Two weeks ago (seems like forever except haven't had a chance to blog it until now) we went to a Colorado Rockies game. From the start of that game a series of odd events were kicked into play. In hindsight I decided that each one, while seeming negative could be viewed with a positive component.
1) It rained and delayed the game which kept us out later on a night when we had a long drive home after the game. Hoping to be home by midnight this assured us not to be home before 1am. Then on the way home the Honda broke down, the timing belt broke.
1st silver lining : Mike was with me, and the girls had a new experience pushing a car.
2) It was just after midnight and the car rental places had all closed for the night. We thought we'd have to get a hotel. We had a big day the next day though, Sara and her friend Leandra (who had been visiting for a week) were taking a Greyhound bus to Albuquerque and Kelsey and I were flying to California to check out universities. We didn't really have time to get up in the morning, rent a car, get home, and then off to our various appointments.
Silver lining 2 : the place that towed the car also rented cars so that guy set us up with a rental and we were home at 4am.
3) So I headed off with the girls at 7:30 the next morning to put them on the bus, which was 40 minutes late. That was nerve wracking and stressful as I needed to get to the airport, and I DIDn't need to worry about their safety.
Silver Lining 3 : The bus schedule and the plane schedule actually gave me lots of leeway, and the girls did get to Albuquerque without incident.
4) Kelsey left home in the Subaru when I left the bus station to met me at the car rental place to return the rental and then on to the airport, we hooked up 40 miles south of the rental place and convoyed. About a mile before the exit she called and said the speedometer was going whacky. I said we were getting off at the next exit and I'd look at it there. We pulled into the gas station, I filled the rental with gas then went over to look at the Subaru. It would not start.. completely dead! Turns out the alternator belt had disintegrated and was completely gone. Probably happened 100 miles before and the car and been running on battery since then.
Silver Lining 4 : She didn't die on the highway, instead the car died at the gas station, 1/4 mile from the tow truck guy we had met the night before and across the street from a Napa Auto parts store which closed 5 minutes later, 30 seconds after I walked through the door. They sold me a belt, but didn't want to put it on, so the tow truck guy did it for me (I have a recommendation if you ever break down in Castle Rock, CO). and we were back on the road 20 minutes later.. with probably enough time to make our plane still.
We were convinced that Global Warming had caused all belts in everyones cars to melt away!
5) There was an accident on the highway that diverted all traffic onto city streets and caused us to miss our plane.
Silver lining 5 : That plane would have crashed if we had been on it!! AND we didn't check our bags and did get out standby (even on the extremely busy Sunday after 4th of July in Denver) and got into San Diego only 2 hours past our original scheduled time.
Then we spent the week in California. Two days staying with my friend Amy, one day looking at Moorpark Community College and one day looking at UC Santa Barbara. Then on our own we spent one day looking at UC San Diego and one day looking at UC Davis. We fit in dinner with Mike's sister, Nancy, and her husband, neither of whom we hadn't met before. And we fit in a trip to the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. Kelsey had lots of time to develop some thoughts on what she might like to do after HS and she is converging on the community college to work on core classes, residency, and get into an "exotic animal handling" program they have there, before transferring into UCSB.
Good trip. No particularly unfortunate incidents except the delay of the flight home caused us to make our Las Vegas connection but not our bags. As we were trying to decide what to do (ship the bags, wait and see if they were on the next plane) we realized the car keys were in the checked bag!
Last Silver Lining : The bag came in on the next flight 40 minutes later (the last flight of the night) and the car started after sitting for a week and we got home... late but safe.
The next day my parents came up for the night bringing Sara home from Albuquerque. Their car broke down (Right front wheel locked) on their way home and they had to be towed on into Santa Fe. Their silver lining? Well, this didn't cause an accident since it happened when they slowed to a stop on the highway due to another accident, so they were standing still, not going 70 miles an hour when they discovered it.