Can you change a tire?

Last Sunday was the first time that Mr. Heike, the kids, and I took a trip together in the Big Blue Van! While I was wondering how we would fare in our little sardine van, my worries were forced away by thoughts of spending all of Sunday by the ocean without having to take the long drive home. We were camping for one night, and hitting the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a home school day on Monday.

We rode down south through the beautiful California countryside, thriving farms and glimpses of the ocean. I could SMELL the ocean, we were only about 15 minutes away, when the van started going "bump, bump, bump". Eww. We pulled over, checked the tires to see if we had a flat, and drove on.

Bump, bump, bump.

Just as we weedle around the tight curves on the 2 lane Highway 17....


Mr. Heike wrangles the Big Blue Van to the side of the road, which isn't really a side, but at least we not standing on the dividing strip. We frantically look for our warning lights, while the first car almost rams into us. Seems our back tire blew....
and it seems we stopped right behind a curve, where you are SUPPOSED to be going 30mph, but hell, who gives a rats ass about that?

So I pull the kids out and make them sit in someone's front yard, while head up the road a bit to wave down (slow down) cars...I hate for Mr. Heike to get crushed beneath the Big Blue Van as he is struggling to get the tire off. That would put a damper on our ocean stay.

These cool kids riding home from a concert pull up in front of us and help Mr. Heike out. The 2 girls come to talk to me and keep me company while I cheerlead and try to keep racers from smacking into our van. They finally get the spare on, we give them some home-made pumpkin cookies, and we are back on the road!

Now we can't figure out how to turn off the warning lights ;)..

We make it to the campsite at Sunset State Beach, and it is marvelous. Except our spare is flat.

So Mr. Heike gets a phone book, and decides to make his way to a tire store. Unfortunately, he only gets about 8 miles before the spare blows.

There while, the kids and I are sitting on the beach with sporadic phone reception.

And it is pretty darn chilly. Thankfully, I grabbed us all a sweater and some food before Mr. Heike left. Did I mention it was chilly?

To make a long story short, we had to scrimp someone else's bonfire to keep from freezing our butts off, and Mr. Heike did not make it back until 3 hours later, in the dark. He had a nightmare with the stupid AAA tow truck driver (as we needed a place to sleep and no one with tires was open after 5 on Sunday, they towed the van to the campsite) who got LOST :(...

Thank the goddess I had beer in the van!!!


We made a huge fire and ate hot dogs with marshmellows, and beer. Once we were warm and fed, all was well and showed Mr. Heike pictures of the beach that he did not get to enjoy with us.

If you want to enjoy them, go to

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