Jul 25, 2011

The trip that wasn't

Oh my gosh this weekend.

The plan: to head to the midwest for another wonderful family wedding. We were going to stop and see Mandy on the way (and pick up some fiestaware!), and of course spend lots of time with my niece.

We've been on enough road trips to know unexpected things will happen - we'll hit traffic so it'll takes longer to get there, gas is more expensive than we thought, etc, but we roll with the punches and keep going, because getting there is the whole point of the plan.

This weekend? Nothing went according to plan.

The mister and I got up early Friday, loaded the car, and headed out. About fifteen minutes into the trip (before we got on the first big interstate) some kind of wire flew off a truck in front of us and we couldn't avoid running over it. It made a noise under our car but we pulled over and checked the back tire (where it hit), and everything was fine. We joked about how that wasn't a good sign for our road trip to get off to that kind of start, but brushed it off and kept going.

About an hour and a half later, we stopped at an exit to go to the bathroom, and since Ben's caffeine had kicked in, we decided to switch drivers as well. We got back in the car and as he pulled out of the parking lot, we both said, "what's that noise?" (It sounded like we were dragging something under the car, along the asphalt).

We immediately checked the back tire (thinking maybe something of that wire had caught it), but it was fine, and there was nothing under the car. I glanced to the front, and found myself staring at a flat tire. Okay, a pain, but not the end of the world. Ben started unloading the trunk to get out the spare and I went into the store to buy some water (because it wasn't even 10 AM and already 100 degrees). By the time I got back, he was tightening the lug nuts on the donut tire.

Since you can only go so fast (about 55 mph), and so far on a donut, we headed over to an Exxon gas station that was right off the exit, figuring we could get it patched at their service center. They didn't have a service center, and neither did the Shell next door, but we were referred to a Costco down the street.

We waited for Costco to open, and stood in line, only to be told if we didn't have a membership they couldn't help us. However, there was also a PepBoys nearby.

So we headed to PepBoys. (Are you starting to see a pattern?) The mechanic there told us if he could patch it he would, but it would be at least two to three hours before he could even look at it, because he was pretty backed up with jobs.

Ben and I talked for a few minutes and decided the best move would be to drive back home (only about an hour and a half away) to get our other car and use that instead. Even with the time it would take us (because we could only drive so fast on the donut tire) to get back and essentially turn around, it would still be faster than waiting around to see if the guy at PepBoys could patch our tire. (It was almost 11 AM and we'd been on the road since seven that morning).

So we headed home. (We did stop at another exit to see if there were service centers with any of those gas stations, but no luck). At this point we were hot (it was well over 100 degrees), tired, and facing a still long day ahead of us. By the time we got back to our city it was after noon, so we grabbed lunch, transferred all our bags to the other car, and sat in our apartment for a few minutes to eat before heading out again. I wasn't feeling well, but I was determined to rally, and figured it was just because so much had been happening that day.

We hopped in the car, went to get gas, but by the time we got to the gas station (two minutes away), we were concerned about the air conditioning in the car. It was working, but the air didn't seem to be very cool coming out of the vents. We didn't want to get stuck on the road without A/C so we headed over to an auto parts store to get a can of "fill it yourself" free-on. We knew we'd feel an immediate effect and we wanted to play it safe since we had an eight-hour drive ahead of us.

I was starting to feel dizzy, so I sat in the front seat of the car and sipped gatorade as Ben popped the hood. I kept saying how hot I felt..and then I was throwing up in the parking lot. When I started crying,
we decided enough was enough, and headed home.

We initially thought I'd had sun poisoning but realized later that my symptoms were actually consistent with heat exhaustion. You guys, it was scary - I could not get cool. I'd been drinking gatorade for a couple of hours (we figured we were both bordering on dehydration), and when we got home I took a cold shower that I kept making colder because it wasn't cooling me off. I slathered cold aloe on my arms, not because I was sunburned but because it was cool on my skin, which I swear, sizzled when I put it on. (I even put packs of frozen vegetables on my arms and legs and laid on our bed with the air and fan blasting).

By this time it was two o'clock in the afternoon. We'd essentially been on the road for the amount of time it would have taken us to get there, but we'd never made it out of our own state. Ben made phone calls to the family while I tried to cool off, letting them know we would not be making the trip this weekend. Everyone was really understanding, and even though I was miserable, I was crying because we couldn't go. (At one point I think I asked Ben "why doesn't the universe want us to be there?") 

It took me awhile to not be bitter, and to realize that sometimes things just happen. (Side note: thanks to all who were encouraging even though I was angry tweeting!) I spent the weekend drinking water, gatorade, eating popsicles, and staying inside. (Oh, and we have to get a whole new tire, so we're not even sure if that wire was what did this because apparently the tire's pretty destroyed).

