Cliff Gardner

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Jessica hadn't ever been to Seattle, so last weekend we decided to go visit our Peace Corps friends Katie and Kelly, who are universally some of the coolest cats you'll ever want to meet. Kelly likes Asian stuff and Katie likes to say the phrase, "or it gets the hose again," so we knew we were in for a good ole' time. Being responsible adults, we took the new(er) car we were driving/being given by my super awesome aunt and uncle to a mechanic for a trip inspection the day before we were planning to leave, and he topped off the fluids and told us that everything was fine.

*cut to creepy behind-the music theme* But then, on our drive up, everything changed.......

We actually made pretty good (OK, average) time up to Seattle considering that it was rush hour on a Friday, but after having driven 175 miles from Portland, the car stopped working about 5 blocks from Katie and Kelly's place. When I tried to drive, the car wouldn't go forward...I put the pedal to the floor and it barely moved, so I swerved off into a parking lot and called AAA. After waiting an hour and a half, a super-nice tow truck driver showed up and he took me (Jess went ahead to our friend's place) to a repair shop about 2 miles away, but not before a mean parking lot attendant showed up and demanded 10 dollars for parking in his lot EVEN THOUGH MY CAR WAS BEING TOWED AWAY BECAUSE IT WASN'T WORKING.

The more concerning problem(s), though, was the fact that I was starting a new job in Portland on Monday morning and I absolutely couldn't miss that first day. After talking with the mechanics on Saturday morning, they said they knew it was a transmission problem but that they couldn't fix it until Monday when the "tranny guy" (hehe) showed up. That meant that I had to leave Jessica in Seattle for a few more days and take the train back Sunday afternoon (which was fantastic--Amtrak is amazing and totally beats the crap out of Ukrainian trains!!!).

The bill came out to be about $900, of which I'm paying $300 and my super nice aunt and uncle are paying $600. We were considering just leaving the car in Washington if the bill was any more expensive than that, but it turns out that it's easier to commit a double murder and get away with it than it is to legally abandon or sell a broken car in Washington. The logic was, "well, we can pay 6oo bucks to dump the car there or pay 300 more and have the car." So, Jessica is road tripping it back to PDX tomorrow norning (in the car) and I'll be glad to have her home. All in all, she will have gotten to see a lot more of Seattle than she had planned, but all things considered, it didn't end as badly as it could have.


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