Saturday, June 2, 2007

What a trip! Day 3


Friday, May 25 - Today we had plans to go to the Elmwood Park Zoo, this tiny, quaint zoo in the suburbs of Philly. We had all intentions of going to the Philly Zoo but were thankfully talked out of it and into going to this littler zoo in the suburbs. My sister-in-law and her 3 kids and mother-in-law were to meet us there...but first we needed to drop off my car and get a rental while they worked on it. I had expressed my distaste for the rental they wanted to give me and was in full hopes they would have worked on getting something better. WRONG!

As I was driving there, my brakes were squeakier than ever and as I went down the hill right before the dealership, I needed to brake for a red light and lo-and-behold...nothing. I felt like I was on ice. There was no traction or feeling of slowing down. I pumped the brakes and eventually came to a stop - well beyond the place I should have. Thank God we weren't hurt! I marched into Bergey's Ford and let them know (maybe not in the most polite way) that there was DEFINITELY something wrong with my brakes and they needed to fix them ASAP. Again, the guy that is my dad's friend was not able to help - but it was probably for the best. I might have embarrassed him by the way I was acting. It went something like this -

I ask, "Okay - what car do you have for me to use while you figure out and fix what is wrong with my car?"
Their response - "We have a roomy Taurus that you will enjoy."
me - "No, I won't enjoy that. It is the same car you offered me yesterday and I did not want it."
them - "Well, due to the holiday weekend, it's all we have."
me - "I live in Columbus, Ohio. I come all the way to Bergey's Ford in Pennsylvania to buy a $35,000+ car, my dad has worked for Ford for almost 30 years, and this is how you treat me? I expect a comperable car. Latch system for the car seats, automatic everything, and a dvd player would be nice. Not a beat-up smelly car. Can I please speak to Scott (the manager). Last time I was here he helped me out and gave me a used demo mini-van that worked perfectly."
them - "Scott is not in today. All we have to give you is this Taurus. The specialist is coming soon and says he can fix your alarm problem in a few hours. We should have the car back to you today."
me - "What about the brakes? Something is severely wrong."
them - "We will check them again, but the tech looked yesterday and didn't find anything."
me (about to be late for the zoo) - "Fine. I'll take the car for today and will come back after the zoo to pick up my car".

After this exchange with the service people, the bitchy rental car lady came for me to sign papers. She asked for my drivers liscence and credit card. Credit card? For what? She says in case of an accident or not enough fuel, etc. She also pressures me to get the insurance which Ford doesn't cover (by threats or how much it will cost if I don't get it and get into an accident). I decline and have to sign a million other times because of it. After feeling like I have been completely treated like crap - I have to sit there and transfer everything from one car to the other (which the dealership is supposed to help - even though they are not allowed to strap the car seats in - they can move them for you). So I have 2 kids, 2 car seats, 2 diaper bags, lunch bags, toys and a double stroller to finagle all myself. What JERKS!

Anyway - off to the zoo which was awesome! A perfect zoo for preschoolers. No elephants and giraffes - but cougars, and birds, and petting zoos, and otters....lots for the kids to see. Plus, tons of shade!!! And really nice, clean play areas that were not overrun by big kids. And ice cream at the end!!! Who could ask for more! My Columbus Zoo pass got me, my sister-in-law and all the kids in for free - which was a huge perk. Very fun afternoon and Gavin and Evelyn were really good the whole time too. That always makes for a nicer day!

After the zoo I called the Ford to see if they were done. Surprise, surprise...they weren't. So I went back to the Bull's and waited to hear from them. A few hours later they called and told me they fixed my alarm thing AND (get this) I needed ALL NEW BRAKES BECAUSE MINE WERE BAD! All new brakes? In a car with less than 7000 miles on it???!?!?!?!? And in a car they said they looked at just the day before and found nothing wrong with it?!!?!?!?? Total a-holes. They probably never even looked at the brakes. Figured I had no clue what I was talking about and said what I wanted to hear. I am so pissed they put me and my children in danger by letting me drive it. THEN they said they wouldn't be able to get to it until Tuesday at the earliest because of the holiday! I calmy told them "Do what you have to do to fix the car - but if you do not have my car for me tomorrow, I am going to Enterprise and renting a comperable SUV with leather, dvd, automatic start, etc and I will send you the bill (this was after Patrick told me I should say that)." Let's just say they had the car fixed first thing the next day. Sometimes it pays to be the squeaky wheel (no pun intended about my squeaky brakes). I still have not talked to the manager and it is over a week after this happened - but I still intend to strongly let them know how I feel!

