My wifi-equipped ride for the week came at the perfect time.
My check engine light went on about 30 miles outside of South Bend, Indiana on Saturday. I’d been in the car since 7 a.m., blissfully cruising without traffic, when the little orange-ish cartoon engine lit up.
I was on my way to judge the Pizza Wars in Northern Indiana. And I knew that the check engine light wasn’t necessarily the end of the world–or, at least, my world– but it was definitely a cause for concern. Because not only would I be spending the weekend driving to pizzerias, but when I got home to Chicago, I’d have just enough time to hug my boyfriend before he left town, do laundry, hit some deadlines and then hop in the car again and head to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I’m speaking on a panel about blogging for Eastern Iowa Tourism Association’s annual meeting and blogging academy. There were hundreds of miles of road demanding my wheels’ attention, and no time for repairs.
Glaring at that check engine light, questioning whether my car would be okay to get me home (it, indeed, was, AutoZone offers free readings when the light goes on and can tell you what’s going on, so I got it checked out in South Bend—how cool is that?), it struck me: “Wait! I get to drive a Chevy next week! Everything is a-ok.”
And the angels sang a hallelujah chorus.
See, months and months before, back when it was so cold out, and all you wanted to do was curl up and home and not even think about being on the road, the team at General Motors had reached out to me and asked if I’d like to drive one of their cars for a week.
It’s not quite as Publisher’s Clearinghouse as it sounds. I actually write frequently for the site Drive the District (here’s a recent piece I wrote about coyotes running wild in Chicago) and the team was offering “influencers” a chance to test out their automobiles.
I knew that I had this Eastern Iowa blogging panel coming up in June (way better driving weather), so I scheduled the car to coincide with that. What better time to borrow a car as a blogger/writer and share anecdotes with the online world than when you’re en route to a blogging conference? It was so…meta.
Of course, I had no idea when I scheduled it that my own car would, at the time, mock me for eating way too much pizza and demand maintenance. Nor did I know that I’d be nearly over my data limit for the first time ever on my cell plan, and the Chevrolet Trax, which is a wifi hotspot (!), would help me avoid extra charges. All of taht clearly, makes the deal all the more sweet.
With that, I’m off to the Hawkeye state in my new ride! Look for updates here about the journey.