July 03, 2004

Long Way Home (Day 2)

After a terribly long day yesterday, we got up bright and early this morning in an attempt to figure out what to do in order that we might make it home today. To that end, we held a discussion at breakfast with the four extremely interested parties as well as Amanda's grandparents. In the end we came up with three possible solutions:
1) Get the Blazer's transmission fixed
2) Leave the Blazer unfixed for now
3) Sell the Blazer and buy a Suburban

Essentially, our situation was such that we probably couldn't get back to Grapeland (if you made a triangle of Houston, Dallas, and Longview, Grapeland would be essentially at the middle.) To that end, Amanda's grandparents graciously offered to allow us to borrow their van to drive home if we exercised either option 1 or 2. Theoretically we could have driven the Blazer the 8-9 hours back to Grapeland, but the odds were good that we wouldn't have made it. Finally, Eric and Amanda had been talking about selling their Blazer and buying a Suburban for quite some time and this seemed the ideal time to do it if possible.

With all of this in mind, it was decided to set out to the car dealership and see what could be done with the Blazer. This decision was magnified when a nice 4WD Suburban was located costing $7800... quite a good deal and exactly the variety Eric and Amanda wanted. After a test drive there was copious negotiating and haggling and whatnot. At one point Eric and I were left to sit and talk with the car salesman whilst the rest of the crew went to check some other dealerships. Shortly after all of this, a very good deal came down the pipes and Amanda's grandparents offered to help out with the down payment and so it came to be that at 12.30 we had left the Blazer at Plains Chevrolet and drove away in a bright red Suburban.

After all of this hoopla, we headed back to Amanda's grandparents' house to have lunch before heading out. It is here that I must take another aside and tell you a bit about Amanda's grandmother. You know those people who simply cannot resist sales and must buy anything that is selling for a good deal? Well, Amanda's grandmother is like that with grocery stores: if food is on sale for cheap, she will go to said store and buy said food... regardless of need. Bearing this in mind, Amanda's grandmother was quite pleased to see us upgraded from a Blazer to a Suburban and crammed the back of the Suburban with 3 or 4 copy-paper boxes of food as well as two full ice chests. By the time we ate and headed out at 1.30, the car was stuffed to the gills and we still had a 8.5-9 hour drive ahead of us.

Fortunately, the roads were generally clear... surprisingly so considering that we were driving on Saturday of the 4th of July Weekend. Making good time, we hit Braum's for dinner in Decatur and had wonderful burgers and glorious ice cream. Following this, we made the fateful trek into Dallas-Fort Worth where we got sidetracked yet again courtesy of confusing road junctions. Happily, we slipped out of the DFW area and made it back to Eric and Amanda's around 10.30. Sadly, this was not the end for us... and after unloading and reloading into Anna's 4-Runner we set off for Longview at 11.

Up until this point the roads had been fairly clear of pulled-over vehicles... but that all changed as we headed out. We saw probably 9 or 10 individuals pulled over, most doing field sobriety tests as we passed. I also called in a Mercury Cougar who was drunkenly driving along ahead of us as we neared Palestine. Hopefully someone got him before he did something really stupid. As we pulled in at 1.15 or so, I happily unloaded the car and greeted my port of origin. It has been a long and enjoyable week, but I'm glad to be staying put for a while.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at July 3, 2004 11:59 PM | TrackBack