February 10, 2012

Travel troubles

So far the Ross family does not have the best of luck when it comes to traveling. After this happened last year, we were not too eager to get back on the road. But, we'd had a special anniversary trip planned for months. So we packed up the car.

Once again, the trip was fabulous. And the drive home was decidedly not.

We were preparing to depart Captiva around 9:30 AM. Hubby noted that one rear tire looked low. The tire gauge that used to be in my glove box had mysteriously disappeared. So we said we would stop at the first gas station we came to and check.

By the time we got to one, the tire was almost flat. Hubby had to change it right then and there. But first, of course, we had to unload the carefully packed car so he could get to all the stuff he needed. And then he had to figure out how to get the spare tire out from under the car. Which proved to be complicated.

All I can say is, thank goodness for our iPhones. Mine kept SB entertained while hubby used his to search for help. He called a local dealer for assistance with the spare tire. And located a service station on Sanibel that said they could repair the tire.

When we got there, however, it turned out they could not fix it. There was a large, construction grade staple in it, and they were afraid it would be punctured in two places. Hubby got back on his iPhone and located a place in Fort Meyers where we could go. 

We headed over the causeway right as the sky opened up in a torrential, only-in-Florida-style rain. Which went on for the next few hours, making things that much more fun. Fortunately, the Firestone place in Fort Meyers could fix it, and fast.

Once the repairs were complete and the tire was back on my car, it was close to 1:00. We decided to go to a restaurant to eat before we hit the road. We went to a crab house next door to the Firestone and had a nice lunch. Then got back in the car and drove through major traffic in Fort Meyers to get to the Interstate.

It was 2:15 when we got on I-75. We had a seven hour drive ahead of us.

We were cruising along and making great time when we hit Orlando at rush hour. Yes, rush hour. If you have ever driven through the state of Florida, you know that is the LAST thing you want to do.

This was about the time SB decided she'd had enough. She had been so good up to that point, but she just couldn't take anymore. You know how when a young child is tired you have irrational conversations that go in circles and make you want to hit your head against the wall until you lose consciousness?

Yeah. And then she had a whinefest until she crashed. Slept for about an hour. By the time she woke up it was dark. That caused her to be disoriented, and she freaked out. Nothing we did could calm her.

I spent the remainder of the trip driving on the most dangerous stretch of Interstate in the country in the dark. And rain. Gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles. Good times.

There were so many times throughout the day I just wanted to cry. I'm pretty sure hubby did, too. We were both ready to throw our own tantrums. But we held it together. And we all got home safe and sound, albeit late. After a 12 hour day.

We will not be hitting the road again anytime soon.
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