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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Trip to Florida

Well, our trip to Orlando for the Florida Parent Educators Association convention turned into quite the memorable event.

Things went pretty well until we hit Macon, Georgia. Then, Josh yells "Oh no!" and reports that "parts are falling off the trailer!" When we pulled over, I found that he was correct. The metal rock plate that was screwed onto the front of the trailer had come loose, and was flapping around. This of course, lead to stress on the other screws, which proceeded to pop off one by one, like the buttons on my shirt after a Thanksgiving dinner. By the time we got to a gas station, they were almost all gone. I bought a roll of duct tape, and that held it together for the rest of the trip. (You really can fix almost anything with duct tape.)

We were okay for another half hour when the van started lurching and sputtering. I was hoping that we had just gotten some bad gas, but another 30 minutes saw us losing power and sputtering even worse. By this time, it was 5:30. God was with us, though, and we stopped at Cordele, GA. There was a Comfort Inn, a Wendy's, a WalMart and a car rental place just around the corner. I spent the evening making phone calls, but AAA didn't have any suggestions or approved repair shops nearby. The more I thought about it, I didn't like my options - Wednesday before Memorial Day, with no way to drive the last 300 miles to Orlando. Even if we found a repair shop, it didn't look like a quick fix was in the cards. I considered getting a rental, but usually they don't like you hauling trailers with their rentals. Besides that, I figured rental for four days, plus mileage would probably run over $1,000 - and I'd have to leave HUMom there to watch over the repairs. Not a good plan.

Plan B was for everyone to stay, which would mean we miss the convention altogether, and we have to pay for the hotel until the van is fixed. And, if the van isn't powerful enough to haul the trailer, I still have the source of the problem to deal with. Did I mention that the van has 110,000 miles? Hmmmmm. Plan B isn't looking too good either.

This made for a rather restless & sleepless night for me. The only repair shops we knew of were two dealerships, a Ford and a Chevy. Plan C started forming in my fevered brain.

At 8:00 we limped into the Ford dealership, and HUMom said "We are about to make someone's day" Three hours later, we drove off the lot in a new Expedition. HUMom is very happy. Three kids in the back are very happy, watching the DVD player. HeadsUpDad is trying very hard not to think about 7 years of payments, stretching out before him. Sigh.


Kris in Tn said...

Oh man, I love this post ... I can just see the look on your husband's face as he drives out of the dealership - LOL!

I really enjoyed meeting you and talking with you briefly at the FPEA convention. I was manning The Old Schoolhouse Magazine booth with my husband and Kate Kessler gave me the Heads Up Helping! book to review for TOS. I just did that here - - and wnated you to know about it. Great book, very insightful and it has helped me to change my mind about HOW I'm going to homeschool my ADHD/Asperger's son next year.

Thank God for you writing this book - I'm so grateful! I only wish I had had it sooner, but better late than never! I wish now that I had picked up your fidget pack that you were selling :-)


Anonymous said...

I was just looking through your post and saw this entry. I live in Cordele... and know a few of the guys that work at the dealerships. I'm glad that you were able to find something and still able to go to Florida. :-)

Heads Up Dad said...

The folks in Cordele, GA were terrific. Very kind and a fine example of southron hospitality.

I'm still not sure how we were able to buy a vehicle and be back on the road in three hours!