The Almost Long Drive
By Thomas Morrone CFP®, CPA
A few years ago, Cathy and I made the drive to Florida. We took our time and did the drive over a week and stopped along the way in places like Charleston, Savannah and St. Augustine. It was a wonderful trip. By leaving the car in Florida over the summer, we did not have to worry about shipping it back and forth, however, the following year we decided to bring it back to Connecticut after the winter was over and drove it back up North. Both of those trips were by choice and we planned accordingly and enjoyed the experiences. We also on a couple of occasions did the auto train. For those that are not familiar with this, you drive to Virginia and you board a train in the afternoon with your car and the next morning you arrive in FL. It is still about 6 hours to drive to Virginia and another 2 1/2 - 3 hours from the train station in Florida to our condo. Both driving and taking the auto train to Florida were experiences but we both agreed “been there, done that” and future trips south would be by air.
This past winter we had our vehicle shipped by carrier. The trip south worked like a charm. The company arrived in CT to pick up the vehicle when they said they would and were extremely efficient with communicating with us before pickup and while the vehicle was in route. When we arrived in FL our vehicle was there waiting for us. We scheduled the return trip 7 weeks in advance of the pickup date with the same company and assumed we would have the same experience. I hate to use the word assume but that is what we did. A few days before the scheduled pickup date, we called the company to “touch base”. Of course, the person from the company that was our contact on the way down was no longer employed there. Also, our paperwork was not followed up on. They assured us that it was not a problem even though they were very busy with all the snow birds returning north all doing the same thing that we were attempting.
When our scheduled pickup date came and went, we started to get nervous. Our original pickup date was on a Wednesday and we had flights on Saturday to Bradley Airport. It was planned in this manner, so the transport company had a few days travel time so we would all arrive in CT around the same time. Also, our other car was in the parking garage at Bradley Airport. Now the transport company was telling us sometime Thursday for pickup.......which came and went. Now I was real nervous and envisioning driving back to CT. Now this would not be so terrible because we could cancel our flights and do the drive. The complication was Buddy. Now, Buddy loves going for rides in the car, but this was another level. Friends of ours have done the trip with their dogs and good for them. Buddy is more of a bop around town type of dog, not a 1,300-mile road trip dog.
The carrier company did finally pick up our vehicle late on Friday night. We did make our flights on Saturday morning. Talk about cutting it close. I am writing this on the plane as we make our way back to CT. Who knows where our vehicle is and hopefully it will arrive in CT safe and sound.
The drive home would have made for some interesting moments and certainly a few stories to write about.
For now, you need to settle for the almost long drive story.
Until the Next Tom’s Take...