Being stranded in a strange city while returning home from vacation.
|IT WAS an ADVENTURE! Nneka pulled off the 2017 Family Reunion without a hitch. More than 120 family members were there to experience the joy and wonder of family. We all had a great time with each other. Then we started the great trip back home.|
Nneka and I deiced to stop in Hinesville, GA, and see family while she finished her homework assignment. That was an excellent visit. Then we pointed our RV north for home and made it to our next gas-up point, and the nightmare (not really a nightmare) began.
Jamie pumped the gas, and we waited. I paid our bill and got back on the RV. I turned the ignition and nothing but click click click. Really? Try it again. Same response. Maybe it just got hot. Let's wait a few minutes. Nothing. Folks, we are blocking the number 15 gas pump. Call AAA. We arrived at the gas pump at 10:15 p.m. Sunday night.
Triple-A sent the dumbest person they had to get us back on the road. She did not know where the battery was located. DAH! This was after sitting in front of pump number 15 for 2.5 hours, waiting on AAA to get somebody out there.
Then they sent the tow truck -- not just any tow truck --but the one that tows 18-wheelers. Sam had a moment getting us hooked up, but he got it done. Then off we go. Did I tell you it took Sam another five (5) hours to get there to tow us? It did. Sam arrived at 5:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Knowing that we were not going anywhere, we booked a hotel for the NIGHT! LOL We arrived at the hotel at 6:45 a.m. Check-out was at 12:00 noon. The hotel manager allowed us to stay until 1:00 p.m. The RV is still sitting in the hotel's parking lot because there are no RV shops in the immediate area -- at least, that is what we were told. We called everywhere. AAA had shops that they recommended, but NONE worked on RVs.
Then we were given the name of a truck repair place! YEAH! They work on RVs, AND they had a tow truck -- $300+ an hour to pull the RV. NOT on my watch. Back to AAA. FIVE HOURS later, they authorize the repair shop to tow the RV. Now, we are getting somewhere. HAPPY HAPPY. Their shop closed at 5:00 p. m. SHARP. Goodbye Monday, hello Tuesday, and yes, one more day at the hotel. The hotel offered an excellent breakfast with lots of variety. The kids are happy, and we can REST. NOPE, I have to get on the phone to the repair shop.
They are backup and busy. They will call. May need parts. NO WORD, and it is now 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday. I call again. It is being moved into the shop after the current job is finished. Five o'clock again, and still no word. Oh, well, they are closed. Another night at the hotel. I am now in deep trouble -- three nights at the hotel and a $500 deductible for the repairs plus three tanks of gas to get back home. I need to take some actions here to make sure we are okay. Got it done.
Back to the hotel and bed. Slept like a baby. Eight o'clock and back on the phone with the repair shop. What is taking so long? Everyone agrees that it is the alternator. Let me call Enterprise and get some wheels so that I can go and check out my RV with my own two eyes! Another expense. Necessary. I ordered an economy car. ECONOMY! You have got to be kidding. That car is so small. How can it be an economy? Thanks for being an excellent customer. We will upgrade you free of charge. WOW! Thank you. Off to get the children and go to the repair shop. RV is still sitting in the lot, WAITING to be repaired. OH NO, YOU DIDN'T! They did.
Stayed and watched the RV get pulled into the bay. It is the alternator. It's late in the day. It will be ready first thing in the morning. THANK GOD!
Okay, the repair is going to happen. One more night at the hotel and we will be on our way. Now let's go have a decent meal. GREAT MEAL.
Up early. Get breakfast again. Get packed. Checked out of the hotel and all of our stuff is in the lobby. WE are GOING home today. Got to turn in the car. Get back to the repair shop. Get the RV. Go back to the hotel for the children and the luggage. WHAT? The repair is not complete. The alternator drained and KILLED the battery. New battery purchased and tested. Everything seems to be working. It is 3:45 p.m. Took the car back to Enterprise, and now we are off.
There is no cool or cold air coming out of the air conditioner. Back to the repair shop. Checked out the air conditioning unit. One pipe is working, and one is not. Not sure why it is not working, and it is a LONG process to check it out. OH NO, I am going home. Thank God it is getting late, and it looks as if it will rain and cool things off. GREAT. We are on the road -- no not quite. The children are hungry, and we need to eat. The parking gear does not work, but that must be a fluke. It was working at the repair shop. Everybody eats, and we are ON THE ROAD AGAIN. Yeah, on the road again.
Traffic is flowing, and we are moving fast and furious up the road. Time to get gas again. Stopped at the pump; put the gear in park; debated turning off the engine; turns it off anyway, and the car starts rolling backward. Nneka keep your foot on the brake and make sure this thing does not move. I believe there is something going on with the parking gear. Nneka wonders if they put that "thing" back after they towed it to the shop. They should have, but I don't know, and the RV's gears and transmission were working just fine before. Let's just see how it goes the next time we stop.
Spotsylvania, VA at the famous gas stop in front of the gas pump. The same routine as before and NO THE PARKING GEAR IS NOT WORKING! We have a problem, but we are almost home. Let's keep this show on the road. No, we cannot call the repair shop. They closed promptly at 5:00 p.m. Keep smiling because there is NOTHING else you can do. Regular brakes are GOOD. The transmission is shifting and working properly, and we are ALMOST HOME!
So, we are on the road again. THANK GOD we arrived at 4517 30th Street safe, sound, and in one piece. Tried to park on the street so that we could take it to the repair shop here, but you guessed it, there is no way to stop it from drifting! In the yard for now, and we will move it later. It worked. Went to sleep in my OWN BED!
First call of the day -- the repair shop in Florence, SC. Big shout-out from everyone there that we had made it home. Then the problem. THEY FORGOT TO REPLACE the link cable for the emergency brake located behind the transmission. Apologies and more apologies. THAT'S great. I am almost 700 miles away from the repair shop in FLORENCE, SC! Gritting my teeth and keeping my temper -- they did a great job on the repairs and working with my extended warranty -- REALLY, you forgot to replace the link cable to my emergency brakes?
Decided to say thank you and hang up and write this before calling my mechanic and getting an appointment to take the RV in for service.
LONG STORY SHORT -- We had an excellent family reunion. The RV was perfect for the trip to the reunion. We were forced to take a rest break in Florence, SC. While in Florence, we met some wonderful people -- Black and White. Thank God that we made it back home safely and that we were NEVER in harm's way, and if we were, HE shielded us and protected us through it all.
NO complaints. Happy with the results and waiting for my next adventure.
In the midst of all the hatred that is flowing like water in our Nation today, look for the good in people. Please give them the benefit of the doubt. Know that we all make mistakes and frequently fall short, but if there is love, trust, respect, and integrity in our relationships, it will all work out, and we will be BETTER because of the interaction. The repair folks in Florence invited us back for just a visit anytime we are in the area -- YES, they were White southerners in SOUTH CAROLINA, and we accepted the invitation.
Peace and blessings always.