Monday, March 19, 2012
When Kelly went to start the van on Monday morning it wouldn't start. We thought maybe the filters were full of dust because of the dust storm so we called AAA, they couldn't do anything so we has to find a Mercedes dealer in the area and have it towed… The nearest Mercedes dealer was 40 miles away. They called us the next day and told us that the battery underneath the driver seat was Fried, I think that's the battery that works the ramp. We ended up staying here two extra nights, we had planned on being home Wednesday or Thursday but now it looks more like we'll be home Saturday. After the van was fixed the towing company and the Mercedes dealer we're arguing about who should bring the van back, of course neither of them wanted to do it. Finally the guy that towed it to the Mercedes dealer said that he would bring it to us after work, on his own time, he was so sweet. It was so cold outside we couldn't really do anything so the first day we just stayed inside and visited. We thought about taking a taxi to go get some food but we ended up just ordering pizza. We got a really good night sleep then the second day we decided to brave it and go out into the cold to Walmart to get some things that we had needed that were in the van. We went over to De La Vega's Pecan Grill & Brewery. We had a lot of really good choices but I'm glad we decided to go there because the food was awesome, everybody really enjoyed what they had. We went back and got a phone call that the guy was going to bring the van back. It was the guy that took it out there and he brought it back on his own time.
We slept really good and then got up to get the heck out of here. Our next stop is Arizona to visit Kelly's mom, aunt Bobby. Then to Santa Ana to visit Karen's family and then one more night and we should be home by Saturday.
It has been a really great trip but it will be nice to get back home. I think this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I am so glad that we did it. I have been so relaxed and I think we all had a great time. We found another Mexican on yelp that looks like a really good place, it was. It was called Cafe Poca Cosa. I had cod with green chilies and lentils and they gave me a huge salad. Kelly and I almost split up late and we should have because it was humongous and then they gave us a bowl of pinto beans and a bowl of rice. They had passion fruit cheese and it was awesome. We headed to Arizona but we didn't know that there is league baseball and a golf tournament here so it was really hard to find a place to stay. We finally found a holiday Inn in Phoenix Arizona. We were all really tired but Kelly decided to go and visit her mom, her mom lives about 5 miles away from here. Tomorrow we're all going out to breakfast, tomorrow I will probably be in a better mood. I slept really good and I feel a lot less cranky today. Unfortunately my aunt Bobby has a doctors appointment and we need to get out of here because we have a 6 Hour drive so I won't be able to say hello to her. I wish I would have went down and met her in the lobby with Kelly last night. Nobody has eaten because we thought we were going out to breakfast so hopefully there is a Starbucks on the way out so we can at least have coffee. We are getting ready to leave Arizona and I was cruising Robbie around the parking lot to get him some exercise so he won't be so uncomfortable while we travel and I see some guy walking towards me and waving, at first I thought he was crazy and then I recognized him, it was my cousin Mike. He just happened to be in the area working on a duplex, he is a contractor. I was so excited to see him, I haven't seen him for probably eight years and he looked great. We visited for a while but we had to go. He promised to come out this summer and visit, I hope he does because I miss him so much. We left Arizona and headed for California. Of course about halfway through the desert a light came on on the engine. We called Kelly's husband Tom, Karen texted her brother and I called Gabe to see what it was and apparently we were low on Diesel Engine Fluid. Apparently the only place you should get the fluid is at a Mercedes dealer but besides Phoenix which we just left the next one was about two hours away and we didn't know how long we could go until the van would just stopped. Gabe said you can also go to a Ford dealer because they sometimes have the same thing so we went there but we were still afraid to put it in because we were afraid that Mercedes wouldn't service it if we put the wrong thing in, It might break the warranty. We found a Dodge dealer who also makes the Sprinter and they looked it up and found the right stuff. It took about six
Gallons but we were on the road again with the right stuff. Our next stop was Karen's parents house, she makes the best food. She made some Menudo and she was making tacos, needless to say they were both awesome and we ate way too much. We ended up going to bed about 11 o'clock and Karen went back over to her parents to hang out. I slept really good and got up feeling great. Karen's parents invited us over for breakfast to have some Sopas, I know they will be killer. We decided it's about 6 1/2 hours to get home so we're just going to do it.
We stopped off at Karen's parents house for breakfast, I swear they are the neatest people. The mom is in the kitchen cooking away and the dad is in the bedroom singing, the two brothers are always joking around and just having fun. Her Mom reminds me of a big kid, she's just so happy and playful. I ate way more than I should have and she gave me leftover Menudo from last night. We hated to leave. Her older brother went out and checked all the fluids in the van… Which were really low by the way. We were going to stop and spend the night in Fresno but we were also anxious to get home and we just decided to drive straight through and we got here about 9 PM, it felt really good to get home.
36 days, 7466 miles, 162 cups of coffee, 373 gallons of gas, 2 oil changes, 13 states (some twice), 68 hotel rooms, 1 fleabag motel, 64 free breakfasts, 3 doggy baths, dodged a few tornadoes, a 2 day dirt storm through Texas followed by snow, 2 packs of allergy pills, towed once, celebrated St. Patrick’s day, visited Elvis, 3 home cooked meals, commandeered a “wash-o-rama” with 18 loads of laundry, more BBQ and tacos than we care to admit, beignets & chicory coffee in the french quarter & a mini Mardi Gras parade, alligators, 2 airplane rides…. ZERO squabbling.
My cousin Kelly, my service dog Robby, our friend Karen and I spent 5 weeks together on an amazing road trip from Santa Cruz, California to Fort Lauderdale, Florida AND back to Santa Cruz. So many sites, stories and memories… too many mention, it’s a trip I will always cherish.
I had a really good night sleep and woke up on Saturday feeling great. It rained, Pretty much all Saturday and all of Saturday night… I love to leave my door open and listen to the rain, especially at night, it is so soothing. Teresa and Janea came in at 4 PM and in 4 hours they emptied the van, put everything away, washed all of my dirty clothes and cleaned up… it was amazing how fast they did it. My nephew stop by unexpectedly, what a nice surprise, with about 5 or so of his friends. They were on their way back from a retreat and wanted to go to the boardwalk but ended up cruising around downtown because it was raining. Heather came by and cook some black ling cod and some asparagus, she came by on Friday night before I got home and cook some mustard chicken, spinach and quinoa… it is so great to have real good food that is good for you. She also did a demonstration where she works and brought me home a turkey and avocado wrap.
Sunday was a really long personal-care day but at the end of it I got a nice long hot bath, I stayed in the bathtub for 2 Jacuzzi cycles it felt so good, my 1st bath in 5 weeks. I got to take showers while we were on the road but there's nothing like a hot Jacuzzi bath. I went back to bed but for some reason I couldn't sleep as exhausted as I was, my body kept spasming and I couldn't tell if I was just too hot or if there was something wrong. I finally fell asleep watching Dr. Phil.