I’m back; we’re back.
I don’t know why I haven’t mentioned anything about my “new” car before now? I think it was just laziness, I haven’t been in the mood to change anything around on bobborden.com for a while. But I can’t talk about my vacation with out mentioning the car.
First, it’s actually a truck. A 1982 Jeep Wagoneer, yep, 1982. It belonged to my Dad (God bless him) and it always had a special meaning for me.
Bob’s new ride
Growing up I remember what a thrill it was for me when he let me drive it around the block. It was just rotting away when my last car bit the dust and we just decided that it’d be better to drive it than to see it just sit there. So with that little bit of trivia in mind, I bring you, my vacation:
What can I say, I drove to Steubenville. I was about 15 minutes out of Hoboken when my rear headliner fabric fell down and blocked my rear window. Little foam pieces were flying around, getting in my eyes and making a mess out of everything. It was crazy and very, very unsafe. I pulled over, took the headliner down, dusted off and got back on the road.
The last hour of the trip I noticed that my temperature gauge was going into the red. I know that’s not good but I was unfamiliar with the gauge, I thought that it had to be all the way in the red or a light or a buzzer would go off and warn me that things weren’t right. No buzzer and no light – I kept driving. I turned on my heater to get some of the heat out of the engine; I drove a little slower – that kept the gauge on the borderline. I finally pulled over at a state rest stop (Just rest rooms and vending machines), turned the engine off and the coolant started to bubble over. I should say it was boiling over. It was nuts.
I did everything I knew how to do; I put up the hood, sat on a bench and called my Mom. I called her and bitched her out because she sold me a lemon! I’m just kidding. I also called up my brother George. He had a Pep Boys lined up for me that was close by but as I was hanging up with him, this guy pulled up. He looked around my engine like he knew what he was doing. The fan worked, it still had most of the coolant, it was sitting for about 30 minutes and he told me to turn it over. I started it up and he told me to come look at the engine. The top radiator hose was as flat as a pancake! He went to his truck to get something but he was routing around like he couldn’t find what he was looking for. Then it hit me; I know what he’s looking for. I got in my emergency car bag and gave the guy my Duct tape. He taped the hose and I was on my way. The car hasn’t run that cool in years!
The guy was so nice too, I offered him some money but he refused. I just shook his hand and we were on our way. I say ‘we’ because he followed behind for 5 miles to make sure I was OK. How cool is that?! My faith in humanity was instantly restored.
The next day I took my car to the garage, got a new starter, brake pads, radiator hoses, air conditioner charged and I was good to go – all at a very reasonable price too. On my way to pick up the car from the garage I ran into a guy. He asked me for directions to the mall. He was going to walk, it’s 3 to 5 miles away and there are some crazy hills to contend with. Remembering my guardian angel from yesterday, I told him I was picking up my car and I’ll swing by to take him out the mall. I got the car, picked him up and we were on our way. I said to him when he got in the car, “Just don’t kill me, that’s all I ask.” He laughed, thank goodness. Turns out he’s a bus driver from Virginia. He drove a bunch of kids up here for a conference and was killing three days in a hotel. He needed to buy a cell phone charger because he left his at home. His name was C.R. — He was a nice guy. We got his charger, drove back and he offered to pay me. I told him what happened to me the day before and said that wasn’t necessary. I’ve got the story, that’s all I need.
On Monday, June 30, I dropped off my car to the transmission place to finally get a never-ending leak fixed. But that wasn’t the most exciting thing that happened to me that day. The most exciting thing was my friends Walter and “Sally” started their cross-country driving vacation. What was their first stop? You guessed it, Steubenville, USA! I was so excited that actual friends were coming to pay homage to the magical/mystical place where I grew up. They arrived; chilled out in my Mom’s crib for a few minutes and we were off to take the tour. The tour was mostly centered on yours truly. After that we stopped off to meet my Brother, Sister-in-law, nephews and niece. A quick tour/visit but we didn’t have much time. I should have taken them to a local restaurant but my Mom and I thought it’d be cool to go to the local casino. You know, eat and then hit the slots. “Sally”, Walter, Mom and I had a pretty good time. We lost but what can you do? Before I knew it, it was time to part ways. I really wish they could have stayed a little longer but such is life.
July 1st I was sans car. I spent most of the day kicking it with my good friend Tim. He needed me to help move a few things around.
July 2nd and I’m still without a car. I called to check on its progress, the man told me they put on the gasket but it still leaked – bum gasket. He said he’d do it again and see if this one works. I took my nephews for a walk and had a pretty relaxing day. But by nightfall both my Mom and I were feeling a little restless. We ended up back at the casino. I couldn’t believe I was going back up there after losing on Monday. I walked out of the casino that night, $600 up. Hell yes!
July 3rd. The transmission guy called me and said my car is ready – it was bone dry. I picked up the ride and paid for it in cash, thanks to the casino. I love auto repair places in Ohio compared to NJ. I just feel like I got a lot for my money. After that, I drove to an auto center to get a price for my headliner. It’s not a necessity but I wanted to do it. I made an appointment to drop it off on Monday. I hung out with my friend Tim for a little while after that and then headed home. I ate dinner with my Mom, Sister-in-law, nephews and the niece. Then the nephews and I played my new game for the Gamecube, The Hulk. Man, that’s a FUN game!
July 4th I played on the Slip ‘n Slide with my nephews. It’s really humid these days; I’ll do just about anything to keep cool. Later, we watched the fireworks and that was pretty much it.
