Making it to the wedding on time: drifting in high on coffee and adrenaline

Travelogue, part 2: Pass the vodka, please

Nikki Barr
3 min readOct 28, 2022


Pure Michigan. Author photo at 85 mph on I-75 northbound.

Sleeping in a hotel is never something I do well. So, when I wake well before my alarm, and the hotel breakfast that I won’t eat but like to assess and make judgments about. I toss my toiletries into the overnight bag and throw on a clean t-shirt. It’s desperately cold outside and I am wearing sandals.

Before leaving, we equipped my car with a heated blanket, and I’m grateful. I need coffee and gas. I hop on the turnpike and exit immediately to the service rest area I remembered from the day before. The Starbucks there is busy for a morning, and I fuel up my brain and car with necessary liquids.

My sister is getting married today. She scheduled the ceremony around my visit and I have a good 6 more hours to get to Northern Michigan. My plan is to not have to stop in Ohio. I’ll wait until Ann Arbor. It’s just shy of Ann Arbor when my bladder determines I must stop — now! I pull off to find that the advertised Starbucks is 7 miles away from the exit, and when I get there, it’s in a grocery store. I relieve myself in a McDonald's instead and leave. I am not making good time now.

As I approach Ann Arbor, traffic is backed up onto the highway. I forgot that the University of Michigan had a home game. It’s been 16 years since I lived in Ann Arbor, but I know to avoid the city at all costs on game day. I learned on social media later that it was also homecoming. Suddenly I’m grateful that my original plans of hanging out there and visiting were thwarted and look forward to visiting on my way back through.

Still, I need coffee… and food. I stop just outside of Flint and get both. It’s a busy place to stop through and again I lose time.

Photo by Tina Guina on Unsplash

There are more stops than planned but I’m tired, and don’t have any snacks or soda left in the cooler. My original ETA of 1 p.m. suddenly is 2 p.m. It’s a perfectly reasonable time to arrive. My sister scheduled her ceremony for the latest possible time of the day and the festivities don’t begin until 4. But…



Nikki Barr

Normal human in an extraordinaire world. Memoir / Humor / Just Life