Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Most Memorable Thanksgiving Ever

While I love the concept of Thanksgiving - pausing to remember all that we are thankful for, celebrating the discovery of our country - I have to say that Thanksgiving Day in itself is... not my favorite. As non-football watchers and non-fans of turkey, Vic and I agree that it may be our least favorite of all holidays. It's usually cold/gloomy, there's endless football on TV, and everything is CLOSED. BORING.

That being said, Thanksgiving 2010 will go down in history as my most memorable Thanksgiving {and possibly holiday} EVER. It was certainly NOT boring, and we still chuckle about it to this day.

It was our first T-day in NC, and we had been invited to my BIL's house to celebrate with his family. At this time, I was driving the 1999 GMC Yukon that we had inherited from my MIL. It was in great shape with only about 43k miles on it, and it was our only vehicle. I walked out of work on Wednesday evening as one of the last people there {it had been a buzy week!}, and I went out to the truck like I always do. Put the key in, turn it... and nothing. Not a click, not a buzz... nothing. I hadn't left the lights or anything on, so it didn't seem that the battery was the culprit. I called Vic frantically, and we couldn't diagnose anything over the phone.

I went inside to find someone that could give me a ride home, and thankfully my boss at the time, who happens to live in my neighborhood, was able to help me out. She had a little pickup truck, but I was able to squeeze in the back on a jump seat, and she graciously stopped to pick up Valentino at daycare and he rode up front.

Being that our only vehicle was now about 20 miles away from home and we had no friends to call for help, the next morning - a chilly, drizzly, cruddy morning - we were able to get a rental car from one of the agencies at the airport. This involved Vic bundling up and riding his road bike about 12-15 miles up and down hills to get to the airport. Luckily, his bike fit in the back of the 2010 Chevy Malibu and he was able to drive home. At this point, we were still packed and planning on making it to MD for dinner.

With a little bit of research, Vic thought he had the problem diagnosed. Amazingly, Auto Zone was open, so he headed there to pick up the parts he {thought} he needed. Long story short, he drove back out to my office, installed the parts, and the truck still wouldn't start. Obviously, we weren't headed to MD.

Here's where it gets interesting. We didn't want to pay to tow the truck to the garage that Vic wanted to work on the truck, so his idea was to TOW the truck WITH THE MALIBU for about 10 miles - inluding getting on a major highway. I would be driving the Malibu with the truck hooked up to it, and he would be steering/directing me via cell phone. This sounded like a terrible idea, especially because I freeze up in nerve-wracking situations like this << Cue my hyperventalation >> He assured me that it would be fine, and we really had no other choice.

My heart was racing as we drove to my office.

We got the truck hooked up to the car, and off we went. Thank God that RTP was empty - we only saw a handful of cars the whole way. Even though I was a sweaty, nervous wreck, things were going smoothly. We got off the highway and on to a busy road {Glenwood, for you locals}. It was now dark, and I was starting to have a hard time keep my speed right with all the big hills. I had visions of the huge truck rolling over me. We had to turn left to get to the garage - we could see it from where we stood - but I blew it... I passed the turn. This is where it all goes downhill...

Let's also not forget that Valentino is only 3, and he is with me in the car. And it's past his dinner time. He was an angel through this whole experience, thankfully!

We tried to back up, but the tow strap we were using snapped. Vic attempted to fix it, but it was not very strong. We ended up having to turn left at the next light, which took us onto another road. The strap gave up, and our truck was stranded half-way up a hill. Vic and I tried to push it, but it's nearly 6,000lbs and the hill was steep. At this point, a cop shows up. Then another one. I am about to have a nervous breakdown, thinking we're in trouble for some reason {I have a thing about not getting in trouble - I really get nervous about it!}. Thankfully, they're only there to help us push. But even with their help, the beast wasn't budging. So they give up on that, block the road, and allow the truck to roll backwards so that they can then push it forward on to the shoulder of Glenwood Ave. At this point, we can literally see the garage that we're trying to get it to, but we have to somehow get the truck another 1/4 up a hilly road, then turn right and go up another hill to the garage's parking lot.

We had a tow chain with us, so Vic hooked that up and hoped that the bumper of the rental car wouldn't get damaged. We were able to tow the car to the garage, and the saga was over.

At this point though, it was about 7 o'clock on Thanksgiving, and we had no food in the house, since we were supposed to be out of town for the next four days. I frantically called around to find an open restaurant. The only place that was open long enough for us to get there was Golden Corral. So we ended up eating our Thanksgiving dinner at about 8pm at Golden Corral, which was a.) shockingly busy and 2.) quite tasty!  We were beat, but we had a great meal and chuckled the whole time about our crazy day.

Thankfully, the garage was open the next day and they were able to diagnose and fix our truck, so we picked it up and enjoyed the rest of our long weekend together.

And that, my friends, is my most memorable Thanksgiving ever.