Sunday, July 9, 2017

Over 5,000 miles of driving in a 13 year old car with over 170k miles on it, 2 trips and home successfully without a hitch besides a bad tire. And filling the thing up a dozen times  lol.  That car will still drive 90 mph down the Interstate without a gasp of hesitation.  It still runs as smooth as the day I first bought it at 28,000 miles. It has never had a tune up.  I've had to replace the battery 3 times, front brakes several times, rear brakes once.  I spent $500 on it almost 2 years ago now to get some front end work done on it.  Countless oil changes of course.  The aesthetics of the car have all but gone away, but the mechanical function of the thing is flawless.  I dunno how much longer that will last, but until the time it dies, I can't complain about the thing.  I can and I have, actually, lol, the front windows especially, the cable kept breaking and I kept having it fixed until a gave up on it.

I haven't even replaced the accessory belt on the engine.  And after checking it, it doesn't need replaced yet.  Don't fix what ain't broke.  I don't have the "extra money" for car payments right now and haven't had in a while.  I mean, I could if I had to but why?  Newer cars are wonderful to drive. Everything works on them. And you are stuck with endless, monthly payments and full coverage auto insurance that costs a small fortune every month.  I would LOVE to drive a 10 year newer vehicle, really would.  But right now, that isn't prudent. Especially now that I have the Jeep running, albeit the AC doesn't work yet.  If the car does break down, I have a back up.

I've heard of people getting 300k miles out of this particular brand of car.  I'm quite sure I don't want to drive it that long even if it does last that long, but still.  Would I make another trip somewhere with that car like the last two? Absolutely and thinking of one in particular going the other direction.  The thing needs the transmission fluid replaced again, I"ll likely have that done soon.  It's worth it to do the required maintenance if I expect to keep it much longer, and right now, unless something happens substantial to my income, I see nothing to change that scenario.

Anyway, I have an old friend that has been asking me for years to come visit him. He is tied down by his business, he doesn't get out much.  It's 800 miles each way. I have priced airline tickets there on numerous occasions and just couldn't come up with anything viable.  Not for a 3 or 4 day visit.  He's got a diesel repair shop near Indianapolis.  He's got contracts with many major trucking carriers because his work is that good. We worked together on the mission field in the mid 80's, we became very good friends, but I haven't seen him in decades now.  Just one trip I would like to make.

I had no time to really plan either of the last two trips in the last two weeks, otherwise I would have really dug into getting the hotel stuff down because the last place I stayed? Was a horrid place. The reviews were manipulated to make it appear as if it were some wonderful hotel at a great price. It was like to sleep in a landfill, the odor in the room was horrendous.  Hence, I posted the previous post I did. Eventually, that post will come up in searches for that particular hotel but I also left a nice nasty review on TripAdvisor.

Hotels have become so expensive.  This is another drawback to travelling. You want a place to sleep and take a shower? You're going to pay for it in many areas.  For example. the entire area between Dallas and Pecos is full of pricey hotels. It's oil pumping region, as evidence by huge numbers of businesses lined up along the Interstate that either sell products to the oil industry or service the oil industry in some way. It is also a major thoroughfare for highway travelers and the hoteliers take full advantage of it.

Last night, as I was driving, I kept doing searches for all the cities in front of me and as I did the search over for some of the same places, the prices kept going up and up.  The later it got, the higher the price became.  It obviously pays to be able to book well in advance and get better pricing, but I didn't have that privilege on either of these trips. They were both last minute types of deals, do whatever it takes to get there and get back.

Still, the traveling bug has been reborn within me.  Once you get on the road and get into that mode, it really isn't bad at all.  It's just getting started that seems to be my problem.  Once I'm well away from the region I live in, it's like, okay, this has now become an adventure.

The next trip isn't that far off, next month, to Palo Ranchos Verdes in California for my son's wedding. And trust me, even well in advance, the price of hotels there is unbelievable.  Just a ritzy area on the coast.  And also the home of the Salvation Army's officer training college.  But, I am "only" driving to Dallas for that one. Around 160 miles or so.  Flying over there and then ground transportation yet to be arranged for going back and forth from the airport to the hotel and also from the hotel to the facility. I am not going to drive that far, just no way.  Almost 1, 700 miles one way, not going there.  It will be the 3rd trip in a short span of time, none of these trips are vacations.  Although I am not saying it's going to be a drag to go to Caleb's wedding lol, it's not a vacation.  If it were, I would be flying over the ocean to some European destination, not to anywhere in the US.

That has been put off indefinitely.  I've spent all my money, had to put Caleb's wedding travel on a credit card and now starts the paying that back before the wedding even occurs.

Any trips overseas? Off limits for now.  But another driving trip? Well, if planned well enough in advance for hotels or whatever accommodations, I can do that.  Of course that is contingent on time off, which so far I have been using mostly personal time and floating holidays.

Well anyway. I'm pretty tired right now.  I didn't sleep well at this nightmare hotel last night, I think I got a total of 5 hours out of it.  It took a while to get the fog out of my head this morning as I got up and got out of there as fast as possible. Like, time to hit the road.  I told the front desk about the horrific odor in the room, which I'm sure they already knew about.  They didn't care.  Neither do I, anymore, excepting to make sure that I get the reviews out there where it counts.  I just can't remember the last time that I stayed at a place that bad with reviews that good.  Well, the reviews just added up to a "good" rating. won't be getting any business from me in the future unless I know the property I want to stay at and they have the best price.

What now?  Well, I'm home, it's getting late.  Lots on my mind.  My dad's death, his life, the people that he affected still flooding my mind. Another post coming soon about his Memorial Service which will have much more depth to it than anything I wrote about it on Facebook.  

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