Sunday, December 25, 2011

At least Grandpa didn't miss his flight

Dad had a 10:25 flight. It's 30-35 minutes to the airport so I usually leave 2h early when I'm flying myself. But we didn't anticipate security lines today so we left a little after 9.

Ten minutes down the freeway the car started slowing down. I pushed the gas pedal; nothing happened. I pushed it harder; nothing still happened. I pulled over into the shoulder by an exit ramp. The brakes and the power steering still worked but the engine wouldn't turn over. When I turn it off, it didn't restart.

I called a cab for Dad. Since we weren't at a fixed address the dispatcher put out a "Who's near the Lamar exit on 183 southbound?" call. Two cabs replied; I told the second that the first was on the way "in five minutes," but he came anyway and actually beat the first one, who eventually showed up about 15 minutes later. Dad did make it in time to catch his flight. Not quite the goodbye I was hoping for.

I called a tow truck for the minivan. It was getting cold inside by the time he arrived an hour later -- it was about 40 degrees out, unseasonably cold and rainy for December in Austin. Isaac took everything in stride, playing Chu Chu Rocket on my phone while waiting.

The driver took us home before taking the minivan to storage to spend the night, since no mechanics are open on Christmas. That's where I took this picture. Nice of the guy to save us another wait for a taxi. We tipped him for his trouble.

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