Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday recap

Apparently I can blog only a certain number of characters from my phone. Anyway...

Lisa and Jason arrived in Indianapolis very late Saturday night, and we had breakfast at the Canary Cafe with them and Britt and Marie. They came to see our house. Lucy was happy to see her Lisa, and she even made friends with Jason. We got on the road to Chicago a little after 3:00, and after lots of traffic, we arrived at Summerfest around 7:45.

Unfortunately, Phoebe's check engine light came on while we were waiting to get on I-90. It had been off since she went to Tune Tech, so I had hoped that the problem that caused it had been solved. I immediately called Susan Hester to see if anyone had a VAG-COM tool, but she didn't know of anyone who'd brought one, so I called the ever-reliable John Steele, who had of course packed his. We'll meet him in St. Louis tonight and see if Phoebe's still throwing the P3191 code. She's had lots of fuel injector cleaner lately, so I don't think it's a clogged fuel injector -- I suspect an oxygen sensor or maybe a mass air flow sensor (though she doesn't feel sluggish at all).

In Chicago, we parked in a garage that had curved ramps going up to each level. I had to turn the wheel almost to the full lock to get up the ramps, and it was only after we got to the top that I learned that the ramps were two-way -- if you meet another car, one of you backs up (!). Coming down was equally scary, as I came close to bottoming out at the end of each ramp. Steph has a picture.

I got to drive a Smart Car! It's much bigger inside than it looks, and I didn't feel like I was driving a tiny little box. You can set the transmission in automatic or manual mode (and even switch between them on the fly). The shifts were a little clunky in automatic mode and somewhat smoother in manual mode. The Smart Car guy who went with me on the test drive said that he treats it like a manual even in automatic mode and lifts his foot off the accelerator when he wants it to shift. This helped. The engine is not particularly powerful at 72 horsepower, but the car could keep up with traffic. It has a small cargo area in back with a tiny pull-out cover.

After having dinner outdoors at a local restaurant that seemed to have every kind of food, we made our way to Joliet. There are 12 NBs here! We start off at 9 am.

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