This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 is My Vinyl Record Collection. This will be about the music I still have on my shelf. Be sure to check the links for samples of the albums and music I'll be talking about. There will be a lot of interesting music ahead for your listening enjoyment.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Welcome to New Jersey--Providence Isn't Only In Rhode Island

      My wife and I recently returned from a massive three week 7000 mile road trip from our home near Los Angeles to the Jersey Shore and Tennessee and many points yon and about.  That came down to ten full days of driving that averaged out at about twelve hours and around 700 miles per day.  All told it was another great adventure--one that I thought wouldn't happen.  Since we had already taken our trip to Ecuador I figured we wouldn't do the U.S. tour, but my wife decided that we should still do it and I have her to thank for this second vacation.

        We'd barely been back a week from Ecuador when my wife finished up an obligation to jury duty and then told me to make arrangements for the trip.  I planned taking a more northerly route through Utah and Colorado and on across the great interior of the nation.  Early Saturday July 13th we hit the road and by the early evening of Tuesday July 16th we were in New Jersey sitting in the living room of one of my daughter's house when we heard what I thought was a loud knock at the front door.  It was not a knock at the door.

        One of my other daughters who had gone to check it out came back stunned.  "Somebody hit your car!" she said.

         Her words seemed so unreal that they didn't exactly register with me as I followed her to the front door.   The sight that greeted me made no sense at first.   A different car was now sitting where I had left ours.  Our car was several feet away with its front end bashed against a street light pole that now tilted at a precarious angle.

You Should See the Other Guy!

         I must admit that the damage to our car initially didn't look that bad.  Looking at the damage to the offending vehicle, a sporty 2013 Toyota FRS, the old fight joke "You should see the other guy!" ran through my mind.  I tried to keep a positive frame of mind considering our circumstances.

       Next Time Use Your Brakes Instead of Our Car
        The young man who was driving the car registered in his father's name was obviously driving way too fast and not paying attention to his driving.  Texting perhaps?  He had not even tried to use his brakes.  His airbags were deployed.  He had a broken wrist and was visibly shaken by the accident.  He also probably was a bit concerned about what his father would be saying.  His mother arrived on the scene shortly after the accident happened.  They lived around the corner from my daughter.   Two ambulances arrived on the scene, but the mother declined treatment and opted to take her "child" to the hospital herself.   The police cited the kid for careless driving.

It's Much Worse Than It Looks

        My wife, son-in-law, and myself all made rough guesses that the damage would come to about $5000.  The appraiser who came out the next day wrote up his estimate for a couple hundred over that.  After the damaged parts were dismantled and upon final investigation at the body shop, the final bill was over $8100.  Remember, we had damage at both ends and there was a lot of replacing of parts to be done.

                       Wrecking the Car at Both Ends

        Our car took a forceful hit when you consider how far it traveled after being struck and the damage to the streetlight pole.  And talk about service from the power company.  They were out on the scene to straighten the damaged pole before the Toyota had even been towed.

                   An Endorsement for Nissan Maxima

         I've always liked my wife's Maxima.  It's the second one she's owned.  It's comfortable, drives well, and hasn't required much major maintenance.   Now I know it holds up well in an accident.   Like everyone said afterward, it's good that we weren't in the car when this happened.   However, now I feel even more secure driving this car.

                   And While I'm Handing Out Praise


         I was very pleased with the speed with which my claim was handled by my insurance company which is through the Auto Club of Southern California.  We were quickly taken care of by Carsmetics of Brick, NJ.   Since everyone knew our circumstance of being on vacation, they prioritized the repairs and got us back on the road two days after our originally scheduled departure date.   While the car was in the shop we had to get a rental car in order to go to Tennessee as we had planned.   Not in our plans was having to return to New Jersey to pick up our Maxima.   I can't say enough good things here about the service we received from Carsmetics, but I gave them a good review at Yelp.

        It's kind of amazing to consider all the traveling that we did to get to New Jersey with no problems and then to be parked in front of my daughter's house not more than a half hour and have this happen.  If something like this was going to happen, what a convenient place and time for it to happen.   I guess I could call it providence and I'm thankful for our safety throughout this entire amazing trip.

