Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

A Very Long Day

on October 26, 2009

Ok, to be fair upfront, yesterday was an awesome day. However, a wonderful day was nearly ruined – and that is what I would like to share.

So, yesterday was the annual World Youth Day at Six Flags. It is an event where the Catholic teens of the Diocese of Dallas and the Diocese of Fort Worth go to Six Flags Over Texas (the original and still best). We have a day of fun and it ends with Mass at the Music Mill Amphitheater, con-celebrated by both Bishops and a lot of priests. And 7,000 teenagers. It is a blast.

This was my third year to go and every year, it’s the same thing. We meet Sunday morning, drive down to Arlington, ride rides, play games, celebrate Mass, and go home. On our way home, we stop at Sonic and arrive back at the church between 8 and 8:30pm.

Yesterday, it all started out the same. We met up in the morning, drove down to Arlington, rode some rides, played some games, and celebrated Mass. Then we tried to go home. But there was something different about this year.

cowboys-stadium

The Dallas Cowboys now play in their new stadium in Arlington. One block away from Six Flags. And on this particular day, they just happened to be playing a game there with a kickoff time of 3:15pm. So, at 6:30ish, when we were leaving mass and heading to the parking lot, the game was ending and the fans were headed to the parking lot. So, what happens when 90,000 people try to leave Cowboys Stadium and 7,000 people try to leave Six Flags at the same time and try to access the same two highways?

You wait.

A semi-accurate run-down of our ride home:

7:14pm: My van is loaded up with myself and 6 teenagers. I start the van and head out of my spot.

7:15pm: Get in line to exit parking lot.

7:45pm: Leave parking lot and turn onto Road to Six Flags Drive. (not a typo. 30 minutes just to leave the parking lot. Most of that was standstill.)

8:05pm: Turn onto South-bound Hwy 360 and U-turn to go north.

8:26pm: Get on ramp for North-bound Hwy 360. (again, not a typo. It took 20 minutes to go through the light at the exit before I could get to the ramp.)

8:32pm: Leave the City of Arlington

9:07pm: Arrive in South Denton (it took as much time to drive to Denton from Arlington as it did to leave the parking lot)

But my night was not over. Because the traffic was such a mess, our multitude of cars got split up. And I had to wait at the church (a) for Caity, who I was taking home, and (b) to make sure all the kids got picked up. So the rest of my night went like this:

9:07pm: arrive at the church, unload.

9:09pm: Wait for cars

9:15pm: Tell Kendall she can go get food (she was waiting for her brother)

9:21pm: Call Caity and find out she just got something to eat and will be at church in 5 minutes.

9:23pm: Call Kendall and ask her to get me some food as well.

9:27pm: Caity arrives at church; more kids leave

9:32pm: Kendall’s brother arrives at church; more kids leave

9:40pm: Kendall comes back and brings me food, takes her brother home. Carrie, Shelby, Caity and I are waiting for our last teen, Kaytlin, to be picked up.

9:43pm: We realize that Kaytlin’s ride is another teen…who has decided to stop at Dairy Queen across town before picking her up. Sigh.

9:58pm: Kaytlin gets picked up. Of course, by now it is pouring rain, so Carrie and Shelby take me and Caity to the van and we jump in and head home.

I love World Youth Day. I just hope that next year, the Cowboys are playing an away game.

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3 responses to “A Very Long Day

  1. Amanda says:

    Yet another reason why I don’t like football…

    I’m glad your day was wonderful even though the ending royally stunk. Going to 6 Flags with youth is always fun!

  2. nicole says:

    You know, I have waited that long at a Rangers game. So it is not just the Cowboys traffic. It is large sporting event traffic in general. And I hate 360 and choose to go 30 to 35 or 820 most of the time instead. Glad y’all all made it back safely and had a good day anyway.

  3. hollisonjourney says:

    Yeah, it is large sporting event traffic in general, but (sadly) we’ve never had to fight with the Rangers traffic because they are not (*tear*) playing in October. So, like I said, normally, we’re in Denton before 8.

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