Friday, August 28, 2015

Being a Wandrin' Star Can be Freakin' HOT!!!

Hey all,

I'm back and now living in Austin, Texas.  And wow...getting here was INSANE.  I love traveling, but this trip... this time I would have rather flown to Austin.

We had a great journey from Virginia Beach to Orlando.  We left early and headed down the coast, stopping first at some place we'd never been to. The Wright Brother's Memorial.  It was really cool. The place where the first aircraft took flight.  They have a small museum, some refurbished buildings and of course, the places where each of the flights took off and landed.

We arrived on National Aviation Day which was awesome, because not only was it FREE, there was a bunch of nifty displays, talks and extra stuff going on.  We loved being there and since it was on the way, it made it even better.

The rest of the journey down was nice.  We took a bunch of back roads and the countryside between Virginia and Florida was lovely.  So many old farms and beautiful buildings as well as gorgeous scenery.

We stopped in one of my favorite Florida towns, St. Augustine, and had a delicious lunch on the waterfront.  Then we made the rest of the trip down to Orlando.

We visited for several days with my son, Jeramiah and his lady, Autumn before we headed west to Austin. (Does that sound like a song? :->)

And that's where everything went horribly wrong.  

When my daughter moved from Florida to Colorado, she and her brother got as far at the panhandle when their car broke down.  They had to take an extra day to get it fixed since it was something my son didn't have the tools to deal with. When he heard we were heading along the same route, he jokingly admonished us to be careful and not fall into the same trap they did.

Well, you guessed it.  Just as we were entering into the panhandle, our car started to fit and buck like it does when it's out of gas.  Since we'd JUST filled up, we knew it wasn't that.  And it was a SHELL station, so it was doubtful we had gotten bad gas.

We pulled off and Jonathon took a look.  A few minutes later he discovers our alternator is going bad. Now we're out in the middle of freakin' nowhere, and our truck is a classic, so just where are we going to find an alternator out here?

So I pull out my trusty phone as we're heading towards civilization on the GPS, and low and behold we find an Autozone in the small town of Live Oak.  And it HAS an alternator for our car!  Coincidence?  I think not.  We sent up a few prayers of thanks for that one!

Finding a place to park, we took about an hour to switch out the part.  It was hot, nasty dirty work and I'm sooooo glad I have a husband who is handy enough to do such a thing.  After a quick clean up, we were on our way again!

All was good.  Life was sweet.  We were planning on heading to New Orleans for the night.  Talking about where we could have dinner on Bourbon Street.

Then it happened.  The car...heaved.  I'm not sure how else to say it.  It felt like it struggled then lost power.  Yet it didn't.  We were still driving, but we knew something was different.  That's when we noticed that the air conditioner had stopped working.

*insert swearing here*  We couldn't believe it.  First the alternator and now this?  A not-so-quick check revealed that the compressor had gone bad. Just what we needed.  It was about three in the afternoon IN THE SOUTH in AUGUST and we had a full day driving yet to do. Without an air conditioner.

Uh huh.  No way, no how.  We decided to drive through the night instead.

So, we arrived in Austin, Texas early, helped along by a cooler night drive and a beautifully cloudy morning.  It wasn't until we left the restaurant after having breakfast that we noted the sky was now a gorgeous blue and it was so hot the tar was melting in the parking lot.

I like Texas, but I'd thought for a moment we'd taken a left turn at Baton Rouge and headed into Hell itself.  It's HOT here, folks!!!!

But we made it and were able to get the compressor dealt with so next time we go out we won't melt into two people puddles.  :-)

Haven't I always said my life is an adventure?  Sometimes it's more of an adventure than I asked for! And this time when I said it was a hot adventure, I didn't mean a sexy romance with a hot guy to die for.

Oh wait.  I did have a hot guy.  He was just covered in oil and car grease!  LOL  Gotta love the man! He's handy to have around in soooo many ways! *naughty grin*

Have you had a trip where everything started to go wrong?  Tell it below in the comments.  I'd love to share your misery!

Coming up next? If it's Tuesday, it's another guest blogger.  David Russell will be here to share about his poetry and it's inspirations!

Until then!


CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Ray said...

I did have one long trip years ago. Not too many things went wrong except that my traveling companion and I decided to sleep outside most nights to save money. The first night was at a friend's house in Idaho. The next night was at the side of the road in Montana. We woke up the next morning to find we were near an ant bed. Also we were awakened by a freight train. We were only feet from the tracks.

Another night we traveled along the Yellowstone River. The next morning I had to stop at a full service gas station to blow grasshoppers out of the radiator fins to keep the car from overheating.

After we got to our destination of Pensacola Naval Air Station some friends and I went to Georgia for some reason. On the way back a man with an amputated leg was trying to change a tire. We pulled over to help only to find we had stopped on a fire ant mound. I drove back to the base and didn't even stop at the gate in order to shower off the ants. They had gotten as far as my groin area. Before I could drive I had to spray the car for ants.

All in all it was an interesting trip. It took 26 days to drive from Bremerton, WA to Pensacola FL. If we only made twenty miles we would stop to see the sites.

Ray said...

On the return trip to Washington State I had a couple of adventures, almost tragedies at the time. Everything started okay. When I got to Mobile I saw the USS ALABAMA. It had been in Brenerton when I left. It had been towed to Alabama as a museum piece and arrived the day I left Florida. Before
I crossed the Lake Ponchertrain Bridge in the little town of Ponchatiula LA an uninsured driver pulled out of a shopping center hitting my car. I couldn't drive. The bunper was wrapped around the L front tire. The tow truck took me to the garage. The truck then did something that can't be done with newer cars. The cable was hooked to the bumper and the car was made driveable, all be it out of alignment. I went on my way.

The next incident I drive off the road in the mountains in Idaho. I fell asleep and went down a fifteen foot embankment. Fortunately the road was under construction landing me on a dirt road going back into the highway.

It was cold after dark. In the first accident the door was sprung. I had to drive with the heater on high and the window open.

CJ England said...

Both of those are great stories, Ray. It's amazing how things have changed, yet are sometimes so similar.

We just drove by the Alabama on our way to Austin. It was at night and the ship was all lit up. Absolutely beautiful!

Phylis said...

When I was younger we would drive from Virginia Beach to Nebraska every other summer. I remember getting stuck on the turnpike because of an accident. Traffic was not moving much. One time my Dad decided he was going to drive straight through...until he got sick on the side of the road. I remember going to the Wright Brother's monument. Long time ago. Glad you made it to Austin even if it was an adventure and a half!

CJ England said...

I was worried about Jonathon for that same reason, Phylis. I've got night blindness, so I don't drive from dusk on, so it was all on him. But we pulled off and slept a bit at a rest stop and he made it through just fine.