Sunday, September 14, 2008

Worst Road Trip Ever

This post was inspired by Backpacking Dad. His family is taking a road trip and he asked his readers to share the story of their worst road trip. Technically it is a contest for a book but as there is no way I can compete against quite a few of the stories already posted this is more for amusement value than actually trying to win. Given my rambling nature and the fact that I have a picture that MUST accompany the story I decided it would be best to make a post out of it instead of leaving it as a comment. So enjoy, dear readers, the story of my most sucktacular road trip ever!

It was August of 2003, Niecey was born three weeks prior on July 30. I had finished up the summer class I had taken (summer classes are evil, 15 weeks condensed into 5) to make up for a class I had dropped during the regular semester. Classes started in a couple weeks for me and Middle Sister was kind of on maternity leave, and I had a week of vacation available. I suggested that it might be a nice/good idea to take Niecey to see Grandma, who turned 93 that year and wasn't in the best of health. Middle Sister agreed so we packed up Oldsie and hit the road, going from Chicago to Muncie, IN, which is about a 4 hour drive depending on traffic (I-294 is a bitch no matter what). The trip was uneventful, it took longer because we had to stop to feed and change Niecey a couple times but we got there safe and sound.
We had a very nice visit, stayed at our uncle's place since it is bigger and we didn't want the baby to wake up Grandma and such. Our uncle's crazy wife was in Croatia so we didn't have to worry about her. I got to spend some time with my beloved aunt, who lives with Grandma and takes care of her, they live across from my uncle. Niecey was a total sweetheart baby and her and Grandma spent some quality time napping together.

The day we left was sunny and hot. There wasn't a cloud in that Hoosier sky. It takes about an hour to get from the farm in the middle of nowhere to Indianapolis. I had pretty much just gotten off I-465 W and onto I-65 N when I heard this horrible noise and my car started to lose velocity at an alarming rate. The asshole tailgating me blew its horn at me and narrowly avoided smashing into my rear. I was in the left lane and very quickly pulled Oldsie off into the medium, I am very grateful that I was not in an area that didn't have that patch of grass between the North and South bound lanes since I would have had nowhere to go and likely would have gotten that jerk's nose up my rear (I wonder if that phrase will turn up on google analytics).

Now my first thought, when I heard the noise and the car got hard to handle and slowed down rapidly was that I had blown a tire. When I maneuvered to a stop was when I noticed that my car wasn't running. The dash showed the engine temp as maxed out. I got out and walked around the car and all my tires were fine. I tried to turn the engine back on but nothing happened. A nice man stopped to see if he could help, there was nothing he could do but he was nice and waited with us. I was worried about Niecey since Oldsie is a dark car that doesn't have a/c and it was in the 80's and sunny, couldn't decide which was worse, having the sun beat down on her or have her in the shady oven that was my car. Even with the windows down it was hot and you could tell Niecey was not a comfortable baby, though she was so sweet and didn't really fuss too much. The Indiana state police arrived and called me a tow truck, they then let us put Niecey in the squad to cool off. They coordinated everything so that the car was going to a BP in Lebanon and took Middle Sister and Niecey there while I waited with another officer for the tow.
After awhile a mechanic came and informed me that one of my pistons had decided it wanted to be free and so blew a hole in my engine block, effectively destroying my engine*. Once I knew that there was no way that car was being driven out of there began the "fun" part of figuring how to get from Lebanon to Chicago. We were about 3 hours from home and 1-1.5 hours from the farms. We managed to get in touch with my uncle and parents and eventually the decision was made that my uncle would get us and meet Dad along the way so we didn't have to spend 3 more hours at the gas station. Everyone there was nice and all but loitering in a gas station for hours is not really my idea of a good time. Everyone praised Niecey for being such a good and quiet baby, which at that point in her life she generally was a good and quiet baby, but to me it was just one more thing to worry about. In my opinion she was being too quiet and I was worried that she has spent too much time in the heat and sun. But she ate and seemed content so I just kept an eye on her for signs of distress. Perhaps some of it was the fact that she had two adults with nothing better to do than to dote on Her Cuteness.

And so I returned to Chicago carless but thankfully everyone was safe and sound. And I did get this awesome picture from the experience:
Look how red my poor baby niecey was =(. We stripped her in hopes it would help prevent her overheating. And there is that damn broken oldsmobile in the top right hand corner.

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*For those of you who have a knack for details yes the Oldsie in this post is the same one that is sitting outside my apartment right now as seen in the second picture**. My uncle had my car towed to his machine shop and a buddy of his replaced the engine for me. I decided that ~$1100 to fix the car would be better than trying to buy a decent used car for the same amount. Also I hate car shopping with a passion and am somewhat distrustful of people having seen my parents buy crap cars over the years.
**Oldsie is not that long in the front and short in the back, it is the camera angle that makes it appear so. Oh and to possibly help solve a long standing argument between Baby Sibling and myself what color would you say Oldsie is?


Mike Marshall said...

It looks sort of burgandyish......or dark purple.....I mean really dark purple........or maybe it's's not brown. Peace, Mike.

K'man said...

Due to the sunlight glare, I would say that the old Olds is Maroon, altho that light makes it look purple.
Our suckiest trip involved my aunt's heart attack and subsequent surgery followed by the rental Tahoe getting totalled by a family from Georgia. To this day, Wife does NOT want to go back to California.

Greg said...

I'm glad to hear everything turned out great for you and your daughter. Breakdowns are never fun! Sheena and I had this very fear when we moved 6 hours away from family; that our car would break on the way to or from visiting said family. We had an older model Grand Prix that loved to die out on hot days. Now I only wish that our had just broken down. We ended up getting into an collision with a truck while on our way to visit family. Luckily we both made it out ok, with only a little whiplash, as did the couple in the truck thankfully. We were two hours away from home and four hours away from family. We ended up staying in a hotel and my mother came to pick us up the next day. Needless to say, that would have to be our worst road trip ever!

The Marvelous Cheryl said...

it's red iron oxide colored, which is a type of ugly reddish brown. Karen has zero color sense :P

AZ said...

Without a doubt the vehicle in question is obergeen.

The Microblogologist said...

Mike - Good answer, lol.

Kevin - Oldsie does not like being called old ;). I can definitely understand why Wife doesn't want to go back to Cali, wow!

Greg - It totally sucks that that happened to you guys, glad the little J-man wasn't with you (he wasn't right?) and that everyone ended up being fine!

Cheryl - You need to google "brown" or look at Niecey's crayons/markers...

AZ - Thanks for making me have to google obergeen, hahaha!