        And as they say, "Stuff happens."   Or something like that.

        Have you had any experiences of providence like this?   What's your favorite car?   Is it the car you drive now?    Have you ever dealt with a location of the Carsmetics body shop chain?

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  1. Whoa! Yes, good thing you weren't in the car. Kids, this is why you don't text and drive.
    To drive all the way across country only to be hit while parked - what are the odds?
    Never heard of Carsmetics but glad they worked hard to get your car fixed.
    And Jersey to Tennessee and then back again? That is a long way.

  2. I do a lot of automotive writing, am a huge car buff, and I can say weight was definitely on your car's side or things would have been much worse. My personal pet peeve is people who text and drive. Glad you weren't hurt and were able to get your Maxima back on the road. That's a good road tripping car!

  3. Ouch! His car does look a lot worse though. It's amazing how much it costs for something that doesn't look that bad. My friend backed into the side of my Dodge truck, and while it was just a small dent, the whole side panel had to be replaced and it was not cheap. (Glad my friend had insurance.)

  4. accidents... suck, period. been in to many to count, none have been my fault, thankfully.

  5. Wow Lee, that's crazy bad luck! Sounds like it all turned out alright though, so that's good.

  6. Oh,my goodness what an awful thing to happen. Thank goodness you and your wife were not in the car. So glad your Car Insurance was helpful too.
    I recently watched a 30 minute video on Youtube about texting and driving. The creators of the video are hoping for a wide distribution for education,such as in schools and driving schools too. It was nicely done. It showed all sides of what happens from a texting accident. How a person texting is affected by creating the accident, those injured and family members that have to deal with a death or an injured loved one.
    Once again, I am glad you and your wife were not in the car and the young driver was o.k. too. Hopefully, he has learned a lesson and now realizes a car is a dangerous machine that needs to be operated with care and constant focus.
    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  7. Oh my word-that's an awful thing to have happen. I hope the 'child' was sufficently shaken up to pay a little more attention to actually driving next time. So glad you weren't in the car and no one was more seriously injured!

    You were in my neck of the woods-sort of : ) I"m further north than Brick, but hey nowhere in NJ is too far from any other spot in the state, right?

  8. Alex -- That long of a trip can be pretty draining. I think I prefer smaller doses of daily driving with more time for sightseeing.

    Steven -- I love our Maxima for long trips. Prefer a van perhaps, but the Nissan is so comfortable and a pleasure to drive.

    L.Diane -- I would guess the other guy's car was written off as totaled since he had major engine damage. Since most parts have to be totally replaced now instead of just pounded out, bondoed, and painted, repairs can get pretty expensive.

    Jeremy -- Accidents are a big hassle.

    Eve-- Things turned out okay for us. I'm wondering about the kid though. I wonder how his father dealt with it since it was his car and insurance?

    Lucy -- Of course I'm only surmising about the texting. I don't guess I'll ever know the story of what really happened. The story he gave to the police made little sense. He had to be distracted by something that he was doing.

    Joyce -- NJ is smaller than some counties in California. I like NJ though. And my daughters love it. I kind of wish they all hadn't moved so far away from me, but they have done well with their lives so I'm glad about that.


  9. Wow, Lee. That was some trip. And that was Providence. What a blessing that if your car were to be in an accident, you and your wife were not in it! The timing was perfect... if there is such a thing for an accident;)

    So glad you got to visit your family and that everything turned out as well as it did!

    Oh, never used Carsmetics. Never even heard of them until now.

  10. Criss-crossing the country Lee? Now I'm starting to think you're like my literary hero, Jack Kerouac in his love for traveling. That's a heck of a lot of driving. I crossed the country once from Ga to Calif. Twice I've gone south to north on the east and west coasts. Never been through the middle.

    So glad your car got fixed up and everything turned out ok. I bet that guy was texting. . .
    Great post, btw.

  11. What an awful thing to happen to your car, Lee. I am just relieved that you and your family were not inside the car.

  12. I'm glad no one was hurt. Having raised five boys, I have sympathy for that boy's parents.
    Your trip sounds like fun. I love driving.

