2016-07-02 12.11.47

Ah, there’s nothing like breaking down 40 miles north of Panama City, Florida, in the family truckster that’s loaded to the gills with kids, bikes and beach supplies. Oh, and our oldest son’s guitar and amplifier too (he really needs to learn how to downsize his packing list). Cargo carrier on top (we call it “the turtle”) and bike rack on the back.

Despite all the technological advances made by the auto industry, there’s still not a whole lot of warning when your car’s alternator dies. One minute you’re cruising along at 60 m.p.h., the next minute all your dashboard controls go haywire and your car dies.

Granted, we were going from the Florida Panhandle to Hilton Head in the middle of a two-week vacation, so I realize this falls into the category of #firstworldproblems. But still, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Especially when we got to the car dealer and they said they didn’t have an alternator for a 2003 Honda Odyssey in stock, and it’d take 3 days to order one. Thankfully they were able to find a suitable substitute that afternoon, and 7 hours (and many dollars) later, we were back on the road. Oh well, at least we didn’t get stuck in Hilton Head bridge traffic when we rolled in near midnight.

When our car wasn’t breaking down, here’s the typical scene inside the van:

2016-07-09 09.40.15

Yours truly at the wheel, the rest of the family snoozing.