Monday, May 23

The first leg of Fitbloggin: Charlie goes to the airport

It was a beautiful Thursday morning. I kissed my kids and husband goodbye, hopped into Big Blue (the new used van we have made exactly one, count 'em, ONE payment on...) and headed off to the interstate exit. I had made sure there was gas and oil the night before, so I had no reason to stop.

Low carb Monster energy in one cup holder, coffee in the other. No Doubt CD in the radio. Phone charging in the lighter thingy. Airport itinerary and ID's easily accessible. Packed to the gills and cape in suitcase.

I WAS UNSTOPPABLE! On my way to Fitbloggin!!!

That is until Big Blue made a weird noise. She seemed to still be going, and I was almost to the halfway point of getting to the airport (almost 2 hours away), so I slowed down a little. Maybe that was all she needed.

But then I realized I was going a little too slow for interstate driving. (Thank you drivers behind me by informing me with "polite honking." I didn't realize I was having a problem till you brought it to my attention...)
I had the gas pedal to the floor, and at 45 miles an hour and slowing, I realized something was SERIOUSLY wrong with Big Blue. I flipped on my hazards and coasted to the shoulder of the road. As soon as I came to a complete stop, Blue died.

I figured maybe if I sat there for 5 minutes, willing the problem away, there would no longer be a problem. (For the record, that was how I also dieted for a LONG time...) 5 minutes passed, and with all the confidence in the world, having sufficiently prayed the name of Jesus over my van, I knew my van would start.

Only it didn't. It was dead as a doornail.

Now, here was my dilemma. If I CALLED someone, and then the van started, it would all be for nothing, and I didn't want to bother anyone. But on the other hand, if Blue was down for the count, that was precious time I would have to get to the airport so I wouldn't miss my flight. Kind of a catch 22.

I decided to wait one more round of 5 minutes to see if I was in real trouble or not.

Yep, I was in trouble.

Now, here's the weird thing. Up until this exact moment, my cell phone was in a dead zone. No service, no signal. Nada. Zip. I looked at my phone, then up to the sky and yelled "I NEED YOU TO THROW ME A FREAKIN BONE!" (Me and Jesus are tight, so He doesn't take offense to me talking like that. He understands me.) And when I looked back down, not only did I have 4 bars of reception, but I had 3G internet to boot.

Springing into action, I got on facebook.

Status: Van broken down on I74 on way to the airport. Suggestions?

Next, I called our insurance provider. We have roadside assistance for this EXACT reason. All our cars are crap and have to be towed at least 2 times a year. Tow truck was on it's way. She asked me where I would like to have it towed, but the airport was not an acceptable response. Fine, to Wilson's Garage in Crawfordsville. I'd never heard of them, but whatever.

Rechecked facebook. "Call AAA. Call your Insurance. You poor thing."

Called Matt. Not a great conversation, but vehicles never break down when it's convenient. He was stressed out, and worried about my safety. And me getting to Fitbloggin. (He's the best!) He offered to take the rest of the day off to drive me, but truth be told, our white van is in worse shape than Big Blue. (Well, not at that particular moment, but you know what I mean...) I told him I'd try to figure out something.

Recheck facebook. There's a message from Sonnia.

"Call me if you need me to give you a ride to the airport-SERIOUSLY!!"

I really didn't have many other options at this point. And while it killed me to have Sonnia take me, I was desperate enough to get there. I mean, Dietgirl was going to be there! And we were going to meet!

So I called her.

And she said she was going to leave her house in 5 minutes to rescue me.

Meanwhile, the tow truck showed up, got me loaded, and we headed back to the garage. Knowing Sonnia was on her way to fetch me, I asked if he could PRETTY PLEASE drop me off at whatever was closest to the interstate exit so that it would be an easy place for Sonnia to find. He agreed, and I was dropped off at a truck stop.

While at the truck stop, I called Delta Airlines and told them what had happened. They were AWESOME. (And after later installments of this story, you will learn why I will fly Delta for the rest of my life...) They told me to go to the ticket counter as soon as I finally got to the airport, and they would have me on the next flight out of there.

Then, 30 minutes after I called, Sonnia rolled up her glam white sunglasses and big honkin' SUV. My girl knight coming to save the damsel in da' stress. Emphasis on STRESS. She loaded me up, and before I knew it we were on our way to the airport.

"I saw all these people offering you suggestions like triple A, and I thought "Why isn't anybody HELPING her? Wait, all I have to do today is go to the grocery store! I CAN HELP HER!!!"

And I thanked her lots, and we chitchatted the rest of the way to the airport. Before I knew it, we were at the correct exit, and she turned to go into the parking garage. Honestly, I kinda figured she would just drop me off and bolt. But, nay, I got the full service girl knight. She was determined to see me into the airport and make sure I got a flight out of there. As frustrated and stressed as I was, I was so grateful she came in. It was really nice to know I had a friend by my side, making sure I was ok.

I got new plane tickets, and then we girls had a Starbucks and sat down for a bit. If you ever get stranded, I sincerely hope someone like Sonnia comes to rescue you. She took my nutso situation and made it kinda fun!

We said our goodbyes and I hugged her tightly. That was an amazing gesture of friendship, and I cannot thank her enough for all she did for me last Thursday. As I got on the plane and we took off, I watched the sky and marveled about how wonderful my life, even with the craziness, really is.

Big Blue will be waiting at the mechanic's for a while. $1000 to fix the dumb thing. Remember how many payments we have made on her? ONE. Frustrating? Yes. But can we get around it and save up the cash to get her out of garage hock eventually? You betcha.

Cause we have a wonderful life. Even when it's stranded halfway to the airport.

Come back tomorrow night to read the second leg of Fitbloggin: Charlie the Goober.


Kara said...

Sorry about the van. What was wrong with it? I wish I had seen your post earlier that day. I would have packed up the kids and taken you. I know that route well. We are flying Delta to Disney this weekend. I hope their just as nice.

Brittany said...

You're honkin hilarious! I loved meeting and hanging out with you! xoxo

Maria_NJ said...

OMGosh Charlie that is a lot of stress B4 flying glad you made it though...Everyone at fitBloggin said I have to Tweet (what?) I see where it can come in handy in a terrible situation...ummm.

Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) said...

I'm so glad you made it because your panel was one of my favorites of the entire weekend. I couldn't stop laughing -- such a nice stress reliever!

Erin said...

It was so great to meet you at Fitbloggin and I love the blog version of the story. You are a funny gal! Hugs, Erin

Steve said...

unWooT the many misadventures of Charlie traveling to Fitbloggin :P but Woot on Sonnia for giving you a ride so that you could be WooT at Fitbloggin :)

nikkianne said...

Your story reminds me of the Tracy Lawrence song "You find out who your friends are"

Lena said...

If youve only made one payment check on the lemon law. Take it back to where you bought it . So glad you made your trip though and your friend sounds amazing!!

Laurie said...

I love Sonnia because if not for her, I wouldn't have gotten to meet you.

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