Friday, October 7, 2016

Our Rocky Start

John is from Pennsylvania. We met in 1970 in Washington, D.C. and were married later that year. Although we've spent most of our life together in Iowa, and raised our boys here -- we have always gone back to Pennsylvania every summer to visit John's family.
Yes, 45 years of summer road trips back to Schuylkill County,'s a 14 hour road trip.  And John never lets me drive  Fun, eh?
We rented a bright rust-colored Hyundai Santa Fe on Friday, September 23. We picked it up at the airport at 5:00 pm-- with the intention of leaving at Midnight. (in order to get through Chicago at 3:00 AM, missing the rush hour).

So, it was after dark when we were packing the car. John went to bed about 9:00 to take a nap. Ross came home from work at 11:30, and chastised us because the dome light was on in the rental car, and also John’s trunk light was on. (According to him, he had to turn off the dome light in my car three times last week,) Ross helped us pack the car, then he went to bed.

30 minutes later, we were ready to pull out -- but couldn’t because John’s Honda was parked behind the Santa Fe.  At that moment, we realized that neither one of us had a house key. So -- we had to wake Ross up. I called his cellphone, and he picked  up and said, “you're locked out of the house, aren't you?”

Ross came down and opened the door so John could get his Honda/House keys. We’re off. FINALLY. Five minutes later, we pulled into the local 24-hour gas station to “top it off”…as gas is much cheaper in Iowa. 

The problem was that we couldn’t find the little tab that pops the gas cap open. We looked…and looked…because it’s a Hyundai, and I drive one myself, I figured it would be in the same general area on the dashboard. It was not. WE LOOKED EVERYWHERE…

Finally  -- I gave up and got out the HUGE book from the glove compartment. I tried to use the index…but there was no such topic as. “gas cap”… The light was bad, the mosquitoes were awful, and I could not read the tiny little print in this large 800-page book. I was annoyed to see two people inside the gas station, their faces pressed against the window...watching and laughing…

FINALLY -- I saw a diagram in the front of the book and realized the tab in question is ON THE DRIVERS DOOR…WHA??

OMG...##&^%$$#^^&&!!!. It was almost 2:00 AM before we got on the road…and I was already whipped. So was John. We drove straight through Illinois -- and it was early morning when we stopped at a Travel Plaza in Indiana. We both went to use the bathrooms…and then, sat down to eat a breakfast sandwich. John went out to the car...I stopped to buy a bottle of water.

When I got out to the Santa Fe (remember the BRIGHT RUST COLOR) -- I was surprised that John wasn’t sitting in it. But the lights were going off and on. Hummm… I went to the passenger door, and it was unlocked. As I was about to get in, I finally saw John. He was 40 feet away -- opening the door of WHITE Santa Fe -- that apparently had unlocked with his key fob.

I started to laugh…then, called his name, just as he was about to get in the wrong vehicle. When he heard me -- he closed that door and came over to our BRIGHT RUST COLORED car. I was laughing so hard, I could not speak.

He said the first Santa Fe he opened was a gray one -- but when he opened that door, he smelled smoke, so he knew it wasn’t ours…but he was sure the white one WAS...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? He actually got that Hyundai key fob to open up THREE VEHICLES…. was a rocky 9:00 AM, I texted Ross, "at the first Travel Plaza, your Dad got in two wrong cars"...and Ross texted back..."Stay where you are.  I am coming to get you."


  1. I've got watery eyes from laughing so hard. Funnnnnny!

  2. I'm assuming you had an awesome trip after that start!