Well, Bertie is still with us. Yesterday was a little more interesting than planned, and we are currently in a lovely hotel room in Pulaski, VA – the Jackson Park Inn. What a lovely surprise this place is! But why are we in Pulaski, you might ask? (Or at least Caitlyn did the morning…)

Before we left, I had to change the brake pads, as they had started grinding badly on the left side. What should have been a relatively easy job ended up taking several hours and almost killing us – literally, as the car fell off the jack stand. And then we were only able to get the one horrible pad replaced on one side, the caliper wouldn’t slide back down with both new pads in. That was Universal Warning #1. But whatevs, it was enough to get her to her new home…

The journey yesterday started out with one last quick oil change and then a stop near Frederick, MD to pick up the seats that the new owner wanted. Met another Previa fanatic, Charlie, who was pretty great – and excited about our lovely unicorn (which is what the S/C AWD Previas are known as)! He wanted the car pretty badly, but the people down south were driving several hours to meet me, and I’m a nice person. So we headed out for real. Universal Warning #2.

Our first stop for gas was in Winchester, VA (I think). Holy moly, Virginia is a big state, apparently. Or maybe I’m just crossing it the long way. Anyhow, we had an absolutely hilarious checkout guy, who asked us where we were going. I told him, and he yelled instantly, “Don’t go!!” … Which was really weird and we thought just part of the comedy act. Apparently that was Universal Warning #3. There are more bizzare details there in retrospect, but we’ll go into that another time.

The Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains are a beautiful part of the country! There are some definite elevation changes and a long climb during part of it. Apparently it was too much for Bertie’s tired old heart, as about 20 miles north of Dublin, VA the check engine light came on, she started dinging a warning, and we pulled over on the highway. Overheated.

Fortunately, my mom taught me to always be prepared on long drives – and I had a fresh bottle of coolant to refill her with. Driving carefully, we managed without getting quite into the red to get to a gas station and Taco Bell in Dublin, where we ate a lovely gourmet Mexican dinner, the intended recipient of the car bailed, and we found a nearby hotel. Which is where we are now.

Advice from the Toyota Previa forum on Facebook that I’m a member of ranges from just the thermostat to blown head gasket (which is a common problem on these cars). There’s an auto parts store nearby that hopefully has one in stock for me, and maybe I can even get really lucky and find a mechanic who’s willing to work on Sunday of a holiday weekend! Or just a nice someone to help me out. LOL

Not sure when or how we’re getting home yet, but I’ll keep you posted. It’s at least been an entertaining trip so far, and Caity is getting good material for her college entrance essays? *laughing maniacally* Also, this town early on a Sunday morning is SUPER WEIRD and feels like we’re in a post-apocalyptic movie.

Stay tuned for the next episode of… THE SAGA OF BERTIE THE PREVIA!!! (Or, “The Adventures of Super Pickle”)

Read Part 1 here…