Trapped in Toronto

buildings near body of water at night

By Jerry Lambert

Have you ever had one of those trips where just about everything went off the rails? Yep, me too. That said, our recent vacation to Maui and Kauai wasn’t all that bad. Maui had some snow while we were there, but it was at an elevation of 6,000 feet on Mt. Haleakala. I was surprised the local news didn’t lead with the story, “Michigan People Go Home!!” Other than that, the weather was beautiful just about every day. Kauai was another story. We had hit or miss sunshine, mixed with monsoon wind and rain. Not a bad trip at all, until we headed home.

As I have learned from my job at Global Discovery Vacations, you can save quite a bit of money flying to Hawaii from Toronto. About half of what you would pay flying out of Detroit. So that’s what my wife and I did. Just a week before, I had purchased a very nice 2014 Ford Edge from our local Ford Dealer. We drove it to the Hilton Toronto Airport, where we left my new baby with the valet until we returned from the islands. The car drove like a dream all the way to Toronto and I had no indication of the disaster that awaited us upon our return.

On the way back home, our flight from Kauai to Honolulu veered hard left just before landing. This little maneuver startled many of the passengers, me included. This should have been an omen, “Go back to Kauai!” Later, when our flight from Honolulu to San Francisco landed, I had some trouble getting my backpack out from under the seat in front of me. That’s because my eyeglass case (with the glasses inside) had gotten snagged, then popped out of the side pocket. I discovered they were missing during our flight from San Francisco to Toronto. Arrrrrgh! If that was only the worst of it.

We landed in Toronto and checked back into the Hilton to catch some zzzs before our drive home. After a four hour nap, I went down to the lobby to pick up my car from the valet. He saw my claim ticket and said, “Uh oh”. Apparently, while moving my car from the parking garage, he had noticed it was making a horrendous noise. Unfortunately, that was an understatement. Since it was Sunday, there were no Ford Dealers open. We had to check back into the hotel (again) and try to arrange for a tow truck the next morning. That evening, as I was finally drifting off to sleep, the fire alarm at the Hilton went off. Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. After getting the “all clear” we staggered back to our room and crashed into bed.

The next morning, we found out it was a holiday in Ontario called “Family Day” (again, not making this up), and there were still no Ford Dealers open. We had to wait yet another day. The problem soon became, “Just how the heck are we going to get home?” There were no one-way car rentals to Detroit, and the first available train would drop us off in Windsor, Ontario at 10:30 pm. Not a good option. We eventually rented a car and drove back home. Once my baby was finally towed to the Ford Dealer, the diagnosis was a busted driveshaft! God help me. The part is on back order from the States, so we have no idea when it will be repaired. So that’s my tortured story. I’ll update this article after I return the rental and get back from Toronto with my car. Please keep me and my Edge in your prayers!

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