Wednesday, 8 February 2012

How my Superbowl Plans were Sidelined

And what good plans they were, I was even going to try my hand at buffalo wing cup cakes. We were surprised when my husband had both Saturday and Sunday off from work. Now, in GMT Sunday and Monday would have been much better for watching the game, when you work retail, you take what you can get.

We decided Saturday would be an errand day as we were just back from holiday and my husband's late night work week did not lend itself to getting anything done. I mentioned snow was coming in the afternoon, so we should get out relatively early. Since my husband didn't get home from work until nearly 2am, early was by no means morning. We watched a weather report, and all indications were snow after dark. We figured we had plenty of time to do a bit of car shopping and stop at the grocery store on the way home.

As we were driving to the car dealership, snow began to fall. Not much accumulation, but the snow had come and it was barely 1pm. We spent HOURS at the dealership, my husband treats buying a car as a part-time job. We took our first choice car out for a test drive and didn't bother driving the runner-up. During the test drive, snow was accumulating and getting slick where there was little traffic, but the main roads were still clear.

Back at the dealership, we discussed monthly payments, length of payment options, deposits... My husband has been researching cars for nearly a year, he knows how much the dealership markets the car for and how much we should pay for it. The only question was how much the change in annual mileage from 10,000 to 20,000 per year would change our payments.

While we were bargaining for complimentary floor mats, my husband and I were bargaining with each other for color choices. I liked the new dark brown color that was being offered. The salesman said it was the new "fashion" color of the season, just available and there weren't even any on the road in the country yet. Although I firmly believe brown is the new black, my husband was dead set against it. We compromised on blue with almond interior, for a little while. We ended up with black on black, a bit of a mob boss car, but at least my husband won't keep looking at cars. Also, I get to pick the next car and color combo...hello red camero!

the red light is our car, the 2 on the left are the SUV we hit, and the rest are the gritter/plow...
We finally sign some papers, shake hands, and head towards home. The snow is still coming down pretty heavy and although we had seen gritters/plows out on the road, the were still covered and slick. We made it through H-gate and were leaving K-borough. As we came to the bend leading out of town it happened. There was incoming traffic and a car pulling out onto the road. I think the car pulling out was well into our lane and my husband tapped the breaks. It was enough for us to loose control on the snow. Instead of allowing us to skid into oncoming traffic, my husband turned hard left, onto the road where the SUV was pulling out from. There was a brief moment when I thought he did it, we weren't going to hit anything. Then "thud", we side swiped the SUV

 External damage didn't seem that bad. Details were exchanged, insurance companies contacted, and we continued on our way. We could hear something rubbing, but still thought we could finish our night with groceries and a curry. After taking 10+ minutes to go

We contacted the insurance company who in turn contacted AA (English AAA). Between the two, we were asked if we could get to a coffee shop or something. I laughed as they asked my husband these questions as we were in the middle if nowhere. I used the google maps app on the iPad to get an idea of where we were and there was a golf club about 100 yards up the road, but no sidewalks or lights to walk to it, nor would we expect it to be open.

The AA told us they were very busy and it could take up to 2 hours to get a recovery vehicle to us, but we were prioritized due to our rural location. We were told a better ETA would be given in about an hour.

One hour goes by and I had to wee so bad at this point (was talking about it before the accident) I was wiggling in my seat. My husband finally talked me into going on the side of the road. He needed to go too, and I don't think he wanted to go alone! I had him hold up my coat like " the cloak of invisibility", although I don't think it hid that much. My bladder was thankful, my bum was just cold!

The theory that a recovery vehicle would show up as soon as I was in position was disproven and we waited for another hour. We had several cars stop and the drivers ask if we were ok. We explained what happened, let them know AA was on there way, and we kept waiting. One couple saw us on their way out and their way back home. After two hours we called again and were told it could be another hour, but a pick up should be there and they would call us back soon.

We waited again and when there was no recovery vehicle nor call back, we called again. With more run around we got frustrated and started thinking about moving. Back on google maps, we calculated how far the village was. It was about equally as far as we have already driven. My husband was confident he could get the car that far.

Snow in our headlights, giant flakes comng down at a 45 degree angle
Scrumptious Chunky Chi
It took more than 15 minutes to get the car < half a mile, but we did it. We pulled into The General Tarleton  and realized we no longer had cell service. The hotel was generous enough to let us use their phone, little did we know we would be on hold for ages. Even though the kitchen had closed, they made us some fab chunky chips. My husband and I took turns eating and listening to the hold message.

After several more phone interactions and the AA not being able to give us any straight answers, we decided it would be best to spend the night at the hotel and get the car recovered in the morning. Had they told us when we first arrived at the hotel that our priority had changed and due to the number of accidents in our area that pick up tonight would be unlikely, we would not have been so disappointed in their service. Not to mention all the time that we were not kept abreast of wait times while we were stuck on a dark country road.

We checked into the hotel and they gave us the room for the extra night rate as opposed to the full rate. They even supplied us with toothbrushes and toothpaste. We watched 'The Full Montey' and went to sleep.

Sunday morning light showed a beautiful snowy landscape. We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel ( full English for my husband and gypsy toast for me), and made contact to determine when we would be recovered. Last night they said they would come out at 10am First conversation with AA this morning said before noon. Second conversation said a tow truck should arrive between 12 and 12:30.

With little faith we watched some good old tv, Roger Moore's pre-Bond work on "The Saint". At 12:30 we started to get ready to check out of the room and AA showed up!

We finally made it home after about 19 hours since the accident and more than 24 hours away from the house. My husband handled paperwork with the tow truck driver and I came inside to find 7 very hungry cats who were very happy to see us.

We never made it to the grocery store to pick up some key ingredients for football food, so we raided the freezer for pizza, scampi, and chips. By the time pre-game was to begin, both my husband and I were out cold, too tired to watch The Superbowl. Such a disappointment for any red blooded American!

Ah well, next year we will stay up for sure! With any luck my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers will be playing again!
view from our room in the morning 

full English Breakfast at The General Tarleton
Lovely Gypsy Toast!

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