We took a family vacation 2017-05-27 thru 2017-06-29, swinging around the western third of the USA. I was working remote during the entire trip, which set the stress levels a bit high just off the bat. The whole family came along, which at the time was five children, the oldest of which was seven. So that was a bit stressful as well.
The first leg of the trip was the drive out to Tucson. It went well all the way through the desert, though the AC switched to heat when we were going up hills, but on our arrival in Tucson the air conditioning inexplicably ceased to function all together. I poked around to see if maybe a cable was loose or something, but was unable to revive it. We figured we would get it fixed a few days later when we spent a week in Colorado Springs.
But once we got the car into the shop in Colorado Springs, the shop kept having delays. First it was disassembly, then it was parts, then the parts were the wrong parts, then the new parts wouldn’t go back together correctly. The short of it was that we were stuck without a vehicle for three days at the campsite with spotty wifi and unreliable cell service. The day before we needed to leave we finally got the car back with the AC fixed (though it still switched to heat going uphill).
The next two weeks were pretty uneventful, other than needing to replace one of the headlights. We stopped by our rental house to bring home some of the things we had put in storage, so we wanted to get a trailer, but for that we needed a trailer hitch. So the day before we planned to drive home, we took the van down to the U-Haul. While I was The guy who installed the hitch bar put it in too far back, so the spare tire wouldn’t fit properly, but we didn’t have time to worry about that because the van also just wouldn’t start. I walked back and forth between the U-Haul and our house several times, and at one point I left my phone charging in the lobby. When I got back my phone had been stolen. A guy who worked at the oil change place helped us diagnose the problem, and we had the van towed to the local dealership. I walked to the friend’s house where we were staying and I had reached my limit. I wept in my wife’s lap.
So we were stuck again. We asked our parish priest and our parents for prayers, but there was nothing else to be done. I spent the day at the dealership, and five days later we had the van back. The delay had thrown off our plans, and we rushed to get the trailer hooked up, packed, and the family back on the road.
About half way back, we got a flat tire. That only took about a half hour to put on the spare, and then another hour or so to get a couple new tires put on.
At the time, it felt like everything was going wrong. Looking back, well, it could have gone better, but we overcame it, and God knew we could, so it’s something of a compliment I suppose.