Last Saturday, Jaime and I went to New York City for a simple day trip. As the previous post showed, it was anything but. As the title of this post shows, the story is not over.
Last Saturday we left our car in the hands of a Lee Myles shop in Harlem. They were going to do their best to rebuild our transmission by the latest, Wednesday of this past week. We rented a car from Hertz on 40th on the East Side and went home. On Wednesday, I took Jaime and Ava to the day care and drove on into New York. The transmission shop told us on Tuesday that the car would be ready by noon. The rental car needed to be returned by noon in mid-town. So I got into New York and dropped the car off at 11:55.
Having plenty of time, I took advantage of the nice cool day and walked from 40th avenue up to Fifth and 59th. Apple opened a new store in Manhattan right there next to FAO Schwartz and I wanted to see what they’ve done. While I was just in the city on Saturday, because of the problem we really didn’t get to do what I wanted to do, and that was walk around the city. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk. I didn’t feel any rush, but I walked fast. I arrived at the Apple Store.
They built down into the ground next to FAO Schwartz, a great business move, as families with children will come in and play with the computers. And indeed, there is a great section that has computers for children to play on.
From there I walked to Pax on the corner of Broadway and 57th, bought lunch, and then walked to the 4 subway on Lexington and 59th. The express arrived at 125th in Harlem in good time. By 1:25pm I arrived at the Lee Myles to pick up my car, thinking it was done.. The timing was good. I still had over three hours to get back to Pennsylvania and pick up Jaime at the day care and go home in our now fixed car.
Well, life just doesn’t work that way. There was some problem in the transmission, a piece was no longer working right. They showed me the car with the transmission wide open to my view (I had never seen the inside of a transmission before this, just a bunch of small parts that somehow work together well, except when they don’t). They were waiting for a piece to arrive, sometime in the next hour or two. So I had to wait, and it looked like I was not going to be able to avoid the evening traffic home. So I called Jaime and told her to find someone to give her a ride home.
As the day wore on, the part finally arrived, but, well…the mechanic could not finish the car tonight. Yeah, I was going to have to wait until morning. So I was stranded in New York. Thankfully we know many people in New York, and the Ortons, good friends of ours from when we lived here, were kind enough to let me crash for the night.
What sucked at this point was that Jaime had to get a ride home. Judy, from the ward, picked her up at the day care and took her to the church. From there, Bonnie took her home. At home, our other car, my car, was dead. The battery was bad. So Jaime had no vehicle, and her husband was stranded in New York City. I talked with her in the evening for some time from the Orton’s but we obviously would rather be together. (Jaime and I have rarely been apart since we got married, which is pretty interesting because we did a long-distance relationship before our marriage. The only other time we were apart from each other for more than a day was during Thanksgiving in 2005 when she went to Pennsylvania to be with her family, while I had to work).
I spent the morning at the Orton’s reading David McCullough’s 1776 while I waited for more information about the car. By 11am, they told me the car was not going to be ready for a few hours. They were waiting for another part. I talked with Jaime and decided that the best way for me to use my time was to go to the Manhattan Temple and go through a session. So I went down to mid-town, ate some lunch at Pax again (yeah, I love that place) and went through a session at the temple. I also spent about an hour at Barnes and Noble (yes, without purchasing any item, Jaime 🙂 ).
After the temple, I called Lee Myles and learned that the car was not going to be ready for this evening yet again. I was going to have to stay one more night in New York. They felt good that the car was going to be ready tomorrow though. So yet again I stayed with the Ortons. Jaime was a single mom for one more night. I began to really miss her. It’s fascinating just how one we are, she and I. She is definitely my other half.
I stayed at the Ortons all morning waiting to hear about the car. By noon, we were to know if the car was ready. Guess what? Not a chance! Nope, the car was not going to be ready. We had enough. Jaime called them and got them to pay for another rental car. I immediately reserved a rental car to pick up at 2pm and get the heck out of the city before Friday’s evening traffic (usually far worse than a normal weekday’s evening traffic towards the mountains of PA). I made it. The drive was excellent. I got a near-new Kia Spectra (500 miles) and had a pleasant drive.
I arrived at the day care at about 4:30pm and gave Jaime a big hug. I then went to find Ava. She was in the nursery room. I went to her and she did not recognize me. It was probably more of the fact that she wasn’t used to seeing me at the nursery, but still, it was a bit tough for me to have my daughter not recognize me.
So this is where we are now, another rental car, and yet another trip to New York coming. The rental car needs to be returned by Tuesday at 2pm in mid-town Manhattan. Will Lee Myles have our car fixed by then? Jaime will take Ava into the city this time, as I cannot take more time off work like this. Will she be stranded this next week in the city with Ava?
Tune in next week…
I talked with Lee Myles today and they told me that because they had so much trouble with this transmission (still not working today apparently) that they are just going to replace it with a “newer” one (one that has apparently 75,000 miles on it—ours is at 100,000). I can understand their frustration, obviously; it didn’t work out for either party, us or them. I’m glad they are doing this. Now they moved the date for the car to be ready to this Thursday (though if it is ready before that, we’ll go get the car). What that means is the rental car will also be returned on Thursday instead of tomorrow (when it is due), and they will continue to agree to pay for the full rental car price. I hope this ends this particular adventure in New York. But I won’t hold my breath until our car is back here in Pennsylvania and working, well, somewhat normally.