  13. Glad you're ok and insurance wasn't a big hassle. Things could have been worse and I'm glad you have a positive attitude.

  14. Sorry to hear about the accident Lee, all I can is thank goodness you guys are okay and everything is alright in that aspect. Also great to hear that your claim was speedily handled too. The journey around America driving is a seriously fun one once you get past the intense amount of driving hours you need to put in, I've done that a few times with my parents in my childhood and I absolutely loved it myself.

  15. That's insane. I fully support the driving age being raised to 18.

  16. Robin -- Accidents can happen and they are rarely convenient. There was an odd element of convenience to this particular accident.

    DG -- I'll be mentioning more about my travel love tomorrow in my Wrote By Rote blog.

    Rachna -- It was bad, but it could have been far worse I suppose.

    Susan -- Well, the boy did have a broken wrist from what I heard. Not sure the final outcome of that. Yes, boys will be what they are, but they need to be more careful doing it.

    Sheena-- My wife was far more upset than I was. I tried to stay positive to keep the situation balanced. After all there wasn't much more we could do.

    Yeamie -- I love the road life. If I could afford to I'd do much more travel like that.

    Andrew -- Actually the "kid" that hit our car was 22. I thought he was a teenager since he looked so young and the way his mama coddled him. Of course, at my age a lot of people look much younger than I think they are.


  17. Well, the trip sounds fabulous. The accident, not so much. There must be something in the air because someone just rear-ended my car and pushed me into the car ahead of me. I was stopped at a stop sign.

    The driver who hit me was TEXTING!

    Result, both ends of my car crunched.

  18. Good grief Lee, what an extraordinary thing to happen. Providence was surely on your side. Good on your insurance being what they were and are .. and great that no-one was in your car when it happened though no doubt the Maxima would have cushioned the blow. Hope the kid learned a lesson..

  19. Incredible set of circumstances. Glad you were safe in your daughter's home when it happened though. That's a long trip you did.

    Isn't texting and driving illegal in the States? It is in Ontario.

  20. Oh my word! That sucks, but at least you weren't in the car and at least you had insurance.

    Glad to hear you had a good trip otherwise. :-)

  21. The same thing happened to me about a week ago but, luckily, the car hasn't ran in a long time and we don't depend on it for anything, so it wasn't as traumatic as what you're describing....especially on vacation, no less.

    Glad you got some top notch customer service and hope the kid learned a lesson.

  22. Whoa, I'm so glad you weren't in the car and that the kid was okay, too. I hope he learns to pay more attention from now on. He's lucky he didn't get more hurt or hurt someone else.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  23. C.Lee -- Hope the resolution for your accident went as well as ours.

    Andrew -- You, speechless? I am at a loss for words.

    Susan -- Yes, I hope the young man will drive much more carefully in the future. He could have been injured much worse or been in a collision with another moving vehicle with people inside.

    Jo -- Texting is illegal in most places now, but I don't know that it stops many people from still doing it.

    Misha-- And even better I'm glad that the young man's father had good insurance.

    Mark -- Did you get your replaced with one that runs?


  24. Laura -- Yes, things could have been much worse, but fortunately for everyone it wasn't.


  25. I guess we'll just have to give each other meaningful looks, then.

  26. >>... It's kind of amazing to consider all the traveling that we did to get to New Jersey with no problems and then to be parked in front of my daughter's house not more than a half hour and have this happen.

    Yeah, ain't that the ironic truth!

    Lee, I thought sh#t like that only happened in Airheadzona.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  27. Lee,

    You are lucky you weren't hurt, or in the car. And so convenient to be at your daughter's house and not out in the middle of nowhere. Even though this kind of thing is never convenient or nice to have happen. I'm glad they could get to the repair right away. No, I've never dealt with that auto shop, but thankfully my car has never been wrecked (knock on wood).

    I love the caddy I have now. It's an old Seville that I'll have to get rid of soon because its got quite a few miles on it. It's black on black and about perfect as far as wear and tear go.
    I've got custom rims on it that they don't make anymore.

