Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gotta Roll with the Punches...

I'm just hanging out here in our dark hotel room in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Figured it would be a good time to throw a little update out there.

Monday, April 26

7 AM: Drove off into the sunrise. 
Sounds romantic, I know, but have you ever tried to drive INTO a sunrise? I was cursing myself for not wearing my contacts, which means no sunglasses.
Okay, so later on when I was driving I rested Kirby's sunglasses over mine. Probably looked ridiculous, but it saved my eyeballs.

We drove for 12 hours on Monday. Emily was a champ. It didn't take us long to realize that one of us would have to sit in the back seat with her. The screaming, you know. But once we got all the stuff from one side of the car up in the front seat, it was pretty easy sailing.

Uh, I mean, driving.

One of my favorite parts of road trips is watching Kirby sing to the radio. 

Good grief it's windy in Wyoming and Nebraska. Could have blown me right away if I wasn't so agile. :)

We stayed in Grand Island, Nebraska Monday night. We got there with just enough time to shred, jump in the pool to cool off, and relax in the hot tub for a couple minutes. Emily was screaming (happily, this time) and giggling as she watched us swim. We have a suit for her, but we haven't gotten any swim diapers yet, so we haven't been able to introduce her to the wonders of the pool.

Get this--Emily slept straight through the night. Glorious.

Tuesday, April 27

Tuesday wasn't too eventful. Just drove. and drove. and drove. and drove.
Ready for the eventful part?
Our car died.

But don't worry, it was only "mostly dead."

We pulled off Interstate 24 for a potty and feeding break around 8:00pm. 
We had about 60 miles to go to Clarksville, Tennessee. 
As we pulled up to the stop sign at the end of the off ramp, the engine just turned itself off! And we couldn't get it to turn back on. 

Thankful Thoughts:
1. I am so glad we pulled off the highway when we did! We were on a nice quiet road instead of a buzzing highway...
2. The car died right across the street from a Chevron. Well, I had to jog about 1/4 of a mile to find the road that went UP to the station, but close enough.
3. Jogging at a lower elevation is lots of fun.
4. Steve--the tow truck guy--was super cool and had a fabulous accent. Also--southern hospitality? LOVE. IT.
5. Thank heavens for AAA. We got a membership on Thursday. Figured it was a good idea, and my grandpa volunteered to pay for it. 

(End of thankful list)

We didn't shred last night. We were exhausted. It takes so much energy to remain optimistic throughout a crisis! 

Everyone here loves Emily. No surprise, of course, but she gets so much more attention here!
This morning at McDonald's, all the workers were spoiling her rotten with all the attention, and she got a free toy to suck on and throw repeatedly on the floor! :)

Oh yeah, right. The car. Stranded. That whole situation.

Kirby just got a call from the repair shop and our car is going to live! Turns out the timing belt didn't actually break, the teeth had just worn off on a foot's worth of it. 

Why is that a good thing? 

Well, if you have what is called an "interference" engine and the timing belt breaks, there is a very good chance that there will be damage done to the piston heads, which means the situation gets extremely expensive and crazy ugly very fast. As in, need a new engine block bad and ugly. Most Mazda Proteges have interference engines. Turns out ours doesn't, so it wasn't a risk anyways. But we thought it was. And it coulda' been.

So yeah. An expense we hadn't planned for, but we'll suck it up and make it work. We're on vacation, after all! 
Uh, I mean, we're on our way to a very important job. It just feels like vacation to me still.

So what's on the menu for today?
Driving. Once we get the car back. 
We'll set our course for Orlando and just stop when we feel like it.

And tomorrow?
We'll be in Florida, baby! 
Turns out we could be living anywhere from Tampa to Orlando, as Kirby will have clinics to visit in both cities. 
Jason--our fabulous boss man (this is what Steve the tow truck driver referred to his boss as, and I have now adopted the terminology)--has found us some apartment complexes and houses to look at, and I can't wait. It will be so nice to be settled and back on a good healthy schedule. 

Oh yeah--and not eating junk constantly in the car.

I have taken pictures, but we need to pack up and get ourselves checked out now! 
Stay tuned for more of our adventures, as I am sure they will be plenty!

And to my family--I love you and miss you like crazy. Come visit soon. Once we have a place to live, of course. And are actually in Florida. :)


Kristin Hanson said...

WOWIE what an adventure! Thank goodness for small miracles that make dead cars revive themselves to semi dead cars. Glad that things aren't as bad as they seem. Enjoy Florida. I had some great customers (back when I worked) from there - awesome people.

Katie Rod said...

Lauren, that is insane. Although, like you said, it did work out well to be next to a Chevron and off the highway, but still...ugh. I wish you well on your trip down!!

Erin_C said...

welcome to the south! glad you guys made it to georgia! (i just wrote on you facebook wall too)

ummmm . . . i missed what "shred" means?

Amy said...

Bah!! crazy crazy. I admire you for your optimism and overall outlook of the situation. You even SHRED on the road? now that is impressive. take luck once again. We miss you guys already.


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