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Old 06-15-2008, 06:44 PM   #1
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Default vacation nightmares


So SWMBO and I took the family on vacation this past week to Myrtle beach, SC. It was a great trip down and we had an amazing time while we were there. Lots of time on the beach, brand new 2 bedroom suite with granite counter tops, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, full kitchen, on the 11th floor right on the beach with a great view... then we went to leave.

I was about -> <- this close to making a bit of detour on the way back home to Ohio to stop off and visit with Evan!, but affter being in the truck for 6+ hours, I knew the kids would be a handful, so we decided against it.

So we go to leave. I get all 500 lbs of crap loaded up in my truck, plus the wife and 4 kids. I'm going back the way that we came in on the 501. Big mistake I guess. We end up going about 60 miles in 4 hours because traffic is so backed up. It was unfreakingbelievable.

By this time the kids are hungry, so we stop at a Wendy's. They all have to go to the bathroom so SWMBO takes them and I get in line to order for everyone. Of course there's a crazy line and I'm at the end of it. As soon as another group walks in the door and gets in line behind me they proceed to open up another register. Normally good news, but they take the people behind me, who had just walked in, and take their orders. of course immediately following this about 20 more people come in and get in the new line and I'm stuck.

30 minutes later I'm finally ordering (AT A FRIGGIN WENDY'S). The people who were behind me but got in the new line have ordered, eaten and left already. The kids want chicken nuggets, blah blah blah... the lady tells me , with an attitude, that it's going to be a few minutes for the nuggets. I'm about to blow my friggin top at this point but somehow I manage to contain myself a bit and say "Sweetheart, I just waited 30 minutes to place an order at Wendy's, another couple of minutes isn't going to make any difference". Apparently that's the wrong thing to say to someone who works the register at Wendy's because this made her very unhappy. Someone else filled our order.

So we finally get back on the road, about 3.5 hours behind schedule according to my TomTom. I'm flying through South Carolina into North Carolina, through Virginia and into West Virginia doing about 80 the whole way. We're on pace to be home at about 3 am.

Finally! The home stretch. Only 330 miles to go. What's that? My battery light is on? The abs light is on? Huh, that's weird. Hopefully I can at least make it home.

Wait, I'm the fast lane with the cruise on 80 and the cars that I just passed are passing me! Why am I going 65 now? Why doesn't this friggin truck do anything when I step on the gas? Why did all of the needles in the dash just die?

My money is on the alternator, but I call 911 and they send a turnpike guy out to see if I can get it going with just a jump. Of course it doesn't work. About 10:30 pm the tow truck comes. We all 3 look at it, try to start it, charge it again and agree that it's the alternator. The tow place also happens to have a repair shop. It took a semi cab with a hydraulic flatbed to load up my Excursion and 45 minutes later we're finally there.

By this time it's 11:30pm and of course it's going to be Monday before they can get an alternator in and get my truck taken care of. They take us all to a hotel a couple miles up the road. 12:30 am and we're in the hotel goinig to sleep. What a great friggin evening...

My wife has to work on Monday (well I'm supposed to as well, but the truck won't be ready until Monday at the earliest) and my 3 oldest daughters have to go back to their mom's this evening. So I call up my Dad and see if he can come down here to pick up the wife and kids to take them home while I stay here doing nothing in a hotel in Beckley, WV until my truck hopefully gets fixed sometime tomorrow so I can go home.

At least the gas station that I just mountain climbed to sold beer on Sunday and the hotel has an internet connection.

Man I can't wait for NHC.

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Old 06-15-2008, 07:02 PM   #2
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I broke down once north of Beckley after paying the southbound toll on an early Sunday morning.

Luckily, it was just the belt and I already had a replacement in the trunk...

MB is a nice place to visit also.

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Old 06-15-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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Sucky! Sorry to hear it. I was on my way to Boston last summer to visit my friend. My alternator went right as I was pulling out of a toll booth on 95 (not the place for an alternator to go, or to have your car crap out). I pull off at the next exit and pull into the first gas station/service center I see. As Im pulling in the car just dies. We took a train to Boston and the car was fixed by Sunday. Needless to say: alternators suck!
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Hopefully you will get your truck fixed and get back on the road as soon as possible.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:46 PM   #5
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I had an RV with so many electrical problems, that I finally junked it. Literally. But, at least when it broke down, I didn't have a wife & kids to worry about.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:02 PM   #6
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Dude, you tell yer wifey that this is karma's way of telling you that you made the wrong choice with regards to your visit. If you had gone out of your way to make it to C-Ville, you would have probably broken down here, where we have 2 guest rooms and 4 taps, and plenty of auto repair shops too.

Truly, that sux. Kep yer head up!
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:12 AM   #7
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Sounds like I need to buy you a beer at NHC when we hit up the HofBrauhaus.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Evan! View Post
Dude, you tell yer wifey that this is karma's way of telling you that you made the wrong choice with regards to your visit. If you had gone out of your way to make it to C-Ville, you would have probably broken down here, where we have 2 guest rooms and 4 taps, and plenty of auto repair shops too.

Truly, that sux. Kep yer head up!
I knew this type of reply was coming.

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Old 06-16-2008, 01:23 AM   #9
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That sucks man, I remember a family vacation when I was younger and our motor home broke down in a Winn Dixie parking lot (starter). It wasn't as bad as your situation, we were in a motor home.

Good luck getting out of there tomorrow.
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:58 AM   #10
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Wow- that sucks balls bad.

I'm in a comfy hotel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The worst thing that happened to me was it took an hour to go 3 miles this afternoon on I69. I had my Ipod and Bruce Springsteen sang to me the whole time, and I had my son's leftover french fries. It wasn't so bad. I didn't have any cold beer in the car, only two warm kegs and homebrew. I'm having a cold (commercial) one now, though.

I am buying you (and SWMBO) a beer when I see you later this week.

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