The Rodeo Trip From Hell

Let’s take a trip back, circa 2015. Trevor and I had been dating about 8 months, but being that it was long distance; it felt more like a fresh new 2 month relationship. Trevor had been down in Texas rodeoing all winter and invited me down to watch him compete in the American rodeo at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. I hadn’t seen my boyfriend in over a month, and it was my very first trip to Texas, boy was I excited! Not to mention I was super pumped to escape the cold weather in Idaho and get a little of that Texas sunshine, maybe even a tan! My flight originally was from Boise > Denver > Dallas, but upon arrival to Denver for my layover I find out they might shut down the Dallas Airport due to an ice storm that hit Texas, hard. An ice storm? Really? I quickly switch my flight to San Antonio. Trevor was in San Angelo at the time for that rodeo, so it was no big deal to drive a few extra hours out of his way to San Antonio to pick me up – after all, driving is basically what rodeo cowboys do for a living.

I land in San Antonio around 11pm that night, go to grab my bag from baggage claim, but it’s not there. Apparently when you change your flight mid-layover they don’t always have time, or communicate to move your bag to the correct plane. So there I am, bag-less in the middle of the night in San Antonio. Meanwhile Trevor is driving from San Angelo 10mph on the ice covered freeway with a trailer full of horses coming to pick me up. What normally should have taken 3 hours is now looking like it’s going to take 8 hours, AWESOME! I catch a $60 Uber to a shit hole motel near the rodeo grounds in San Antonio and try to get some rest while I wait for Trevor to arrive. Mind you I’m pretty sure I might get murdered in the motel room if he doesn’t hurry up – so rest is the last thing on my mind. Oh, also I don’t have a bag, or a toothbrush, or a change of clothes, nothing! All I have is a chapstick and a pack of gum that I pray can make my breath not smell like a dog’s butthole.

3am rolls around and Trevor finally arrives to San Antonio. We get a few hours rest and the next morning we head out to Stephenville where Trevor stayed for a few months with some family friends during the winter rodeos. Along the way I call and find out my bag made it to Dallas, yay! I’m hoping after we get the horses unloaded and put away we can run to Dallas and pick it up. It’s about 1.5 hours from Stephenville to Dallas – but I need my bag! I’m still in the clothes I left my house in the day before and the same makeup, gross. But God forbid I wash my makeup off, after all this is still a fairly new relationship. I don’t want to look like a troll around my boyfriend – so I’m clinging to what’s left of that greasy shit for dear life until I can get my bag and freshen up!

The drive from San Antonio to Stephenville takes about 3 hours longer than it should have because a majority of the freeways in Texas were very much still a sheet of ice. We arrive to Stephenville exhausted, and all Trevor wants to do is put the horses away and take a nap. No big deal, let’s get some rest and we’ll go grab my bag later.

We wake up around 6pm, time to go get my bag right?! Nope. Trevor’s friends we are staying with invite us up to the house for dinner….. So you mean to tell me we are going to dinner with people I’ve never met before and I’m STILL in the clothes I left Boise in nearly 38 hours ago? Awesome! (Remember, this is still a fairly new relationship so I’m playing it cool, if this were present day you bet your ass we would have picked up my bag already.)

I decide to be a trooper and freshen up before dinner as best I can. I brush my teeth with my finger, borrow some of Trevor’s deodorant, and finally set my insecurities aside and wash my nasty, greasy face with a bar of soap. A bar of soap in a bunkhouse that a bunch of rodeo cowboys have been staying in all winter, can you imagine what that thing had touched? I just threw up in my mouth a little bit thinking about that.

Dinner ends up going on for hours, and by this time it’s just too late to run to Dallas, plus we have to go there the next morning anyway for the American rodeo so Trevor says we will just pick it up once we get there. Cue the tears. You guys, I’m STILL in the same clothes, I feel ugly and disgusting and I just want my bag! My bag that also has all my expensive turquoise jewelry in it because I’m an idiot and never thought MY bag would get lost traveling. I am so upset I start bawling and Trevor just feels awful, he’s never seen me cry before. So we jump in the truck and head to a Walmart down the road to get a few things to get me by until the next day. I grab a change of clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste and I can’t bear to go another second without makeup so of course I had to grab some of that. However, this was a time where I only wore makeup from Sephora so I had absolutely no clue what kind of drugstore makeup to buy. $100 later in “essentials” and we are out the door. This trip is getting expensive.

The next morning we are loaded up and headed to Dallas. Got my zebra print Walmart yoga pants on (really Jena? EXCELLENT fashion choice.) and foundation on my face that is about 10 shades too light. I pretty much look like Trevor picked me up on the freeway along the way. We arrive to Arlington, time to unhook the trailer and go get my bag right? Well of course not! Trevor has to go check in for the rodeo at a hotel near the stadium. WTF?! I walk in the hotel with my sunglasses on trying to avoid human interaction at all costs, track down fellow rodeo girlfriend Erin, and she hauls my butt to the airport to grab my bag while the boys get checked in for the rodeo. We make it back in time to get my life together, throw on some makeup and get dressed for the rodeo. Luckily everything in my bag was still in there – turquoise jewelry and all, HALLELUJAH! Things really started to turn around after that (NOT!) Trevor got a no time at the American, it was freezing cold the entire time I was in Texas, and we both ended up getting sick.

So you could say my first trip to Texas was one to remember! I learned a major life lesson this trip – always, always ALWAYS pack a small carry on with a change of clothes and anything that’s either valuable or difficult to replace. (You’re probably thinking, well – duh!) I guess I just had to learn the hard way. Hope you never find yourself in this little predicament like I did! But we can all laugh about it now!

‘‘Love exists somewhere between a girl pretending she can't open a jar of pickles and a boy pretending not to know she could.”

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