On Friday we arrived in Chicago after two smooth flights from Miami to Atlanta, and Atlanta to Chicago. Jenn’s generous mom picked the six of us up and drove us back to their home, where our vehicles had been parked in their driveway all week (Thank you again, Nancy!). Justin and I were pretty wiped out, so we gave hugs and said our good byes rather quickly. We were ready to be home. Our car, apparently, was not.
We had been on I-90 less than 10 minutes when the stereo started spazzing out and blinking on and off, and all of a sudden all of the gauges quit. Almost immediately we knew the alternator was giving out, as it had happened on our last Honda Civic. We drove about 7 more miles to an exit with a gas station and travel plaza, and as we were pulling in front of the pump, the car breathed its last and gave up completely. Seriously?! Seriously.
We were officially stranded. We called the Kings, who were about 15 minutes behind us, to ask for a jump to help us move the car to the only motel nearby, a Super 8, where we planned to stay the night until a mechanic could fix the car in the morning. We let the car charge for a bit off of the Kings’ battery, then made a break for the motel, just barely making it into the parking lot. We were thankful to have a place to stay for the night, called the tow truck and talked to the mechanic, and all seemed set for heading home the next afternoon. And then the next adventure began.
See that? Yep. That was the hot water in our Super 8 motel room. Apparently their hot water decided to throw a hissy fit too. Specifically, there was a bacterial growth in it. And rather than the management shutting off the hot water, or even telling any of the guests that there was an issue, they just left it running for us to enjoy. When we complained in the morning about not having clean water, we were only told “Sorry, it is a main line problem and is being fixed” and were walked away from. When we called Super 8 corporate the next day, we were only told that each Super 8 is individually owned and operated and it is up to the management to remedy issues like this. Please beware of Super 8 motels! I think I understand why you only see Super 8′s in areas where there are no other hotel options – you are stuck with them. And again, we are very thankful we had SOMEPLACE to sleep, it just would have been nice to have water at the same time!
So, to wrap up, our car obviously heard us talking about purchasing a new vehicle in the near future, and simply threw a temper tantrum. The next day it was fixed by a kind mechanic who went through 1 incorrect and 2 bad alternators before putting in a working part for us. We were very relieved to drive out of Hampshire, IL Saturday afternoon and arrived safely at home that evening. We’re both ready for a vacation.