After that whole fiasco I needed a drink so I met my sister and some of her friends at the new Melting Pot in King of Prussia. Great meal and nice to get some adult time without the kids (although my sister and her friends are almost like kids - just kidding Anna!). By the time I got home, Mommom and Poppop had bathed the kids and put them in bed! NICE! :-)

What a trip! Day 2

Continuing our trip details:

Thursday, May 24 - Today was spent on the road a lot again! I needed to go to the car dealership to get my brakes looked. Once I got there, the guy I usually deal with was not there (and he said he would be) but he called the service department to let them know I was coming. I tried to explain to the best of my knowledge what I was hearing/feeling in the car. They looked at me like I was crazy - and even said "It can't be your brakes - there isn't even 7000 miles on the car" (like I was thinking). I also showed them a secondary problem we've had since we got the car, where the car goes nuts and starts beeping in morse code like sounds when we use the keyless entry pad. This only happens once in a while - but enough to be really annoying...especially when the kids are sleeping and it wakes them. It is not like the panic button sound - but truly like morse code signals. Luckily, the alarm sounded when I was there (usually the problem never arises when you want it to) and they determined they needed a specialist to come and look at it and they might need it for more than a week! I wouldn't have minded except that they were going to put me in a POS Taurus that could barely fit my double stroller, stunk of smoke, and was just not comparable to what I am used to driving. The specialist was not available until the next day (Friday) so they said I could take the rental car now or bring the car back the next day - since they "checked" my brakes and "nothing was wrong with them" (the air quotes are meant to express my sarcasm) - I must not know what I was talking about. I chose to take my own car - since I had lots more driving to do and it was more comfy and had the dvd player for Gavin.

Next stop was to Anna's house to drop off the kids while I went to the salon for my waxing. Always a fun experience :-) Once I picked up the kids, I went to the local park where I knew some friends were with their kids. Gavin had fun and played with everyone. The park was across the street from my Godfathers house (who I did not expect to be home but was) so we went over and saw him, my aunt and their daughter Randi who was heading back to Utah - which was why they were all home in the middle of the day. It was a great surprise to see them all - and checked them off the list of "have-to-see-when-home". Good.

After that we went to visit my Poppop (aka pop-pop-pop) where I was nervous since Gavin was not in the best mood. But once we got there - Pop-pop-pop gave Gavin a lollipop and was his new best friend. I could not have asked for a better visit! Gavin was on his BEST behavior (as was Evie) and held pop-pop-pop's hand, gave kisses, talked to the little old ladies that lived in the apartment building, and was just overall the best he has acted since he's turned 2!!! Perfect timing since I don't think pop-pop-pop has the most tolerance for bad behavior! Anyway...a great visit!

Then, back to Anna's for some pizza and Lost (since I missed the season finale the night before). Anyone who watches it knows how good this episode was! Franks Pizza is my favorite pizza in the world - so it was a great night. Then back to the Bull's and asleep by 9pm again! Very good day - except my brakes were squeaking more than ever and felt like they were starting to not work...more about that in the next blog!

What a trip! Day 1

So far our trip has been quite exciting to say the least! Here it is so far (we are half way through) broken down by the day's events:

Wednesday May 23 - This was our travel day. Luckily - we had great weather and barely any traffic. We had one snafu when we were 2 miles from our exit to stop and eat and we hit dead stop back up from an accident. It was lunchtime, so the kids were getting a bit antsy, but more importantly in my mind - it was mommy's bathroom break effect from drinking all that coffee and soda to stay awake. Let's just say I called some friends to take a quick poll - should I a) pee in a snapple bottle, b) pee in one of my kid's diapers, or c) pee on the side of the road. My friends thought this was hysterical - but not so funny when it actually happens to you. As I got out of the car and checked the miles of traffic ahead I decided to feed Evelyn and chose it was best to just do it on the side of the road. We were in the left lane, next to the barrier so if I opened my door and Evelyn's door I had a nice little "stall". The only downfall was a big truck next to me where the trucker could see everything. As I was debating my situation, the trucker leaned over and said he heard we were moving - and sure as heck - we were! So no peeing on the side of the road for me! We stopped in 2 miles and beelined for the bathroom. The rest of the trip was uneventful except for at the very end when we were a few miles from the Bull's house. All of a sudden my car started making funny squeaking noises when I braked and a whistling noice when I accellerated. It sounded like a beat up old car. When we finally got to the house, the car was stinkin' like burnt rubber or something? Definitely not right for a car we just bought and has LESS than 7000 miles! Not what I needed. I called the guy we bought the car from and told him we were coming in the next morning to get it looked at (that will be a whole other blog). Then, Mommom and Poppop Bull made us a nice dinner and helped give the kids baths and put them to bed. They were both asleep before 9 (which is pretty good for a travel day which normally throws them way off). I was out by 10. Except for the car issue - a very easy trip! But keep reading my future blogs to read some more days...let's just say some involve a lost phone, a HUGE arguement with the car dealer, a broken leg, and a McParty Bus.