It all started out innocently enough. Barry manages eight mall retail stores and with Black Friday approaching, he needs to visit them and make sure they are ready for the “big day.” We decided to make a weekend of it and visit two of the stores in Georgia.
So we loaded the car and started driving south Friday evening. Less than an hour into the drive, we had the unpleasant experience of hitting a deer. On the interstate. While we were driving close to 80 mph. In heavy traffic. It happened so fast, Barry never even touched the brakes.
Miraculously, there was only minor damage to the car. I’m sorry to say the deer did not fare so well. :(
We were in 4 lanes of traffic with cars close in front and behind us, a car on our left and an 18-wheeler on our right. The deer somehow ran in front of the 18-wheeler without getting hit and then darted in front us. We never saw her (or him – I have no idea, but she didn’t seem large enough to be a buck) until she was directly in front us. As I was about to yell “deer!,” we hit the back of her with the front left corner of our car. I couldn’t believe how loud it was.
We had no idea how much, if any, damage had been done to the car. There was an exit just ahead, so we pulled off and examined it. Amazingly, there were no major issues. The front left panel was out of whack, the headlight was messed up but still seemed somewhat functional, and there were some dings. Some people would say we were lucky – I prefer to think we were extremely blessed and am grateful for God’s protection at that moment. Had we hit her straight on, it could have been a very different – and very bad – situation.
We decide to grab something and eat in the car since it’s getting dark and we aren’t sure how well that headlight is going to work for us in full darkness. So we get back on the road and resume our trip only to get stuck in “unusually heavy traffic” (according to the radio traffic reports) on the 285 bypass in Atlanta. They just kept saying that over and over again – how unusually heavy the traffic was everywhere. There were times when we barely moved, just inching along. It was excruciating, but . . . we kept reminding ourselves our fortunate we were to still be driving instead of having the car towed back home!
We were starting to wonder if this was how the rest of the weekend was going to go! But we finally made it to our destination, with the trip taking a little more than hour longer than it should have. Not too bad, considering. :)
We go inside the hotel to check in and the desk clerk proceeds to tell us that it’s our lucky night and we’re thinking – yeah, right! She then tells us that she had selected us for a free upgrade to the apartment suite. Your kidding, right?? Things like that don’t normally happen to us. We told her we really appreciated this and that we had a rough trip getting there with hitting the deer and sitting in traffic for an hour. She was so glad she had selected us – and we were, too!
We prefer Marriott properties and try to stay there whenever we can. This experience was at their SpringHill Suites in Athens, GA. The staff was exceptional – not just because of the upgrade, but because they were polite and efficient and helpful.
We didn’t know what to expect as we headed upstairs, and were pretty surprised to walk into an actual apartment suite that was larger than my first apartment years ago. In fact, the living area and kitchen, alone, were larger than my first apartment!
It had a full kitchen, a dining table that seated six, a living room with three sofas, two chairs, and a flat screen TV. The bedroom was monstrous, too, but the bathroom was truly amazing with a garden tub and a monstrous walk-in shower. In addition, it had another half-bath just off the kitchen area. Very nice.
It wasn’t until we got to the room that we remembered it was also our anniversary!! What a treat!
The rest of the weekend was good and bad. No more major travel issues, but Auburn did get whipped by Georgia on Saturday which was a little disappointing. No matter how bad your season has been, there’s always that hope that “this” Saturday will be different.
How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?