Mini-Mini-Mini Vacation Is Done … Filosofa Returns!

Well, friends, I have returned from my ‘mini-vacation’, which turned out to be even ‘mini-er’ than I planned.  You will get a kick out of this story …

I will always believe it was the red car.  When you rent a car, usually it’s grey or black, but this time they gave me a bloomin’ RED car.  Not just any red, but a red so bright that it hurt your eyes to look at it.  I do not care for red cars.  Now I am convinced that they are jinxed.

cruze-2I got a bit of a late start – 9:00 instead of 8:00 – but okay, I would still be there well before dark, probably by 6:30.  The rain was torrential, and being visually challenged anyway, it made for some very tense driving, but I was happy that I was going to see H and have a fun weekend.  It was also windy, and there was a considerable amount of debris on the highway.  One such piece of debris turned out to be a long piece of some sort of metal and by the time I saw it, I could not avoid it as there were cars on either side of mine, so I ran over it at 65 miles per hour.  Everything seemed fine until about 20 minutes later when a light flashed on the dashboard telling me that my tire pressure was low, and I knew immediately what had happened.

 

rain

I got off at the next exit, a small town with only one service station attached to a convenience store/deli.  I parked and went inside, hoping they could direct me to a tire store, but no such luck … the nearest one was some 20 miles, and I knew my tire would not make it that far.  So, I called Roadside Assistance.  A snippet of that conversation:

He: Was this flat tire a result of vandalism?

Me:  No

He:  Was it the result of an accident?

Me:  No (thinking that if I had an accident, the flat tire would be the least of my worries)

He:  When did you first notice the flat tire?

Me:  About 20 minutes ago

He:  Can you give me the exact time?

Me:  Probably not, as I did not look at the clock … and why does it matter?

He:  I’m just trying to pin down the problem, ma’am

Me: The problem is that the left front tire has no air in it.

He: What is the mileage on the car?

Me: 6,625

He: So why do you think the tire is flat?

Me: Because the car is sitting on the rim, and because the dashboard monitor told me so.

He: But what do you think happened to it?

Me: Possibly it was damaged when I ran over some debris in the roadway, but I do not understand why any of this matters.  I am stranded in this rental car and I am hoping to get to Pennsylvania sometime this week!

The conversation went on for another 3-4 minutes and ended with him telling me that somebody would be there with a new tire in about an hour.  An hour came … and went.  After 75 minutes, I received a text message telling me that the service tech would be there in another hour.  Sigh.  But he did not actually bring a replacement tire … he merely put on the temporary tire that was in the trunk and warned me not to drive more than 50 miles or so before replacing it with a full-size tire.

flat tire

So, I set off in search of a tire store in the nearest large town.  I decided to stop at Wal-Mart, a store that I typically avoid at all costs, and ask where the nearest tire store was.  Turns out that Wal-Mart actually deals in tires and if I would just drive around back they would have me back on my way in no time.  “No time” turned out to be another two hours, and by now it was 5:00 and still pouring rain.  At best, it would take me until midnight to get to H’s house, whereas I was only 2 hours from home.  So, H & I agreed that, since I cannot see to drive after dark, it made more sense for me to just go back home and we will reschedule for next month.

But the story isn’t quite done yet. Turns out the car rental company will not re-imburse me the $80 for the tire, because … one has to purchase additional ‘roadside assistance’ for them to cover things like that.  Who knew?

And then … I almost broke my thumb.  See, it was still pouring rain and my eyes were about shot by this time, so after I drove for an hour, I pulled off at a rest area to give my eyes a break and have a smoke.  Since it was pouring rain, I put the window down only when I needed to flick my ashes outside, then immediately put the window back up.  Well, I got in too big of a hurry to get that window back up, and my thumb was still outside when the electric window reached the top.  Be advised … electric windows do not stop for metatarsals. The thumb is bruised, but not broken, by the way.

thumb

And so sums up my journey … 2 days preparing, 2 hours packing, 10 hours on the road, and … well, I am thankful to be home safe and sound, so I am not complaining or fretting.  In fact, I had rather a good chuckle over the whole thing … after a few tears, that is.  We are hoping for a more successful trip in four weeks.  Meanwhile, I will be back in the saddle after I unpack my suitcase and rest for a bit.

33 thoughts on “Mini-Mini-Mini Vacation Is Done … Filosofa Returns!

