Remember how I said I would return my rental car and stop talking about car stuff here?
Today I planned to pick up my friend Eric at 8:30am and drive 3 hours from Tucson to Silver City for my best friend’s birthday. I hoped this schedule would allow me to arrive in time to help with last minute party prep and then attend the birthday cook-out starting at 4pm.
8am – I look at my hotel room and realize I need a shower and I haven’t finished packing. No world exists in which I can accomplish those two tasks in under 20 minutes. I call Eric and push the time back to 9am.
9:10 – I show up at Eric’s. We load his stuff into my truck, say goodbye to the dog and make 2-3 trips back to his house because we’ve forgotten things.
9:30 – we get on the road.
10am – while driving down the interstate immersed in a long conversation and in a remote area of the highway outside of Tucson, the loudest most horrendous popping grinding banging sound ensues from my truck and I slow down and steer it off the road. Buzzing with adrenaline I get the car to stop and look at Eric who says “it’s probably a blow out. And you handled that beautifully.”
10-10:30am – The tire is completely shredded with pieces of tire thrown for several hundred yards. Eric crawls around on the ground to get my spare tire and then looks up and says “Didn’t I promise sangria with this lesson?” We decide the whole incident is his fault for even leaving that comment on my last blog post. I find my jack but then he uses the lug nut wrench to no avail. Even with both of us pulling, the wrench is bent just slightly out of torque and nothing budges. We evaluate. We’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and we can’t get the tire off. Eric asks if I have Triple AAA (no) if we should get it towed (maybe) or maybe use his Triple AAA (ok, let’s try that). While he’s on the phone with Triple AAA, a cop car pulls over and the officer offers to help.
11am – the officer has an entire battery of car tools in his trunk including, but not limited to, a 4 way lug nut wrench, a foot jack and a mini compressor. In 20 minutes we’re on our way back to Tucson because my spare isn’t going to make it to Silver City. We decide we need to rent a car because Eric’s car probably shouldn’t do highway driving either.
11:30 – for the second time in 2 days I find myself at the Avis counter renting my third rental car in as many weeks.
12 – drop off my truck at Eric’s house, 2-3 more trips back into the house to leave notes and grab water and say goodbye to the dogs (who now think we’re kidding about leaving) and as we get back into the car I look at Eric and say “I’m not getting back on that highway without a latte and a cake pop.” He agrees.
I feel like I can go on now.
12:45 – 3pm – highway.
Then we lose an hour crossing the border of Arizona and New Mexico
5pm – we pull into Silver City. A three hour trip has now taken an entire day and required two cars. As I’m driving up one of the hills by our hotel, the rental car ceases to accelerate even though I have the pedal pressed to the floor. I drift to the side of the road, stop the car, look at Eric and yell “ ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW??? WHAT IS GOING ON!!!” and then I look at the shifter and realize that it’s not in Drive, it’s in “2” which apparently means “Halt.” After I take a deep breath and Eric stops laughing, I shift back to drive and the car is fine.
We stop at our hotel to change our clothes and rinse off the road dirt and finally get to the party approximately 2 hours late and 6 hours later than we anticipated.
And the party? Here’s a preview:
Pictures and stories tomorrow.
This is it. Really. No more car stuff.