Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Moving to Alaska - Day 5

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Since we were in Canada we couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend sometime in Edmonton and visit the West Edmonton Mall. As it turns out choosing to spend an extended time in Edmonton was a really good decision.

One evening after eating dinner we went out to Dan's car and it wouldn't start. It had been working just fine up to that point but all of a sudden it woudn't start. As Jonathan put it "the car just got dead." Mom was traveling with us and is a member of AAA so she called the AAA number to see what we needed to do to get help in Canada. After a few troubles with her member number things got straightened out and we were able to get a CAA representative to help us. We told them the problem and said they would get one of their diagnostic trucks out to us ASAP.

And so we waited. Of course its late in the evening so the mall that was near the restaurant has closed so the five of us are sitting there with nothing to do. The kids were getting twitchy so I took them to a nearby McDonalds to play for a little bit. In the meantime mom called our trusted mechanic here in Fairbanks and told him the problem, let him listen to what the car was doing and got a diagnosis of a bad alternator from him.

When the CAA guy showed up he was just as nice as could be. He ran all his tests and confirmed that the alternator was indeed bad. Then he called a tow truck to come and get Dan's car. But we were still left with the problem of how to get back to the hotel and get my car. Plus my car was packed full which meant unpacking the car and loading all the stuff into Dan's car so my car could be used as a family car while his was in the shop. Fortunately the diagnostic guy offered to drive Dan back to our hotel to retrieve my car. I can't tell y'all enough how absolutely wonderful the CAA guy was to work with. He was so polite and helpful and genuinely concerned that we got where we needed to go.

After Dan got back with my car we transferred every thing from my car to his and waited for the tow truck. As luck would have it they were taking the car to a place that was less than a mile from our hotel. When the tow truck showed up he was just as wonderful to work with as the guy from CAA. He commented that it was a good thing it happened in Edmonton instead of in the middle of nowhere, something that we had been reminding each other of all evening. This may be a bummer but it could have been way worse!
Watching the car getting hooked up to the tow truck.

What Jason was doing while the rest of us moved stuff from one car to the other. Lucky bum!

Our "dead" car getting ready to go.

When all was said and done we were without the car for just a little less than a day. Not bad when you consider how much worse it could have been. And that would be our only major excitement for the whole trip. Pretty good if ya ask me!

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