Road Trip

It was December 2009, the week before Christmas, and we had plans to visit my mom in Chicago. Laura, Sarah, and Rachel had some extra time and decided to take the train. I would wrap up work and then a few days later drive up to meet them. After the holiday, we’d all drive back. Seemed perfect.

I dropped everyone off at the train station without event. (Not to spoil the story, but this was the last “without event” event of my story.) After the family safely boarded and were on their way for their leisurely (and envious) rail trip, I walked back to the car only to find it wasn’t acting right. So instead of driving home, I headed to the dealership. They took a look at it and determined, in technical terms, that it was “broke.”

Long story short, it would cost more to fix than it was worth.

Fortunately, it was still driveable, at least for a short time. I got home, informed Laura, and we made one minor adjustment to my travel plans. I’d drive a new car north instead. She spent a couple days in Chicago shopping for a car online. I spent a couple days working from home. And before I knew it, it was my turn to head north.

Late afternoon of December 22, I pushed the old car to the dealership. They gave me a $5 credit toward the new vehicle and in less than an hour, I drove off the lot with a new car. As soon as I got home, I packed everything up: suitcase, Christmas presents, and one dog and by six o’clock was ready for the long haul.

“Ready?” I asked the dog.

“Ready!” the dog replied, in her best Scooby-Doo voice.

We drove upwards of half a mile before I stopped the car.

“Ruh roh!” the dog exclaimed.

No, nothing was wrong, per se. But I was really starting to doubt my plans. I wanted to drive until about midnight, stop somewhere, and then move on. But I realized I just didn’t have it in me. I turned around, unpacked a few things, and went to sleep.

A little after midnight, I woke up, repacked a few things, and off we went again. Turns out that was a great idea: I felt very refreshed and now the plan was to just drive until I got tired, rest, and then continue on.

And speaking of “continuing on,” tune in next week for the rest of this story.

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