Monday, March 3, 2014

The Weekend That Wasn't to Be

Sal and I went to Columbia for True / False again this year.

We've been every year for five years now. It's a mini-tradition where we go to our college town and live like royalty with almost no cash. It's a cheap, long weekend before that desolate, no time off, period between March and September.

This year's planning started out rough. We should've known it from the start. The pass we normally get allows us to see unlimited films from Thursday-Sunday. They raised the price this year and it would be over $350 for Sallie and I to go.

For what is supposed to be our "cheap" trip of the year, $350 is getting into hotel for 5 days somewhere else territory.

So we got the Simple passes which allows you to see 10 films from Friday to Sunday.

We went up Thursday night and stayed with some family, who made us a bomb-tastic Italian seafood dish and fed us some delicious bourbon. We went to bed around midnight, knowing that we potentially had 5 films on Friday. (One of the drawbacks of the Simple Pass, you have to cram more into less time)

As we woke up, our phones were blowing up with messages that a deadly blizzard was heading our way. We heard exaggerations of six feet of snow, and ice, and dogs and cats living together. The weather channel was changing their prediction of how much and when every hour. Weather does not easily scare us, so we brushed it off but kept it in the back of our mind.

We thought, if nothing else, we could leave early Sunday morning and beat the storm, which was supposed to arrive around noon on Sunday.

We saw 3 and a half films on Friday, the best of which being a film called 20,000 Days on Earth. We loved the film, but it's so filled with thoughts and emotions that we need to see it again to try and unpack it further.

Knowing our Saturday schedule was light, we planned on hitting our favorite Columbia spots then. So on Friday, we just grabbed appetizers at a few places in between films.

The last film was not as advertised and we left a little early, hoping to catch a good night sleep at the hotel.

... until 3:45 am where I had the most violent food poisoning I've had in years. Not to go into too many details, I didn't know which end things were going to come out of. The answer is, both ends.

I went back to bed around 4:15, feeling physically exhausted from my heroics.

We woke up around 7:30 am. I checked our movie schedule as Sal checked the weather. The storm of the century was due to hit around 8 pm on Saturday night instead of Sunday afternoon.

We decided to see the first two films of the day, eat a quick lunch at Flatbranch, and beat the storm.

One of the films, The Overnighters, was interesting. It was about a preacher who was housing a bunch of homeless people in his church. It was interesting because it was one of those documentaries where Sal sided with the town that didn't like it and I sided with the preacher. (Until the end that is) There were great points on both sides of the story and the film did a great job of not showing a bias toward either.

Our second film was not very good. We left about 45 minutes into it and got on the road.

Our windshield was freezing a little on the way home, but generally, the weather was underwhelming. We probably could've stayed at least for our last film on Saturday.

We did find out some people got stuck in Warrenton the next day when 70 was shut down. So I suppose we made the right choice, but who would've thought our little excursion to Columbia would be cut short and yet we would make it through an entire vacation in Minnesota in the dead of winter.