July 18-21 Weekend Recap

What started out as just a weekend away turned into a much larger ordeal than Matt and I had planned! Our weekend recap:

1. Last week our church had Vacation Bible School day camp. Day camp is where children ages 5-12 are taught, fed, and entertained from 9am-3pm! That's a long day for the volunteers, but it's an awesome opportunity for the local children to learn the gospel. I'm so thankful our church is able to do something like that and I could be a part of it.

2. This weekend was my family's annual family reunion. I love taking the time once a year to assemble my grandparent's side of our family together. It's a fun time and I cherish the moments we are able to spend together. Saturday was also my mom's birthday! It's a rare occurrence when I get to spend the actual birthdate with my mom, so that was really enjoyable as well.

3. This view from my grandparent's front yard never gets old. I don't know if it's my love for the mountains or just the fond memories I have there, but I wouldn't mind waking up to that every day.

4. Ok, guys. THIS IS A STORY. I apologize in advance for the length.

Matt and I have one car. It's the car Matt's parents gave him in college: a 2001 Toyota Corolla. It has been a good car for us, but ever since it was purchased back in 2009, its had an oil burning problem. That problem has gradually escalated over the years to where we now put 2 and 1/2 quarts of oil in it nearly every time we fill up the car with gas. It is bad.

On Friday, Matt and I left our house to go to my grandparents. Our route had us crossing a mountain, something we are not used to over here on the flat coast. And well, our poor little car struggled. The headlights kept dimming as we slowly trudged our way up the mountain. We made it and coming down was easy, but Matt could tell something was wrong. Thankfully we made the last 30 minutes of the trip safely to my grandparents; however, Matt was doubtful the car would make it home.

Fast-forward to Sunday when it was time for us to head home. Matt and I made our way back to the mountain noticing lots of smoke coming out the tailpipe. We had been used to the burning oil coming out occasionally, but this was definitely worse than its ever been. Matt put the car into low gear and slowly (like 20mph slowly) climbed the mountain. Somehow we made it, but I think that was all the car had left. As we descended and started to accelerate again, the car started to shake all the time, even idling. Matt made the decision to try to reach a car rental shop in Charlottesville before we would be stranded along some back, country road.

We found a car rental shop in the Charlottesville airport. Unfortunately for us, the car rental return was well labeled, but not the car rental pick-up. We idled the car around the airport parking lot looking for the car rental pick-up. We parked in a temporary parking spot near the car rental return and got out of the car to figure out where we needed to go. Once we determined the rental pick-up was in the actual airport, we got back in the car to park it in the long-term parking lot. Matt started the car, put it in reverse, hit the gas, and then the engine just shut off. "That's it!" Matt said. We were awkwardly half way in the parking spot and half way in the road, so Matt and I pushed the car out of the road. We frantically (I say we, but the frantic was definitely just me) tried to decide what to do because we knew we couldn't leave the car in that temporary spot. Matt tried to crank it one more time. Thankfully, the engine turned on! The car was now violently shaking and definitely near the end, but we were able to get it down the hill and into the long-term parking lot! Whew!

We emptied the car of everything. We even took off our VT magnet. So symbolic. Haha. 

From there we were able to rent a car and make it to Williamsburg. There we picked up Matt's parents extra car and then drove it and the rental car to the Newport News airport to return the rental. And then from there, Matt and I were able to finally come home.

What is normally a 3 and a half hour drive turned into 6 and a half hours, 3 different cars, and loading and unloading all our things 6 times. It was a day.

Now we have the task of getting a new car! There are just so many different things you have to look into (new or used, make and model, sedan/hatchback/crossover/SUV, gas mileage, storage, PRICE, etc.). Sometimes I feel like I'm too young to be figuring out all these "adult" problems, but then I remember I'M 24! Crazy! But I'm so thankful I'm not in this alone. I have a wonderfully intelligent husband, two sets of car-experienced parents, and lots of car-savvy friends who are more than willing to lend a helping hand.

Do you have any car shopping advice? I would love to hear it!

I'll keep you updated on the car search and the retrieval of our old car! Here's to a new adventure!