The morning after our rager, I woke up with a start to sunlight peering through the window, sure that I had missed tubing. It was 6:40 AM. Classic. After a bit of tossing and turning, I gave up on the futon and Ami and I threw on our bathing suits and cover-ups. Evan and Cameron picked us up, slightly hungover (or still drunk, in Cameron’s case), and we headed over to the boys’ house for breakfast that Larissa was preparing. Ami and I demolished the bowls of strawberries sitting on the table, as well as the rest of the AWESOME food: mini omelet bites with peppers and sausage, scrambled eggs with tomatoes, bacon, and puff pastry bites. Perfect fuel to sit on our asses on a river for 6 hours.
We split up into Reed’s and Robert’s cars, said goodbye to Larissa (who had to go to work), and headed out to the Chattahoochee River. Once we got to the tubing station, we sunscreened up, registered, and boarded the tube bus. After a short bus ride, we grabbed our tubes, and tried to artfully arrange our two coolers into the cooler tubes. It was a bit of a struggle, but we eventually fit everything in place. Finally, we set off into the river…
The FREEZING COLD MOTHER OF GOD THIS IS ICY river. More than a few expletives were exclaimed as we dipped first our toes, then our butts into the water. There was a decision to be made: either let your limbs acclimate to the water temperature (without contracting hypothermia) or arrange yourself on your tube so as to not put any part of your body in the water. It turns out the latter required a significant amount of muscle control and made it impossible to pee, so most of us decided on the former. My butt was numb after 37 seconds.
Finally done with complaining about the water temperature, we turned our attention towards the beer. For easy access, we linked our tubes in a circle (not a pretty one) around our nourishment: PBR (ew help), shandy (eh), Bud Light (better), peanuts and fruit snacks. Cameron also had some fruit punch flavored mixed drinks that made his lips turn red. It was funny. We floated at a leisurely pace (approx. 0 MPH), occasionally requesting the help of Cameron and Robert to steer us out of a cluster of sticks, and of the person nearest the beer to pass a beer. Reed quickly fell asleep and it was very fun to splash him with the freezing water and see if it would wake him up. We could also tell when one of the guys needed to pee because a) he would announce it and b) he would flip over onto his stomach for easy water access. You really wanted to hear that, right?
All was fine and dandy until the storm clouds rolled in. Then the raindrops began to fall. THEN THE SKIES OPENED. Before we knew it, we were in freezing cold water, being pelted by sheets of freezing cold rain, in the middle of a river. Hoping the rain would pass, we bailed out to the left side of the river onto a muddy bank. We shivered and waited for the rain to pass, which took only a few minutes. I swear to God if one more person complained about the cold I would have pushed them back into the river. Luckily, the rain passed quickly, and we set back off into the river….
…For about 15 minutes until the rain re-started, this time accompanied by a chorus of thunderclaps that threatened to invite their good friend, lightning. After much back and forth, we decided to bail out again and find a phone to call the bus to bring us back to the terminal. Wimpy? Perhaps. But we had signed up for a 4 hour trip, and it had taken us 1.5 hours to reach the bridge that was meant to mark 30 minutes, so we weren’t so sure about continuing to the end of the river as it was.
We pulled our tubes out, and Jacob and Robert headed up a very sketchy looking ladder (good luck not getting tetanus, guys!) to see what they could find, while the rest of us shivered on the mud bank. Dekle was drunk and getting progressively louder, yelling nonsense at passing tubers and throwing peanuts up the embankment. Jacob and Robert reported back that they had found a house willing to let us use their phone, so we all began the climb up the ladder. The tricky part was getting the tubes and coolers up to where we were, but thankfully Jacob, Cameron, and Robert are total badasses and handled that, leaving them with just a few battle scars.
We hauled our equipment through this lady’s massive backyard, finally spilling onto a cul-de-sac in the middle of wealthy, suburban Atlanta. While one man made the phone call to the bus to come get us, several other neighbors walked outside or peered through their windows, trying to determine the reason that there were several hooligans with neon tubes sitting on their street. Not quite sure what they thought, but we didn’t care – we chatted and waited the 30 minutes for the bailout bus to come get us. We took solace in knowing that there was another group who had gotten rescued: we weren’t the only pathetic ones! (Though still, very pathetic).
By the time we got back home, we were all wiped, caked in mud and various mystery substances, and ready to die. Instead, we got chinese food – a surefire revival techniques if I’ve ever seen one! We went to Malaya, and it was DELICIOUS. Our servers were hilarious and attentive, but I think we can all agree that the best part was ringing the gong while we waited to pay the bill. The other patrons of the restaurant thought that we were so cool and cultured, and really appreciated the soundtrack that we provided to their dinners. I also forgot to pay for my spring rolls (I am not ready to adult) and the owner threatened to call the police on me (jokingly, haha!) so I think we can all agree that it was a successful meal.
Ami and I turned in early to prepare for our road trip the next morning!