We’re currently in the midst of a two-week vacation road trip. We’re having a great time with my family out here in Ohio, getting to see my sister Kirsten, my brother-in-law Mark, and their new daughter, Gracie, as well as my parents and various other members of the in-law family. Everything is just hunky-dory right now, but our trip didn’t start out so smoothly at the beginning!
We started our trip by driving to the Finger Lakes region of New York and pitching our tent in a campsite at Watkins Glen State Park. By Sunday evening we were all settled in and had hot dogs and s’mores around the campfire. On Monday, we hiked the Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen in the morning, and in the late afternoon, we drove over to Ithaca to have dinner at the Moosewood Restaurant.
We had just spotted a great parallel parking space right in front of Moosewood, and we were preparing to back into it. We had pulled up to the side of the car in front of the space, when all of a sudden our car shook and we saw that a huge passenger bus had collided with us! Its right front corner had collided with our left front corner. After verifying that nobody in our car was hurt (Catherine said: “The car shook and it woke me up from my nap!”), I quickly got out and saw that our car wasn’t drivable – the front left tire and wheel had been totally crushed in, and what was left of our wheel was tilted at a funny angle. I called the police to the scene and we gave them our side of the story. In the meantime, one of the kind staff at Moosewood had seen the accident and had rushed out to see if we needed any help. He got us some drinks, too. I began making phone calls to our insurance company and a car rental company. Our car was towed to a local body shop, and in the meantime, we went into the Moosewood Restaurant, since we had intended on eating there anyway! They sat us down at a corner table and let us conduct our business, providing some assistance with recommendations on car rental and giving their opinions of the towing company and body shop. They even took the liberty of picking out some appetizers for us. In fact, we soon learned that our whole meal would be on the house… Moosewood‘s way of comforting us and helping us out after our accident. They really were the sweetest, kindest people. I can’t think of a better place to have gotten into an accident! The food was delicious (I ordered a Thai vegetable curry), the service was gracious, the atmosphere was wonderful. I hope that we can return under better circumstances (and actually pay for our meal!).
In any case, we wound up taking a taxi out to the Ithaca airport, where I then picked up a rental car, drove it to the body shop (which was way out in the middle of nowhere), transferred the considerable amount of luggage (and car seats) over from our car, drove back to the airport, picked the ladies up, and drove back to the campground for the night. Phew! It made for quite a long and stressful day.
We initially thought that we’d just stick around until they could fix our car, and perhaps extend our stay for a few extra nights. But we soon found out that extensive repairs were needed, and they probably wouldn’t be finished until the end of THIS week. If we waited around for THAT, our entire trip would be eaten up. So, instead, we opted to extend our rental car and simply continue our trip as planned.
We left the Finger Lakes as intended on Wednesday, albeit a little bit later, and no longer driving our Subaru station wagon but a shiny new and huge Ford Explorer. I don’t particularly care for SUVs (and our insurance doesn’t fully cover something so expensive) – but this was the only car that was available that was also capable of carrying all of the luggage we had on our trip. If this had merely been a trip to the Finger Lakes, we may not have made the same decision – but the fact is that we still had a trip out to Ohio and back to come, and it was far more important to us to continue the trip and see our family than it was for us to be stingy. It doesn’t hurt that the Explorer was equipped with the surprisingly cool Microsoft Sync system, which easily hooked up to our iPods and allowed us to play any of our music using voice commands!
So anyway, we’re here in Ohio for a few more days, rental car and all. Then we’re headed out to Pennsylvania for a few days, then back up to New York to pick up our car which should hopefully be finished by the end of the week, then back home to Massachusetts. So far, with the exception of some unexpected expenses and a bit of stress, it’s been a great trip, and we’re looking forward to the remainder. I’m in the process of uploading photos from the trip so far; you can see them in our photo gallery, and check back frequently for new ones.
In closing, here’s the only photo I had the mind to shoot; a picture from my phone as our car was being towed away. You can’t see any of the damage, but there it is anyway.