Monday, August 15, 2011

Goodness Gracious Magacious – The Car that Could

Goodness Gracious Magacious – The Car that Could
Hello from New Jersey! Aaron and I made the trek down last night after Falmouth Road Race (more on that later) in one piece.  I say in one piece because honestly it was touch and go for a while. 
You see while some of you might remember that I was in a car accident a few months ago, you might not know about Aaron’s car, which has been in disrepair – and that is being generous.  Aaron’s Ford Explorer has been pretty much not drivable  for ooo a year.  We have been trying to figure out what to do with this car for a while but were not quite sure as there were a lot of factors that went into it – finances, wants, needs etc. and then to make matters more complex insurance scrapped my car post-accident and our attention turned to finding me a car. 
But we knew the day had come to finally do something with Aaron’s car.  Things would be easy you see if our mechanic was around the corner.  However, he is not.  In fact, our mechanic is in NJ.  I know I know, but he is the best.  He is my dad’s life long friend and takes really good care of us.  Also, if the car is not salvageable, he sells used cars and always gets us a great deal.  So when and if we can, we take it to him. 
So that was the plan, post-Falmouth we would drive down to NJ and bring it to the mechanic.  The odds were against us – we already knew that there was a slow leak in the rear driver side tire, the front brakes were in disrepair, and the front struts were not looking so hot.
But off we went to Falmouth.  We did not get far when the Overdrive Light came on. For those of you like me who have no idea what that means, it could just be a sensor malfunction or it could mean the transmission on the car was going – NOT a good thing.  However, the light seemed to go off when we turned off and restarted the car so we continued.  We made it to Falmouth, I ran an “easy” 7 mile little race that they hold every year and back in the car we went – around 3:30.
The plan was to stop frequently – too fill up the tires and allow for needed bathroom breaks as I tried to rehydrate.  We also planned to take it slow (the right lane is our friend).  We did not get far when we hit an hour worth of traffic trying to get off the Cape – as our tire slowly leaked and the Overdrive light came back on – great!!  As the front console started to rattle and the air conditioning whistled I started to get scared – Aaron assured me those were “normal” sounds for this car. Normal, hah, right.
We continued on as we encountered more and more traffic.  By mid-way through CT, we had had enough and decided it was time to take the Merritt – the trusty Merritt Parkway, which is the only way to make it through CT traffic alive.  Unfortunately, we forgot the Merritt is a bit hilly and windy in our haste to get away from traffic and as soon as we started to go up a hill the overdrive and the check engine lights came on – NOT a good sign.  Aaron said it felt as if the car just could not get up the hill like riding a bike in the wrong gear while trying to get up a hill, you are pedaling so hard but not getting anywhere.  We had no choice but to pull over at the top of the hill and think (and of course tweet about this scary escapade)– not the best place to stop, due to lack of shoulder room.  As we stopped to think, cars whizzed by us and the car shook.  My dad’s vote – what else can you do in your time of need but call your daddy (thanks dad) – was try to make it and if not find a motel and he would come get us in the morning.

We tried, we made our way back to the less hilly I-95 and took it slow.  All was well until we hit the Cross Bronx – when torrential rain started to come down.  We could hardly see anything and cars were merging without looking – we were almost hit twice.  We figured if that happened maybe the car would be scraped like my Saturn and we would make out on top…didn’t seem likely at this point though.  Ooo did I mention your overdrive stops you from sliding in the rain…great.   Aaron now commented to me the following “you know how you pray, this would be a good time for that.” At this point, I was scared. I was gripping the handle in the car for dear life -  Aaron says I almost broke the handle off the door gripping so tight, and honestly with this car, at this point, anything was possible.  In order not to freak out I sang Katy Perry’s TGIF” even Aaron chimed in, I think he knew I was afraid….(maybe the “I’m scared” repeated comments gave it away).  I also tried to pass the time by reading blogs and tweeting – until I used up my whole data plan (this makes it the second month in a row where I have used up my data plan in a week’s time….that will be fixed when I get my NEW iPhone)
Well the rain continued, we chugged along singing and gripping the car for dear life.  As we rounded the corner, I sighed, “Goodness Gracious Magacious” I exclaimed.  Thankfully we made it one piece and walked in the door to NJ pizza that my dad had graciously bought us (thanks again Dad!). 

Mission: Get the car from our home to Falmouth to NJ to the repair shop!
Time:  8 hours (two marathon’s worth)
Miles Driven: 380 (from our house to Falmouth to NJ)
Gas Tanks used: 1 (that’s right in an SUV, woot!)
Tire fill ups:  3
Rest stops: 4
Tweets/Blogs:  too many to count
Phone Calls to the fathers: 7
Near heart-attacks: still counting
Tears: as many as the stars (thanks Aaron)
Slices of Pizza: 8 total (between the three of us)
Amazing Awesome post race fro-yo pops: 4 (between the two of us…try these)
Honestly I had my doubts about us getting home.  The car is now at the shop, and we can only hope for the best.

Any suggestions for a new car?  Ever had a similar experience?  Anyone have the same problem with your data plan usage? Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and if you are in NY/NJ area I will be here all week and would love to meet up.

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