Let’s welcome the amazing Lana Grayson to the Spring Break party!!
Lana Grayson—Most Memorable Spring Break
First…let me say…I am not what you could call a “party animal.”
I think I’m more a “shindig kitten” or a “small get-together pup.”
I have no good spring break stories that don’t include running home from college to do laundry and—you guessed it—write. Back then it wasn’t motorcycle club romances, it was fairies and elves. (Ah, youth.)
After graduating college, I followed my boyfriend-and-future-husband to his graduate school—Virginia Tech. Our story begins on his spring break, when we decided to make the five and a half hour trip home to Pittsburgh for Easter.
With the cat.
Since all of other friends headed home for their own spring breaks, we didn’t have anyone to look in on the kitty. So—after a forty-five minute recreation of the scene in Jurassic Park were Muldoon loads the velociraptors into the park (Shooot Herrrrr!), I successfully jam the uncooperative cat into her carrier and got on the road. We made it to Pittsburgh, stayed a week, visited family, everything was nice.
Until we got back on the road to come home.
About one hundred and twenty miles into the trip, the car breaks down on the highway. Spectacularly. Flashing lights, loud band, shuddering. We limp to the shoulder and I begin to fret.
It’s a Sunday night. We are, literally, in the middle of West Virginia. No mechanics are open, and I’m not even sure what happens outside the highway in this part of the country. Trees, trees, and probably a few meth labs as far as the eye can see. (That’s not fair, WV is lovely. And isolated…and, in 2009, without complete cell coverage on the interstate.)
We are stranded far from home and even farther from Virginia, and I have the cat who SO does want to be in the carrier. This time she’s not the velociraptor—now she’s that cute little dinosaur that hobbles up to the gate and then screams, puffs up, and spits all over you. No poison tar from our little cutie, just good, ol’ fashioned panther style screaming, fangs, and kitten spittle.
So, it’s going well.
We wait two hours for the tow. It takes us to Weston, WV—a 200 year old town smack-dab in the middle of WV with one good claim to fame—the abandoned Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The asylum is positioned dead center in the town—complete with bent and rusted iron fences, broken windows with billowing curtains, freaking gargoyles, and the remnants of every documentary film crew trying to catch ghosts in its halls.
(You’d think that would be the creepiest thing in Weston. It wasn’t. We visited the location when I was in college for a photography project. While we took pictures from the outside, no less than five windowless vans circled us around town at eleven o’clock at night. Us college girls clustered together, armed with a bag of white cheddar cheese popcorn, puffy paint, and very large sticks. A story for another time perhaps.)
Needless to say, I was familiar with Weston and its one mechanic who wouldn’t be open for two days.
Another three hours pass, and my family comes to rescue us and the cat who is gnawing on the bars of the carrier like a rabid gerbil—sharpening her teeth for her reckoning that would destroy the remainder of the car that survived the busted water pump. My family delivers us to Virginia after another four hours, and we end spring break near midnight with one angry cat, no car for my boyfriend, and the ominous realization that we have to go back to Weston.
Two days later, the car is fixed. So I drive my boyfriend to collect his car—now with $500 in repairs, the kind of change all graduate students have in the couch cushions. We roll up to the mechanics and two men in overalls greet us as they spit out their chew. My boyfriend tells them, “Hi, I’m the owner of the Saab.”
One grizzled old mechanic with an eyepatch and a cough straight from the coal-mines eyed my boyfriend, and—God’s honest truth—looks him up and down.
“I wouldn’t say that round these parts too loud, boy,” he says.
My boyfriend is speechless. I frantically point to my American born-and-manufactured Ford parked in the street. And thus, we are forgiven of our foreign car sin. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Ford is with me, blessed is the fruit of Detroit…
With far more dignity than I have when faced with impending banjos, my boyfriend pays the mechanic and we get back on our way.
We return to Virginia with just enough time for him to make the lab he is TA-ing, and I arm myself with kitty treats and long sleeves to appease the cat who, all night, embraced her freedom from the carrier by sitting on my nightstand.
Waiting for me to fall asleep.
Vengeance served with a hairball coughed up into my shoe.
And that, my friends, is the story of my worst spring break experience.
**And note, I’m a little unfair to West Virginia, but it’s all in good fun. I went to college there and it’s really not so scary…you know, outside of Weston.**
Find out more about Lana’s stories!!
About the author–
Lana Grayson was born to write anything and everything to do with romance. Her favorite genres range from the dark and twisty to the lighthearted and sentimental—as long as the characters are memorable, the story is fun, and the romance is steamy. Lana lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, and, when she isn’t bundled in her writing chair, she’s most likely cheering on the Steelers or searching for the ‘Burgh’s best Italian restaurants.
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