Waylaid in Memphis

For those of you (mainly parents) who have been following our travels in real time, you know that we’re a bit further along than the blog implies.  I’ve been writing and posting a couple weeks behind – writing in batches and setting them to post every couple of days.  I will get back to the regularly scheduled programming and let you know about our last two weeks in Kentucky and Tennessee, but first I wanted to give you dispatch from the future (or rather, now).

We are, very unfortunately, waylaid in Memphis.  It’s not the city that’s the problem – I’m sure I’ll like it very much once I explore it.  The problem is that on our way into town yesterday our van broke down.  We were very lucky that it broke down in a parking lot as opposed to the side of a busy road, but a broken van is a broken van.  After waiting several hours to have it towed to the local VW dealership and finding a cab to take us to one of the only local rental car companies open on a Sunday (and getting there with less than five minutes to spare), we procured a rental car and a hotel room for a few nights.  The diagnosis of our car came in this morning – we need a new engine.  We’re not sure that’s entirely true, but it’s also likely not all that far off.  Given the cost of a new engine, it is very unlikely that this is something we will be pursuing.

We’ve spent the afternoon assessing our options – in terms of the van, our travels, and the costs involved – and have decided to get a second opinion from someone who has more knowledge of Eurovans.  Alan called around and talked to a guy who seems to have a bit more knowledge than the dealership, so our lovely van will be getting a second tow tomorrow.

We’ll keep you posted on what transpires and what we wind up deciding.  In the mean time, we have our eyes on the horizon and are hoping to still make it to Mountain Home, Arkansas by Thursday to meet my parents who will be spending the next week with us exploring northwest Arkansas.  It’s unlikely we’ll be meeting them in our van, but who knows, stranger things have happened.  And if we have to say our goodbyes to the van, we’ll just have to figure out a new way to travel.  We do still have a second car that is being temporarily stored in Alan’s parents’ garage in Colorado, so we may be downsizing to a smaller (but much nicer) traveling vehicle.  Not sure how we’ll make it work, but we’ll find a way.