Yesterday, we began our annual drive to Winston, OR to visit Steve's dad and stepmom. It's a long drive, even longer now that we live a few hours south from where we used to live. Last night, we drove to my brother's house in Saratoga Springs, just west of Lehi. Our plan was to leave there by 8am this morning. Well, Matt had a rough coughing fit last night and woke up around 5am. Steve took him downstairs hoping I could get more sleep but by 5:30 I knew I was awake for good, so we loaded up the car and had left by 6am...2 hours earlier than planned! Yay!
The drive went fairly smoothly. Matt watched The Peanuts Movie numerous times (it's his new favorite - he's watching it and giggling as I type this), which kept him happy, plus I had puzzles, books, coloring books and markers, and matchbox cars/planes to keep him busy so he wasn't always watching a movie.
We stopped for lunch in Winnemucca, NV, about 6 hours into our trip. I had packed sandwich fixings, veggies, and fruit, so we just needed a place to have a picnic. We found a cemetery just off the freeway, which was perfect because I love cemeteries and it was shady and grassy. After lunch, we walked around for a bit, looking at tombstones and found some pretty old ones. We loaded back into the car and headed out of town, on the way to Reno, NV, our final destination for this leg of our journey. We had gone about 10 miles when suddenly Steve pulled over; several lights on our dashboard had lit up, including the brake light. When I looked up the various lights in our car manual, the brake light explanation said to stop driving the car immediately and get it into a Subaru dealership to get checked out. Well, the brakes were working fine...at least for the moment...and we didn't want to pay for a tow truck, so we found a turn around spot (one of those that is reserved for authorized vehicles only - glad we didn't get caught!), and headed back to Winnemucca. Using my phone, I looked up repair shops and found a Les Schwab that was right off the freeway. We took it in, they immediately looked at the car, took it for a drive, and said everything looked safe and fine and that it was probably the car's computer misfiring. They said we needed to take it to a Subaru dealership and that it should be safe to drive to Reno.
One the drive to Reno, I called the Subaru dealership and talked to the service department. The guy said to bring it in but wasn't sure they could work on it today as they were booked solid and really busy. We got into town about an hour before they closed and went right to the shop - after some confusion because I was reading my map incorrectly. The service desk lady was a little perplexed by the lights and told Steve they would have to do a diagnostic test for $130 but wasn't sure if they could do it today. At that moment, a mechanic walked by and said he'd look at the car. He diagnosed the problem within minutes and a couple minutes later had fixed it (a Evap leak - no, I don't know what that is) and sent us on our way...no cost at all and about 10 minutes of our time! Answer to my prayers!!
Our hotel was 5 minutes away from the dealership, so we were "home", checked in, and settled quickly. It felt soooo good to be done driving for the day. We were so tired of being in the car that we chose to eat at the hotel's restaurant instead of going somewhere else. My expectations were set really, really low. I've been to some pretty subpar restaurants attached to hotels, especially hotels like ours, nothing fancy, a Best Western. I was very pleasantly surprised by how good our food was. Matt ordered a kid's cheeseburger and it was soooo good. My BLT was spot on, and Steve devoured his fish and chips. He even said the chips were the closest to being British that he's had in the US besides the British shop in Layton. Even the chocolate shake tasted better than expected. Plus, the staff was super friendly and went out of their way to chat with Matt and make him happy. It was really pleasant and recharged our batteries.
After dinner, we went for a walk around the inner courtyard of the hotel. It was lovely with trees and a walking path that led to and around a swimming pool. Of course, Matt wanted to swim as soon as he saw the pool. We're planning a trip to the beach this week, so we had our swimsuits, so we went back to our room and put them on. There weren't very many people swimming but the few kids that were were super friendly and respectful. Matt had a blast and got pretty brave with his "swimming". We laughed and splashed and swam for awhile...at one point we even had the pool to ourselves!
We came back to our room, gave Matt a bath, took showers, and have been watching tv and playing for a couple hours. Matt took a nap in the car today so he's going to be up for awhile...lately he's given up naps, which means he falls asleep quickly after his 8pm bedtime. The rare times he falls asleep, he then stays awake til 10pm or later. Plus, it's a hotel room and he has a hard time settling down...it's so exciting!
Even with the hiccup of the car (and maybe even because of it a little), we've had a really good day. Despite the really early start, we've all been happy and in good moods all day. I hope the trip tomorrow goes just as well. It will be so good to see Steve's parents and I'm looking forward to them seeing Matt.