It all started with the idea that we would all go up to the Turkey Sale at Whistler to buy some of last year's ski gear on sale. We did find a great deal on boots for my son and a pair of skis for me. We even walked the dog in the pouring rain before heading back home in what was torrential rain. Just about then, the tire pressure indicator came on (says front right tire needed air) so we stopped at the last gas station before leaving Whistler to pump it up. Did so, and the warning light went out so everything seemed fine.
Stopped again in the next town about 50km from home to hit the Supercharger and get a coffee - Tesla seems to put the SuperCharger stations right next to Starbucks. Very nice. When we got back on the road, the tire pressure light came on again and this time had an ominously red symbol (instead of the slightly less concerning yellow symbol before). Went straight to the nearest gas station and by then the wheel hub was almost on the ground.
No problem - I had purchased a $35 tire inflation canister on the advice of the Tesla salespeople when I bought the car. Pulled that out and started to inflate the tire. But no joy. The tire inflated a bit but then all the air seemed to leak out so I moved the car (slowly) around to the air pump on the other side of the gas station and tried filling it with that. However, as quickly as the pump put air in I could actually hear it coming out of the tire.
So, I called Tesla roadside assistance. Great service but an hour for a flatbed truck to come and get us. I seemed to be developing an uncomfortably close relationship with flatbed tow trucks. The only problem was that I had my three kids and a wet dog with me - my wife was away on a trip in the UK. So I had to call a taxi to take two of the kids (and the dog) 50km down to the city. My youngest stayed with me. That was $120, but worse, I was putting two of my kids in a cab with a driver I didn't know so he could go down a windy, notoriously dangerous road in the rain and at night. I am definitely not happy about this but didn't see any alternative.
We finally got the car onto the flatbed but as we were driving down I realize it is after 6pm on a Saturday night during a long weekend so there is nobody at the tire shop to let us in, and I didn't want to have to tow the car again three days later when the shop opened up. As luck would have it, the boyfriend of the dispatcher at the towing company, a very helpful woman, was the manager at the tire shop so he went over before we got there and opened the gate so we could put the car on their lot. Fortuitous. And very kind of him to do so.
Okay, so things are getting better now. I even got a call from a friend with two tickets to the hockey game that night so as soon as we dropped the car at the tire shop the truck dropped us at home and I was able to take my 15yr old daughter downtown for the game. In a rush, we get into my wife's car now but as soon as I start the engine the "out of gas" light comes on. Great. But, I have rationalized far worse - I declare out loud that "I am sure there is plenty of gas to get us downtown" to myself as much as to my daughter. Besides, the game has already started.
At this point, I turn to my daughter and only half jokingly say "When we get out of the car, make sure you hold my hand when we cross the street." She gives me the same look you would expect a 15yr old girl to give her father when he says something odd like that so I explain, "I am just worried the gas light and everything else is a bad omen and we have to be careful we don't get run over or that we come out of the game and this car gets towed too". She says, "Two tow trucks in one day - Haha, never gonna happen". Uh oh.
We get downtown, listening to the game on the radio. The score is 1-0 for Calgary and the first period ends. We drive through two bloody parking garages that are both completely full. Now the second period has started. We come out of the second garage and find a spot to park on the street and find a spot with a parking meter between many other cars. Did I make that clear – many other cars were parked along the street where we were… We feed the meter and I note the street intersection before we both run to the stadium.
Plenty of fun at the game. Tied after three and it goes to overtime. Very exciting. But when we get to the street where we parked the car, of course, it is not there. My daughter is doubled over laughing. Not helping my mood at all. I looked for a No Parking sign, albeit in a rush, but now upon closer inspection I see there is a sign where we parked that is probably 10 feet off the ground and it says something like refer to some other sign to see if you can park here. Seriously?! The “some other sign” is way over there, down the block, and has a bunch of temporary stickers on it with a list of dates in tiny print on which you cannot park between 830pm and midnight. There appears to be no pattern to the dates until I realize they are all the dates for the hockey team's home games. Nice, now the mayor is out to get me. None of this is on the permanent parking signs and all of it is in tiny print with temporary stickers added to the permanent signs. Did I say it was in tiny print? With stickers. And it was dark. And we were late for the game. Brutal.
Anyway, the car was towed to a yard about 8 blocks away. Traffic is gridlocked with cars coming out of the game so we have to walk. Thankfully it is not raining anymore. Another $100 later (those discounted skis and boots are starting to get expensive) and a painful lineup to deal with but we then get the car back. My wife's car back. We get in the car and I turn the ignition and what is that warning light? Oh yeah, out of gas. Still.
We sort out the gas and go find a restaurant because neither of us has eaten and it is now 1130pm. We find a cool place with music and food and I am thinking, this is not so bad, hanging out with my 15yr old daughter after the hockey game. And then it happens - my wife is in the UK which is 8 hours ahead so it is Sunday morning and she is on her way to the airport to catch her flight home. Uh oh. Texting with my daughter and what is that? "Mum wants to know why we are driving her car?"
I'm like "Don't answer that text! I need to get the story straight first..."