Stranded in the most annoying way possible.

It was a dark and lonely night…

We had quite a day Sunday. In spite of the few hiccups a bunch of newbies would have, the trip started out just fine. The kids didn’t fight and enjoyed the fact that they were able to sit at a table on the entire trip and played their version of Pictionary with the whiteboard that we bought.

Mike and I discussed on what we could change while I wrote a “wishlist” of improvements to make.

My kids are burying Benjamin

Courtesy of Kelly Hamilton

The kids enjoyed their day. I missed it, but I was told Nathan had rescued a few runaway tubes from the center of the lake.

Benjamin spent most of his time in the sand – literately and the girls had fun using the Kayak.

In the end, everyone was exhausted and ready to go home. Instinctively, I thought that we shouldn’t be driving in the dark. The running lights were broken and we weren’t sure if all the lights worked.

However, we were convinced to stay for cake and I rounded up the kids. I suspect herding cats would be much easier if you had catnip, but even with promises of cake, it took a few tries to get everyone in one place.

We left about an hour later than we had planned.

For most of the trip, it was uneventful. Mike was used to driving by now and it seemed that we would be home in no time.

About 3/4 of the way, I noticed that when we would go up hills, the motor would downshift, but it seemed to have a different tone.

We both dismissed it as we were unfamiliar with the motorhome driving, and I was still a bit hyper sensitive from our accident. Everything sometimes seems to sound like a disaster waiting to happen.

A little while longer, Mike noticed that the engine light turned on. Then the Autopark light made itself known. Fortunately, the autopark was disabled, so the motorhome didn’t skid to a stop suddenly. Something that seemed to be a problem with older ones like ours.

While I was waiting for my phone to load a search page on why the engine light is on, Mike noticed that the speedometer was off. The transmission was started to shift randomly. This whole time, we were speculating what it could be.

Finally the Motorhome backfired and we decided to stop at a gas station in Whitehall, NY. Mike left it running, since we knew that batteries weren’t charging anymore. He was afraid that it wouldn’t start.

Thinking that the transmission might have been overheating, he cooled it off with some water from one of the gallons I had filled earlier.

We pulled out of the station, and it was already too dark to go without lights, so he turned it on.

We had already pulled out of the gas station when the engine started to die. About a mile down the road, we stopped at an antique place and that was it. everything quit.

We were 7 miles away from home. That’s right. If we were to walk very fast, we could make it home in less than two hours. I used to bike that distance to work every day. We were so close!

I was about to text Jonathan so that we can give them a heads up that they might have to come out and help, but Mike insisted that we troubleshoot first.

It took about 5 minutes for us to realize that he didn’t have his tools. At this point, Nathan had already texted Jonathan anyway. Mike relayed that he needed his meter and some basic tools that were in the garage.

After tinkering a little and determining that the belt to the alternator wasn’t broken. All we could do is sit and wait for my brother and father to arrive.

It wasn’t long.

Jonathan couldn’t jump the motorhome with his plug-in hybrid. It was just the way it was designed.

So we hooked up dad’s car, and it ran for a while.

My phone battery was getting low. I did have the battery bank, but I already used it twice to charge the camera, so I wasn’t sure how much power I had left. If we were to stay there overnight, I would need my phone for an emergencies.

I did take some video, using a flashlight that I should have had fresh batteries for and it wasn’t enough. So I have a lot of footage of blackness and some darkness… and maybe a little of nothingness.

Here’s what I salvaged:

In the end, Mike ended up going to Walmart and buying 1 starter battery and two deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries are usually used on motorhomes, homes with alternative energy and a lot of small vehicles that run on batteries like electric golf carts and forklifts. The batteries can withstand being drained all the way, but the starter battery is meant to stay charged. If it drains too much, you can lose some of it’s functionality.

We are not sure what happened. It’s an old motorhome and I figured there would be problems. It’s a good thing we saw this happening now instead of somewhere between here and Texas.


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In Texas

We finally made it to the “Texan RV Park” and after all the problems getting here, what could possibly go wrong? Let’s see…  The internet is awful, only because we are too far from the WAP. Fortunately, that could be resolved by getting an antenna booster.  Unfortunately, we aren’t spending on anything extra until Mike is working again. It’s in the 90s and our air conditioner quit and now… it’s raining and nothing seems to be able to dry out.

On the bright side, we made it in one piece and the camper is still intact, minus the AC. Pfft, who needs AC in September anyway? Oh that’s right, we’re in Texas. It does seem that we have brought the cold with us. It’s supposed to be in the fifties at night for the next few days. Maybe by then we will have the AC fixed.

