Our trip to Berlin ended with a bang. Literally. An hour from home the engine made a noise. A loud noise. A not good noise. Dave & I looked at each other & knew. Our faithful companion, our workhorse, our James had died. Even at the very end he served us well, saving his final breath to get us safe & sound off the German autobahn and to a beautiful rest area in the Schwabishe Halle.
I called ADAC, the German triple A, and they promised to send out a mechanic within the hour. We went inside, where it was warm & cozy, and ordered some coffee, hot cocoa’s and cake. Break downs require cake. The mechanic arrived within the promised timeframe, and immediately agreed that James was beyond saving. He called to arrange transport for both us & James and went on his way. Our suspicions confirmed, and resigned to another hour of waiting, we went back inside for some beers. We wouldn’t be driving anymore that evening.
By now it was well after 10 pm. Well after closing time for our rest area. But by now we were also acquainted with the staff and they kindly let us stay past closing, keeping us inside the warm, lit, safe refuge a little longer. Finally, at almost 11:30, it was truly time for them to go home. We said our farewells and trudged back through the cold to sit in James one last time. Not long after our ride arrived. A big flatbed truck with extended cab to fit all of us! While our driver loaded up James, I climbed the towering ladder to install carseats on the back bench. Before we knew it we were on our way home.
I so wish we had broken down in the day. The view from the truck is amazing! Sitting a little higher, with a big, wide window makes such a difference. I saw so much more. That last hour home, flew by. Maybe my next car needs to be an flatbed truck!
We got home a little before 2 am. The ADAC truck lighting up our whole neighborhood and the clanking of the winch & flatbed raising causing all the curtains in bedroom windows to be nudged aside. We are once again, the talk of our little town. James is now sitting in the driveway out front. A sad memory of what he once was. I will really miss him.
We did have a wonderful trip to Berlin. An fantastic, much-needed visit with Min and her family. We laughed, ate, shopped and talked shop. The girls especially enjoyed the shopping part.