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Experience: Tow Woes


In my last post recapping my rockin’ weekend in Chicago, I told y’all to stay tuned for an Experience. Well, the wait is over.

So if you can remember, my brother Ricky graciously agreed to drive Mike and I to the McCormick Center for our RNR expo. Him and his lady friend Samantha live over in Lincoln Park, so about a 15 minute drive down Lakeshore. Not a big trek. On our way there, he made a few comments about how the lights in his dashboard had been flickering on and off for the past couple of days and he thought it may be his alternator that needs looking at. The drive there was uneventful. See where I’m going with this yet??

After about an hour at the expo, we headed out to the parking garage, all making cracks about how we hoped the car was gonna start back up. And without fail, it did. No sputtering or anything. As we pulled back out onto Lakeshore, we discussed where we were gonna pick up lunch since we were all starved.

As the miles went on, the more nervous we all became. The car started acting a titch funny, and some not-so-normal sounds occasionally escaped. I made a comment that we should probably start moving over to the side of the road “just in case.” Not 10 seconds later, we stalled.

Let me give you a visual. You know Lakeshore Drive, right? Always super busy. Full of hot-headed Midwesterners trying to get from A to B. Oh, and don’t you dare try going the posted speed limit. Nuh-uh, no way. Faster is always better. Yes, it was on this road that we stalled.

And of course we weren’t on the side of the road. Not even in a far lane. Nope, 2nd from the left. Just after the aquarium. Roosevelt was the crossroad.

After a few choice words, Ricky got on the phone with AAA to get some help ASAP. No way could we just sit on Lakeshore! Luckily, we stopped right after a traffic light, so people weren’t going super fast. But as soon as one direction had a red, the other side was turning left, leaving us with no time to get out of the car safely. Much less be able to push it to the side. God knows what we would’ve looked like doing that. Ha!

AAA put a “priority” on our tow truck and said it would be there in 15-20 minutes. Umm, how bout NOW?? This picture sums up how I felt about sitting in a stalled car on one of the busiest streets in the city.

Yes, I took pictures.

So “patiently” we sat. Watching the death-defying stunts taking place all around us. People up in our grill from behind, cutting people off to get around us, only to then cut back in front of us, just barely avoiding another collision. Horns were honked and choice words were said. A nice AAM told us to “put yo hood up!” Um, sir, we can’t get out of the car. But thanks for the street smarts.

Waiting. This is fun.

I couldn’t help but keep peering out the window watching the nasty sky approaching. Great, not only are we stuck, but our windows won’t go up and a t-storm is on its way over. Swell!

Dun dun dun

Finally, a cop showed up. I’m sorry, I mean police officer. Where are my manners. Anyway, he questioned when our tow truck was coming and said he’d try to get one of his own guys over to help. And then he was off. I felt secure for those few minutes he was there with his lights on, at least giving others an indication that we were helpless. So back we I went to being scared.

About 5-10 min later, our tow truck arrived!! Or so we thought. It sure looked like a tow truck anyway. We were desperate for any  help at this point. He pulled in front of us, asked us what happened, etc. Then he got back in his truck, backed up, latched onto the front end and STARTED TOWING. We were all dumbfounded. Ummm, aren’t we supposed to get OUT of the car first??!

Nope, apparently he was just going to drag us to the shop! Holy hell.

This video sums it up pretty nicely.


Turns out, we were just being taken to another side street where our actual AAA tow truck was coming to take us to the auto shop.  This must’ve been the work of the nice co– police officer. Whoops. We only waited a few minutes here before he showed up, flatbed blazing, ready to roll!

The skyline getting MUCH clearer

And of course, the official action video per Ricky’s request (take note of the insano wind).

At least the boys kept their spirits up despite the drama 🙂

Side note, this little strip of road turned out to be the starting and finishing line of the RNR race the next day! Oh, the irony.

After the Audi was all buckled up, we hopped in the tow truck. A cozy little ride I might add. Syke. Acutally possibly the most uncomfortable 5 mile drive ever imagined.

As soon as we took off, it was like a bucket turned over. Torrential rains, hail, wind, the works. Talk about timing!

After a little searching, we found the auto shop, did our drop off, then decided to walk back to Ricky’s apartment just a few blocks away. The rain had let up by then. After a quick stop at Potbelly to fill our starving tummies, we got back only to realize Ricky had left his work keys on his keychain. Oy. Back he went as Mike and I stuffed our faces then proceeded to pass out from our exhausting afternoon.

The moral of the story: when your car is indicating that something is wrong, get it checked out. Preferably sooner than later. Otherwise you may find yourself stranded in the middle of Lakeshore Drive. I guess I should look into that “Check Engine Soon” light,, F.

Oh,, and look what we passed during our tow truck ride. Destiny? I think so 🙂

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Lora S permalink
    08/16/2011 10:52 pm

    Bri, what a story! Glad it ended up ok. When I saw the picture of your face, my first thought…”that is how I feel in the passenger seat when one of my kids drive, and secondly…that’s how I feel right now trying to get Andrew packed for Western”!
    Remind me to tell the story of how my timing belt broke on my car, disabling it in a very scary section of 290. The state trooper stopped to inform us that we had to leave the car because it wasn’t safe! Oh yes, I was arguing with the first tow truck driver because he came and basically left us! Fun times. I’m just glad you were all safe 🙂

    • 08/16/2011 10:59 pm

      Haha! I bet you are a bag of nerves with the kids driving! I still can’t believe they’re driving. AND going to college! AH!! Weren’t you just driving me home from babysitting??

      Definitely a scary situation being stranded in a broken car. I’m very grateful we were safe. Just pray it doesn’t happen again!

  2. 08/17/2011 11:07 am

    Oh man I have driven Lakeshore many times. Impatient bunch, those drivers are. They don’t give an inch. Glad you didn’t get hit while waiting to get towed!

  3. Angela Moceri permalink
    08/17/2011 4:50 pm

    Nice re-cap Bri. Especially love the license plate!! You should get yourself one of those!!! 🙂 I would have thought for sure that Ricky would be embarrased to have that happen to his beloved car. So glad everthing turned out good!

  4. 08/19/2011 12:19 am

    Wow- what a frustrating/scary experience! And I’ve never heard of people being towed in the car before… Glad you made it out of there safely!

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