Friday, May 26, 2006

It seemed like a good idea, at the time....

Today, the kids celebrated their last day of school. So we decided that we were going to take the two over to Pittsburgh for an overnight getaway. Pittsburgh is honestly one of my favorite cities around. It's close to home, has a lot to offer and it just a really nice town. So, after picking Molly up at 1:30 from school, (she only had a half a day, Alex for out an hour earlier), we made a quick pitstop through the McDonalds drive thru, and headed off to Pitt. Now, from where we live, there is an easy and simple "back way" to Pittsburgh. St Rt 212 to St Rt 151 to US22, and you're there. The drive was going well, until the storm hit. Just outside of Scio, Ohio, the clouds opened up. And when I say opened up, I am talking biblical opening up. We were driving through "downtown" Scio and hit a lot of water on the one side of the road. That's when it happened. First, the power steering went. Then, the battery light turned on. It's at that point where I knew something was not right at all. I was able to get it pulled off to the side of the road and it was then when the temperature gauge went sky high. Best thing to do was turn the car off. After a couple of minutes, that storm passed and I opened the hood of the van. The serpentine belt that basically gives your vehicle all of it's power had come off. I had hit so much water, that the belt hydro-planed on the gears and slipped right off. Okay, no problem I thought. I would just get on my cell phone, and call someone in my wifes family at their family car lot for assistance, they could tell me what to do. But that wasn't an option. Where we were, cell phones are pretty much just expensive paper weights. No cell service. While I was trying to make a phone call for help, a couple of kids pulled off the road to see if they could help me out and put the belt back on. No luck. It was then when I went over to a garage that was across the intersection. When I explained to them the problem, they just kinda chuckled and said that it was not an easy fix, but I could use their phone to call AAA. Which I did. Luckily for us, I had the Plus plan which gives you a 100 mile radius tow. So, I gave them a call, and also called my wifes Mom to come and pick us up. In the meantime, another storm had rolled in, and I think even more water got at the engine. Well, one of the guys for the garage I made the call from came over to see if they could help, but they couldn't get it either. After about an hour, AAA showed up, and picked up the van, but we had to wait another 45 minutes until Denise's Mom showed up to give us a ride back in to the car lot where the van was going. By the time we made it there, the van was fixed and ready to go. They had said that there was nothing at all wrong with the van or the belt that came off. The water just really did a number on it. So, with everyone's blessings, we decided to head off to Pittsburgh anyway, just take a different route that has cell coverage. We made it here about 7:30, checked in, got some dinner, and went swimming. The van made one more really weird move, but, I think there might have been some water some where because the way the exhaust looks. All appears well now, but, tomorrow is another day. Keep your fingers crossed for us. We still have to make it home ;)

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