Our trip to Oklahoma (in June) was wonderful, but there was some ominous foreshadowing. Codi and her family also came out to celebrate Father's Day, but about 45 minutes from my parent's house their van's transmission died. A tow truck was arranged and my dad went to go get them. It could have been worse, but it was just a hassle.
I was counting my blessings that I had a functioning vehicle and I was thinking of my tight schedule as I began the 12 hour drive home. I had that day to get home and then one day to unpack, do all the laundry, and clean the entire house before my mother-in-law and Rochelle's family came to visit. Totally doable, right?
As I was driving into Colorado Springs, a mere hour and forty minutes from home, my van lost power. I could barely pull over in between the freeway and a merging highway. The instrument panel was saying I had overheated, but nothing helped as I turned on the heat full blast (in June) and then I could not accelerate. I prayed that our van would not got hit while stuck between the lanes of rush hour traffic and waited for it to cool off. After several minutes it had cooled off enough that I was able to drive about another mile before it died again. This time I called Ken, USAA roadside assistance for a tow, and a taxi service. I was also on the phone trying to find a place to stay. Of course, my phone was ringing, the tow truck and taxi arrived, and Peyton had a very poopy, gross accident. GREAT!!!
Not having any idea where we were or the location of things, we ended up at a cheap motel downtown. Big mistake! Even though they were very nice, it was disgusting. I wouldn't let the kids walk barefoot and I could barely sleep because it was so nasty! The next morning I talked to the auto shop and found out that it would take until noon to fix it, but they did have a loaner car that was being returned that morning and we could use that for the day. That was so helpful!
We went out to lunch and visited several really cool parks. It would have actually been a fun day had I not been so anxious about getting home. Many hours (finally at 5:00) and about $650 later. We repacked the van and took off.
We got about 30 miles away when the van started doing the same thing!!! THE PROBLEM HAD NOT BEEN FIXED. I was beyond frustrated. This time I didn't care what it took; I was going to sleep in my own bed that night!!! By now I was in the middle of heavy, rush hour traffic and it was pouring down cats and dogs (of course!). I would pull over and let the car cool off until I could accelerate again and begin driving and mostly coasting until I had to pull over again. I had only about 30 seconds or less before the van would stop accelerating. I don't think I got over 45 mph the rest of the way home and hills were very difficult. I think it took me about 3 and a half hours to get home. Honestly, I am still amazed that we did not have an accident with all the crazy driving that I had to do.
All of this was a lot of stress for me, especially being 6 months pregnant and quite emotional. I wouldn't let myself cry until I got home. I got out of the van where Ken was waiting to give me a big hug. Then I balled.