Life is all about moments … from the small instances that we don’t think twice about or the larger occurrences where we are thrown outside of our norm; experiences that test us and push us over the edge. That edge is our comfort zone, and sometimes all we need is a little push. Swallow your fear, gather your courage (it’s already there), and take that leap of faith. Ready or not, it’s happening, and the everyday adventure which we call life is upon us. This is NonaVentures, and this is living for every moment.
For this month’s adventure, I was in dire need of a vacation. I needed to be trekking through a new state full of discovery and not having a worry in the world … this is not how my trip kicked off. Allow me to tell you a story.
A last-minute Christmas gift of a much-needed trip came to be after I practically begged Andrew over and over. I wanted nothing but a new experience and, boy, did I get one. … After hours of scouring Delta’s flights, we decided upon Salt Lake City, Utah. Partly because it was somewhere neither one of us had been and also because this was booked two days before we left, therefore it was the cheapest out of our options.
Fast forward to touching down in Minneapolis (we had a connection). The last time I was here, I was awaiting my connecting flight to Anchorage, Alaska. Boy, do I wish I were going back! I joked with Andrew that I was waiting for him to tell me we were actually returning to The Last Frontier and not actually going to Utah, but he joked back that we were really just flying back to Orlando. I didn’t find that very funny. Get me and keep me out of Florida, gosh!
While waiting to board our flight to Salt Lake City, I checked the weather and laughed as it was going to be -22 in Minneapolis the following day.
“Hey, Andrew, you wanna just stay here,” I joked. I’m sure you can imagine his reaction…
Fast forward yet again to Salt Lake City. I had fought Andrew for the window seat so I could get some aerial views of my mountains, and that backfired immediately. It was snowing, so overcast clouds blocked my view entirely. I’d have to wait to see the majestic giants that take my breath away so nonchalantly. We landed in the early evening, and although it was snowing a bit, the mountains never showed themselves.
The next day, we wake up to icicles hanging off the roof outside our window and brisk 20-degree weather. It was beautiful! Much better than the 85-degree “winter” we all know and tolerate here. I know, I know – a lot of Floridians love that – needless to say, I despise it. (And believe me, I know … I’m living in the wrong state.)
This is when the real adventure began. Walking around downtown the previous night, we had noticed electric scooters called “Bird” that were used as public transit. We had seen some friends test these out in different states and wanted to give it a go ourselves. I must admit, Andrew was more excited to try it than I was. Don’t get me wrong … the scooters looked fun, but I knew that luck was not on my side. I knew the snow would turn against me, and I wasn’t prepared to accept my fate. I at least convinced Andrew to wait until daylight. Side note: It didn’t help.
We figured we’d spend the first full day in a new city and state exploring. What better way to do that than by scooter? Think of a Razor scooter from when we were kids and now add an electric motor to it. You download the app, scan your driver’s license, scan the scooter you want and go. With a little running start, you’re off! I had Andrew lead so he could be the first to discover the ice patches (how kind of me, I know), and within five minutes of scooting around town, here comes the ice.
Andrew glides over the ice and his scooter gives way just a little bit, but he manages to stay on and keep going. I, however, squeezed the brakes and hit the ice patch, causing the back wheel of my scooter to give out, resulting in me swerving and ultimately hitting the pavement. BAM! I came down on my hands hard, but I was good. I let out a laugh as passersby enjoyed my accident and immediately wished Andrew had got that on video. He was just recording a few moments before. I always joke about a LaBosco curse that only seems to affect me. Let’s call this the curse’s first strike of the day. Missed opportunity, but I got up, brushed the snow off, made sure my clothes were still intact, and off we went.
Round two: Probably 35 to 40 minutes into canvassing the town on scooters, we made our way back down the hills. I was questioning my fate and felt I was pushing my luck a bit too far. I watch Andrew fly down a fairly steep hill and run right through a stop sign. “Well, that’s safe,” I thought sarcastically. Great. It was my turn. I had no other way to avoid this decline. I begin descending very slowly, but as the descent increases, so does my speed, and the brakes were barely working. Keep in mind these scooters really only go about 15 to 20 miles per hour, but down a hill, it’s much faster and just too sketchy. Not my kind of adventure! I’m thinking to myself, “This is it, this is how you’re gonna go out.” I began to yell at Andrew to make sure there are no cars coming because I wasn’t going to be able to stop at the stop sign and would go flying into the intersection. Luckily, there were no cars, and I was safe.
Next came another hill, not as steep as the previous one. I watched Andrew as he continued to lead the way. He rode over a sewage drain with no issue. It looked like a pretty large dip in the pavement from where the metal drain cover was, but he cleared it, no problem. I go over the drain and realize I messed up. Next thing I know I’m flipping over the handlebars (in what felt like slow motion) and smacked against the road, rolling a little down the hill and my phone flying into the snow-covered curb. I was done. This one hurt. Meanwhile, bonehead’s still riding ahead, not realizing I had crashed yet a second time. I call his name, throw my scooter (sorry, Bird) and begin walking with a slight limp. No way was I getting back on that death trap. Andrew yelled at me to learn how to drive, and now it’s all we laugh at. LaBosco curse struck once again!
Skip to about an hour later when we’re going to grab some food and behold, LaBosco curse strike three … my missing driver’s license. I immediately assumed it was at one of my crash sites, and we spent the rest of the day (about five hours) retracing our steps to find it. Andrew grabbed a scooter and went ahead. I walked, refusing to get back on the scooter. We never found it, and for the rest of the trip, I couldn’t drink and was barely allowed in anywhere. Utah is extremely strict about ID’ing people, and most of their cool restaurants are 21 and up. No ID, no entry.
I also went snowboarding in Park City and didn’t hurt myself this time (shoutout to Alyeska in Alaska a year ago). Progress, baby!
So, there you have it, my need for a relaxing vacation turned into everything but, however I still managed to enjoy myself. The LaBosco curse manages to follow me everywhere I go, and the next time I ride a Bird scooter will be when there’s no snow or ice on the ground. Here’s to second chances!
To those wondering how I managed to get on the flight back home without my ID, I had my credit card and the police report for my lost ID to show TSA. They gave me a pat down and checked my bag and back to Lake Nona I came. Seemed a bit too easy, but blame the government shutdown, I guess. Part of me was hoping I’d be stranded and get an extended vacation out of it. I guess we’ll call that LaBosco curse strike number four! Until next time, Utah.
Update: My ID was mailed to me right after finishing this article. Thank you, kind Samaritan. I had a hunch while writing this article that it would turn up.
Have an experience that had adrenaline coursing through your soul? Challenge me to live YOUR moment at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our NonaVentures column form at nhn-nonaventures.paperform.co