Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On the Road to CA

We took a road trip to visit my brother's family in Southern California.  We had SUCH a blast, but the trip out there was admittedly a bit more exciting than we bargained for...
 Peach gearing up for her first road trip ever!
 We brought our iPad for The Frog, thinking he would be all set watching movies the whole time, but surprisingly, he didn't want to watch ANY.  I think he gets car-sick like his dad...  Luckily, he did amazingly well on the long drive.
 He learned how to wash the windows and insisted on doing it at every gas station.

We slept over in Las Vegas the first night- Holiday Inn.  It was a great price and the pool was clean and fairly empty, BUT when Peach crawled around on the carpeted floor in our room, her hands and the tops of her feet were instantly BLACK.  YUCK!  It made it really hard to be there since we couldn't let her play on the floor after that and she didn't yet have the sense not to fall off the beds.  But the REAL adventure started the next day.

When we got to the place in CA where they make sure you're not bringing any produce-- all the stop and go, and WICKED heat (above 100) caused our car to vapor lock (at least that's what we think it was since our car was low on gas) so we had to be pushed to the side of the road to let us cool down.  LUCKILY our car started again after about 15 minutes and we made it to the next exit to fill up, which just happened to be the place we planned to stop at.  We noticed that our battery light was on, which was weird since we had replaced our battery within the last 3 years.

Since we made it to our rest stop- Calico Ghost Town- we just parked and decided to deal with it later.
 Even though there was a train to ride and a mine to "tour", we found the place to be non-eventful and definitely not geared for families.  The whole place was basically a bunch of trinkets shops- sooo not our thing.  Not to mention we had to pay to get into the place and then we had to pay AGAIN to ride the train and again to go in the mine.  And did I mention it was wicked hot?  We had originally planned to eat lunch there, but after checking out our 3 options, we opted to go back on the road and find something else.  Yeah, we left very grumpy, hungry, sweaty, and out $20- it was sooo not worth it.  I'm very glad we at least didn't have to pay an entrance fee for the kids.
 Jack was really mad we couldn't take the (really really slow, short) train ride again.
  You can see how hot we are by the glistening skin and bright red cheeks.
Once we got back in the even hotter car, we discovered our AC wasn't working.  So we went back to the gas station, where I had to BUY a cup of ice (for putting down shirts of course), tried to find the healthiest, kid-friendly foods I could to make us to the next place where we could actually eat something appetizing, in an air-conditioned environment.

THEN we just got on the onramp and I realized I didn't know where my phone was (a typical Libby maneuver).  Jay pulls over on the onramp and we look all over the car.  Nowhere.  Jay takes off running (in the heat) back to the gas station to see if we drove off with it on the roof or something.  I say a prayer and I instantly find it!  (I can't even tell you how many times I've had this work.  Seriously...)  I call Jay and he runs back.

Did I mention that my husband's the best!

The kids were VERY upset and so I opted to sit in the back of our Civic, squished between two carseats, to try to keep them somewhat abated.  This is Jay's attempt at taking a picture without looking, while driving :)

We finally get back to civilization and see a McDonald's sign, thinking a play-place would be great about now.  We go in, no play place. :(  At least there was air-conditioning!

Back in the car, I call my sister-in-law and ask her if she knows a good mechanic we can get our car checked-out by when we get there.  Luckily they have a fantastic one, who they trust, and he specializes in Hondas.  We give him a call to try to make an appt and he asks us what's going on.  He tells us there's something wrong with our alternator and we should pull over as soon as we can because there's no way were going to make it all the way, given the amount of time we've already been driving on our battery.  (AND we've been having the fan on full-blast).

Right after we get off the phone with him, our blinkers/windows/every auxiliary requiring electricity stops working.  We have to stop in San Bernardino, the next city.  Thank GOODNESS for iPhones!  We were able to look up a place, while driving, call them and make sure we could get fixed RIGHT NOW, and also get directions to the place.  We are SO lucky we made it there because our car died 5 minutes after pulling in.  We also found out that we picked the only auto-repair shop in town with AC.  I can't tell you how lucky we are.  We ended up going to Eddie's Auto Care.  I have to give them a shout out because they were SO awesome.  Once they discovered the problem- one of our belts broke- and they figured out how long it was going to take- and they noticed that we had two small kids that would have to wait in the small waiting area, the owner (Eddie) gave us his car to drive to a Chuckie Cheese so we would have something for our kids to do.  Seriously people!!  How nice is that?!  We are so grateful to those people for making a potentially terrible experience, just a minor inconvenience.  If your car ever breaks down around there, I highly recommend them :)

After that, we got to our destination with AC and no traffic (truly a miracle!)  We feel so lucky that things worked out so well, despite everything!


Jay McCarthy said...

We actually went to McDonald's on the way home, but it was in the same general location as the Ghost Town.

Abaker said...

Wow, what a nice mechanic! It's great to hear stories like this!

Keegan and Patrick said...

Well, the bright side of frustrating events like this is meeting awesome people. What a great man. We had a similar experience on a road trip out to BYU.

LRH said...

Road trips are evil.