I am back.

The Adventure of getting my new (my sister-in-law's old) Saturn home went pretty uneventful.

It started Sunday afternoon, when my father-in-law and I were dropped off at the airport for a one-way-flight from MSP to ATL.

We self-checked in at a touch-screen terminal, and got in line for the security checkpoint. We reached a guy who was reminding all passages about the "minimum liquid" restrictions. Having forgotten about this restriction, Joe needed to throw away some toiletries before hitting the checkpoint.

Reminder to self: If I ever need any toiletries (Toothpaste, deodorant, cologne, etc) make a quick stop off at the airport. There are several trash cans full of above listed items. Some which have never been opened!

After cleaning out (what was thought to be) everything, we got back in line and proceeded to the checkpoint.

I thought my bag would (for sure) flag someone, somewhere and require a full body cavity check of some sort - it was loaded with my Palm Pilot, my XM Radio (and it's remote control, cassette adaptor, and antenna), and my MP3 Player - but alas, I got to walk through unstopped. Joe, on the other hand, seemingly left a bottle of cologne in his bag that he forgot he packed. That did cause alarm at the checkpoint, and he was pulled, and checked. After the TSA attendant found and removed the violating container of fluid, we were on our way.

Since we were not going to be arriving until 7:30 pm, we stopped, and had our first of many meals "on the road".

We boarded the plane on time, but spent a little extra time on the tarmac due to a closed runway.

The flight was uneventful, and we arrived, made our way though Atlanta Airport, and met up with my sister-in-law Mary. She seemed happy to see us, and we were happy to see her.

We walked out and got a look at HER NEW CAR. It was BEAUTIFUL. Mary's Vue is "Ruby Red", and the website does not do the color justice.

By now, it was going on 8:30 pm, and having not eaten since 2pm, we were getting hungry. I treated both Mary and Joe to dinner at Miller's Ale House (a recommendation by Mary - which was a great choice!). After catching up, and some visiting, we headed back to Mary's. Once there, we took care of the business end of the transaction, and Mary's old car became my new car!

We planned on an early start... About 5:30 am - but I had forgotten that there was a time differential, and that 5:30 Central is really 4:30 Eastern. So we adjusted our start time to 6:30 eastern (5:30 central), then went to bed.

We were up on time, cleaned & packed up, and ready to go by our target time. As we went down from Mary's home to the car in the lot, it felt odd... I was approaching "my new car" for the first time, and the whole transaction was done "sight unseen". I was able to do this, because I bought the car from someone I trusted. It was sort of "surreal"....

I took "first shift" for driving, we said our goodbyes, and we headed out 6am Atlanta time. It was still dark, and we found our way though the unfamiliar "Atlanta area", and by the time daylight was upon us, we were well on our way.

The remainder of the trip was very uneventful. The car ran fine, we listened to a whole day's worth of XM Radio Classics, and with the exception of gas and food - we drove straight through from Atlanta, to Minneapolis. We did take a slight detour through the middle of Illinois with the intentions to stop by and see Brian, Jessica and Miles. The Detour proved to take longer than planned (due to road construction, and a couple of wrong turns) so that by the time we passed the intersection that we needed to turn - Miles was already sleeping, and (my understanding was) Jessica was not home. It would have added an extra two hours to the trip, so we scrapped the idea, and continued on our way.

One thing I did want to note about the trip... Our "menu".

Before leaving MSP, we ate McDonalds at the airport. (Hamburger, small fry, small drink)
After arriving at Atlanta, we dined at Miller's Ale House. (I had the Philly Cheese Steak and a Michelob Golden Light)
We stopped for breakfast once again at McDonalds. (Sausage McMuffin with egg and an O.J.)
We ate lunch at Dairy Queen. (Mushroom Swiss Burger Value Menu)

By the time it came to dinner, (on our last leg of the trip) we were so sick of fast food, that we tried to find some sort of diner, or cafe, ANYTHING that did not serve food with the option of being supersized, came in a wrapper, box or bag. What I was really hungry for was a salad bar. We decided on stopping at the next "non fast food" restaurant we came across, and when we found the next "non fast food" joint, it was a locally owned truck stop. It had an attached Restaurant and Buffet. THE BUFFET HAD A SALAD BAR! We both ordered the salad bar, and enjoyed a much appreciated change to the diet we had eating.

