OK...so I'm back. What a freaking nighmare/adventure/Twilight Zone.
The flight was great up to BUF, MAN it's cold up there! There was snow on the ground when we landed, but none on the roads. Erik arrived with the car a little after 12PM...it was so TINY pulling up! We did the deed - transferred ownership, he cleaned it out, and handed over the keys.
I got used to the RHD thing pretty quick. Still trying to get used to the blinker and windshield wipers being reversed (look for wipers to go on when making a left hand turn). I think it's more strange feeling being a passenger in an RHD car. The engine noise is phenomenal...it's really hard to keep your foot out of the throttle. She likes high revs - the power band is up there. Cruising on the highway at around 70mph is 6,000 RPM's, but the car loves it.
Anyhow, we made it out of NY and into PA. About halfway through PA, the roads started to be covered with snow/ice/slush. Snow started falling by the time we hit OH. I was all over the place in the car...white knuckle driving to the max. Traction was only a thing of desire, and I got about 30 degrees or more sideways a few times. I decided to call it quits in Bedford Heights, OH, a little below Cleveland. We refueled and slid down the drive to the hotel behind the gas station. This was about 4PM.
In my fury about having to stop, I began unpacking the car - the largest storage space is where the folding top stores in it's down position - the trunk can hold about 1.5 shoe boxes. In my rage I yanked the duffel bag off the back shelf - it hung on a seat and ended up splitting the rear window from top to bottom. The window is VERY hazy, so I was going to polish it, but I'm just going to replace it now, hopefully tomorrow. Anyhow, I had to go buy some duct tape at the gas station and tape the window up to prevent snow from accumulating in the car. Good thing we pulled off when we did, because later we found out there was a 25 car pileup in the direction we were headed.
We checked in and asked for a non-smoking room - they put us in a smoking room. When we got in the room, the heater and TV were on - we were thinking "nice." About an hour later, a man comes into our room - he has a key and informs us this is his room. WTF? The guys at the front desk screwed up. They put us in another smoking room. This one had a nice little pile of snow in the corner by the window. We just stayed there for the night.
Next morning (Wednesday) we changed rooms again to a room that was non-smoking. The toilet constantly ran and leaked in this one, but we just ignored it. We were hoping to be on the road by noon, but the snow just kept coming. They broke the record for 24 hour snow fall - we got about 16" where I was. The drifts around the beat were about 36" tall. We broke down and bought the room for another night. I spent all day Wed helping people shovel snow and push cars. What else was I going to do to pass the time?
Finally yesterday, we got up and on the road at 7:30AM. The hardest part was getting out of the parking lot and up the uphill driveway. It took 4 attempts. Once we were on the road, things were groovy, and the roads were actually dry once we got below Columbus, OH. It was a long drive, but we made it home at 9:30PM last night. I didn't keep track of mileage on the trip because I was so focused on getting home. I think I averaged about 41 MPG though. Before going home, I stopped at a hand wash carwash and blasted all the salt/grime/crap off the car. It looks great (with the exception of the back window).
Tomorrow I'm hopefully fixing the rear window, mounting new tires, and giving it a good cleaning. Pictures and reports to follow.
Oh yeah - got pulled over by a TN trooper because the temporary tag is on the front windshield and he couldn't see it. He was pissed, but let me go because I had all my ducks in order. *whew!*
Wow! What an adventure. Glad you and the Beat made it back with minimal damage. Can't wait to see the pic's. Was it hard getting used to RHD? It could make it interesting jumping between cars.
It wasn't too bad actually. I still hit the windshield wipers when making a left turn sometimes. What's even stranger than driving RHD is riding shotgun RHD - you just feel strange sitting on the left doing nothing.
UFO - they're calling for partly cloudy with a high of 49F tomorrow - hopefully I can get her cleaned, new tires mounted/balanced, MAYBE a new rear window, and take lots of good pictures.
Metro - someday maybe I will - for now I'm still scared to death.
I agree about riding on the left side as a passenger. Weird. Have you "fallen" into that passenger seat yet?
I lived in the RHD Cayman Islands for 3 months and I didn't realize until then that i had a habit of putting my right hand on the wheel when getting in a LHD car.
So in those RHD cars, as a passenger I found myself unconsciously reaching for that wheel expecting it to be there as I got in... and then more or less falling into the seat when my hand found nothing.
The wife gets one side of the garage, and the Beat gets the other. I park the Beater behind the Beat, so taking the Beat to work requires moving the LHD Civic then hopping into the RHD Beat, then moving the LHD Civic back into position, then taking the RHD Beat to work. Whew!