Happy North American Holidays!

Happy Belated Canada Day and Happy Fourth of July (or Independence Day, if you prefer).  The Fourth has always been among my favorite holidays.  I get to don red and blue apparel, sing patriotic songs in the bath, eat yummy barbecue, gorge myself on watermelon (It is in the fridge, and that makes me happy), and enjoy fireworks.  One year ago today, we were heading up north to Canada (and, therefore, didn’t get to celebrate the Fourth).  That was okay, since my favorite Fourth activity, fireworks, was banned due to a local burn ban.  Also, about one year ago (minus 12 hours), while in Alabama (near Ft. Payne), I hydroplaned (burn ban and hydroplane should never be in the same blog entry) as the rain poured down.  In Alabama.  When I called my parents at my sister’s, I could just imagine what was going through their minds (But, we are in the middle of a burn ban, so how could it possibly be raining in Alabama?).  A lot of the time we get the precursor of Alabama weather, so this was a valid point to consider.  We were all okay, except for our poor Scion (that probaby should have been totaled had the insurance estimate been complete).

On an emotional front, things weren’t going so well.  Josh was worried that we wouldn’t be able to continue our trip.  After the big accident that ended with parts of my beloved Corolla (may he rest in peace) in a bucket, I really don’t do well with accidents.  (Although, one of my coworkers later mentioned that, when I called our fellow coworker to tell her about the accident…a day later…I was remarkably calm.)

But, God has a plan for everything.  Our agent-less insurance jumped right to work (Our present insurance agency–sans agent–has done more for us in four years than my agented-to-the-hilt insurance policy did for me for the previous ten years.) procuring us a vehicle.  Of course, the rental car companies were closed on the Fourth, but on the afternoon of the fifth, Progressive promised that a guy would be by from the Hertz in Chattanooga (the nearest car rental place that had a car available to travel to Canada), an hour away, with a van.

While walking outside our hotel, I saw a Sienna pull up to the entryway and a man get out.  He didn’t seem to be looking for anyone, so I just let it go for a few minutes.  Finally, I pointed him out to Josh (the man didn’t seem to be attempting to enter the hotel), and Josh asked if he was there for us.  He was, and the first two bits of goodness happened on our trip:  we got to drive a Sienna the rest of the way (I’ve driven my parents before and love it) and we got to meet one very interesting personality:  our Hertz driver.  He told us his life’s story (which was fascinating) while he drove us back to Hertz in Chattanooga for Josh to sign the papers.  Our one “oh, no” moment was that he was going to be out of town and wouldn’t be our driver on the way back to Alabama on the day we returned the Sienna.

Flash forward to one day later than we thought we would be returning to Chattanooga (which was our date of return because just before we left Canada, the shop working on the Scion discovered a leak in the transmission).  Our driver from Hertz was back from being out of town, so he drove us back to Alabama (after a fairly hilarious detour tour through Chattanooga in an attempt to chase a UPS driver carrying his new phone.  Somehow, after chasing him down, he still ended up with the wrong box…the  box meant for his landlord.)  I’ve thought about requesting a used Sienna in a few years from Hertz to purchase (It was very hard to give it back when we returned to Alabama) and having him deliver it.  It would make for a very big laugh or twenty.  🙂

Cheers and Happy Fourth of July (My trip wrap up, Canada Day post, and others will probably be posted after Josh goes to Georgia…for four weeks instead of two away one back and two more away…on Sunday.  Well, they probably won’t be posted until Monday because I’ll be driving back from Dallas Sunday evening.)