We arrived at my father-in-law's house at 0230 hours, and after dropping him off - I finished the remaining 30 minutes journey to my house, and arrived at 3:02am (Minneapolis time).

The trip took a total of twenty-two hours (including stops, gassing up, wrong turns, and detours through "Children of the Corn" (rural / small town) Illinois - and was a total of 1205 miles from start to finish.

Hey Bill... WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THESE NUMBERS !?!?!?!
For thoes of you who do not know what this is all about, I'll give you a hint...

Mary, I want to thank you for selling us your Saturn!

It has proven to be quite a wonderful upgrade for us!

9 comments:

  1. Welcome Back. I can't wait to hear how the trip went.

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  2. FANCY! Hooray for you! Just let me know when you wanna race - okay?

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  3. I like the ride my friend! I can't wait for the post... Now since we called your Escort the 'scort (or the teal golf ball) what are we going to call the Saturn?

    Very jealous of the MPG's!

    Bill

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  4. Very nice, David. In addition to saving on gas, you won't be wasting your mental energy worrying about an old car. Is it XM equipped?

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  5. Thanks everyone - it is pretty exciting getting a new (or NEW TO ME) car!

    Eric - it is XM equipped as I own a SkyFi2 (you can see a photo of it HERE)

    I take the SkyFi2 with me pretty much wherever I go. I have a home docking cradle and a car docking cradle.

    The only bummer is that becuase of my building, I am unable to get XM reception inside at work. That would be perfect!!

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  6. Nice road trip !

    Looking at your mileage and fuel costs I'm guessing that the price of gas has risen in the last year or so for you ?

    You're still some way behind though :) Just done a quick calculation on what the same amount of fuel would cost you in the UK at our current £1 per litre - you used approx 164 litres, so thats £164, or something like $320.

    You realise why most of us drive deisel cars here now at 50 miles per gallon !

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  7. Yes Gary, it is true.. While we all complain about gas prices here in the states, You folks have it pretty rough over there... (Although I am jealous of your 50 mpg cars. I'd love to drive a car that gets 50 mpg!

    Global warming or no global warming - I am a cheap man, and the less I have to pay for ANYTHING the better I feel! Hence, the less gasoline I burn, the more money is left in my pocket, and more money in my pocket makes a happy Father of Five!

    I was reading about your vehicle lease woes.... And I did notice that you were not planning one of those 50+mpg super ultra mini's! (Snicker). There is something to say about a little bit of luxury too!

    My Saturn was a replacement I purchased from a family member. When my previous car started having "issues" I started looking around. Here in the States we have a magazine called Popular Mechanics - and they published an article about some of the vehicles that have the highest currently available mpg's. The vehicle I "pined" for was the Volkswagen Fox - but alas... It was not available in the US.

    Just now, I discovered an even leaner vehicle, the Volkswagen Polo!

    Maybe once gas reaches the prices that they do overseas, we may start to see some of these wonderfully economical vehicles!

    Thanks for checking in!

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  8. The one that we're waiting for (still not even a guess at a delivery date from the lease company) is the Ford Mondeo 2.0 litre turbo diesel, with a 6 speed manual gearbox it returns 37.2 mpg around town and 57.6mpg on a motorway run - average publicised mpg is 47.9.

    And to be honest thats fairly average now across Europe. The petrol engine version of that car drops down to 30.6mpg as an average but more diesels are now sold that petrol engines.

    And they're not slow, dirty or noisy either, 0-60mph in the diesel is 9.6 seconds, or 10.0 seconds in the equivalent petrol version - the twin turbo on the diesel helps a lot :)

    £800 ($1600) a month is my fuel bill for keeping just three vehicles on the road in the business - read it and weep !

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