Not that it's at all a valid excuse, but this entry comes late due to how long it took me to reconcile with the amount of L's taken on this single day. Luckily, only three of them made this post.
First, the travel itself: I'd decided the day before that a drive from Clemson, SC to Ithaca, NY was a feat I was not willing to accomplish. I went hard on the Google Flights search options and came up on a way to get us from Greenville-Spartanburg in SC to Charlotte in NC to Wilkes-Barre in PA, which was convoluted but close enough to rent a car and ride the rest of the way. Y'all, ya boy was so proud of this finesse until that flight attendant broke my heart as if I'd asked whether the flight snacks were free. Our total time of flight delays added up to, essentially, a past-midnight arrival in Ithaca. I rescheduled the appointment with our Ithaca connect and peacefully waited out the disappointing delay for approximately thirty seconds before I realized God was speaking through Delta Airlines (for the first and probably last time).
Apparently, I was missing the keys to my car: not the rental that was getting us around, but my actual car that was parked in the ORL airport waiting to take us home. It would continue to stay parked there if I didn't find these keys. I had no choice but to leave Eduardo at the airport and search South Carolina for a single set of keys. Shout out to Eduardo too for not immediately throttling me, although that definitely wouldn't have gotten the keys back. Before anyone wants to be slick either, yes I had a Tile on it, and yes I tried to track it remotely. No good: this L transcended the safe realm of the digital world.
I went back to the Enterprise desk where I'd just dropped off the previous rental and put on my best persuasion efforts. After a couple of minutes standing bowlegged, scratching the back of my neck and really hoping I looked sympathetic, they came through and hooked it up with a short term rental for the low. I set out with no exact destination and four hours until our first plane flight.
After stopping at each hotel we stayed at during our entire three day SC outing, I had no choice but to admit I probably lost it at the frat party last night. Penance was due, I guessed, since New College of Florida actively spent three years telling us not the Pan-Hellenic lifestyle was not the one we paid tuition for. Still, it wouldn't have even been so bad had they not thrown the party in the woods. Yes, the woods. Behind a collection of tiny houses and by a (surely) artificial lake, mind you, but I for real spent my last morning in South Carolina searching past twigs, beer cans, bad decisions and the cold itself for these keys, thinking-
"This film had better be damn good, yo."
By the grace of my fake Yeezy's, I stepped on what I thought was the probably-already-trampled set of keys sometime before the 30 minute mark of my search. It wasn't, but I threw the unidentified object in the direction of where my keys actually were: on the DJ's table where I'm sure someone left it overnight just in case I came back for it... or where I probably put it the night before thinking I would be doing the future, sober me a huge solid. Either way, someone definitely stomped them shits out before it got back to its resting place: the Tile I'd kept on my keychain for moments like this where I couldn't easily located them from an app was busted open. I chalked it up and kept it moving. I'd wait until the flight before cussing.
Nevertheless, we did eventually make it to Ithaca at about 2:30 AM the next day, proving that the spirit of the Confederate South was alive, well and probably on to our game. That was a reach, of course, but whatever force it was holding us back that day probably did so to our benefit. Forasmuch as I can give a heavy "bruh" to the whole day's events, I can say the arrival this Dade County git saw snow for the first time! We didn't exactly get the Bing Crosby treatment, but the piles on the ground as we drove were as legitimate a snow experience as I'd had up to that point. Show's what I knew, though: that day I also found out there's such a thing as rural New York.
I'm still exceedingly glad this was the sole hiccup to the trip if there was going to be just one. All's well that ends well, and though we still had one more trip to go, there was almost a reassuring quality to ending the day on such a note: making a documentary is half filming, half finding out where you end up. I ended up a pretty lucky guy, all things considered.