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Road Trip

I have a confession to make. I own a car that I don't drive in the rain. Ever. This car is nearly 10 years old, just hit 36,000 miles and is still as shiny underneath as it is on top. You could eat off of the engine it's so clean, if that's what you're in to. I realize that this may sound insane to most people, because who buys an expensive car to let it sit in a garage all the time? Crazy people, that's who. In my defense, I bought this car from the original owner, who had never even driven it on a cloudy day, so it looked, smelled and felt brand new even though it was eight years old. I'm not sure what prompted me to continue this insane tradition of avoiding partly cloudy skies, humid days and grass sprinklers but after letting the car sit in my garage for the last two years on anything but sunny days, I decided I've had enough with this madness; mostly because it was close to becoming a mental illness and I have used up all of the insured visits to my therapist for the year already. Thanks, Aetna.

So last week, I haphazardly threw caution to the rain gods, hopped in my shiny-on-all-sides car and hit I-75 northbound on a partly cloudy afternoon. I'm writing this from the very serene and surprisingly Florida-like beach of Biloxi Mississippi and along the way, I realized that driving my garage queen in the rain doesn't matter. The silver UFO hit her first shower about 20 miles east of Tallahassee on I-10. I know this because I looked it up on the navigation to help me to remember this momentous occasion. I even took a little video with my phone that is far too embarrassing to post here or even share with my therapist next January. I think I handled this risky adventure surprisingly well. The car didn't melt, leak all over me or burst in to flames as I worried might happen. It drove down the road like all of the other cars. After I made it through the shower, I stopped at the gas station to examine what I had done. I really thought about getting the microfiber towels out of the trunk for a quick detail and even searching for a car wash to get the underside of the car clean. But now, these ideas seem crazy to me. So I spent $73 on gas and headed west.

I didn't have a single bad thought as I was driving through a tunnel that goes under the bay in Mobile, AL. Not once did I have a fleeting thought of the irony of the tunnel suddenly flooding as I drove through. Okay, maybe once.
I'm not sure what the tunnel is a metaphor for... Photo Credit: Erica Habedank

The final hurdle of my journey is that my destination does not come with a garage. But I am surprisingly ok with my baby sitting out in the rain. No, really… I am. This has been more than just a road trip to visit some friends at the beach, lose money at the casinos and overdose on crab legs at the buffet. It's been a lesson in life for me. I realize that by keeping my car in the garage all the time and not enjoying it like I should, I am almost as bad as everyone's anal grandmother who covers her "good furniture" in plastic so it doesn't wear out. So here is what the car looks like right now and I don't care.

We ran this car through 52 car washes. Photo Credit: Erica Habedank

Because it has about an inch of wax on it.

Erica Habedank | CW44 Tampa Bay

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