Jeff and I left this morning for our own Epiphany Quest. I knew it would be nothing like my trip with Vicci, and I was right. It took us almost 12 hours to make what would normally be a five hour drive. But it ended in a really cool way. Here’s how it went:
Hour one: tire blow out on the bike trailer
Hour two: overheating radiator
Hour three: continuing overheating and removal of thermostat
Hour four: tire blow out on car
Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly timed like that, but we seriously didn’t make it 15 minutes from home before one of the tires on the bike trailer exploded into a thousand shredded pieces.
We had to limp along the side of the road to several tire places before we found a place that sells tires that size. We finally ended up at Walmart, where they sold us the tires (we went ahead and replaced the second one, because it was just as old as the flat one, and why take a chance?). They weren’t legally allowed to install them for us, so Jeff had to do it himself, in the Walmart parking lot.
Not too far up the road, the car began to overheat, so we pulled over and Jeff filled the radiator and reservoir with coolant and water. A few miles more up highway 75 we realized it was overheating again, so he pulled over to a shady spot and removed the thermostat.
This seemed to fix the problem, but as soon as we got comfortable that all of our disasters were behind us, the front tire on the car blew out! Unfortunately, the tire iron that Jeff had just used a an hour ago to fetch the radiator cap from the engine, where it fell when he removed it earlier, apparently bounced off the bike trailer and is now living in the middle if I75, somewhere north of Brooksville, FL. So we had to call AAA for a mechanic to help us change the tire.
Fortunately, not too far up the road in Gainesville, we found a place to get a new tire. We also had lunch at a really cool McDonald’s, one of those old fashioned ones.
We spent the rest of the day catching up on what was supposed to be a fairly short drive for Day 1 but what actually ended up being a very long drive, but at least we saw a rainbow and a giant cow.
Finally, around 8PM, we checked in to a Best Western in Cordele, GA. We were planning to camp in Cordele for the night, but we were both too exhausted to deal with a tent and since Best Western is my preferred hotel, and they are offering an incredible deal for a really nice room ($59 per night and it’s a NICE place) we went ahead and got a room.
Jeff, while wandering the neighborhood, discovered that we were right across the street from a hookah bar. I’ve wanted to try one of those since my daughter Kristina posted pictures of herself at a hookah bar in Turkey (she was there with the Air Force, at Incirlik AFB) so I jumped at the chance, even though we’re both exhausted from a long, sweaty day of car problems.
What a great time we had! We both had a cocktail and relaxed with a fabulous hookah and a glass of wine at the Café Harike. It’s a family run place, where they go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I was amazed at how incredibly smooth the smoke was. I quit smoking cigarettes many years ago, and still miss it.
I expected the hookah to be like smoking cigarettes, but I was so wrong! My very first hit of the bowl was a big surprise. I didn’t feel any smoke going in, so I didn’t think it was burning. It didn’t hurt. But when I exhaled a huge cloud of smoke, I was amazed! Jeff and I sat for over an hour enjoying the smoke and the wine, on a beautiful Monday Georgia night.
Now, however, it’s time to get to bed because we’ve got another drive ahead of us in the morning. I wonder what Tuesday has in store for us!