Tag Archives: scotland

That Yucky Thing I Mentioned

Published / by Kim / 6 Comments on That Yucky Thing I Mentioned

Friday was a gorgeous day, so we drove up the Merritt Parkway with the windows rolled down. As the day waned, it got a little chilly, so I asked Scott to close his window and I closed mine. With the windows closed, though, it started to get hot, so I turned on the air conditioner.

That was when all hell broke loose.

The first thing I noticed was that the air coming out of the vents wasn’t cold at all, so I asked Scott if he thought we might need a freon charge. I’ve never had to do that with a car, but it was the only thing that popped into my head. Unfortunately, the next thing that happened pretty much told us it was more serious than freon, because the next thing that happened was the car started filling up with smoke.

“Scott,” I said, “Is that smoke?”

“I don’t smell anything.”

“Scott, the car is filling up with smoke.”

“I’ll pull over at the next service area.”

“Scott, the fucking car is full of smoke. You need to pull over NOW.”

So he finally pulled his head out of his ass and stopped trying to pretend nothing was wrong. And it’s a good thing, too, because when we opened the hood, black smoke poured out. We called for assistance and then waited 45 minutes for no one to show up. While we waited, we talked and determined that it had to be related to the a/c, so we decided to give it a shot with the a/c off. Sure enough, no a/c, no smoke. So we finished driving to NoHo and resolved to find a mechanic the next day.

The mechanic was closing soon and didn’t have time to look at it, but based on the description, he confirmed what Mechanic Google told me: fried a/c compressor. I don’t know a lot about cars, but I’m told that’s not a cheap repair. To make things even better, the next day the car developed a rattle. I’m pretty sure that problem is the timing needing to be adjusted. I don’t think that job is too expensive, so it’s really the compressor that’s an issue.

Our car is 15 years old and has 117,000 miles on it. We knew we were going to a new one at some point, but we were hoping it could be a planned affair, not a “crap, the car costs way more to fix than it’s worth and now we need to buy a new car” affair.

The Old Man just brought the car back as I was typing this. He took it this morning to look at it. Turns out there was no oil in the car. He put in 3 quarts. Apparently, with very old cars, they burn oil fast. Scott did put in a quart just a couple of weeks ago, but he wasn’t sure then that it was enough. I guess it wasn’t. The Old Man gave me an estimate for repairing the compressor, which is a few hundred less than I expected, but he says it’s not worth it.

So a new car is definitely in our future, though the current one is still fine to drive as long as we don’t turn on the a/c and keep checking the oil. The thing is, with having to buy a new car, Scotland is almost certainly now cancelled.

And that really sucks.


Published / by Kim

I think we’ve chosen our cottage for our stay on Skye, but I’m not going to link to its Web site yet. I don’t want to jynx us. The cottage is booked for the entire month of September except the week we want. I’m just hoping it stays that way until our tax rebate comes and I can actually book it.

It’s a little more expensive than the others we’ve been looking into, but it’s really spectacular, and spectacularly situated with mountain views and a water view in the distance. Please, please, please no one book it before May 9!


Published / by Kim / 3 Comments on Escape

Friday night, I think Scott was afraid he was going to have to hide my passport. I was thisclose to catching a cab to JFK and hopping on a plane to London. I picked London because it seemed like the shortest flight that would get me off this continent. It was a fairly serious threat, to go with him or without him.

I felt like I needed to get out. To leave everything behind and just go. I think I had a feeling in my gut that, if I could just run far enough, I could leave all the hurt and sadness and my broken heart behind me. It wouldn’t really have worked, of course, but the change of scenery couldn’t have hurt.

In lieu of taking off on a short, last minute trip to England, Scott and I had a “what the fuck” moment. As a result of that, we’re throwing all caution to the wind, forgetting about being broke, and going to the Isle of Skye in September. We plan to be there for the Autumnal Equinox. We’ll fly into Edinburgh, spend the night, then drive to Skye, where we’ll stay for a week. We’re debating staying in a B&B or a “self-catering” cottage, but leaning more toward the cottage. Either way, we should be able to stay for the week for about $800. The car rental appears to be pretty cheap, too, although I know gas is a lot more expensive overseas than it is in the U.S. The big expense will be airfare, of course, and that’s where we’re saying “fuck it.”

Scott and I will have been together for 13 years on September 27. In those 13 years, we’ve taken exactly one extended vacation together with it just being the two of us, and that was our honeymoon. Yes, we’ve taken long weekends, and weeks with our families, but not a whole week where it’s just us. The allure of escaping together, to a place that may as well be the end of the earth, has an appeal that can’t be resisted. So we’re going.

I’m ridiculously excited. I’m already planning what to pack and making lists of guide books to pick up next time I go book shopping. We plan to hike as much of the island as we can, so we’re going to start walking daily and going for hikes every weekend to get fit enough to do this trip the way we want. It’s still 7 months away, but I’m looking forward to this so much.