    I hate car shopping and everything is so expensive these days. I'm dreadiing the day I have to do it and will probably get something used in good shape with low miles if I can find anything I like.

    It's nice to be able to take two trips, but that's a lot of driving!

  28. Great post and enjoyable to read, I did go to Providence Rhode Island 2 years back, hope fully I'll make Branson in November,

    Have a good week=end.

  29. OM gosh! 7000 miles in ten days. I don't think I'd ever get back in a car again. Could do it when I was younger because I did all the driving, now - I hate being a passenger for that long. Your wife is awesome. My husband could do it though, he loves car trips! From mapping the whole thing to driving it. No GPS for him!

    So awful about the car, but so wonderful you were safe!

  30. Andrew -- Let's not forget the wine and candlelight.

    StMc -- Our passages through Arizona were among the better stretches of the trip. Too bad we weren't down Phoenix way so I could have visited you and Larry.

    Sunni -- Cars are very expensive! Back in the 90's I marveled when I bought a van for about the same price that my parents bought their beautiful house in TN back in 1966. For the price my wife paid for her Maxima she could have almost bought 2 of those houses. Do doubt that real estate is a far better investment than a car.

    Yvonne -- I'm so glad to hear from you again. Been missing your nice comments.

    Yolanda -- I agree that my wife is awesome. I'm ready for another trip--almost.


  31. Lee- I do not know that I have ever heard a car accident referred to as convenient before...

    Glad no one was hurt.

    I am against raising the driving age, and also against texting while driving laws*.

    In fact, after A Beer For The Shower's latest post, I am all for the streets becoming a battleground (a la Death Race 2000).

    Your car was not hit accidentally.

    It was hit because you let your guard down!

    Had you been more vigilant, and guarding your vehicle with a rocket launcher, this would have never happened!


    * I am against the texting laws because they are lip service-no police are patrolling the highways looking for's just a way to generate extra fine revenue after an accident.

  32. Ya know you always want something amazing to happen on vacation so you really have something to talk about when you get home...this qualifies except for the wanting it to happen part!!! Glad you weren't in the car, Lee.

    Never heard of Carsmetics but it sound like they did you good!

    My favorite car was my 1990 Miata. Bought it the first year the model was made and two months later while driving at a high rate of speed on a mostly deserted country road...a coyote run out of the tall weeds right in front of me. Never got close to touching the brakes before I hit it. I continued home for the next hour never stopping to look at the damage as I was so pissed my pride and joy was never going to be the same (can't ever match red paint exactly).

    Glad you had a great trip!

  33. I'm sorry that you had to go through all that Lee. Thank goodness no one in your family was hurt. It sounds like you still managed to have a great time with your family, as well as viewing all of the spectacular scenery.


  34. Hi Lee .. well all I can say is thank goodness you weren't in the car - because that would have been serious to put it mildly.

    Also great to read you did take that second holiday to visit your family and friends back east ..

    The Ecuador trip must have been brilliant ..

    Cheers and thank goodness you're alright!! Hilary

  35. Glad it worked out in the end. It is scary how quickly an accident can happen. Scarier still for me to be the mother of a son who recently got his learner's permit.

    Regardless of the driving age, nothing prepares a driver better than experience behind the wheel.

    Glad you and your family weren't hurt.

  36. Larry -- Nevertheless texting is a hazardous thing to do while driving and if any laws cut back on some of the activity then less accidents will happen as a result.

    Chuck -- Yes a vacation to remember. If you're going to hit an animal I guess a coyote would be a good one to get rid of.

    Julie -- It was a fabulous vacation despite the accident and coming home sick.

    Hilary -- I was so pleased that we got to do the second trip. That made the Ecuador trip even better.

    Cindy -- I was always a bit nervous after my daughters got their drivers licenses.


  37. What a story! I'm glad you and the family are alright. Funny you mentioned, but my car battery died at my house. Luckily, I live next to a car shop and bought a replacement battery. I heard the most common car accidents actually happen in parking garages. Who would have thought. Looking forward to hearing more about your road trip and welcome back!


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