I need to give credit where it is due. My very dear and brave friend Ms A, gave up precious time with her family in Tennessee to fly out to me in Coastal Carolina to help my overly emotional self drive cross-country with five of my kids ages 10-2. Not only that but she bravely drove my large vehicle for the first time and towed our behemoth of a trailer, willingly and without audible complaint.
I could not thank her enough for her help and constant support with this epic journey. It is true that once you become a Marine Wife you join a very special club. We met when our husbands were deployed to Afghanistan together a few years back. Life and the Marine Corps has sent us in different directions but we will always be friends and I will always be so grateful for all the help she gave us in the past and on this trip.
…. So we moved West.
You can plan and prepare for the worst all you want, life will still throw you curve balls. Some thrive in stressful situations… I am not always one of those people. Usually I am but apparently when I am emotionally drained, I am not. Ms A on the other hand is, and always will be. I would like to say that the drive was uneventful but yeah… that did not happen. We broke down at the first gas stop of the trip. To put it in the way I understood it, a hose fell off that took a red liquid to somewhere else in the engine and caused a huge cloud of steam and made my car look like it was bleeding out and blowing up all at once. This is when my emotionally drained self panicked and Ms A shone saving us and making sure we got back on the road. She was across the street collecting lunch for us while I was filling up with gas when all of this went down(when I turned the car back on after refueling). She was literally standing across the street holding lunch in bags and saw my car go up in smoke and came running. Helped me get the kids out of the car as we didn’t know at that point if it was smoke from a fire or steam (it was steam) and sat us on the sidewalk in front of this gas station with the kids where we had a picnic that would give a germaphobe a heart attack. Booboo even handed me a lovely piece of petrified gum… so thoughtful! But I managed the kids while she really stepped up to the plate and got us taken care of.
Ms A found someone at the gas station who helped us identify what was wrong. She trekked to the auto store that was a very short walk away, only to find that they didn’t have the part we needed. Then started making phone calls to see if anyone could come to our rescue. Thankfully we were in a small town and on one of her calls a very wonderful gentleman told us to call his buddy at a local auto shop and mention his name and hopefully they could help us. After contacting this shop and telling them of our predicament, they literally came to our rescue. Two guys from this shop drove over to us and one drove my car with me and the kids to their shop just on the other side of the interstate from where we were. The other guy drove my friend cause lets face it, my car was full. They saved us from having to get my car towed and figuring out what to do with our trailer. The extremely helpful gentlemen got us fixed up and back on the road much quicker than we had anticipated. To the men at the Pilot Mountain Rapid Lube in NC, we could not thank you enough for your help!
We got back on the road within two hours from when we broke down and were able to keep our hotel reservations. It was certainly a late night but we made it and we are both very proud of tackling some fears that day with some not too favorable driving conditions in the West Virginia mountains and in all it made us more prepared to keep heading west in the morning.
You can read my full disclaimer here. Some tips I have used from past road trips with our gaggle of kids to make this one somewhat easier here. To read the post about the days leading up to our big move click here and to read the next part about our journey click here.