By: Alicia Lia, New Jersey

We were doomed from the start.
At six o’clock on Friday morning, fifty sleep-deprived MUN and YAG delegates arrived at The College of New Jersey. Less than ten minutes later, two of the parents’ cars broke down and had to be jumpstarted. By 6:20 AM the bus pulled in, and we were off on what should have been a fourteen-hour trip.
We made it out of New Jersey unscathed, but getting through Pennsylvania was a different story. Around 7:45 AM, the back right tire blew out, and we pulled over to the side of the highway.
During the two or more hours that we were stalled waiting for the mechanics to reach us, we got through thorough delegate by delegate introductions, a collection of Will Ferrell’s best SNL skits (Mean Girls was not approved by our advisors), all of 500 Days of Summer, and still had down time. Meanwhile, the coach had become increasingly humid as the AC was in and out, and we tilted from side to side as weight was unevenly distributed. Finally, the tire was replaced and we were back on the road.
When we entered Woodstock, Virginia, many delegates complained that they smelled something burning, but we couldn’t determine the source within the bus. This smell was then masked by the stench of the porta-potty, which had began to build up. About ten minutes after the burning odor was first discovered, the bus was abruptly pulled over again. The state trooper that was at this time travelling behind the bus informed us that the replacement tire was shredding for unknown reasons.
We “partied” on the side of the road for another full hour (hello, Inception) as nearly everyone on the bus was secretly wishing that we were in a dream within a dream. It was around 7:00 PM at this time. While we delegates did our best to entertain ourselves, our advisers were in contact with the bus company, debating whether to send a new bus or replace the tire again. Ultimately, we opted to take the bus to repair shop at the next rest stop while we could stretch out our legs and use the restroom. In order to reach the next exit we had to drive slowly, with the trooper directing traffic on our tail.
The rest stop turned out to be a trucker’s paradise, complete with an Arby’s, Subway, Love’s, Dairy Queen, and public showers (tempting). All travelers had to vacate the bus as it was worked on in the garage. Naturally, uprisings of frisbee and ninja games ensued in the grass as random small talk was made on the concrete. Several people suggested that we get the rights to a documentary or book on our experience, but the “best” was yet to come. At 8:30 PM, our YAG director announced that the bus was not going to be useful for getting to Blue Ridge, but we were to slowly take the bus to the next exit where more dining options were available. By the time we finished eating, a second bus should have arrived.
We were allotted about thirty-five minutes to eat dinner (hello, stuffed crust at Pizza Hut and paper crowns at Burger King), and had to be back at the bus by 9:20 PM. When the time came, we were crowded outside the Comfort Inn parking lot, laying down on the gravel and grass.
The bus hadn’t come.
We stayed outside until 11:00 PM, when we finally crashed the Comfort Inn to wait in more comfort (pun not intended). Two suites and the lobby became our home base, and we once again attempted to get some shut eye. When the clock read 11:11 PM, you can all guess for what we were wishing.
The bus arrived around 1:00 AM Sunday morning, and we embarked on the last six hours to the mountain. I guess the rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, but we wouldn’t know because we were all knocked out and dead asleep on the bus.
Arriving at 7:30 AM in front of Lee Hall was a relief. The buildings seemed like mirages, but at last we had finally made it here.
If nothing else, it’ll be a good story to tell our grandchildren and a surefire way to make the rest of you feel guilty if you complain about a bad day!