I was going to call this post, "That Time I Almost Died in a Van", but I thought that was a little dramatic.
Here marks the first and last time I ever drive a 15-passenger van full of college kids. So, there was a Braves game that the kids were going to go to a few weeks back. Volunteer drivers were to pick the kids up on campus, drive them to the Braves game, take them somewhere to eat, and then drive them back to campus. I thought, No big deal, I got this. So I decided to volunteer. Not to mention I got to go the game for free. No, I had never driven a van of that magnitude and I certainly hadn't done it in Atlanta traffic (no, I'm not suicidal).
So, I go and pick up the van and try and get used to basically driving a bus. It's not so bad so I head to go and pick up the kids. They all pile in. The van starts to feel heavier, weighed down, and tighter. I start to slightly panic, but its all good. I will be fine. The other driver was a bit more experienced, so I decided to follow her to the stadium. I didn't realize she would be driving at about 100 mph, but I try and keep up the best I can. The van starts to do this really fun thing where the air doesn't work when I accelerate and the steering wheel shakes so bad I feel like I may lose control. I grip the steering wheel tighter and tighter to try and keep it straight.We get to the stadium (finally) and I pour myself out of the van. I am sweating. I can barely breathe. I was a little stressed out. Luckily, I had about 3 or so hours to sit and enjoy the game before heading back. Our first choice was to go eat at the Varsity, which wasn't too far away. The roads are tight in Atlanta, but I can manage. Then, the kids want Dwarf House instead, which is about 10 minutes from the Atlanta airport. More expressways. Yay.
So, we all pile in and head to the Original Dwarf House (which kinda made me excited because I spent many a nights there in college). I began to follow the other driver and suddenly there are 5 white vans on the expressway. I get nervous and ask one of the students which one was ours. She points and I follow. I begin to worry though because the other driver is going a different way. Did I mention I can't see at night? Yeah. Low and behold it was the wrong van and we end up driving through the airport. It made me feel like when you walk into a classroom and you know its not the right classroom, but everyone is looking at you and wondering WTH you're doing there. You feel so bad that you sit down anyway and do your best to act like you belong...Yeah it felt like that.
We end up getting to the Dwarf House about 10 minutes after the other van and I am so stressed and panicked that I just drink water and sit there. I will say the students were super understanding and laughed at the whole thing. I can laugh now, but at the time it wasn't funny...The entire time I am psyching myself up to drive that monstrosity again. We eat get back in the van and haul ass home. I am so exhausted and tense that I am starting to get sore in my arms and shoulders. Even now my palms sweat thinking about it. Luckily, we all made it back alive and I swore to never, ever, ever, ever get back together with that van again. We are dunzo. Finished. Brokeded up. For real.
So, long story short. I banned myself from driving vans.