May 5, 2010
9:30 am: Finish loading the car. It is jammed to the gills.
10:00 am: Begin drive up the east coast. Encounter no diversions or delays. Set to arrive to our destination at 5:30.
12:00 pm: Michael listens to AM talk radio. I zone out a little.
1:00 pm: Stop for lunch at the slowest, most ridiculous Wendy's, ever.
3:10 pm: Cross into South Carolina on I-95.
3:12 pm: Spot a large pipe in middle of the highway.
3:12:30: Hit large pipe in middle of the highway. Blow out tire. Pull to side of the road.
3:13 pm: Call AAA. Get reconnected to South Carolina's AAA. Cannot understand a word they say. Damn the southern accents.
3:15 pm: Meet a truck driver who also hit said pipe. Learn it took out his brake line and tire rod.
3:20 pm: Notice older couple who also hit said pipe. Not sure what happened to their car.
3:40 pm: AAA savior arrives to change tire. We begin to unload our possessions from the back of the car into the front seat and side of the road to access the spare. You see, some genius decided to install the spare under the flat part of the hatch. So if you have stuff in the back, it must be removed before accessing the tire.
4:00 pm: Tire change nearly complete. Discover not only is tire flat, rim is bent. We will need a new tire and a new rim. AAA tire changer offers to call his shop for a replacement tire. We agree, while Michael starts calling Mazda dealerships in the area.
4:30 pm: No one has a tire or rim. Shop owner promises to keep trying and will call our guy back. Meanwhile, a second AAA savior (from the same shop) arrives to tow older couple's car. He waits with us as our tire changer is dispatched to another road hazard.
4:50 pm: Shop owner found new tire, cannot find a new rim. Will take 2 days to get rim to shop. Best he can do is offer to try to buff out/reshape current rim and see if new tire will seal.
4:55 pm: What other choice do we have? We are 275 miles from our hotel stop that night. Can't drive that far on a spare. Decide to follow him 'about 15 miles' to the shop.
5:15 pm: Still following the guy. Where the hell is this place?
5:16 pm: Call Savannah Mazda dealership ourselves to see if they have a rim. They don't, but can overnight it if possible. They close at 6, so let her know by then.
5:25 pm: Arrive at 'shop' which is a nice way of describing this auto repair center with no indoor plumbing. It's in Bluffton, SC which is not far from Michael's grandparent's condo. Can't believe we are back in this neck of the woods. Meet older couple who were also on highway. They are snowbirds headed to New York. Learn their transmission is shot. $3,000 repair.
5:30 pm: If tire wizard can't fix the rim, shop can get us a discount at the Holiday Inn in town.
5:35 pm: Don't want to get charged for initial hotel room if we don't make it. Call to cancel room. Spell last name three times.
6:00 pm: Tire wizard fixed the rim. Tire will seal on it, it's safe to drive. Suggests we get a new rim as soon as we can, since tires are not balanced.
6:15 pm: Pay $150 for new tire and parts. Not charged for labor, but that's one expensive tire.
6:30 pm: On the way back to I-95.
6:45 pm: Call hotel to rebook reservation
7:00 pm: Starving. Want to eat non-fast food dinner.
7:15 pm: Denny's never looked so good.
9:45 pm: Arrive at the hotel. See who got kicked off American Idol. Shower. Collapse into bed.