#TBT – Cross-country road trip ABCs

Just a few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to answer some fun questions as part of the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award. One of those questions had to do with road trips. Thinking about driving across the country always reminds me of a particular trip, from Cleveland to Tucson, with my father. We were driving my car to Arizona for my final year of college. At some point in the middle of our trek I realized that the trip was becoming a comedy of calamities, and began drafting a list – in my head – of everything that was going wrong. After finally arriving in Tucson, and getting myself unpacked, I wrote down the tale. The fact that everything through M occurred in alphabetical order is one of those crazy coincidences the Universe sends to remind us that nothing is chance.

Final note, the car we were driving, my favorite car that I have ever owned, was a 1985 Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible.

Dad Cass Volkswagen

The A B C’s of Cass’ Trip to Tucson

A is for Ashland, where we stopped to find out what was wrong with the car. First the guy thought it was the Alternator

B is for Bearings, which was the mechanic’s second guess at what was causing the Burning smell

C is for Compressor, because that’s what the problem really was. We opted not to fix it and Continued on

D is for Dinner, for my dad and I had a Delicious Dinner in Springfield at my grandmother’s house. D is also for Deflated tire, which occurred the next morning when my dad tried to get other people to look at the car (they wouldn’t)

E is for Employees on strike. As we neared St. Louis, we thought we could stop somewhere there. Calling around unearthed that every single Volkswagen mechanic was on strike due to a labor dispute

F is for Furious, which is how I felt as I spoke with members of my sorority and discovered that they had ignored several of my explicit instructions, one of which was to not use Freeze Frame for the composite photograph

G is for the Gas Station where my car Gave up. We stopped to Grab some food and water… Guess what? Car wouldn’t re-start

H is for the Hour we had to backtrack to go to the one dealership where there was one mechanic that knew Volkswagens

I is for the Isuzu-Nissan dealer where we spent the next hour waiting for…

J Jim Palmer, the mechanic who said, “yes, there is something wrong with your car, and we don’t have time to fix it today or tomorrow, but we can order the part and have it here before noon tomorrow if you want someone else to put it in”. J is also for Joe Tacco, who was a salesman at the dealership, and overheard this craziness. He didn’t think the answer we had been given was good enough, so he went upstairs and complained to the manager. The manager called down to the mechanic and told them to fit us in the next day

K is for Kara who called to tell me she was looking at a job at an engagement ring store

L is for Left side, as in, the only part of my body that got a VERY bad sunburn due to poor planning and driving in one direction

M is for Margaritas that my dad and I drank in St. Louis while lamenting the Mess of my car. M is also for the EXCELLENT Mexican food we ate there

N is for New Mexico, which is where I saw Dr. Seuss trees. Seriously, I think I discovered the inspiration for those crazy trees he drew

O is for Oklahoma, where my dad left the gas tank cap

P is for Procrastination, which is what I did about buying and sending Postcards… there is a reason the pool won’t be seeing any from me this year

Q is for Quantitate. As in, you cannot Quantitate the miles driven on this trip because the odomoter and trip meter are both broken

R is for Route 66, because that’s the song that was in my head the ENTIRE time. Cities in the song that I actually saw? St. Louis, Joplin, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Gallup, Tucumcari

S is for Santa Rosa, where we ran into two Delts whose car (from Illinois) had broken down, and where they would be Stuck for the next three days

T is for Toe ring, because I got a really pretty one on the trip. T is also for Tatsu, a restaurant in Las Cruces where my dad and I really wanted to eat, but weren’t able to, due to the abridged itinerary

U is for the Upside of all this… oh, no wait. There wasn’t one

V is for Volkswagen. I love my car. Really, I do. But I’m never buying another Volkswagen in my life*

W is for Water. My dad and I each consumed an average of three Dasani Waters per day. It’s really very addicting

X is for X-PENSIVE (I had to take a little liberty here) because my car has cost me, in repairs, something like three times what I originally paid

Y is for Yawn. It’s really all I did the whole time

Z is for Zero. Which is the amount of swimsuits that I bought while en route to Tucson!!! (aren’t you proud?) (oh, for those of you who wanted me to count my swimsuits… the official count for Cleve and Tucson stands at 39)



* Update: I retract item V. I would absolutely love to have another 1985 Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible. 


  • Stephanie Smallsen
    May 29, 2015

    haha damn girl you have a serious good memory. no way I would remember all those names. and about 30 mins ago – Nick told me hes at a dealership buying a truck for me. what am I getting myself into 🙁

    • Jeans and a Tank Top
      June 1, 2015

      A new truck?! That’s kind-of exciting, isn’t it? Why the sad face??

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