There is not a more violating feeling than having your car broken into. To know that someone entered a space that you feel safe in, with no discretion for the things that are important to you will never feel good.
We were in downtown Miami and only away from Stanley 2 hours. He was parked in a public lot, sandwiched between two major roads, in broad daylight. As we walked up to the van I said, "I know I would have never parked in a spot with so much glass on the ground." I hardly made it through that sentence before I reached the passenger vent window to see glass all over the ground.
Who ever broke into Stanley went through everything and had a strange sense of taste based on what they took. Not a single cabinet or drawer was as we left it. There were obvious things that were missing, such as diving equipment, a backpack, ALL of our power cords, batteries, hard drives, my prescription glasses, and the mangoes that we had just purchased a few hours earlier. [Side Bar: if you find yourself in Homestead, FL go to Robert Is Here fruit stand. If mangoes are in season, buy them and a mango milk shake. You can thank me later.] The intruder must have been cut getting into the van because there was blood smeared and dripped onto our refrigerator.
Miami was just half of the drive from Key West to Orlando that we were planning on doing that day. We patched our window with evidence bags and gas station duct tape and hit 95 North in hopes of outrunning the storm bearing down on us. The first 2 hours of the drive I spent sourcing a vent window and new windshield. Jorge of Live.Work.Wander luckily put me in touch with someone who said he would ship one out to us early the following morning so we would have it in hand either Wednesday or Thursday. Safelite scheduled an appointment to put in a new windshield for the following Saturday. We planned to head west that day, after receiving the windshield.
To make everything just a little more complicated Owen and I need to be in Arizona in two weeks. We wanted to give ourselves time to drive over 2,500 miles from the Keys to Arizona. We like to drive Stanley at a casual 63 MPH to be gentle on his unique undercarriage. We were hoping to drive just a few hours and still get in a solid workday. Everyday that we were sitting in Orlando made our push out west that much more urgent.
Fast forward to Friday. The vent window is a no show. I called to get a tracking number in hopes that it will show on Saturday, only to find out it is not due until early the next week. Only to be followed by a call from Safelite saying that they over booked Saturday's installs and they might not make it to us. We impressed upon them the urgency and they said that they would make us a priority. As for the vent window it became clear that we had to find another option. Thankfully, we found one south of Orlando, in Kissimmee. We immediately jumped in the van to get it.
Saturday. Owen gets a call from Safelite while we are packing. Turns out they never got in our windshield. Like the vent window, it was not going to be in until some time the next week. I took the phone from Owen and tried to figure out where this all went wrong. She said the manager would have to call me back to work things out with me.
A little while later I get a call from the manager of the Orlando Safelite. I went into great detail about the many ways we felt we had been wronged. He quickly apologized and mentioned that he had found something in the warehouse. A windshield, our exact type of windshield, that was about to be loaded onto a truck to be installed in someone’s van Monday night...after our van was scheduled. He said that he shifted things around and was going to give us this new glass he found. 1.5 short hours later we had a new windshield.
Even today we are realizing more things were taken then we originally thought. Oh well, gotta love like you have never been hurt. There is too much good one the road ahead to dwell for too long on the bad.
Until next time my friends,