Saturday, March 31, 2007

Trip Report

It was great to see my better half again, and also great to see some people (and a few places) I had not seen in a while. The area has been growing rapidly. I'm amazed at how much new construction (some complete and some in progress) there has been since I left in June of last year. So I suppose I would rate it a good trip. Was it relaxing?

In the words of Edna Krabappel, "Ha."

Things went fine until the car started dying on me. That didn't happen until we got to Virginia, so when it got very bad on the second day, I took it to the dealer I bought it from. Unfortunately, the person who needed to look at it was gone and wouldn't be back until the next day. We ended up stranded at the hotel until the next day, then sitting in the dealership until about 4:00. The dealer finally said they couldn't replicate the problem, even though they had someone drive it for about 80 miles. So we finally just left for Kentucky, after stopping to get a prepaid cellular phone for the trip.

By the way, to activate the phone, you dial an 800 number to an automated system which does most of the setup before it transfers you to a real person to finish. The automated system opened with, as I recall: " 'Sup? This is Symone, and I'm here to get you set up with your new phone..." and continued with responses like "OK, cool." Much eye-rolling on my part ensued. The real person (who was probably much hipper than whoever wrote the script for the recording) never said "sup" once, by the way.

We got back to Kentucky without the car dying again, so I felt like I was in good shape. Then we found out the next morning that it was going to snow in Pennsylvania for the next three days, so I set off immediately to get home. I drove the last third of the trip in increasing snowfall and accumulation, and got in around 11 in the evening. Most of my body was sore from being constantly tensed up for the last few hours. I had forgone stopping at rest stops because I was iffy about how well the various on and off ramps had cleared.

But I made it intact, and the car never died again. It hasn't really given me more trouble since, although I did have a hard time starting it last weekend. Unfortunately, it also means I feel trapped. Unless it repeats the same problem and I can get the problem positively identified and fixed, I can't take this car on another long trip. So I can't really go down to Kentucky or anything else again until either that happens or I get a new car.

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