Sunday, December 21, 2008

MatterPics - With An Adventure

Seattle was under a Severe Winter Storm Warning for yesterday ... snow and high winds were forecast to start around 4 p.m., and who knows if the forecasts are ever going to be right. So around 11 a.m. we set out to the store in the Jeep to stock up, hoping to come home right afterwards and hunker down for the storm. After our errands, Scott wanted to drive around North Capitol Hill and take pictures of the mansions and the pretty snow.

The red-twig dogwood in our backyard before we left the house:

The Cascade Mountains on our way to the store:

I love this house - it will be ours:

The Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park:

Someone made an incredibly beautiful snow angel on the wall of the stage:

The Volunteer Park Conservatory:

One of our favorite houses - we call it "Tara":

Happy Scott with Starbucks:

The view from Lakeview Cemetery overlooking Lake Washington:

Heading back downhill towards Montlake - the adventure begins:

Pretty - but steep - drive down the hill:

Prettier. And steeper:

Okay, now there are a few hours without pictures.

As we headed down the hill, we came across a steep road with a barricade saying "Snow Closure". Scott wasn't sure how to turn around there ... so he said, "Hey, we can make it! We're in a Jeep with four-wheel drive!"

No. We couldn't.

Slowly at first ... picking up a little speed ... hitting the curb ... turning 180 degrees ... sliding down the hill BACKWARDS picking up a little more speed. I swear we both peed a little. Maybe a lot.

We ended up surviving, finally stopped near the bottom of the hill, with a blown front tire.

And the spare was already damaged.

And the jack was broken.

Luckily, a very, very, VERY Good Samaritan was there and offered us his jack to take off the wheel, and a ride to the service station a few blocks away.

Whose Auto Center was closed. They told us to go to one near the University Village about a mile away.

Whose Auto Center was closed. They told us to go to a brake and muffler shop two blocks away.

Who didn't sell tires and couldn't repair ours, as the rupture was on the side due to hitting a curb. They told us to go to Les Schwab in Lake City. Which ended up being about three miles away.

Which was packed with people trying to get chains and snow tires. We were told it would take four hours. (I'm thinking, "Shit - we'll have to ask this complete stranger to drive us home, and take Joe Jetta back up here after the storm is supposed to hit).

As we walked in to give our information, I noticed that they were only open until 5:00. It was almost 2:00 now. And they are closed on Sunday. So we wouldn't be able to get the new tire until Monday. Scott has to work Sunday, and his car is sitting on someone's jack two miles from our house ... with the hazard lights blinking.

We said no, and got back into Mr. Samaritan's minivan.

Scott called Sears, south of downtown (we were up north at this point), and they said they could replace the tire within an hour. Mr. Samaritan - who actually lives quite close to us - said he'd take us home so we could get my car, and we could drop off the jack later.

We were almost in tears at this point, and frantically thanking Mr. Samaritan (his name was Kirk) left and right. Really, he was incredible. I don't think we'll ever forget him and his infinite kindness.

So we get home, run in to pee (apparently we hadn't peed enough while sliding backwards down the hill) and grab my keys. Off to Sears ... by which time it had started to snow.

There, we found a lady whose car was dead across the street. Scott went over to help, and it turns out she just had a loose battery cable, so he got her van started right away. Then she couldn't get it out of "Park", so back to help her again. She was so grateful and nice, honking and waving and shouting "Merry Christmas!" as she left ... we felt good. We'd played our Karma cards, and our ordeal was almost over.

Picked up the new tire ($215 later!) and headed back up to Montlake to rescue the Jeep.

And realized that, while I'd picked up the keys to the Jetta, I'd left the keys to the Jeep at home.

Back up the hill to our house, in heavy snow, grabbed the keys, and drove back - me white-knuckling it the whole way.

Got the new tire on. And found that the battery had died after the hours with the hazard lights on.

Jump-started the Jeep, which wouldn't stay running due to the cold. Finally got it going, and I followed Scott back home, up the hill, in the heavy snow, going about 5 mph.

Scott kept the Jeep running to charge the battery, then drove over to Kirk Samaritan's house to return his jack. He also brought them a brand new Calphalon wok as a thank-you gift.

After getting back home, he found his tire iron in the back of the car. Back to Kirk's house - he left it in their mailbox rather than bothering them AGAIN - Kirk was an angel, and we'd taken up more than enough of his time ... he probably never wanted to see us again (although he was infinitely patient and funny and nice, and kept telling us it was all no problem at all).

Home, finally.

And then we decided, "Hey - let's get pizza for dinner!" Because, you know, we hadn't driven enough that day. We wrote out a nice Christmas card for Kirk and headed out, dropping the card at the post office on the way.

Broadway in the snow, by Pagliacci Pizza:

Stoli came with:

Matt with pizza:

This morning, we woke up to about 9 inches of snow:

And Scott had to go to work. Damn retail. Getting his coffee for the trip:

Luckily we stocked up for when he gets home:

And how was YOUR weekend???


A Lewis said...

Well, I must shamefully admit, that I came here to make a snarky sassy comment about what you were possibly doing up in Volunteer Park. And how I'd like to visit when you live in "Tara." But then I started the peed down your pant legs if the day couldn't possibly ever come to an end. You have got to be kidding me? STAY HOME STAY HOME STAY HOME STAY HOME

Blair said...

Gosh, what an adventure....glad you made it through ok!

And we have thought just taking the dog out is bad.....

Stay warm!

Chris said...

The problem that I have with things like that is that peeing my pants always seems like an appropriate reaction, but I always forget to do it!

That sounds like the kind of fun that's not :( Glad you two are OK - every time I've popped a tire, it's always been in the middle of summer on the freeway.

We had a nasty cold snap but no snow to go with it. At least then, no one questions why you stay home. And drink Bailey's and Amaretto...must give that a try. Perhaps right now!

Sizzle said...

Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers! It's brutal out there and there is NO WAY I am driving in it. We were out in it when it started to snow and I was so grateful to be home with my booze.

Stay safe!

jo said...

LOL! Oh, cuz...I'm so sorry that the day was such an adventure; grateful to Kirk for being such an angel; glad you have Scott to go through this adventure with; so sorry that you're experiencing Chicago-like weather; would love to be joining you for some Bailey's right now!

Scott said...

Wow. I'm tired just reading all of that!
How was MY weekend you ask??


I also had car issues. The very first time I park my car on the street overnight and someone slammed into it pushing it into a snowbank and drove off. The entire front end will have to be replaced as well as the front fender and door.

Merry Christmas to the kind citizen who chose to just hit and run instead of fessing up to the incident.

Daniel said...

Wow! What a action packed weekend!

All I did this weekend was get a new puppy. I'm so tired!

Palm Springs Savant said...

loved this post, tons-o-fun.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!


LSL said...

Ok, I'm just catching up on you and CAN'T BELIEVE this day. I would have been in tears so early on in this scenario. Thank goodness for v. v. v. v. good samaritans! Sorry you kids had to go through this. :(