family was in Minnesota, and I was thrilled to be flying home. Me being the cheap me that I am, I flew out of Midway because it saved me a good $30 on the ticket.
I took the orange line out to Midway and waited for my flight to take off. Silly Chicagoans, they canceled my flight due to the heavy snow falling. And they canceled the rest of the flights heading out of Chicago to Minnesota that day, too. Since it was Christmas Eve (it’s cheaper to fly then, ya know), I sort of needed to get home.
When I asked what I could do, the lovely gate attendants offered to book me on a flight out of O’Hare – the other airport in Chicago – as they hadn’t canceled flights. I’d have to get there on my own, and the flight left in three hours, but it was doable.
I hopped in a cab and was on my way to my second airport of the day. Taking the el back to the city and then out to O’Hare was cutting it a little close for my flight. Of course, since it was snowing heavily, traffic wasn’t exactly moving.
Almost two hours into the drive, I realized I wasn’t going to make that flight no matter what I did. We were still on the highway and not exactly close to O’Hare. It was about then that I looked at the cabbie’s meter.
It was at $78. And this cab didn’t take cash. And I’m not one to carry a ton of cash on me (I’m still not, in case you’re thinking about mugging me someday). I quickly opened my purse and fished out my wallet to discover that I had exactly $80 on me.
I quickly asked the cabbie to drop me off at the closest bus station, which fortunately was at the next exit. He took all my money, and he wasn’t nice about it either.
By this point, I was starting to get a little panicky. Everything that could go wrong was, and all I wanted to do was just make it home. This being back in the age of the dinosaurs before everyone had cell phones, so I picked up a payphone and called my parents collect.
After reassuring them that I was alive, I decided that I’d play the brave, strong woman. I told me parents that I wouldn’t be able to make it home for Christmas this year. Instead, I’d head down to Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Chicago to go to Christmas Eve midnight mass by myself. It would all be ok.
I hung up the phone and pulled my fare card out of my wallet – I could at least afford to take the el back to my apartment! – and started the journey back to my apartment, spinning tales in my head about how sad the situation was and how tragic a figure I made. I cried silently to myself as I walked through my door.
It was about then that I realized I didn’t know where Holy Family was, and walking there (since I had no cash, remember) for midnight mass was probably not going to happen. I wish I could remember what I ate for dinner that night, as I’m sure it only adds to my comic tragedy. I have to assume it was something like macaroni and cheese. From a box. This was in the days before I really knew how to cook well.
Around 2 in the morning, my parents called. They had driven down from Minnesota to pick me up. They picked up my suitcase that was still packed, and we all climbed into my parents’ car to drive home in time to celebrate Christmas morning at my parents house. Or at least what I remember of it.
But hey – every story has to have a happy ending, right? Fortunately, I learned all the appropriate lessons from that trip, and knock on wood, I’ve managed to avoid so many woes trying to get home ever since then.
So what’s your funniest holiday road trip story? Share your story in the comments below, and you can win a $200 Visa Gift Card.
This contest is open until December 31. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Please see the official rules here: Official rules
Mandatory Entry: You must leave me your best holiday road trip story in the comments below or none of your entries will count - or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below.
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for Tweeting this contest (leave a link to your tweet as your comment).
2) Earn one additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link to your post in the comments.
3) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog.
4) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly!
Good luck – and I can’t wait to read those road trip stories!