Friday, July 31, 2009

C&O and GAP Ride - Day 0 - Two Doubles Please

Have you ever noticed that in this event called life, things rarely go the way you plan them? No matter how thoroughly you research. No matter how meticulously you prepare. No matter how fastidiously you lay it out. No matter how varied your contingencies. Reality has a way of taking a great big dump right slap dab in the middle of it all.

This universal truth certainly reared its ugly head early on on this bike trip. The itinerary for the first day was as follows:

"We will drive to DC and meet up with Bob's son to hand over the vehicle. We will spend the remainder of the day in DC as cycling tourist. Since this is our last night in civilization, I envision an evening involving a succulent meal coupled with copious amounts of alcohol before we bed down in a nice motel (separate beds of course:-)"

Now doesn't that sound nice? Well let me tell you what really happened. We did not meet Bob's son in DC (strike 1). It turns out he couldn't get a train into the city. Therefore, we had to drive to Maryland to pick him up. We didn't get back to DC and our motel until well after 5:00 PM, which means we didn't have time to spend the day in DC as cycling tourist (strike 2).

Though these set-backs were disappointing, I took them in stride. The dump of reality that really made me wrinkle my nose was when we got to the room. Between the bikes and all the gear we had, it took 2 or 3 trips to transfer it all from the truck to the room. It was not until all the stuff was in our room that I took the time to look around. This is what caught my attention:Let me remind you of the small reference at the end of the aforementioned itinerary, "separate beds of course". I had painstakingly made the reservations through Priceline for 2 double beds. Does that look like two double beds to you? I called the front desk and politely explained to the lady that I was standing in my room looking at the sleeping arrangements. I specifically made reservations for 2 double beds and unless my eyes were playing tricks on me, I behold but 1 king. The lady went on to explain that since I made my reservations through a 3rd party, they were only obligated to save me a room, not necessarily my room of choice (strike 3).

I hung up the phone numb in shock. Mind you, had I been accompanied on this bike tour with a hot, blonde chick, I could have taken this set-back in stride. However - Bob is not hot! Bob is not blonde!! And above all, Bob is not a chick!!! Bob is a big, ugly, hairy guy. While I may be able to look over the big, ugly, hairy part - the "guy" part I simply could not brook.

It was at this point of utter despair that my reasoning mind kicked in. I'm about to embark on a week long bike trip with this big, hairy, ugly guy in which we will sleep in a tent that is much smaller that this king size bed. I took all the extra pillows and carefully arranged them down the middle of the bed, like the Great Wall of China, and accepted my fate like a gentleman. I can now say that Bob holds the distinct honor of being the first and only man that I have ever shared my bed with.

The life lessons in this story:

1. The quality of a person's life is not measured by how well it goes according to plan, but how adept one is at making adjustments.

2. When traveling with a hot, blonde chick - book your motel through Priceline. When traveling with a big, ugly, hairy guy - book your motel direct.

PS - Not all was lost - we did find a good mexican restaurant where we had a succulent meal coupled with copious amounts of alcohol (homerun).

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