Until we get a booster, I’ll probably be on only twice a week.  This is when I have to do laundry and the internet is stable and fast.  I think one of the WAPs are there. This will mean no Skype for a little while longer, but I will be posting to my blog.

 

We finally made it to the “Texan RV Park” and after all the problems getting here, what could possibly go wrong? Let’s see…  The internet is awful, only because we are too far from the WAP. Fortunately, that could be resolved by getting an antenna booster.  Unfortunately, we aren’t spending on anything extra until Mike is working again. It’s in the 90s and our air conditioner quit and now… it’s raining and nothing seems to be able to dry out.

On the bright side, we made it in one piece and the camper is still intact, minus the AC. Pfft, who needs AC in September anyway? Oh that’s right, we’re in Texas. It does seem that we have brought the cold with us. It’s supposed to be in the fifties at night for the next few days. Maybe by then we will have the AC fixed.

Until we get a booster, I’ll probably be on only twice a week.  This is when I have to do laundry and the internet is stable and fast.  I think one of the WAPs are there. This will mean no Skype for a little while longer, but I will be posting to my blog.

The Trip so Far

200px-Texas_flag_map.svg

From Wikimedia Commons

I thought I would be able to just blog while in the air, or perhaps just before we go to bed, but since I lacked sleep and I seemed to have a stomach bug, or it could have been anxiety. Whatever the cause, I slept, or visited the porcelain throne (or steel, if you count the plane). I certainly wasn’t very coherent, considering the fact that I didn’t get more than 4 hours of sleep the previous night.

I seem to have recovered from that ordeal and now I can finally type a full sentence without dosing off. Of course, that is, if I could type a coherent sentence at all.

We spent today getting to know Athens. Of course, until 3:00pm we really didn’t have a choice, as we couldn’t check into a hotel until then. We manage to find a Church to visit tomorrow, and a decent steakhouse called Ole West Steakhouse. If you ever visit Athens, you might want to stop by there for dinner sometime.

We had to stop at the local Walmart to pick up a new GPS as we forgot the one that we were *supposed* to bring with us. Since the hotel in Athens has a fridge, we also picked up a few groceries. It’s a bit expensive to eat out for every meal every day.

I did call my kids today. It’s odd to talk to them on the phone, as I never had to do it before. I don’t think I’ve been without all of my kids for more than a day. Michala, Nathan, and Sarah have all gone to camp, but the two youngest have always been there.

I have to set up Skype. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to sign on to my old account. I think I had made the account under a different user name to keep it private. It’s been so long since I’ve used Skype that I forgot my username. I don’t usually chat live anymore and if I leave it on, people automatically assume that I’m at my laptop 24/7 and try to chat. I leave my laptop on, as it is also my calendar and information center.

However, I would like to chat with all of my kids, and it will save on my phone minutes as I only have a “pay-as-you-go” phone. At the rate I’m going, I probably will be out of minutes by Tuesday.

Two days of Chaos

 

Plane taking off

Plane taking off (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Two more days and my husband and I will be off to Texas to look at houses and jobs. I’m not exactly looking forward to this. For one, I have a slight phobia of flying, Second, being pregnant, I do not look forward to the security scrutiny that I may have to go through. It didn’t help that I browsed YouTube just before making this post.

 

To minimize the trouble, (and to travel light), we had decided not to bring toothpaste, lotion, or any other liquid. I’m even going as far as to not bring my water bottles and just pay the crazy price after the security checkpoint.  When we get to Athens, we’ll stop at Wal-Mart and pick up a gallon of water from the dispenser as well as all the other goodies we decide not to take.

 

We also took care to make sure that the hotel has a coin-operated (mini) Laundromat so our clothes will also be limited. I think we will be able to fit all of our clothes in a small bag, with the help of some Ziploc Bags (more on that in the next post).

 

We will be dropping my kids off at my Sister’s house, but the dogs are supposed to be picked up by my Aunt and grandmother. My sister is concerned about her dog and Togo as they didn’t get along the last time they met. Unfortunately, I’ve tried a few times and I hadn’t been able to get ahold of my Aunt.  Tomorrow is probably my last chance; otherwise, I’ll have to figure something else out.

 

We will have our neighbor keep an eye on the house while we are gone as well as take care of any packages that won’t be put on hold by the postal service.

 

Tomorrow we will be gone some of the day as I have a midwife appointment to check on the position of the baby. Then we have to do shopping to buy some traveling supplies and some clothes for the kids.

 

We leave Friday. There is so much to do in so little time

 

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