Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Twelve-Hour Six-Hour Trip

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...

No, ours wasn't supposed to be a three-hour cruise.  However, Mick and Dominick did load up the trailer Thursday night in the 10,000-degree, 100% humidity weather, and we were supposed to leave our house by 6am Friday to head down to Florida.

The Plan:

Leave by 6, arrive in Orlando somewhere between 2 and 3.*    Unload, shower, go to dinner, take the kids to see Brave in Downtown Disney on opening night.

What Actually Happened:

But let me start at the beginning.

Last month -- maybe the month before? -- Mick's truck went kaput.  We thought it was any of a number of things, but as it turned out, it was something with the connection with the #2 Cylinder.  Mick's become very adept at working on his truck and was able to find a whole slew of chat rooms, bulletin boards, and so forth that all said what to do.  Still, he was not very confident with his truck would do on this trip, and so pulling the trailer was a big deal.  Before we loaded up with C&D's stuff, Mick did a few test runs with the trailer and all seemed well.  Anyway, just put it in the back of your head that we were all a little on edge about how the truck would do.

We left at 6:40.  Only 40 minutes late, but poor Dom had pulled an all-nighter.  Yikes. 

But once we got on the highway, we seemed alright.  Evidence:  sleeping kiddo.

WHM is prone to getting carsick if we leave early, so we've taken lately to traveling in pj's with the kids, and not eating breakfast (or even brushing teeth) until we take our first break.  That has helped quite a bit with "the yuckies."
We got to Perry, Georgia (about two hours south of us, maybe two-and-a-half) and BA-BAM!  Something went!  We lost A/C, power steering, and pretty much everything.  (Note:  try not to lose power steering when you're towing a trailer.  It's pretty tricky.)

In all seriousness, despite this, we had an angel looking out for us.  How can I possibly say that, you're wondering, I know.  Well, for a few reasons.  First, because we were literally two exits from a Chevy dealership.  Second, because we were able to safely pull off the highway and limp into a gas station, and finally, because it was:
a nice area
a station with a little lounge area
and, the people were nice!

Here are the kids wondering why we've stopped.  The turn-off from the highway woke them both.

The people at the gas station were downright wonderful.  They told us the nearest Chevy dealership and Mick got on the phone with them, and before he could get off the phone, it seemed as though the tow truck was already there.  Mick headed off with his truck, and Dom and I stayed with the kids (well, and the trailer, which the gas station folks had been kind enough to let Mick drop in the parking lot)

Breakfast.  The kids asked if they could have ice cream.  Why not, right?!

Oh, forgot to say.  We got the kids dressed and brushed their teeth before Mick drove away with the tow.

After about an hour (four scratch-tickets, two milks, two ice creams, a banana and some Thomas on my phone later), Mick called and came and got us with a loaner from the dealership.  As it turned out, the serpentine belt snapped.  Of all crazy things to happen, that it was (a) only a belt, and (b) an easy belt to fix, (c) not a million dollars, and (d) something they had in stock, reminded us we really did have an angel with us!

While they worked on the truck, we went to "Cwakah Bawwal," as WHM says. (Say it out loud.  You'll get it.)

By the time we finished our breakfasts, the truck was ready and we were able to get back on the road.

It really wasn't a bad drive, but of course we were all exhausted, ready to be there, and we still had to make periodic stops for food and fuel.  We finally got to Orlando about 6:30.  It was raining and about 90 degrees out, and the rain wasn't helping the humidity.  Think: sauna. 

We unloaded the trailer -- everything up four flights of stairs -- and by the time we were done, it was clear there would be no movie-going.  

That's okay, though ... we had a busy and fabulous day planned for Saturday.  Stay tuned!


* If you are wondering how I can call it a "six-hour trip," normally from our house the drive should be somewhere between 6 and 7 hours, depending on traffic and how liberally we stopped.  Back before kids and when I'd do the drive alone to see my old college roommate, I would usually make it in closer to six hours.  Because we were towing a trailer, Mick has frequent I-drank-too-much-Diet-Coke breaks, and we have the kids and they need to eat and stretch their legs and stuff, we knew it would take longer.  We just grossly underestimated how much longer.

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