Trip to LSU, Gas Prices, and Other Notes of Marginal Interest

02 Oct 2008

img_1384.jpgWhile hurricane Ike was busy bashing the gulf and shaking it’s metaphorical fist at Texas, I decided to leave Georgia and travel to Louisiana (and closer to Ike, as my mother reminded me). Despite warnings of dire circumstances, my trip was hurricane and disaster free, instead filled with friends, fun, and football. That’s not to say my trip was without adventure.

img_1386.jpgThursday afternoon, I packed my car and started the first leg of my trip. I was headed to Montgomery, Alabama, where I was to spend the night with my friend Matt who would be accompanying me for the remainder of the journey. Strangely enough, less than twenty minutes outside of Warner Robins, I ran into the hardest rain I would see for the duration of my expedition. Fortunately, the rain slacked up and turned into more of an annoyance than a hazard after about thirty minutes and I continued on my way. In Columbus, I began to notice strange electrical issues – radio shutting off, various vehicle electronics restarting, lights dimming, etc. Knowing that my battery was rather old, I stopped at a friendly Wal-Mart to purchase a replacement. To my chagrin, the weather decided that it would be funny to unleash annother torrential downpour. Undeterred, I purchased the new battery and proceeded out into the tempest, where I was immediately soaked to the bone. Despite the unfortunate weather, I proceeded to hunker over the trunk of the BMW, attempting to replace the battery using nothing but the clumsy “tools” provided in the on-board tool kit. Finally, after several minutes and the liberal application of “blue words,” my task was complete and my car functional once again. Note to BMW: please include better tools. Of course, the minute I completed my task, the rain stopped. Thankfully it was late in the evening; otherwise I’m pretty sure the sun would have come out just to spite me.

img_1390.jpgAnnoyed and wet, but happy that my car was functional once again, I resumed my travels and after another hour or so arrived at Matt’s humble abode in Montgomery. I enjoyed getting to spend the evening catching up with the latest events in Matt’s life, such as law school. Ever the gracious host, Matt managed to make a delicious dinner and scrumptious chocolate cake, between furtive glimpses at the imposing mountain of textbooks lying unassumingly on his desk.

img_1403.jpgFriday, Matt had to attend law classes from early in the morning until sometime in the afternoon, after which we planned to embark on the final leg of our journey to LSU. I awoke sometime after noon and decided, after watching the television for a few minutes, that I should venture out into the city and have a look around. After checking the car out and topping off a few fluids, I proceeded gingerly away from the apartment. img_1402.jpgOnce out upon the main road, I headed off in search of something, assisted by my trusty iPhone. And then I ran across a Best Buy. After leaving the electronics emporium, I decided that I should find the school Matt attends and surprise him. Unfortunately, I googled the name of the law school (Thomas B. Goode School of Law), not the name of the actual college (Falkner University). Thinking I was headed in the correct direction, I followed iPhone’s directions right into… the middle of nowhere.

Finally realizing my mistake I called Matt and remedied the situation in short order. Upon arriving at the campus (which wasn’t terribly far away – middle of nowhere ended up being the edge of somewhere), I was taken on a brief tour of the law school, which ended in the library where Matt was hurriedly attempting to “finish up some work” before leaving town. I should have noticed the theme then and there.

img_1411.jpgAnyway, after running a few errands and totally missing our goal of leaving Montgomery by 5 pm, we hit I-65 around 7 pm. A few miles out of Montgomery and we hit the second (and final) rainstorm of our trip. Weird, all that rain and none of it in Louisiana (hah, take that mom). After trekking through the bleak stretches of Alabama and rolling along I-10 and I-12 for a while, we arrived at our destination unscathed! After getting settled in, out came those textbooks once again.

Law school, gee what fun!

img_1430.jpgThe game day festivities were all wonderful as expected. We spent part of the time walking around LSU’s campus and doing that whole ‘tailgating’ thing that’s oh so fun. After that got old, we headed to a nearby apartment to watch the game on TV, with all the comforts of indoor living complemented with substantial quantities of beverage and food. What great fun!

img_1428.jpgAfter the win, we headed back for a night of rest and to prepare for the trip back, which was relatively uneventful and boring. Sunshine, no rain, etc. One thing did strike me as curious - while I was busy tailgating, I kept getting these strange reports of outrageously priced gasoline, all the way back in Macon. Rumors of gas shortages, $5/gallon gas, etc. However, in Baton Rouge, prices remained the same and there were no lines or panic at the pumps. However, the closer we got to home, the higher the prices seemed to creep… by the time I arrived in Macon, gas was $1/gallon more than in Baton Rouge.