As Robert Burns said, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” And my trip to Florida this winter was a victim of Rabbie’s statement, unfortunately. Ah, well. Bust it is!

I blame myself.

You see, my plan was to make my comeback. YouTube videos, Patreon posts, blog posts, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter… all of it. I’ve spent the past year+ studying how to make better videos. I’m in the process of learning new editing software and editing techniques. I’m finally writing for myself and now know it’s best to actually script your videos (insert hard eye-roll and shake of the head here).

So, how is it my fault?

Well, I had planned to have a sign in the front window of the bus. When I first thought about the sign, I immediately thought it should read, “Florida or Bust.” But as soon as the idea came to me, I thought I shouldn’t jinx myself and changed it to “Florida Bound.” But it seems that even just thinking about it briefly put it out into the universe enough to manifest it.

And boy, did I manifest it.

I wanted to travel all backroads to Florida. Highways instead of Interstates. Small towns instead of endless blacktop. The trip was going pretty well! Our first overnight was at a casino in Wetumpka, AL. I spent a couple of hours people-watching in the evening, got some dinner from the casino grill, slept, then got up for a quick breakfast, again from the casino grill.

We stopped at an Aldi before officially getting back on the road. I stocked up on some items so I could enjoy some easy-to-make meals. I also got a couple of special foods because it was almost New Year’s, after all. We then got going on our final leg of the trip. Travel was fine and pretty easy. We drove through a lot of countryside and a few run-down small towns. When the fuel gauge hit around a half tank, I decided we should stop.

About 15 minutes after we fueled up, where I also checked the oil and coolant levels (which were fine), we stopped at an Alabama rest area so the doggos could have a break. This rest area is less than 8 miles from the Florida border. When we came out for our evening constitutional, I noticed a veritable waterfall of coolant coming from the engine.

Seriously?!

We walked, I topped off the coolant, I dumped the toilet, and we got back on the road. We drove the final hour to the Walmart in Crestview without any issues, thank goodness. I found a spot out of the way and placed my collapsible bucket under the leak to catch as much as I could. Because it was after 5 on December 29th, I knew I wouldn’t get anyone to look at the bus until after the New Year.

On the 2nd, I contacted my mechanic friend to see if he could find out if it was something quick and easy like a hose. I kept my fingers crossed for nearly a week until he could come to look at it. I bounced around town in the meantime, visiting parks and the library. Once he was able to look at it, that’s when I got the not-so-great news.

A blown head gasket.

Le sigh.

So I parked through the weekend, put some stop leak in, and headed back to Georgia to the mechanic I know and trust. I’ll have to work for a bit to come up with the funds to fix her, but hopefully, we’ll be back on the road in a couple of months or so.

This is the reality of bus life.

As much fun as it is to toodle across the country, seeing everything we can, we pay for it dearly when we have mechanical issues. But what can you do? You have to take the good with the bad.

Well, I am going to start doing more. I just don’t want to bore anyone with the completely mundane life I’ll be leading for the next little bit. But I can go and find some old trips to share with you in the meantime! That way, I can put to use my new skills! I look forward to getting back on track soon. And then we can adventure together. Don’t give up on us yet!

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