Yankee Stadium or Bust: Let’s try both!

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Or, I went to Yankee Stadium and all I got was this lousy alternator!

Yesterday had been planned out for weeks. The plan was to go to Yankee Stadium to watch the Red Sox destroy the Yankees, but get to the Bronx several hours before the game to relax a bit, grab a bite to eat, etc. It was a day to be spent with friends, generally having a good time.

The day started out perfectly fine. We were taking two cars, and everyone was to meet at our house around noon. The plan was to drive an hour and a half, then take a train the rest of the way (another hour and a half) to the stadium. Some twenty minutes in, Mike notices the battery light is on. Seems like an odd thing to happen out of nowhere, so we pull into the next rest area, park and restart the car. It started up just fine, nothing seemed out of the ordinary except the battery light. Not knowing what was going on, we pulled back onto the highway and kept going. We got maybe another forty-five minutes in and the car starts coming to a slow, no matter how much gas Mike gave it. When you’re in the middle of the highway with cars coming up behind you at like 80mph and you’re slowing down, it’s a good time to panic. Luckily Mike was able to get to the shoulder right before the engine shut down completely.

So now we’re stuck and vehicles are whipping by us, shaking the car. It’s a scary feeling, to say the least. Our friend Jenn called her dad about what we should do, and he gave us his AAA information, so after a half an hour or so, a tow truck came. It got really interesting at this point, as the driver could only take two of us in the truck with him; the other two would have had to ride in the car itself. Problem was, none of us wanted to ride in the truck, especially us girls. So the guy says we can all ride in the car if we wanted to, though he’s really not supposed to have anyone in a vehicle that’s being towed. But what was he going to do, leave two of us behind on the highway and make a second trip? I’ve seen horror movies, no thank you.

Riding in a car while it’s being towed is quite the experience, much like a roller coaster, actually. Lot of clanking while the car was being hoisted and chained, etc. I’m sure we must have looked like quite the sight to passersby. Anyway, the tow guy tells us he can only take us as far as the next exit, and we’re all kind of looking at each other, like, “wtf dude?” He was literally going to just leave us at a closed garage (because it was the weekend), stranded. Sure, it was a hell of a lot better than being stuck on the side of the road, but now we were just going to be stuck somewhere else. So Jenn Googles garages in the area, and we found one literally just down the road. The tow truck driver goes, “you want me to take you guys there?” No, we want you to leave us stranded at this garage that won’t be in service for another two days! So away we went.

After some inspections, we were told that the alternator was bad, and that we had been driving solely on the battery alone. (I have to say, though, that getting an hour and change on just a battery is pretty impressive, especially with the AC going and GPS plugged in.) They were able to order the part we needed and we requested to have the battery replaced as well. I’m so incredibly grateful to this place for having Saturday hours and for being so helpful; without them, I don’t honestly know where we would be right now. We were able to leave the car with them to be fixed while our other friends backtracked to come and get us, and we all took a later train to Yankee Stadium. (Sidenote: I have amazing friends! ♥)

So while our day was delayed by a few hours, and we didn’t get to do everything we had planned on, we still made it to the game on time and had a great time. (Sidenote: Red Sox won, yay!) We were able to pick our car up on the way home and thankfully, the rest of the trip went smoothly. We made it home around 3:00 in the morning, phew!

The biggest lesson to be learned here is: do not, under any circumstances, ignore your “check engine” light when it pops on. It could be something minor, sure. But you could also end up as the people you see on the side of the road, broken down. Trust me on that.

So let’s recap: road trip with friends; break down and get stranded on the side of the highway; getting to ride in your car while it’s being towed; train rides; baseball game; $700 worth of car parts/labor and can still laugh about all of it: yup, just another typical Saturday!

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