not quite there...
Augusta Travel Blog› entry 24 of 24 › view all entries
OK, so I'm zooming down the highway: driving (ever so slightly) over the speed limit, being a courteous driver, hands at 10 and 2, etc. and all of a sudden ALL the lights on my dashboard light up. I've got "red across the board". An exit ramp was coming up so I went ahead and took the exit and pulled into a parking lot, popped the hood, got out my owners manual, and proceeded to stand there staring at the mass of wires, plastic parts, turbos, and computer chips that make up the engine of my car.
Nothing unusual was going on. No smoke from anywhere. The engine's just purring at me. No precious fluids leaking.
With a shrug, I decide to get it back on the highway. I'll just drive it "easy" and if it is going to break-down, I want to try to be a little closer to South Carolina.
After a few hours of pissing off the other drivers with my driving-the-speed-limit antics (this time I actually drove the speed limit) the car finds a few more red display lights it overlooked earlier and decides to light them up too. Then it decides to gradually start to dim them. Along with my headlights. Hm... maybe I should start looking for a place to pull over.
I see a sign advertising a Holiday Inn (3 miles ahead). I pet the steering wheel and tell it "Just give me three more miles..." which it does. I made it into the parking lot, backed into a parking spot, and the engine dies. At least my timing is good.
So here I am in Augusta, GA. It's nine o'clock at night. I ask myself "Dare I even hope that there's a mechanic's garage open this late?" and myself answers sarcastically "Yeah right."
I get out my flashlight and start poking around the engine. Ah, there's the problem. The alternator belt has slipped off. No problem. An easy fix for a mechanic. After a quick conversation with my insurance company (yeah, I got the roadside assistance coverage) we decide to put in a service call first thing in the morning.
Ok, simple car problem "kinda" fixed. My situation isn't too bad. It doesn't get bad until 20 minutes later.
20 minutes later: I go inside the lobby of the Holiday Inn and ask if they have any vacancies. Nope. Hotel's full. And (the desk clerk tells me) so are all the other hotels. Apparantly there is some kind of golf tournament called "The Master's" going on and all the Augusta hotels are booked up. Well, not quite booked up. The ones that aren't booked up are selling their rooms for $300-$500/night. Is golf that important?
Ok, long-story-short, after walking around the neighborhood to different hotels I come back to the Super 8 next door and explain my situation again. The proprietor gives me a break and sells me a room for $175. And it's right next door to the Holiday Inn where my car is parked. (They wouldn't go below $500).
I don't know if I will ever be in Augusta again looking for a hotel room but I can tell you that if I am I am SO going to drive right by the Holiday Inn and go straight to the Super 8.
Oh, one last thing, the Super 8 desk clerk was this young girl wearing a "If you're rich, I'm single" t-shirt over her very obviously second-trimester belly. It was cute.