Crashing Into an Extended Stay

I will post a Mardi Gras/New Orleans update shortly, complete with photos. But in the meantime, I wanted to touch on emergencies on the road, since that’s where we now find ourselves.

Mardi Gras Day was March 8. Our original plan was to leave for Lafayette on March 10, but for a variety of reasons we decided to stay an extra week. We moved from St. Bernard State Park, 20 miles outside the city, to Pontchartrain Landing in New Orleans East. The park is beautiful, with lots of upgraded amenities and a shuttle bus to the French Quarter, allowing us to save money on parking.

We decided to take March 11 off so I could get some writing done. Dad was pretty exhausted from all the running around, and neither of us was thinking entirely clearly. That evening, Dad mentioned that we needed to pick up another carton of cigarettes. I elected not to go with him, since I was still in the middle of writing.

Now here’s where it gets weird. We had just bought a carton of cigarettes two days prior. Somehow it was nowhere to be found, and neither of us remembered that we had bought them! He wouldn’t have gone out at all that night if we had.

Even weirder: Dad totally forgot about the gas station five minutes from here. He set off for the cigarette outlet in Chalmette, where our previous RV park was, 20 plus minutes away.

Weirdest of all: Our GPS is super-easy to follow, but Dad completely missed the road it told him to turn down. So he technically shouldn’t have even BEEN on the road he was on.

Anyway, I get a call just after 9:30 pm. Dad’s been in a wreck. A woman ran a red light. He’s fine, the other people are fine, but the car’s torn up. Ugh. We spent so much time and effort finding the exact vehicle we wanted: a Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer with a heavy duty tow package. It’s an 07, but has less than 40,000 miles on it.

So here we are in New Orleans, already having spent an obscene amount of money this month. And now we have a torn up car. Thank God that everyone is all right, but now what?

Well, it turns out that handling a car accident on the road is no different than handling one anywhere else. We have GEICO with a $100 deductible. The other driver insists that she is not at fault, so the liability adjusters are working through the process.

Meanwhile, we were finally able to see the damage adjuster yesterday at a shop in Houma, about an hour from here. He was super nice, and did a great job answering our questions and making us feel secure. We’re set up to get the repairs done at Crescent Ford in Harahan, where my parents originally bought their van, starting on Monday. GEICO’s paying for a Ford Explorer rental initially for ten days. We’re extending here through March 31 to give plenty of time for everything to get done.

It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s also a relief. I’m glad that if it had to happen, it happened in New Orleans, since we used to live here. But I’m also glad to know that we really can handle things on the road. It’s fundamentally no different than handling them anywhere else.

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