Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our Weekend "Excursion"

We finally got a chance to go the desert for some dirt bike/quad riding this weekend! We've tried to get away a few times in the past two or so months, but something has always come up. Either it's been raining or we had something else that had to be done. But this weekend, everything worked out, so we got the trailer packed and ready to roll!

We were going out there with our good friends, and had planned to leave at the same time so we could "caravan" out there. We figured we would pick up Little Boy at school, and then hit the road. At 3 o'clock, our friends still had a few errands to run, but told us to go on ahead and they'd be about a half hour behind us. No problem.

There was - as there always is on Friday afternoon - a lot of traffic heading out of town. But the place where we go ride is only 1-1/2 hours away. We called our friends to let them know what the traffic was like, and they still hadn't left! Turns out they still had to go to the bank, to the grocery store, and I don't know where else, but they seemed to be taking a long time getting on the road!

Little Boy was so happy to finally be going "camping"! That morning when he was getting ready for school, he had seen Hubby getting the trailer ready, and when he saw the trailer hitched to our Ford Excursion, his little eyes lit up! He said, "I can't wait!". And when we picked him up at school that afternoon, he walked out, saw the trailer waiting for him, and said, "I cant wait to get in that car and GO!"

So we hit the road, and were plugging along, fighting traffic. We were listening to some "Classic Pop" (Magnet & Steel, Only Time Will Tell..) Little Boy was playing his Nintendo DS in the back seat. Hubby got a gadget that allows us to be online on the road, so I was busily "Facebooking" while he drove! It was great!

But after about an hour, as we headed up a hill and around a bend...the car sounded a little funny...then it...stopped. Hubby reacted immediately and pulled over as quick as he could. The car died!! His best guess was that the transmission went out. Not good.

We called our friends to see how far behind us they were. They still hadn't left town.

We were on a highway, on a curve, so cars were coming pretty quick around the bend, and I didn't feel very safe sitting there. We decided to walk over to a restaurant that we knew was close by. As we started walking, I said, "I'm glad Daddy is leading this hike, cuz I thought the Cafe was the other direction!"

As soon as we began our little trek up the hill, a car pulled over and asked if we needed a ride. It was a man, a woman and someone in the back..I didn't notice if it was a child or adult. But I felt quite uneasy...which is probably a tribute to every movie I've ever seen where someone is stranded on a highway. I was really relieved when Hubby said, "No thank you, we're just walking to the restaurant over there".

The Cafe was a little place - there were a few people sitting at the bar, eating and chatting. It appeared that they were "regulars" because the waitress was sitting and talking with them like they were old friends. When we said we'd had car trouble, they all chimed in with some advice.

We called the Auto Club and they said a tow truck would be on the way. We started looking through the local phone books for a place to tow the car. The best idea was to have it towed back to our house, but we were an hour away from home.


Me: Honey, our Auto Club membership is due..I was thinking that maybe to save money, we should just get the basic membership instead the the "Plus" Membership. We both have pretty new cars, I don't anticipate that we'll be needing to be towed 100 miles anytime soon.

Hubby: Why, that's a good idea, Sweetie! Yeah, go ahead and renew it with a basic membership.


Me & Hubby: DOH!

(With the Plus Membership, you get free towing up to 100 miles. With the basic membership, you get 7 miles free towing. After 7 miles, it costs $8/mile.)

Our friends called and they had an idea: What if she drove their motor home, and he could drive his big truck to pull our trailer after our Excursion was towed. That way, we could still do the weekend!

That's why they took so long to get out of town!! :)

We told them that the Auto Club had sent a tow truck, and then mentioned our frustration with the fact that we had changed our membership to "basic". They said, "Wait! We have the Auto Club PLUS membership! Lets use our card!" Hubby called the Auto Club and told them that the people we were traveling with had the PLUS, and asked if we could use their membership for the 100 mile free towing. Yes, they said - we could do it as long as the Plus member was present and could sign for it.

Finally, the tow truck arrived. Although now we were worried that our friends wouldn't arrive in time to use their card! We told the driver about it, and he said he didn't mind waiting, but that his shift was almost over, and he would have to call in to his shop to find out if they would let him wait, or if they would want to send another driver. His shop said that was fine, but he'd have to tow it back to the shop, and then another driver would take it to our home.

At this point, Hubby told me he was going to go back to the Excursion with the Tow Truck Driver, and that we should wait at the Cafe. Said it'd be about 20 minutes. He walked out. Immediately, he walked back in and sat down. He looked over at me and said, "I'm not going anywhere". I was confused, but he said, "You'll see".

In walk two HUGE, HAIRY, guys with LONG grey scraggly beards. They wore flannel shirts and worn jeans, and they were loud and boisterous. This really struck me funny!!! But I was glad Hubby had chosen to stay!

As it turned out, the Tow Truck had enough seats for all of us, so we went back to our vehicle, and the driver began to load our car on his truck. As he was doing this, I saw our friends pull up behind us. Man, was I ever happy to see them! Perfect Timing!

We called my parents (who live on our street) and asked them to please go to our house and sign for the Excursion when it arrived. (Side note: When it did arrive, the driver wanted to be paid for it, because he processed the transaction with OUR membership, so there were a few frustrating phone calls back and forth, but the problem was finally resolved!)

When the Excursion was loaded on the tow truck, Little Boy and I hopped into the Motor home with my friend. Hubby and his friend stayed behind to hitch the trailer to his truck and then follow behind us.

We arrived at our destination at 9:30pm.

Well, it only took us SIX hours to get there!!!


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