Updated: May 16, 2022
We had finalized all our plans, straightened out the details, and at last, everything came together. It was time to go pick up the bus. After dropping off the kids at Nana's house, we (J and L) took off with Cookie, aka Papa, and left in the little red bug around 6 p.m. Before departing J had a crash course on remembering how to drive a stick shift from an experience with an old big rig in his high school years.
We also had to get organized and check out our spacing before we left, J is testing out the back bed of steel. In conclusion, he did not fit. We knew the bus did not have a hitch on the back, so in order to have the bug pulled home, we had to haul all of the steel parts with us. Cookie had a lot of preparation before we left, he only had a week or so to attach a tow bar to the bug, making it towable (which we also had to find room in the trunk to haul). He also had to design a tow hitch, to then assemble at the bus barn upon arrival. We didn't think we would have any electricity to be able to weld the hitch on the bus, so we also had to bring all the equipment along with us as well.
We stopped in Indiana around 1 am to fill up with gas, grab a snack, and switch drivers.
It was Cookie's turn to drive the red eye shift. J couldn't fit in the back so, that meant he had to ride shotgun. Which meant keep the conversation going and no nap. We were all pretty excited and had a lot to talk about. Before L rested, she looked up different locations of auto shops near the bus to see if they could order air bags to have for the ride back just in case.
Around 6 a.m. the sun was starting to come up and we were in the center of Pennsylvania. We stopped for more gas, breakfast, and you guessed it, we switched drivers. Since L had a good rest and a better clutch for driving up and down the Appalachian Mountains, it was her turn to drive next. We wanted to have Cookie well rested after his late drive and his up coming task of welding the hitch on the new bus. That meant, J again had to stay in the shot gun position. He was able to have a few cat naps here and there, but then was on navigation duty to get us through the city! We ended up being near Hoboken, NJ, which was very close to Manhattan.
Meeting the Bus for the first time!
When we arrived on schedule at 11a.m. EST on Saturday. Upon arrival we found out about an issue they had noticed with the break valve in the front of the bus.
We praised the Lord, that the issue was noticed that morning in the bus mechanic shop, and not after we had started driving home.
While they were tracking down a new part to replace, we were able to look over the bus, to make sure we were happy with our decision. Papa wasted no time and got right to work on cutting and welding the hitch.
Since we didn't have the bus in front of us, Cookie had to design a hitch that could be assembled together with minor adjustments made once we saw the bus.
We were thankful to work with the bus mechanic company. They were so kind, and fun to work with. Even though we had brought our tools, they allowed us to use their welding tools. They were very impressed how many tools we were able to pack in that little bug!
While Cookie was busy working on the hitch, and the guys looking to track down the bus part, J and L decided it was a good time to google a place for lunch that was walking distance. We came across this fun café. At this point fatigue was starting to kick in.
To be continued….. check back to hear the rest of the story how we got the bus home!!!