We hitched a ride to the local park and ride with our neighbor, rode the bus to Logan Airport where we picked up our rental car, and drove ~500 miles to Niagara Falls for our first overnight on the trek to Cleveland, OH.
We arrived just before sunset and enjoyed the beauty of the falls and a nice little walk before dinner and then bunking in to a lovely hotel for the night.
The next morning we got up at 6:15am so we could walk down to the falls in time to see the sun rise. It was gorgeous! We had the place practically to ourselves and walked for about 1.5 hours all around so we could see different perspectives of the falls. (We had to stick to the US side as we hadn't brought our passports.)
Then we got back on the road bound for Andy's new car in Cleveland.
On Friday afternoon we had gotten a call from the service manager asking if we could pick up the car on Monday instead as there was a repair that they needed to complete. We told them very clearly that we were halfway into a 700 mile drive and absolutely had to pick it up on Saturday. He assured us it would be ready by noon and that he would be in touch in the morning.
By 10am Saturday morning, we hadn't heard anything and began calling. Two hours later I finally reached someone... Who proceeded to tell us that we had been told that the vehicle wouldn't be ready until Monday. An argument of monumental proportions ensued and I finished by saying "We are sixty miles away. We are coming there." He didn't say it out loud but I know he was thinking "Oh crap!".
An hour later, two collected but really pissed off people walked through their doors. The salesman A had been dealing with greeted us brightly... until A told him his name and Frank disappeared only to return five minutes later with a linebacker-looking fellow who turned out to be the sales manager. We were quickly escorted into his closed office where A took over with trying to sort out how to fix the issue.
It quickly became obvious that the car wasn't even on site and had been "subbed out" to another shop for repairs. They suggested that when the vehicle was fixed they could ship it to us... But we couldn't see the vehicle because it was at a closed shop. We decided to walk away from the deal.
It's not often that you walk away from a car deal and the dealership pays YOU money... But they did. The whole trip cost us about $1000 and the manager felt so bad that he covered the cost of our rental car plus some - $300 in all.
So we extended our car rental and began the trek home. The weather was absolutely perfect convertible weather but it was not meant to be.
By the PA line we were over the deal and didn't let it ruin the trip. As we always do, we made the best of it, were happy that we'd taken the time to go to Niagara Falls. We listened to music, danced badly in the car, rode with the sunroof open for a while and by the NY border A was back online looking for another car (iPhones are a miraculous invention!).
By Olean, NY, when I kicked the diet aside and had a glass of wine and dessert, A had zeroed in on another car on Long Island, NY and, had the guy answered the phone Saturday, we probably would have headed that way.
By the MA border on Sunday, A had spoken to the guy in Amityville, NY, reserved a car hauling trailer and had his son pick it up so it was waiting at home when we got there, had done his research on the dealership, and had plans to head to LI, NY at 5am this morning.
We arrived back in Boston at about 7:30pm and A's son picked us up after dropping off the rental (we couldn't bear a bus ride home after all of that!) and after dinner, got home around 9:30pm Sunday night.
1505 miles of driving. 28 hours of drive time. 66 hours away from home and nothing but a good story to show for it in terms of a car. But... we will always have the time we got to spend together and Niagara Falls to count the trip as a success!
At this writing, A is almost to the dealer in Long Island. He deserves to have this car work out for him in every way possible and I am crossing my fingers!