Lucas and Jacob enjoying
I didn’t buy any fireworks this year, with little ones around; I didn’t feel the need to blow a hole in the lawn with high-powered explosives. The nephews crashed at our place for a sleepover. We played more Hulk and watched a Bruce Lee movie. They wanted to watch the Disney film Gus; it’s the charming story of a field-goal-kicking mule. But I sold them on Master Lee by telling them about his Fists of Fury.
July 5th on the surface was an odd day. I don’t know what that means. OK, I didn’t do anything.
July 6th, what can I say? I was on the old Slip ‘n Slide again. My ribs hurt from the last time I got on that damn thing, I didn’t learn my lesson – it is fun. The quote of the day belonged to me when I “yelled” to my Mom, “Who cut the f@*king raisin bread all sideways, it’s all f@*ked up!” We’re like a modern day Norman Rockwell painting.
July 7th I woke up early (8am) and drove out to drop off my car at the headliner place. Blah, Blah, Blah and then I picked it up around 5pm. Holy crap it looks so good! If you’re ever in the Steubenville area and you find yourself without a headliner — I have a place for you. I’m very happy that it’s done. Tomorrow I’m going to try to get my car in the garage again because my parking brake doesn’t work. And it seems to run a little rough on start up. Hopefully that will be it for the car. I love automobiles.
July 8th I went down to the garage and made an appointment for Wednesday. With a free day in front of me I really wanted to do something fun. So, I got in the car and drove to Sears to buy my Mom an air filter. Yawn! But I did have one moment of excitement when on a whim; I decided to open a Sears charge. I’m planning on buying one tool a year until I have a full toolbox – you have to set goals, otherwise, what’s the point? The Sears thing only killed about thirty minutes. So, I decided to take the kids to the picture show. I loaded up the nephews and drove up to Pittsburgh to see Finding Nemo. That was a mighty fine movie and I don’t mind telling you that at one point I got a little choked up. Damn fish! After that we went to a Steak ‘n Shake for dinner. But they didn’t like the sound of this new place so we went to Pizza Hut instead. You can’t go wrong with the Hut. I had the kids alone for about 4 or 5 hours, I love them but that was enough. The evening ended with a big storm and no cable. What to do, what to do? Bed.
July 9th I was up early and dropped off the car at 8am. I watched Terminator last night. Darn if that film doesn’t hold up — very clever writing. Anyway, back to my day. I walked back home and played a videogame. I rented Burnout 2. It’s mind numbingly fun. Ate some leftover pizza around 12 and around 1 my car was ready. Parking brake, check a hose and check a hesitation during warm up. The cost?Twenty-six bucks. Parking brake just needed an adjustment, the hose was fine and he fixed the hesitation with a small tube. If I ever leave New Jersey I’ll probably move back to Ohio just to be closer to a great mechanic I can trust. I celebrated my low bill by driving out to the mall. I was about to turn in and then I realized that I don’t need anything at the mall. I drove home. Around 6 I walked over and had dinner at my Bro’s house. It was Mexican night – very, very good, special thanks to Liz. That was about it. I feel like my vacation is coming to an end. Tomorrow I’m going to do something fun, I think.
July 10th. Before I went to bed last night I made a list of errands. That worked out pretty well. It was a blueprint for my day. I won’t go as far as saying that it was 100% Fun (That’s the title of a Mathew Sweet CD, how funny) but I will say that I had an enjoyable time driving around like a normal person. Back east in the concrete jungle, I only get to drive around on the weekends and even then it’s not relaxing because everyone else is driving around too. Anyway, I finally got to go to Steak ‘n Shake. Very good and they’re open 24 hours, crazy. It reminded me of In ‘n Out Burger out west. Later, I hung out with my Mom and before I knew it, my Thursday was over. One more full day in Steubenville and then I drive back to NJ on Saturday.
July 11th. Woke up and hung around the house waiting for a mattress to be delivered. That was about as exciting as watching paint dry. I was in ‘getting my day started‘ limbo. After that I drove to the auto store to buy floor mats and white lithium grease. I like saying white lithium grease; white lithium grease, white lithium grease, white lithium grease- very calming. Then I had lunch with my friend Tim. On my way back home I stopped off at the cemetery again to pay respects to my Dad. I think I said it before but I don’t know what the heck to do over there. Do I pray? Talk out loud? I tried the talking out loud thing before and it just seems odd. I’m going to keep going over there but I don’t know if my thought/prayers are going where they’re supposed to go. I guess I need to work on my faith. Around five o’clock I went over to my Bro’s for dinner. Good times. I had a really nice/relaxing/calming vacation. Driving back to NJ early tomorrow.
July 12rh. I woke up early, kissed my Mom goodbye and hit the road. By the way, I’d like to say thanks to my Mom for a great visit, we had fun. Back to the road, it was a lovely day for driving. It was an uneventful drive with the exception of my tearing off a piece of hanging metal from the bottom of the car and the discovery that I’ll probably need a new muffler soon. The repairs on this car better level off soon or I’m in trouble. At least they’re all minor things. I got back to Hoboken around 4:30. I killed a few hours by unpacking and getting settled. Then I headed over to Tiffany’s house for dinner. Tiffany invited Dave, Deirdre and myself to enjoy a feast of salmon and great conversation. Thanks Tiffany for a great dinner.
And that brings us to Sunday the 13th, the last day of my vacation. I’m just going to chill today. I might go to the A & P, then again, I might not. I’m posting this on Sunday morning to free up my evening. I need a quiet night to ease back into the daily grind. So that was my vacation, I hope you enjoyed it – tell your friends.
Have a great day.