As you all know from last week, I am a morning lark, plain and simple. I wake up raring to go when the sun comes up and can’t keep my eyes open in the evenings. Although I usually choose to give into my morning lark instincts and not go out too late at night, even I have to admit that there’s something about spontaneous nighttime adventures that make life way more fun and almost magical. They have a certain Spontaneous Nighttime Adventure Magic. Like laughing and running in the rain, spontaneous nighttime adventures just have the air of being special, an air of no one knows what’s going to happen.
And that means that whatever is going to happen has the potential to be amazing. Human brains love when unexpected good things happen…hence gambling!
Obviously there’s no way to prepare for spontaneity (because then it wouldn’t be spontaneity by definition), so those spontaneous adventures always feel more special.
When my parents, Dan, and I went out for my birthday at the end of February, pretty much everything was planned out…until cheese curds.
Let me explain: it was always part of the plan that we would go out for dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant and go to an escape room (escape rooms are obviously non-negotiable when it comes to my birthday). Then we’d probably get dessert after. We weren’t sure exactly where we would get dessert, but had a few places in mind. Once the escape room was done, we set off to the local ice cream place, which was near a bar with some of the best cheese curds ever. Recently, my body has become incredibly intolerant of sugar, so cheese curds sounded more appealing than ice cream. I asked if anyone would mind if we swung by the bar, and everyone agreed that it would be fun! So we went in and asked to be put on the bar’s wait list…then went for ice cream! Because why not? It’s my birthday!
While we finished up our ice cream, we were told our table was ready at the bar. We headed over to enjoy some beer, cheese curds, fried pickles, and a skillet cookie that the waitress insisted I get because it was my birthday. You could feel something different in the air simply because we did something spontaneous. That night and the entire next day, the four of us kept commenting on how much fun we had, and it just reaffirmed for me that spontaneous nighttime adventures have their own brand of magic.
Which is why I now need to tell you all about the weirdest, coolest, something-est spontaneous nighttime adventure I’ve ever had.
It was a weekend while I was in high school and I was itching to get out of the house. I texted my high school best friend Stephanie that I wanted to go on some sort of adventure. She confirmed that she’d swing by to pick me up soon. I shot her a quick follow-up text:
“Are we doing something in particular, or will we just have no idea until we get there?”
She hadn’t responded, but soon, she was pulling up to my house to take us on what a well-behaved high schooler could consider one of the coolest spontaneous adventures of all time.
We started by just driving down the highway. I had finally saved up for a skirt that I wanted (the one in this post, actually), and I suggested we head for the mall so I could buy it. Unfortunately, this particular skirt was at a mall that was a bit farther from home than our local mall, but she was happy to go. We ran into the mall so that I could finally get this skirt that I had had my eye on for a while. The night already seemed like a win to me.
As we walked out, we decided that it was time to grab some food, so we went to the local Wegmans according to my recommendation. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Wegmans fresh food. I talked it up as we drove the few miles to get there. Unfortunately, as often happens on these adventures, something started happening to Stephanie’s car. We saw steam coming out of the hood.
We parked at Wegmans and she called her parents to figure out what we should do. They recommended pouring water into her radiator to stop the steaming for now. The good news was that we were at a grocery store and could easily buy some gallons of water! Once we had them in hand and started working on her car radiator, a guy came over and asked if we needed help. Honestly, it didn’t seem like he was really interested in helping, just thought that asking was the right thing to do. This was proven after Stephanie and I explained the situation, started pouring water into the radiator and he left without another word.
Fun fact: I was just very bad luck for that car. While nothing happened when anyone else rode shotgun, there were several times the car started steaming while I was in it, and eventually, months later, smoke started coming out of the hood and we had to pull off a highway ramp as Steph lost control of the car. Good times.
We started the car, and no steam! WE HAD FIXED A CAR! Okay, so we very obviously had not fully fixed a car, but that Spontaneous Nighttime Adventure Magic sure as hell made us feel like we had. I promised Stephanie that I would pay for her dinner since I had dragged her far from home and her car was acting up. But of course, Wegmans was close to closing…and had barely any fresh food left.
Needless to say, I felt terrible. We purchased what little food we could and I promised Steph to pay for a meal somewhere else. I’d take her wherever she wanted to go that was still open at the late hour. We ended up getting sundaes at a nearby Friendly’s.
The entire time we were sitting there, the waiter kept looking at Stephanie. I don’t think he made eye contact with me once. They even chatted a bit about the fact that they both had Toyota Corollas (and that hers was not in the best shape). I told her that she should leave her number on the bill in case he wanted to contact her later. Once again, that Spontaneous Nighttime Adventure Magic was making us both feel simultaneously giddy and gutsy. With a “what the hell?” she left her number for the waiter and we giggled conspiratorially as we walked to her car.
After having had enough adventure for one night, we started to head back home. I felt my phone buzz and saw a text from Stephanie come up. I looked at her confusedly, and she gave me a look like “why would I text you while we’ve been together all night?” I checked the message and it turns out that it was the response to the text I had sent her earlier in the evening before all of the shenanigans went down. She actually had responded at the time, but for some reason, the text wasn’t delivered until that moment. The text?
“No idea until we get there.”
It just felt so perfect and so true! Our spontaneous nighttime adventure was just that: spontaneous. We had no idea that Steph’s car would start steaming or that we would fix it or that our dinner plans would get messed up or that she’d leave her number for a waiter that had flirted with her.
It was one of the most memorable adventures I’ve had in my life. And it was all because of that Spontaneous Nighttime Adventure Magic.