We travelled many trips before but this one we took by storm because of the heat we were told we would encounter as summer drew closer in Arizona.
I left Portland and she left Seattle joining forces in the Phoenix airport. Beyond the excitement of just being in this new state together and the enjoyment of embarking on another sister trip we simply couldn’t contain ourselves. We were interrupting each other and laughing as we wandered to the rental car counter and bounced about like young girls with pigtails in a make-believe world. Neither of us could get a word in edge wise. We filled out paperwork and as always argued about who would pay.
Our rolling suitcases trailed behind and we were off to find our car. This car was claimed to be an upgrade but from what I do not know. Not any bigger than a smurf’s turd, our tan car was squeaky clean and we rolled off to take on this state.
One of the best things about our trips is that we are open to anything that comes our way. There is always adventure, some fear (for me, anyway), a little ass kickin’ of both of ours, a challenge, laughter, outdoors, staying up late, and the most amazing conversations that makes me relish in the moment…exist in that one second and breathe deep to not miss a thing. I know everyone has their favorite person, and she is mine!! (Listen up! I am not slighting my husband in anyway, he is “my” person. But it is distinctly different than a sister.)
I am behind the wheel and getting myself situated in a car that has no power what so ever and feels like I am driving a steel tank from the 80’s we circle around the inside loop of the airport. She is looking at a map, the airport signs to get on the freeway, and digging in her purse for chap stick. We are still enthralled in conversation and laughter as we continue in the largest round about in the world.
She is searching for music and honestly, I think she noticed first that we were passing the rental car exit from the airport again. Not only did we exit there with our rental car but we had now finished a complete circle, she laughed that glorious, addicting laugh while looking slightly irritated. I had no option to change directions or stop on the side of the road.
If you have been to the Phoenix airport, you know what it is like to leave that airport or at least, now you know how hard it was for me to ‘try” and leave that airport for the first time. There is no way of knowing if I could leave it again without making the same mistake.
She instructs me to pay attention and get my shit together as she dumps the map because we still haven’t left the terminal gate. I begin to circle over my first tracks and am determined not to circle the entire airport again. I wait for my sister to tell me something.
It’s four lanes wide…what the hell lane was I supposed to be in?? We continue to find the situation hilarious and know we are going to be late getting to where we were supposed to be. She shouts, “exit there” and in our gutless smurf turd, I floor it and shoot across the other three lanes of traffic to an actual exit from the airport. What the hell? It took us over 30 minutes to get the hell out of there!
My sister is back on map duty and the city scape starts to disappear, it’s dry, hot, and the freeway stretches behind us and in front of us for miles. My blood pressure drops now that we have actually left the airport and we start chatting in a calm manner, excitement fills the car, and what are plans are for the week; while miles and miles pass. Maybe eight songs run through the radio in their entirety and we wonder how close we are to our destination.
We start to actually pay attention to the freeway signs and wonder what town is next. Map reading, her head is down and I report, “we are 38 miles to Tucson.” She looks at me puzzled, in an empty stare and says, “wait, what? Isn’t that the wrong direction?” In my stammer, I look at her laughing and make the statement, “I don’t know?” Annoyed, she looks back at me, “what the fuck?” She looks up from the map and declares, “we have to turn around,” which is hysterical to me and frustrating to her. I figured it was as good a time as any to ask her, how far out of the way did we actually travel??
Again, we exit and turn the car around to get headed in the opposite direction. If you ask me whether we were headed north, south, east or west…I deny, deny, deny…because, I simple have no sense of direction. Easier put, I wonder if it is a birth defect I was born with?
As we head the opposite direction from Tucson back the way we came, I question will we actually get to where we are going. I look to my older sister for guidance and she was less than enthused. She said, “Phoenix, we are supposed to be in Phoenix.”