Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tumultuous Trip to Utah

The Trip There 

This winter, we planned to spend the week before Christmas in Utah.  The trip started out really good.  We split the drive there into two nights staying overnight in Boise.  The hotel had an indoor pool and Aiden swam all morning getting lots of energy out so the rest of the drive was easy.

We did stop for gas in the middle of nowhere.  A strange gas station that price gouges its customers.

They even had alpacas there.

Car Trouble
We made it to Utah without any trouble.  The trouble started the first Monday night we were in SLC.  We were headed to dinner at Andrea's Sister's place.  While driving, I began to notice issues with the car.  When I stopped, the car would idle really low (at 500rpm or less) and then die.  It would start back up just fine.  I had to put it in neutral every time I stopped to keep it running.

Hoping it was a minor issue, we took it to a mechanic the next day.  They replaced the EGR valve which they said was bad.  $200 and a few hours later we came to find out that it didn't fix the problem.  They told us to come back the next day when another mechanic with more experience was in.

The next day I had planned a snowboarding trip with Andrea's brother Jay. Andrea drove me to Park City to meet Jay and she went to the Mechanic. (I have an AMAZING wife!)  Turns out the mechanic with "more experience" called in sick so another return trip was needed. Park City hasn't seen the snowfall they are accustomed to. We had a good time at The Canyons but the snow didn't seem any different than the snow at Mt Hood. Although the snow wasn't much different, the views were amazing and it was really close to Salt Lake.  

After another trip to the mechanic and hours of watching several of them looking under the hood and revving the engine like crazy, they decided the transmission needed to be rebuilt.  It would take a week and cost $2600 but I had the leave the car with them that evening to have it done when they promised.  They would have some guy that doesn't deal with the public pick it up, do the work, and return it to their shop.  

Shocked and unhappy with the mechanic, I called Andrea's Uncle Rex and got a recommendation of someone else to go get another quote from.  I ended up at a transmission shop.   They checked the codes on the car and said there were no transmission codes.  The idle control valve was bad.  They thought I would be set with a new one and it was only going to cost $200.  They replaced the part and low and behold... the problem was not fixed.  They had the same price and the same timeline.  They felt bad that the part they replaced didn't fix the problem so they only charged me $60 for the part even though it needed to be replaced anyway.  They gave me until the next morning to think about what I wanted to do.  I went with those guys and we borrowed a car for Andrea's Aunt and Uncle while it was being fixed.

Silver Lining
We were stuck in Utah longer than we had planned.  We missed Christmas with our families and Paul's (my father in law) 60th birthday party.  We had Christmas eve and Christmas with the Knowles (Andrea's Aunt and Uncle).  The Knowles know how to make a feast.  Andrea and I made some fancy napkin folds while Rex was busy cooking prime rib and crab legs.

Andrea was able to participate in the festivities for her dad through Skype.  We got to visit with my old mission friend Aaron Freeman while he did Andrea's hair, spend more time with Andrea's friend Heather and her family, and stay in Utah for the wedding of Andrea's cousin Chad.

We were lucky to have friends and family to stay with for 2 weeks thanks to the Pratts, the Knowles, and the Jones'.  We were also lucky to have a car available to borrow for the exact amount of time our car was in the shop thanks to the Greens.  

Keeping up with the Jones'

Andrea has some great friends that were kind enough to let us stay in their basement very last minute.  Aiden loved playing with their oldest Ruby and they got along really well.  One of the days we all got on a train to Ogden.  We went to the Treehouse Museum and then met Heather's husband for lunch at a pizza place. (He works in Ogden.)  

The Wedding

The wedding was beautiful.  The rehearsal dinner was at Noah's in South Jordan.  Andrea's cousin Bri designed the interior of the building.  It was really cool to see her work.  The wedding was at the Salt Lake Temple and the Reception was at the Grand America.  We had a lot of fun spending so much time with family and it was wonderful to be at Chad and Emily's wedding.
Chad and Emily Dancing
Aiden and Grammy

The ride back
We got up really early to get on the road home.  We decided to go back all in one day.  Aiden slept the first 2 hours of the trip.  We made great time only stopping for gas and a redbox. ;)  Aiden did really well being in the car all day and the car works great.

Although there were some stressful moments, the trip turned out pretty great.  We were still very happy to be home.

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