What's the best Magic road trip you've ever taken?
Kelly Digges: I've had the privilege to travel to every Pro Tour and Worlds, and all but one U.S. Nationals, since I started working on event coverage for Wizards of the Coast. That means I've taken trips to incredible locales such as Paris, Yokohama, and Honolulu, trips that I never would have been able to make without Magic and the Pro Tour.
But none of those were really "road trips," because on those trips I was mostly alone (with a few exceptions, such as my much-delayed flight to Amsterdam that turned into a Cube draft in the terminal). I don't know how they do it in Europe—I assume it involves trains—but in the United States, a genuine road trip means grabbing some friends, piling into a car of questionable reliability, driving way too many miles for way too many hours, and loving it.
My pre-Wizards Magic career involved many highly enjoyable road trips to nearby Prereleases and the occasional Pro Tour Qualifier, but there were two truly epic standouts, which also happen to be the only two Grand Prix I ever attended as a player. I drove fourteen hours to Grand Prix–Richmond with some people I met through my Magic writing for StarCityGames.com, finishing a bizarre 3-1-2 and getting to meet the whole StarCity writing crew in person for the first time. That was a truly great trip ... but not my very best.
My very best Magic road trip was a mere three-and-a-half-hour schlep to Grand Prix–St. Louis with several of my old Magic buddies. We were punchy on the way down, which spawned multiple in-jokes and running gags (which I won't bother trying to explain, because you really had to be there). When we arrived at the house where we'd be staying, we discovered that it had lost power in a huge storm that had swept in ahead of us. We found our sleeping bags in the basement by flashlight, played an awesome old board game that we found in the basement when the power came back on (Fireball Island, totally unrelated to Magic despite the name), played in the main event until we were all knocked out, and then drafted and played one-pack variants for the rest of the day. I can't really do it justice in words, but nonetheless, it was my best—and, as fate would have it, last—road trip to play in a Magic event.
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