When in Chattanooga
It was last summer, my mom bought a horse trailer in Georgia and asked my boyfriend Luke and I if we would drive down and pick it up. It was a couple weeks before school started back up and I was dying for a little adventure, so I thought “why not?” and we set out together on what would become one of the most memorable accidental vacations I have ever been on.
The plan was pretty straight forward. It was 14 hours to our destination, and 14 hours home. We were going to leave Saturday afternoon, drive into Illinois, say the night in Illinois, drive the rest of the way to Georgia Sunday and then turn right back around and head home without stopping. We set out on Saturday and everything was going according to plan. We got into Illinois that night and found a hotel when we got tired. By Sunday afternoon we were driving through Tennessee.
Everything was going great until the truck started making a weird noise. After that, things went downhill quickly. The truck began to really struggle, and we limped it into the nearest town, Chattanooga Tennessee, so we could stop and take a look. The truck was just barely running, and we were having trouble finding anything open since it was Sunday. We finally found a place with a diagnostic computer and realized it was the transmission. After that we struggled to find a shop to take it to. After about an hour we made it across town to a shop and waited for the bad news. Long story short, the truck was toast. There was no way that we were getting anywhere without a new part. Only problem? The nearest part was in Maine and it was going to take 2 days to get there! And on top of that it had started to rain.
My bright and sun shining adventure had turned into a sloppy wet nightmare. Literally. So, what did we do? Well we did the only thing you can do in that situation. We walked (in the rain) to the nearest place that had food and WIFI which happened to be a Waffle House. We ordered waffles and we started working out all of our options.
There was a lot of googling and numbers crunching but finally we decided we would just have to order the part, get a hotel and wait. We were 800 miles from home and we were stranded. I called my mom and I cried, then I ate some chocolate chip waffles. In the end, the repairs would end up taking a whole week, so we got a rental car and decided to make the best of it.
We drove to Nashville and just let loose. We visited all the sites and we walked around downtown. There was a visit to the Grand Ole Opry and we ate fresh oysters at a restaurant on the river. I met a lot of really nice people that helped us out along the way too. One man, after hearing our story, brought us to his restaurant and fed us lunch for free. I learned that there are certain situations in life where you don’t always have complete control and that is okay! It’s okay to not be okay. I learned to keep my chin up, even when things are looking down. I learned to make the best out of a bad situation and it turned out to be some of the most fun I have ever had.