Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spring break

We just got back last night from a working vacation - in a rental car after our ancient Honda broke down outside of Aurora, Missouri.

I had a job interview in St. Louis and rather than have them send me a plane ticket, I suggested they cover my gas and I'd take my family on a road trip. Well it seemed like a good idea at the time...

We saw Branson, Missouri, home of a lot of entertainers I'd always wondered what happened to, such as Charo, Andy Williams, Glen Campbell and Yakov Smirnov. Branson is a lovely town dedicated to entertainment, but without the Vegas vibe. We rode the Ozark Zephyr and on the way back we saw Meramec Cavern, which my wife thought was awesome. (Wait till she sees Carlsbad!)

Then the car quit on highway 60, just up and died. I'll hopefully be returning (five hour drive!) to pick it up on Monday.

There are a couple of things I'd like to note. One is that within 20 minutes about a half a dozen people stopped to see if we needed help. Thanks, people of Missouri. You've got my gratitude and admiration.

Second is that with a cell phone and our AAA membership we had a tow truck there within an hour. The driver took us to an AAA approved garage and then went out of his way to drop us off at a decent motel. Next day we had Enterprize rent-a-car deliver a new car to us, for a surprizingly low daily rate and no milage. It's going to add one hell of a bump to an already disturbingly high debt load - but without AAA, a cell phone and credit card we'd have been stuck in a rural area with a kid and a baby.

I can remember a time when this kind of emergency would have been major; in bad weather potentially fatal. In this day and age my boy didn't even miss his evening TV program. We were home a day late, but riding in style in a newer car than any we've ever driven before.

There is something to be said for civilization.


  • At 7:01 PM, Blogger Eduardo said…

    Big ups for AAA.

    When I had road trouble once they told me that X miles was the maximum tow. After that they would charge unless I was a "Plus" member. My tow bill was going to be about a hundred and a half.

    So, I asked the driver to wait a tick and called AAA. "What will it cost to upgrade to a "Plus" membership this very minute?" Thirty-five bucks on my Mastercard later I had a hundred or so extra miles available to me "free" of charge.

  • At 5:21 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Not to mention all those handy road atlases, campground guides etc that they hand out to members for free.


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