Tuesday, July 4, 2017

How many things can go wrong on the way to the airport?

One of the things we like the least in our wanderings is that we are usually a long ways from family and friends back home in Oklahoma. So we try to return home for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, as well as one other time during the year. This is that "other time" and we have purchased tickets to fly home for several weeks.

This is an interesting process, as we have been trying to eat our way through everything in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer before we leave. We don't want to leave anything to tempt mice to move into the motor home while we are away. So we have been enjoying some interesting meal combinations as we have been eating more home-cooked meals than usual. That's good for the budget as we haven't been paying for restaurant meals or grocery store visits.

Another part of the process is finding a place to leave the motor home while we are away. In the past, we have found places to stay that had electrical hook-ups to leave the refrigerator going and the batteries charged. But this time we are in an RV storage lot with no electricity. We have afternoon plane tickets, and a 1.5 hour drive to the airport, so we started the process of moving the motor home to storage early to give ourselves a time cushion.

It's a big process to clean out all the food cabinets and the refrigerator. Also we're not good at packing since motor home travel doesn't require suitcases. It was a busy morning, but we got pulled into the storage unit by 11:00. We started the final departure check list. Leave the refrigerator open--check. Drain water tanks--check. Put out fresh cab mouse repellent--check. Shut all windows and vents--check. Turn off battery switch to chassis and house batteries--check. Put bicycles inside motor home--check. Our motor home is used to wandering about freely, so it's a little sad to see it trapped inside a six-foot fence.

We were finally ready to leave, and found out that the gate to the storage unit wouldn't open. We're in the car, locked inside a 6-foot-tall fence, and we have a plane to catch! It's a good thing we had the cell phone number to the manager, and ten minutes later he arrived to open the gate. Whew!

With the gate finally opened, we were ready to drive out of the storage area. But the car wouldn't start! That's never happened in the life of this car. So we had to push the car through the automatic gate before it could close again. Whew!

We have the car loaded with suitcases, plus food items we didn't want to leave in the motor home, plus the inflatable kayak, plus . . . Instead of a smile, that is a grimace on Mark's face as he is trying to get to the jumper cables under all that junk. It's a good thing the manager was still in the area, and he offered to give us a jump start. Whew!

We still had the 1.5 hour drive, knowing that we couldn't turn off the engine for any reason. We also knew there was road construction between us and the airport. The good news is that there is some beautiful scenery as we drove over Snoqualmie Pass towards Seattle. We got through without too much delay. Whew!

While Mark drove, Denisa called battery stores in the Seattle area. She found one on the way to the airport that reserved the proper battery for us and promised fast installation. We pulled in and out within 20 minutes with a brand new battery. Whew!

By the time we got to the airport, we were wondering if anything else could go wrong. In fact, the people on the car park shuttle were hoping they weren't on our flight after hearing how our day was going. But the good news is our flight was on time and uneventful, and we landed safely in Kansas City--where our son and daughter-in-law live. It was after midnight by the time we got to their house, and it had been a very long day. But we arrived just a few minutes into Jordan's birthday!

If we were picking a day for the battery on the car to die, this wouldn't be it. We still prefer motor home travel over airplane travel, but this journey has gotten us where we want to be right now.

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