No Day At the Beach

Sunday started off promising. I ran 5 miles in keeping with my half marathon training plan. We came home and immediately got ready to head about 45 minutes north to the shores of Lake Michigan to meet our photographer friend for some awesome 1 year pictures of our little Charlotte. We try to do a beach day at least once a summer. Yes, we live within minutes of this Great Lake, but it’s um…not so great in our area. So we need to venture north of Milwaukee to find pristine beaches and clean water. After the photo shoot, we promised the kids a fun-filled beach day.

Backing out of the driveway, I said, “I think today is going to be fuuuuuun!” Little did I know that I was actually being sarcastic. Damn.

After stopping to gas up, Derek turned the car back on to hear it sputter a bit before turning over. That was weird, we thought. Sign #1.

We hopped on the freeway and talked about all the fun we were going to have at the beach. Riley could not contain his excitement. Suddenly the ABS light on the dash board illuminated. Sign #2.

Since that is for the braking system, we were confident the car would run just fine, so we ventured on. A few minutes later, I looked over at the dash board and realized none of it was working – the speedometer, gas guage, everything, was at zero. And we were on the highway going 65 mph.

No sooner could we devise a plan for action, when Derek gloomily reported that we were losing power. We moved over to the shoulder and took the next exit. By some miracle, we were able to coast about 4 miles to a gas station. Our alternator was blown.

So now we’re 45 minutes from home, in 90 degree heat, with two kids. Not a good scenario. I immediately did what any other girl would do in my position. I called my dad.

He said he’d throw some tools and a tow chain in his truck and be there as fast as he could. But still, he was about an hour away.

I don’t know if I’ll ever forget the expression from Riley when I told him that our truck was broken and we couldn’t go to the beach today. His face immediately crumbled into tears. It was no temper tantrum – far from it. It was genuine sadness and disappointment. I felt it too. I hugged him so tightly and promised him over and over that we’d go to the beach again.

Down the road we saw a George Webb’s and decided that ages 4 and 1 are not to early to expose children to the worst best of Milwaukee’s post-bar food. So we walked there like homeless people and  we ate deep fried, greasy food, with no fruit or vegetables at 11:30 on a Sunday morning.

Afterwards, we walked back to our car to wait for Dad. We passed the time the best we could.

Why is pretending you're driving so much fun?

Why is pretending you’re driving so much fun?

The baby's gotta stand somewhere. The front passenger seat, it is!

The baby’s gotta stand somewhere. The front passenger seat, it is!

We searched our iPhones and found that there was a Ford dealership about a mile away, so we decided to get towed there and see if they could fix it on Monday.

photo (19)

Being a Sunday, this was pretty much our only option. We had been talking about trading in our 2005 Ford Escape for weeks. It started leaking oil, had over 100K miles and was starting to rust. It had seen better days. Yes, it makes me nostalgic – this was the vehicle both our kids came home from the hospital in! But we knew it was time to let her go.

We checked out cars on the lot at the dealership that day, but then searched for more online. And then we found her.

Long story short, we took the next day off work and bought a brand new Ford Escape. In a funky color. That I will be driving until I have teenagers. While that thought may depress me, at least I find solace in the fact that it is an awesome ride and not a minivan. Score!

New wheels!

New wheels!

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