We decided to go visit my family in Idaho this past weekend. It was General Conference as well as my dad's Birthday. We left right on time on Friday afternoon, and the kids were thrilled that we would get there before it was dark, so they could play in my parents awesome yard.
We were making great time, when all of a sudden, the car started tilting a little and there was a weird grinding noise. I pulled the car over, Ben got out to look, and sure enough, our tire was flat. Down to the rim flat. Boo. Although it stunk to see the flat tire, we were so grateful that it didn't blow out and possibly flip the car. Blessing #1.
We were out in the middle of nowhere, but to our fortune, there was a rest stop just one mile away. Blessing #2. I drove the car slowly on the side of the road, and we all bounced away as we got to the rest stop and pulled off.
The kids and I walked around while Ben got the car all ready to change the tire. Simple thing...right? W.R.O.N.G.
The wrench we had to get the lug nuts off, didn't fit. There was no way to get the flat tire off. Huh? Double boo. The wrench that was in the car, was meant for the tires that came with the car. The dude that had the car before us had changed the tires and the rims. I guess he had a thing for super rims. Who knew.
Good thing we were right in between two small towns in Idaho and Utah where most people have big trucks with big tool boxes. LOTS of people offered to help, and were sure that at least one tool in their box could get our tire off. No one had the tool, it was crazy! It almost turned into a game. Or like Sword in the Stone. Who has the magic tool? Who can get our tire off? Who has the coolest tool box with the right tool. Our lug nuts turned out to be super lock lug nut thingys. They are meant to keep people from stealing the tires. hhhmmm
We were about 10 miles from Malad, the closest town selling lottery tickets. Since the lottery was in the billions, and there was a 3 hour long line, we had a plethora of people passing through and offering to try to help us. :)
One very kind man offered to let us use his triple A card. Blessing #3. So, we called AAA. Too bad it took them 45 min. to get ahold of the closest person who could help us.
However, the weather was perfect and the rest area had paths, bridges and lots of space for the kids to play. They thought the whole thing was great. Blessing #4
Finally, about 3 hours after our tire went flat, the extremely old, foul mouthed, upset AAA guy came. And he didn't have the right tool either. He ranted, raved, cursed, and them felt bad for us. um...yeah.
By this time it was dark and getting cold. So we changed the kids into their pj's and brought our DVD player into the rest stop building. I am sure people walking in and seeing our pile of clothes and our kids watching a movie, wondered what on earth we were doing. We were very grateful that we had the DVD player though, and shelter from the cold. Blessing #5
After the AAA guy came, we decided to call in a tow truck, and to call my parents, who were an hour away to come get us and take us the rest of the way to their house.
While we were waiting for the tow truck, two more AAA guys showed up??? Apparently, while they were trying to get ahold of the first guy, they called two others, and forgot to call them back. It didn't matter anyway, because they didn't have the magic tool either.
The tow truck and my parents arrived at the same time. After 4 1/2 hours at the rest stop, I was overjoyed to see my parents and to finally be in a car headed the rest of the way to Idaho.
Sam thought that the tow truck pulling our car onto it was one of the most amazing things he has ever seen. In fact, yesterday, as he was telling his friend that we got a flat tire, stayed "forever" at a rest stop and then got a tow truck, he ended by saying, "Aren't we so lucky!" Oh, the perspective of a child.
Once my dad pulled out onto the freeway and was picking up speed, there was a deer standing in the middle of the road. Not kidding! We would have hit it if we were going 75 at the time. The deer made a move to walk to the side of the road, so my dad started going again, and then it turned around and ran right back in front of the suburban and off into the hills. I still can't believe we didn't hit it. Blessing #6. Pretty ironic huh.
We arrived to my parents house around midnight. Not exactly the time my kids were so excited about, but we were all just happy to be safely there.
We had a great weekend with my parents and siblings. We made a fun book for my dad for his Birthday, ate amazing food, watched conference and soaked in the amazing talks and spirit that were present, played in the yard, and relaxed. It was a weekend well spent.
A tire shop in Malad, Idaho was able to get the tire off (they deserve a golden star and a cupcake or something), and we were able to get our car back on our way back home a few days later. Of course they said someone would be at the shop to give us our keys, and they weren't there. But the wait wasn't super long, and the tow truck dude had gone above and beyond to help us, so we were patient. And yes, we now have the right tool to get the tires off.
Ben and I have decided that things could have been a lot worse had it been snowing, not by a rest stop, the tire had blown out, and so on. We now look at that rest stop as a reminder to be prepared, no matter what. And for FHE, that is just what we will be doing.
Updated 72 hour car kit and magic tools, here we come.