From Chesapeake House (the roadside minimall) Ali Souli rescued our already road-weary asses and provided us with the emotional support -- and the wheels -- we needed to keep truckin'. Hannah's dad had arranged for the rental car to be picked up from Penn Station, Baltimore. So, we drove there. Little did we know, little did we understand.
When we got to the station we discovered there was no Hertz to be found. We checked the email confirmation again and realized we were supposed to go to the airport, about a half an hour away. When we called Hertz they told us, because we were so late, there wouldn't no longer be a car waiting for us at the airport. These words were... no good.
Fortune smiled upon us, kinda. The woman on the other line was incredibly helpful and within ten minutes we had another reservation booked at a Hertz around the corner from Penn Station. Times like these, you have to love technology.
We got to the Hertz and struggled through a minor debacle over the legal age to lease a car, but long story short, everything worked out! We were ready-set-go in a shiny brand new blue Pontiac. Classy, yet grounded.
Alright so, once we got motoring, the traffic between Baltimore and DC was bumperbumper -- but at that point being stuck in traffic was relaxing. Nothing like an engine explosion and a series of encounters with roadside assistance to make you appreciate the little things.
We drove and we drove and we drove. We were high on anxiety, all we wanted was to reach Charleston.
In the interest of being faithful to what happened last night, I will leave you with this: We did make it to Charleston by 3am, there were some rest stops we were too terrified to get out of our car to use, and there is nothing like driving in a night so black you can't see where the road ahead of you is coming from. Adrian and I forced each other to stay awake -- he forced me because I was driving, and I forced him because I needed him to force me. The movement of the car became mesmerizing. The blacktop strayed from the horizon in varying degrees of grey until it was under us, we had passed it, and were one second closer to sleep.
La Quinta, Charleston was the perfect place to shack up for the night.