Mr. Valentino

I know it’s been awhile since Valentine’s Day, but life was a little too busy back then to tell you this story. It’s an important story – one that needs to be told. Today.

We didn’t have plans for Valentine’s Day this year – mainly because we needed the weekend to catch our breath; however, we wound up having one of the most memorable weekends EVER.

The Dirty Boy was going with the church youth group to Winter Place Ski Resort in West Virginia for the weekend. We were stoked to have a kid-free weekend (nap time!). You know what they say about hearing God laugh?! Dirty Boy had a late soccer game (did you know those get over at 10pm?!), and the ski trip bus left earlier that day. Guess who got an impromptu road trip to WV? The Dirty Duo!

Around midnight, we loaded George with the Dirty Boy & his friend, Ms. Not-so-Dirty. Everything was lovely until we neared the West Virgijia border. Just as we passed the Welcome Center, things got really interesting… George died. Literally.

In the middle of the Jefferson National Forest & among the Appalachian Mountains, George died. Right there in the side of the highway in 19 degree temps at 4 am, George died.


Thanks to USAA roadside assistance & a fearless tow truck driver, we made it to Bill Cole Subaru in Bluefield, where we waited for 1) a fabulous youth leader who came to pick up the kids, 2) the light of day to diagnose George’s ailment (spoiler alert: he was dead).


We piled on ALL of the clothes from our suitcase & used the heated seats to keep warm while waiting for Bill Cole (the dealership, not the person – assuming there IS a person) to come to our rescue. Looking like homeless people, we walked to a nearby gas station for a healthy breakfast of coffee & powdered donuts. Breakfast of champions, my friends.

With tears in his eyes, the mechanic delivered the bad news: busted crankshaft. Since we needed a car to get back home, we bought a new Subaru: Mr. Valentino, a Venetian Red Crosstrek XV.


As we were finishing the paperwork to make Valentino a part of our family, it started to snow. And snow. And snow some more. By the time we left the dealership, it was a full-fledge blizzard (at least in my Florida-girl mind).


Since it WAS Valentine’s Day, we decided to grab some dinner. Yeah. Nothing was open except the truck stop by our hotel. Our dinner? Pringles, bottled water, and gourmet truck stop fudge. Yum.

To top off our adventure, we were asleep for about an hour when the fire alarm went off in our hotel. Mrs. Dirty’s shower-wet hair froze solid before we know it was a false alarm (thanks, hotel DJ).

With the Dirty Duo, life is an adventure. Every day, especially Valentine’s Day.

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