Continued from part 1. Click here if you didn't see the first part.
The strangers whose car we got into were very nice, and they dropped us off at the winery. We called a tow truck to tow the van. Not an easy task with the trailer attached. After forever, they came and towed our van to town, and dropped us off at a hotel. They promised they would take the van to a nearby repair shop who would look at it on Saturday. Now, we're stuck in a hotel with no transportation. Oh, and did I tell you that my DH decided we no longer needed the AAA roadside insurance that would have paid for the tow truck and also have given us a significant discount on the hotel?
Saturday morning I was able to spend some time walking around the town, looking at the shops. DH wanted to stick around the repair shop to see what was up with the van. Oh, and Calico Cat, this proves that my DH can act just like your husband. The difference is when we were at the Biltmore, he thought that cooling off the van engine would help, so we went on the tour. The repair shop was unable to diagnose the problem (and they closed at noon), so we were told they would tow it AGAIN $$ on Monday to a dealer. We were really stuck there now.
DH was so upset, he started making calls to friends and family back home to tell them of our troubles. He decided to use an old phone credit card for the calls since our cell phones didn't work in that area. He used that credit card the entire time he was there. We were shocked when we got the $600 phone bill a month later.
After telling my boss that I was not going to be back on Monday, he said he needed me back to work and was willing to pay to put me on a plane. Our company had just been acquired, and they needed the budget done! It was the first of many new experiences with a big corporation. Who am I kidding? When you've been married as long as I have, you know when to retreat... So, on Sunday, I got into a cab BY MYSELF (first time was a little nerve wracking), and went to the airport to fly home. I flew into a different airport than where I flew out of so I didn't have my car, and my mom had to come get me and drive me to another airport 100 miles away to get my car...
DH stayed behind, incurring hotel costs for several days. Finally, after days of the dealer "fixing the problem" only to break down shortly after leaving the dealer, while at the same time charging us lots of money for each new part that had been "fixed", DH convinced his very good friend to drive down with a trailer to tow the van (and our trailer) home to Michigan. That trip over the mountains would put a strain on any vehicle let alone towing a trailer with a van AND trailer on it, but they finally made it home. Good friends like that are a treasure!
When I got home, the stray cat we had taken in seemed kind of tired. But being an outdoor stray, he was constantly getting into fights with other animals, and I didn't think too much of it. DH was very attached to that cat, and worried himself sick about the cat. When he got home, he found some lumps on the cat and took him to the vet. After extensive, and yes expensive tests, they told us the cat had cancer. So, a week before Christmas, we had to put him down. We were both heartbroken, and DH blamed himself for being gone while the cat was sick.
The local dealer was finally able to diagnose and fix the electrical problem on the van, and it only cost a mere $1800.
And that, my friends, is why we have not gone vacation in over ten years due to the vacation from HELL! It took us a while to recover financially, and emotionally...
After listening to that long recital, I promise a more quilty post next time.