Whenever you take a vacation, you know something unexpected will probably happen. It's almost a given, isn't it? Well, my latest trip home to eastern Iowa gave me just that.

I had a short, three-day vacation this past weekend and went back to my hometown of Waterloo, Iowa to celebrate my mom's birthday. Now, I'll be the first to admit, I'm kind of a procrastinator when it comes to shopping. I knew what I wanted to buy my mom, but hadn't gotten around to it until this weekend.

My mom just had new linoleum flooring installed in her house and I went to Target and found the perfect rug to pair it with. As I was pulling out of the parking lot, BOOM! My tire made contact with one of the worst potholes known to man. It was one of those times where you immediately realize "uh oh, I'm in trouble". And I was in trouble.

On my way back to my mom's I was checking the PSI meter on my dashboard and my driver's side tire was slowly but surely losing pressure. Luckily I made it to my mom's place, but since it was late on a Saturday afternoon I had to cancel my plans to go to the lake, so I could deal with my flat tire instead.

I found a Firestone that was open until 6. Perfect, I thought, since it was about 4 pm. That should give me plenty of time to get the spare tire on, get to Firestone, and get the new tire installed. That's when I ran into a few more issues.

The first was a stripped lug nut. I was able to get all of the lug nuts off my flat tire except one, which was stripped. Unfortunately, I didn't have a socket to put around it, so I had to call Triple-A. A gentleman from a tow service came out and removed the lug nut, then placed the spare on. It wasn't until after he pulled out of the driveway that I realized the spare was flat too!

It had been a long time since I used that spare tire, so I wasn't surprised but knew I needed it to get me to the Firestone before 6. So, I jumped in my car, chased the tow truck down and had him put as much air as he could in the spare, at which point he said "you should be able to make it the 4 miles there, but if not, here's my card".

That four-mile drive was extremely nerve-wracking and slightly dangerous, but fortunately, I made it to the Firestone station with a few minutes to spare and they were able to install my new tire.

It wasn't exactly my favorite moment of being home over the weekend, but I am thankful I got it resolved in one day. The moral of the story? Always be on the lookout for potholes.

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