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What a trip! (Long)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Rob and I have been looking into Sleep Number beds for quite awhile now - the mattress we sleep on now is at least 20 years old, has a huge dip in the center, is uncomfortable and lumpy, and has a broken box spring underneath. For our new house, we wanted a nice, cozy bed. Found a 9000 model (top of the line) for sale on ebay last week and won the auction for about $1,600 less than what you can buy them for in the store. It was all new in the box - foundation, legs, mattress, mattress pad, and even Select Comfort sheets. Catch was, we had to drive to Hialeah, Florida to get it (right outside Miami).

Now we aren't strangers to driving to Hialeah, did it a few years ago as well to pick up parts for my Camaro. It's a LONG drive, about 8 hours each way for us, just like our trip to Kentucky last week. We left the house just before 6am Saturday and took Rob's dad's truck to pick up the boxes. We stopped for gas in St. Augustine, and checked the oil. TWO quarts low. His parents and brother never maintain their cars, so this was no surprise. No one even remembers the last time the oil got changed! Bought two quarts of oil ($17!!! Think they mark it up enough?! You can buy it for ~$5/each at Advance Auto!) and headed on our way. Made it to Hialeah and picked up the bed, no problems. The person we got it from and his family were very nice, bringing us out sodas and offering us something to eat while we were there. We had been kind of leery at first because things hadn't matched up (like phone number didn't match the address, name didn't match either, etc.)

Started driving back to South Carolina, and stopped for dinner in Port St. Lucie to eat at Chili's. Mmm, was definitely worth the hour we stopped. We were projected to get home by midnight at that point. Stopped in St. Augustine again to get a beautiful shell wind-chime-like "souvenir" at the gas station we'd been at earlier in the day. Started driving again, and as we were going through the construction on I-95 in downtown Jacksonville, FL, we started hearing a weird sound coming from the truck. I stuck my head out the window and the front passenger wheel was making a horrid noise and looked sort of pudgy. I thought we might have been on the way to getting a flat. We stopped off an exit by a convention center monorail and I drove back and forth for Rob to look - it was a wheel bearing. Great. Can't drive 300 more miles like that.

Called AAA (glad we signed up for that last August ) and they sent a tow truck so we wouldn't be stuck in a bad area of Jax anymore. We were thinking about going to a hotel and trying to rent a trailer to bring it back on Sunday. Then my BIL offered to come down with his future FIL's work truck with our tow dolly to bring us back. They had about a 3.5-4 hour drive to get to us, so we still wanted to get out of the area we were in. We waited about 30-45 minutes for the tow truck guy, who kept asking us how to get to where we were...as if we'd know?! He LIVES in Jax, we were just passing through. He finally spotted us and hooked the truck up. It was the most uncomfortable tow truck to ride in (the last time we got towed, it was a huge rig and was SO cozy, I didn't want to get out ). He was a complete NUT job, this guy.

He told us he would take us to "his" side of Jacksonville, where it was less dangerous. The man was crazy. He was running people right off the road, saying they dont care that he's trying to get over, so he just goes. We narrowly missed slamming into someone's car. At this point I'm stuffed up against Rob holding on. He's going on and on saying he isn't racist, just hates black people. Ok, so ready to get out of this truck at this point. Then I'd said something about being from New Jersey, and he said "Oh, so you know Richard and Melissa then, he's tall." Sure, like I know every soul in the state of New Jersey.... Then he asked me "Isn't there a city in NJ that's larger than the entire state of Florida??" SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?

We finally got off the interstate and he told us he was bringing us to a bar he likes to hang out at. Then decided there wasn't enough people there, and would drop us off at Wal-Mart. At this point we're ending up further and further into Jacksonville, and away from I-95. Then he changed his mind on Wal-Mart and said he'd bring us to a pool hall called Bankshots he likes to go to and had just come from. Dropped us off there and Rob & I shot pool for a few hours. He drank most of a pitcher, I had less than a glass, knowing we'd have to drive back to the interstate to meet with the BIL. It was pretty fun being "stranded" somewhere we didn't know well, but get to relax and play pool and have fun. When BIL hit the Florida border, we started heading back towards the interstate. I wanted to get out of Jacksonville and away from where we'd broken down the first time. The truck was still movable, just not for as far as we needed to go back home. Pulled off at a gas station and waited about 10 minutes for them to meet us there.

They brought a brigade My BIL showed up with his girlfriend and her dad in his big work truck, followed by a new Yukon with her mom and brother in it. We rode back in the Yukon, even though we would have fit in the truck if they only brought that. Loaded the other truck on the tow dolly and headed back. Stopped in GA around 4:30am, Rob and I kept falling asleep in the back. Not very comfortably, but trying to manage. When we reached our exit off 95 in SC, the tow dolly was shooting sparks out of the wheel area. Pulled alongside, and discovered the wheel bearing was going out on that, too!!! Same side as the truck We drove it home anyway, because EVERYONE was beat at this point. When we unloaded the truck and dolly at 6:30am this morning, the hub was cracked on the dolly, and the wheel bearing was completely gone. The wheel wobbles back and forth - Shannon's dad was lucky it didn't fall off while driving.

Rob and I passed out until 1pm this afternoon after getting back, and tomorrow he's going to try and see if he can get the truck to the shop and work on it, driving it there with the messed up bearing. He needs to get it fixed so he can pick up a transmission side job I set up for him. All I know is that this bed better be the most amazing bed in the entire world after all this! Judging by the 10 minutes I spent laying on it earlier after we assembled everything, it was worth it

What an adventure We always have some crazy story to tell when we get back from a road trip.
post #2 of 5
That was a great story! You can start putting that sleep number bed to good use!
post #3 of 5
Originally Posted by Going Nova View Post
That was a great story!

lol, good grief, what a trip!
post #4 of 5
Wow, what a crazy story!
post #5 of 5
Boy that is a trip to remember for awhile. That tow truck driver sounds like the tow truck driver from
"adventures in Babysitting" Glad you made it home safe & sound.
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