So...that was my weekend.

Have you ever had heat exhaustion? Or a road trip that went awry? Please share stories - I would love to hear them! How was your weekend?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I don't think I have ever had heat exhaustion. And I am sure I have had a road trip that has gone awry, I just can't think of anything off the top of my head right now! I feel so bad for you- what a terrible run of events. :(

I've had to replace 2 tires in the last couple of years, most recently in January. Not fun. :(

My weekend was wonderful. It was busy but it was great to be home for the weekend and be able to enjoy the area where I live!

Megan said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! I'm sorry you couldn't go on your trip and that you didn't feel well. It's definitely not fun having a ruined trip.

I have two stories to share:

1. We were heading to Florida to see family (about ten hours away), and when we got to north Georgia (just a couple hours away), my muffler fell OFF and was dragging on the interstate. We stopped at Walmart and Husband bought zip-ties and did some work to hold the muffler on... It was insane, but we eventually made it to Florida and back. (I don't have that car anymore, though!)

2. When my sister found out she was pregnant, she was in North Carolina. Her "boyfriend" was a complete jerk, so I told her I'd come pick her up (though it was a seven hour drive). So, Husband and I got in his car and headed that way, only to be delayed by a really bad storm. His tires weren't great, so we stopped to get new tires, but they didn't have the size he needed, so we just had to wait out the storm. It just kept raining and raining and we almost wrecked a few times. What should have been a fifteen hour trip total ended up being about twenty hours or more!

We're going to the beach next week, so I hope we don't have any delays!

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness! Becky, I am so sorry! I had a couple unfortunate travel experiences with my family growing up. On one particular vacation on the Disney cruise, it was one calamity after another. Before the boat even left the dock, my family was the first family in the infirmary. And it just went downhill from there! I am glad you are doing better today :)

Annie said...

Poor thing. We missed you but YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST! Sending lots of love and kisses!

ashleyTIA said...

:((( I hated reading your tweets. It's so upsetting when we have fun plans that go completely awry.

I'm trying to think of a terrible story of my own - Oh! I did get stuck in Hurricane Katrina during a family vacation in Pensacola, FL. We ended up having to eat military issued food packs and not seeing anything of the beach. It could have been a lot worse. Glad we were safe and that you guys were safe!

Mandy said...

I missed seeing you but really, you staying home and taking care of yourself was the best thing you could have done for yourself. There will be other visits.

Amber said...

Yikes! I am so so so sorry your weekend turned out like that. I have to say, you guys are troopers for planning on driving the 1.5 hours home changing cars and getting on the road again. I think I would have called it quits right then. Ha!

Other than having to take the LONG way home (which was awful) when we roadtripped north in July I don't have any bad roadtripping stories. Yet anyways...

I've had heat exhaustion many times. But never so bad it made me throw up. I know the feeling of just not being able to get cool though!

Lisa said...

That's the worst feeling when things don't go according to plan! I've never had heat exhaustion but that sounds really scary. I'm glad you feel better now though, and hope you're able to reschedule your trip!

Nora said...

It seems every time Knight and I traveled to see one another or with each other something happened... unexpected events at work to cause us running late, huge accidents on the highways (I always feel bad for being upset, especially when someone is hurt), snow storms, delayed flights, canceled flights, flat tires. We were SO GLAD when long distance ended so we could stop being road warriors and less vulnerable to the fragile travel world!

steph anne said...

It sucks when a weekend turns out like that but I'm glad it all worked out at the end anyways. My husband and I usually have weekends like this too many times that it's not even funny and I'm ready for another weekend by the time Monday comes. :P

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, this sounds so crazy and ridiculous! I'm sorry that it got so off track and that you didn't have the weekend you were hoping for. I'm glad that you're not sick anymore, and while I don't like that your plans went awry, I'm glad that I got to talk with you! Just call me head of the consolation prize committee ;)

Stevie said...

I'm so sorry it didn't end up working out, but I'm glad you're ok! I've never had heat exhaustion, but I've definitely gotten dehydrated to the point of dizziness. Not fun :-(

Suburban Sweetheart said...

I missed all of these tweets, but oh, boy! What a mess of a weekend! I'm so sorry nothing went according to plan & that you didn't make it to the wedding. Someday it will make for a "Remember when?" story, but for now, I think you're totally allowed to be disappointed.

Lucy The Valiant said...

Holy moly, that's a CRAZY day, chicka!

Darcie said...

Sorry things didn't go as planned; I know you were very excited to see your niece. I can't explain why you weren't supposed to be there, but there MUST have been a reason God sent you back home. I hope you get to see your family soon!

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