Our trip to Atlanta…

Bucket List Adventure  August 12-16th, 2010

One of the things on Don’s bucket list was to see the Dodger’s play.  Judy and Barry Miller traveled with us to go for a long weekend from Thursday to Monday in Atlanta.  We all stayed with Eileen and Mark Sharitz.  Angela flew the red-eye Wednesday evening and arrived on Thursday morning.  Angela’s friend, Traci, drove from Charlotte on Saturday to join us.  Mark was able to get tickets for us all to the Dodgers/Braves game on Sunday, the 15th of August. 

We had a fabulous weekend with everyone and had a lot of good conversations and laughs.  Mark and Eileen are the best hosts in the world and we were all so comfortable in their beautiful home.  Their dog Arnie was right in the middle of it all with us all.  What a great dog!

Traci left before the game was over on Sunday and Angela flew back to Vegas later that night.  We headed home about noon on Monday.  Barry and Judy definitely got a workout packing and unpacking the van with all the medical equipment we travel with. 

The weekend was great until we were on our trip back home.  Barry was our chauffeur and Judy rode shotgun.   Just outside of Cleveland on I-75 (going about 70 mph) the van just stopped and Barry had to muscle the van from the inside lane over to the roadside.  The traffic on I-75 was heavy with lots of semi’s flying past.  One side was the traffic and the other side was the side of a hill.  Judy was standing outside the van and all of a sudden she heard some rocks falling.  What was next?  A rock slide?  Luckily nothing developed and all we had to worry about was the speeding traffic.  After about an hour along side the road a state trooper pulled up and the traffic really slowed down when they saw his blue lights flashing. 

After waiting for about 2 ½ to 3 hours in the heat, AAA finally got a wrecker to us to haul the van back to Lenoir City to our mechanic.  The state trooper tried to find some form of transportation for Don and his power chair.  It was now after 5 PM and nothing was open.  To get Don out off the van, he called an ambulance and they took Don by ambulance without his power chair, but they could only take him to the county line, not all the way home.  The ambulance driver told us that if we contacted an ambulance from our county it could possibly cost $400 -$500 to transport Don home.  The wrecker driver meanwhile is waiting for all this before he can load the van.

The wrecker driver carrying our van followed the ambulance with Barry and Judy riding with him to a hotel about 3 miles up the road to Cleveland, TN.  When we all arrived the ambulance workers transferred Don into his power chair that Barry got off the van.  Judy and Barry unloaded all of Don’s equipment, etc. from the van and into our hotel room.  Barry and Judy rode with the wrecker driver back to Lenoir City who dropped off the van and gave them a ride to their car, which was parked at our house.

The plan was to have the van taken to our mechanic, get it fixed and Barry and Judy would drive it back the next day (hoping that it could be fixed in one day) and pick us up in our van.

The hotel in Cleveland, TN was less than an hour’s drive from our house.  The room was okay, except that the legs of the Hoyer Lift would not fit under the bed as it was solid under the bed…big problem!  Don ended up sleeping propped up in a chair with pillows and an ottoman which he referred to as a “half ass chair” as only half his ass was on the chair.  Ingredients for a really comfortable night, right!  Needless to say, he did not sleep much.

The most amazing thing was that about 8:30 PM we got a call from the wrecker driver who was just coming back after dropping of the van and Judy and Barry.  He said he realized that there were no restaurants around our hotel and he wondered if we wanted him to get us something to eat and bring it to us.  You sure meet the nicest people when you least expect to.  We thanked him, but we had some food delivered earlier.  What a nice guy!

The ambulance driver mentioned to call SETHRA in the morning (as they were closed when we needed them) so after a restless night, Tuesday morning after hearing our story, they picked us up and brought us home.  They charged us a whopping $12 total to take us both home.  What a wonderful service that is for people who need rides.

 Judy and Barry had a real workout on this trip and we are positive that they are going to run for the hills next time we talk about going on another trip.  Ha! 

 Don slept yesterday until about 2 PM.  Wow!  He was exhausted. 

 I know you all have seen these ads, but here is ours:

 Hotel                                       $100 

SETHRA                                       $ 12

Van Repair                             $700

Weekend with friends

  and stories to tell                  Priceless!!

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