I wish after I hit “post” yesterday and sent that last entry out to you guys, that it was the end of our bad luck streak in Austin, but the Universe decided that we just weren’t quite challenged enough this past week. Darn-it, if we have the gall to stay happy-go-lucky in the face of bed bugs and car repairs, well then we’d better throw some more problems into the mix and stir things up again!
At the very end of the day Monday, fifteen minutes before their shop closes, the mechanic called us with the final word that Amelia was ready to go. Oh boy were we excited. The people we’d spent the day with by the pool were excited for us, the hotel staff were excited for us, the mechanics were excited for us – we all wanted us to hit the road as soon as possible!
The mechanic sent someone to pick us up and we chatted amiably with the guy, gearing ourselves up for being on the road again. When we got to the shop, the European Expert who’d been working on Amelia was taking her for a spin just to make sure everything was hunky dory. While we waited, we paid, and were quite pleased with the bill. It was only $100 more than the original estimate, which had been for only 2 days work and this was now 5 whole days + some overtime.
Euro-expert came back, handed us the key, and said that we’d want to take it slow on corners because he noticed that the tray for catching the condensation would overflow and spill out into our trunk (or tailgate, as I’ve learned, is what y’all call it down here). This, after the a/c had been on for quite some time, he assured us.
My warm fuzzy feelings about this place were quickly evaporating.
I was pretty ticked off actually. When I get ticked off and I don’t want to show it, I get all tight-lipped and red-cheeked. But Steve knew. We discussed possible ways of dealing with an overflowing a/c – towels stuffed in the tray to soak up the water? Tarp over all of our stuff? Buckets to catch the falling water? Steve went and dragged the Euro-expert back over to Amelia and we explained that while the trunk (ahem, tailgate) was empty when he worked on Amelia (because the engine’s under there), that’s actually where our whole life for three months lives most of the time, and having water randomly slosh all over it was just not an option for us.
It was now half an hour after he was supposed to be going home and he was clearly tired of our girl, but he rolled up his greasy sleeves and got in there, grunting and pulling things apart. The best he could come up with was sticking towels in there and soaking up the excess water.
No no no no NO! was what I was screaming in my head. But being polite Canadians, we thanked him for taking another look and said our farewells.
Well Fate helped us out a little and while we were driving back to the hotel to grab our bikes, Steve noticed that the speedometer was not budging. So back we went, and they hoisted Amelia up in the air, saying some wire just needed to be put back in place.
Well now we had him! While he was wrestling with Amelia’s innards, we convinced him to take another look at the a/c.
I won’t bore you any further with the details, but the gist is that there is a flaw in the original a/c design and coupled with a plugged drain tube, that’s why there was so much overflow. An hour and a half later, we all crossed our fingers and hoped the problem was solved. This time we were genuinely appreciative that he had taken the time to stay late (without word from his boss, who had left for the day already) and did the best he could to set us on the road with working a/c.
That’s not so bad, I bet you’re thinking. But the worst is still to come…
I shiver just thinking about it.
Not only did we leave all of our clothes in Amelia, we left all of our food in there too. I swear, we really had thought this through, and believing she was just going in overnight, we reasoned that the food could stay cool inside the fridge that long – people lose power all the time and as long as you don’t keep opening the fridge, you’re fine!
Now I know I gave the Universe the credit for our bad luck above, but this one really was our fault. Several times throughout the week we contemplated taking a cab over to the garage and throwing all the food out, but there was always somewhere better to spend our money cabbing to, and better ways of spending our time.
I’d like to slap my past self upside the head for that line of thought.
If it was just rotten food that greeted us, like we thought it would be, then I probably wouldn’t have flinched (even though taking out the garbage is a Steve job at home because I think it’s icky).
But at a certain point, our rotten food became an all out feast to some unwelcome visitors.
I’ll stop there.
Please laugh – I can’t yet, but I can see that it would be funny from far FAR away.