Jun 22nd, 2009

Go West

On Saturday, the RLA and I set off for the Gulf Coast. Star was caravanning with us, and the SisterGirlFriendGirl and her partner were heading south from Tennessee, to meet up at the beach. We headed across the state on Alligator Alley, known in my youth as Death Alley, for reasons that should be obvious. Nowadays, it’s two lanes in each direction, and plans are afoot for a third lane. This year, there seemed to be tons of delaminated tires, to the point that I started referring to the drive as the Trail of Tires. (Say that with a Southern accent for the full humor.) At some point, we hit a chunk of tire, shortly thereafter someone’s rim sailed past. Shortly after that, we hit a 10-mile long dead stop traffic jam. And shortly after that, smoke started pouring from under the hood of the PT Cruiser, and we pulled to the side of the road. I debated the odds of the car bursting into flame, and whether or not I needed to begin an emergency evacuation of our week’s worth of luggage, food, pillows, noodles and odds and ends. While I was doing that, the RLA opened the hood of the car, and I began to panic, thinking that fire responds to air by getting much larger. In the event, it wasn’t an engine fire, it was just that we had lost all of our engine coolant.

Star doubled back and sat with us until AAA arrived. The tow driver discovered that the AAA mechanic in Sarasota was a mere 97 miles from the point of our breakdown, and with AAA plus, we were eligible for a free 100 mile tow. So. We got towed all the way to Sarasota, where Star came and rescued us and brought us and our tons of crap back to the beach house. We settled in, walked the beach to the burger bar down the way, and by the time we got back, SisterGirlFriendGirl and SisterSqueeze were waiting for us on our lanai.

Tomorrow MJ, RJ and their cat JJ arrive for the remainder of the week. Photos will be posted later. Time for me to hit the beach and soak these aging bones.