  1. Yes, by the time I got home, I was just thankful to be here safe and (relatively) sound! It’s funny, because as I started out that morning, driving in the rain, I had the thought that perhaps I should just turn around and go back home. But, I am stubborn and I willed the thought out of my head. Next time, perhaps I will listen? I’m so glad your ‘red-car experience’ turned out better than mine! A week spent in the mountains of Austria sounds like so much fun!!!

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    • Indeed so! An inner voice told me it would be best to just turn around and go home when I first set out and saw how hard it was going to be driving in the rain. But, as usual, I told the voice to shut up 🙂 But I am happily recuperated and actually seeing a great deal of humour in the whole fiasco! Hugs!!!

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    • Thanks! It’s okay … I’m just happy at this point to be home. Yes, I was so lazy yesterday … I didn’t even write a word! So, I am rested and recuperated from my adventure, and looking back, it is rather humorous! 😀

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    • 😀 😀 😀 … I love your sense of humour! You are right, though … I started to ask the question “what else could …” and I quickly smacked myself atop the head and told myself not to even ask! It is funny now 🙂

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  2. So glad that you are safe. It could have been so much worse for you Jill. 🚘 Insurance companies generally view the statistics for ‘red’ coloured car accidents as the most vulnerable…something to do with their owners generally being more dare devil and with ‘go faster’ attitudes. Of course you can’t determine what colour you will get from a rental company! ‘White’ is considered the safest colour on the road…owners generally drive at safe speeds, and they are the most visible in poor lighting or at night time. I hope for your next visit to ‘H,’ you get a white car from the rental company. And, although, the rental company shafted you for the cost of the new tire, it seems to be standard practice by all companies if the additional insurance isn’t taken. 😖

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    • Yes, I am so very thankful, for it could have been much worse. And, while I am angry about not getting reimbursed for the tire, if that is all I’m out, it’s a small price to have paid for returning home safely. I didn’t know that about red vs white cars, though I have always heard that red cars are ‘cop magnets’, so I was careful to stay within the posted speed limits! Just imagine if I had gotten a ticket for speeding on top of everything else! 😀 😀 😀

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      • I dread to think…but I am a firm believer in ‘everything happening for a reason,’ so perhaps your minor misfortune saved you from travelling further on into a serious road accident! There are stories from a lot of people who were supposed to be at work in the New York ‘Twin Towers’ that fateful September 11th morning, but some minor ailment, accident or incident prevented them getting to work. Others, just felt they had to leave the building on the first impact (gut feeling). I call it fate and we should listen to it. You did the right thing returning home. Don’t know why, but think you saved your own life with your instincts. Shame it cost you so much moneywise though.

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        • Just read your reply to Gronda too…and yes, that first thought of ‘turning around’ at the beginning of the journey, is exactly what I mean…unfortunately, we tend to dismiss such thoughts as ‘silly,’ when in fact it is your sixth sense picking up on ‘something not quite right!

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        • Yes, that is very true! And as for the money … eh, I am by no means rich, and yes, it put a dent in my budget that I didn’t anticipate, but at the end of the day … it’s just money. Life & limb mean much more to me. 🙂

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  3. Oh no, Jill! So much for the refreshing break – and 4 whole weeks to wait for another break? Sigh. There is no fairness in this world. Thank goodness running over the debris didn’t cause a real accident – I’m with ‘Choosing’ on that – phew. Well, anyway, welcome back and take it easy for the weekend, why don’t you? Big hugs. M

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    • Thanks Mary! Yes, I am thankful it was no worse, and 4 weeks is no time at all! I had the house to myself yesterday and I DID take it easy … just did whatever I wanted, including a nice long walk. Today I’m trying to catch up on ‘stuff’. 🙂

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  4. Oh poor you!!! You do have to right to complain, you know! – But I am glad that nothing worse happened: if that piece of debris had immediately popped the tire, you could have had a real accident indeed! Regarding the rental car company: jinx them! 😉
    I have my own story about a red rental, but a happy one: When I took the boys to a short vacation to Austria three years ago, we took the plane and then a rental from the airport. All the time my younger one was saying, “maybe we get a red car, maybe we get a red car” (he loves red). I kept telling him that probably not. But when we finally found it in the parking lot, it was red! A small red Skoda, rather cute. We called it our “pony”, and I have to say it was not the strongest car ever, but it faithfully carried us up and down the mountains for a week. 🙂

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