Hi guys! It's been a while. I could tell you all about my busy Fall as Awana commander and PTA president, but I'll spare you the details...well, at least for now. That may be a future post. Instead, I'm here to tell you all about our vacation to Orlando.
This vacation has been a long time coming. Way back a year ago, in October 2012, we had planned a Disney/Universal vacation. However, I got really sick and could barely move my right arm. I was completely miserable at that time so we ended up cancelling the trip, with the promise that we would go in 2013.
I'm happy to say we got to keep that promise. For the first time ever our school system had a week-long Fall break, the perfect time to plan a sunny, Florida vacation.
The week before we left was absolutely insane. In one week I had: the Book Fair at school (which I was responsible for finding volunteers for as well as volunteering myself), our Mega Party at school (a bunch of inflatables and kids jumping on them in hour-long stretches at a time all day long - which I was responsible for finding volunteers for as well as volunteering myself), 3 PTA meetings, a dr appt, our van had to go to the shop twice, and (the one fun thing for the week) a hair appointment to get new highlights. Oh yeah, I also had to squeeze in packing for 4 people for a week-long trip. It. Was. Insane.
I was so ready for a vacation.
Saturday arrived and we were very, very excited. We had decided to take two days to get down there so we didn't need to wake up early to leave. We slept in a little, packed up the car, went by McDonalds to get breakfast (a vacation tradition) and we were on our way by about 9:30.
And we made it all the way...to Erwin, which if you're not from around here is all of 45 minutes away. And the check engine light came on in the van.
Just for a little background, the light had come on a week earlier. I had taken the van into the shop the previous Monday for them to check it. I was told that we needed a new oil pressure rocker arm switch, whatever the heck that is, and that it needed to be ordered. So they ordered it and I went back on Friday for them to install it. I really was trying to have the van safe and ready for our trip. But as soon as we got out of town that darn light just came back on.
We got off the interstate at an exit and called the shop. They asked if we were near an Advanced Auto Parts. Lo and behold, we looked up from the gas station we had pulled into and it was right across the street from an Advanced Auto Parts. We went over there and they hooked up their handy little code-reading machine-thingy to our van. It spit out some code saying the van wasn't getting enough oil pressure. When I called back into the shop to tell them, they highly advised we bring the van in to be checked because if the code was correct, it was a very bad thing. (I really don't know anything about cars, so I had no clue what it meant.)
So, we turned around, retraced our steps and took the van to the shop. At that time it was about 11 and Enterprise closed at 12. They only had one van available since everyone was on Fall break and had rented them out for trips. If we needed to rent a van for the trip, we needed to know quickly. I made that very well known at the shop. They needed to check this van out NOW. Thankfully, they did. And they found...nothing. The oil pressure was fine, the wires were fine, everything was fine except for the stupid little light that was on. The guy who worked on our van said he would feel comfortable to drive it on a trip. He felt like it was completely safe. So we decided to chance it and get on the road again.
I'll ease your mind and tell you that the check engine light was on the whole trip and the van worked just fine the whole trip. We didn't have any problems at all from it. We have since taken it back to the shop and they still don't really know what's wrong with it, if anything. There are reports from other people that a spool valve could stop working intermittently. However, ours has worked every time they have tested it. And after I took it in, the light hasn't come back on, even though they didn't really do anything to it.
But it gave us some unnecessary drama that first day. I do have to brag on my kids though. They were super patient through the whole thing and never once complained.
|Notice the "pillow wall" we had to create between the kids.|
Ready for more? Read Day 2 here.