Thursday, September 30

Comin Round the Mountain....

I believe I mentioned before (probably along time before) that over the labor day weekend we took a short (VERY SHORT) trip to Florida. Lots of reasons for the visit and lots of stories.. So I’ll just be telling them one at a time, slowly but surely. There are some pictures so I’ll be posting those along with the stories. I’ll go ahead and apologize for photo quality, because we only have point and shoot cameras (working on resolving this) and at times (due to circumstances in the aforementioned stories) we didn’t have even those cameras some of the pictures were taken with my phone, and it sadly isn’t an Iphone. So I’m just letting you know in advance. J

We decided to leave late on Thursday, in hopes of being in Florida sometime Friday afternoon. That sure didn’t happen. We were making some pretty good time, until we started going up Monteagle. You gotta know that I’ve never really been on a mountain other than Monteagle or Thunder Mountain (At Disney World) so it seems pretty rough going for me anyway. But as we’re slowly going up this mountain in the Caravan, avoiding semis and other vehicles who are much, much, (MUCH) braver than my mom and myself, we realize we’re having even more trouble than we should. Our engine is starting to overheat. Now this might be just a small problem if it was oh, say three o’clock in the afternoon. Or if there is someone who is atleast slightly mechanically inclined traveling with you. Well we’re not that fortunate.. It was two in the morning, we were three women, a toddler, a newborn and a teenage boy. The teenage boy may seem like a small life line, but alas he’s one of the teenagers who would rather just read his book and wait on a tow truck, and definitely not even think about looking under the hood of a car. Now we used our bright minds and pulled over and threw some water into the overflow and tried to get the engine temperature down and continue on. Oh that worked the first time, and about five minutes later we had to pull over again.. And again.. And we finally got to the rest area near the top of Monteagle. We camped out there for a good half hour. We’d pour in water, and then check the temperature. Pour in a little more water, check the temperature again. Wait ten minutes and repeat. We got it down enough that the engine stopped doing the auto shut off, and we tried to get to the next exit and get a hotel, and wait for morning and see where we were.

After three hours of solid sleep in a hotel that will get it’s own travel post at some point we got going again. We started out pretty decent, and about ten minutes after we got back on the road the problem re-presented its self. It just wouldn’t let us get anywhere. So we took the next exit, and stopped-let-the-engine-cool-and-try-again-ed ourselves right to the nearest gas station. And then attempted to find the closest mechanic. So we stopped-let-the-engine-cool-and-try-again-ed our way over to the garage. They had great news, it was only a cracked radiator. GRRRRREAT! A cracked radiator. Wonderful. So can you fix it?? You can, GREAT! Getting it fixed, how long do you think it’d take?? A few hours, alright.. Ok, so we’ll just hang out.

So there we were, in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. We had a few hours to burn, with no car, and two kiddos, and a teenager and three women who were traveling on a budget and a prayer, and apparently a broken radiator. So we walked to the Lodge Cast Iron Outlet store, and walked through it. And waited for the phone call, on the price. As we rounded the last of the store for the second time, the call came. We quickly made our small, but gracious purchase and headed outside. There was news, it’d only cost a few hundred dollars, they had the exact radiator that we’d need in stock by some miracle. A different caravan in town had needed it, but they could get another delivered before afternoon and be able to use that one for the in town van and we could have this one. And we made a joyous noise. So we’d wait to hear from them when the van was wonderfully ready and we could resume our trip. So after the cast iron outlet store, we moved onto their Dollar General, because hello? Who doesn’t love a Dollar General, especially when you’ve got time to kill, it’s the end of their summer season and you’re heading to Florida. It means clearance summer items, yay!! So after spending more money that I really didn’t need to spend, but I’m all about quality of life, and my quality of life is soo much better when CAT is in a good mood. And a new baby was keeping her in a good mood even though it was nap time, so a new baby we bought.

Now I’ve told you all of that to tell you that we had lunch at the most interesting restaurant in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. It’s called Stevarino’s. It’s an Italian pub and eatery. Which amuses me, more so because they had little fighting Irishmen all over the place. But the food, very Italian. And I enjoyed. We had some breadsticks, lasagna, ravioli, baked pasta and then we had dessert. Yes dessert. Now I know, dessert isn’t healthy and shouldn’t we be trying to look nice to go to Florida? Well of course, but who gives two ninnies about looking nice when there’s Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake mentioned? Or when there are Cannolis. Take the cannolis leave the gun. Well I took the cannoli, and I took the cheesecake (actually we shared by mutual agreement, because my mom and that much sugar equal nap time). But here’s how the cheese cake came to me.. ..

And here’s what my own portion of dessert looked like.. ..

And ya know what was left? Nary a crumb could be found. The plate was hidden amongst a napkin to hide the evidence of me licking all the raspberry sauce off the plate. Cause it was DELICIOUS. And I liked it. Not everyone was a fan.. But I liked it, and Cat slept there. So mostly that takes precedence to anyone else’s opinions, especially when it’s concerning food.

And that’s really all I’m going to say about it right now, I mean you don’t really want to read anymore right now.. Oh and to complete it, radiator was replaced, the car dealership agreed to pay for half of it, and were financing all but $50 of it. So we had to pay $50 out of pocket at the time of service and we got to head right on our way to Florida. Yay!!

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