I was going to reply as a comment, but the reply became pretty lengthy. It sucked sleeping at the rest stop, and I was pretty scared. It was also humid and hot, and I definitely didn't want to sleep with the windows down, being at a creepy rest stop and all. Luckily, when I broke down, I was able to coast into the rest stop, and spent time talking to the service people who worked at the service station there. I met a guy named Ray, who worked the graveyard shift, and looked under my hood. He determined that there was some leaks in my radiator. Now, here's the cosmic part: Ray drove a tow truck, and had another job working at Hinton's Radiator Shop in Ft. Pierce, and offered to coordinate me getting towed over there (just the next exit down the turnpike). At 7 AM the next morning, Ray woke me up by tapping on the window of my Pontiac, towed me down to his other job, and spot welded spots on my radiator. All for FREE. Isn't that amazing?
Just when I lose faith in human kind, something like that happens.
That happened traveling to Miami, but on the way back I ended up breaking down again, and spent some time in a place nobody should ever break down in, called Yeehaw Junction. It's where the Florida Turnpike met S.R. 60, which I planned to take west towards Tampa and home. I ended up getting ripped off by some rednecks who installed a new water pump, and made me accompany the mechanic for the ride out to Vero beach to pick up the part (Vero Beach is on the East coast of Florida). After several hours, they said they fixed it and I was on my way. In Lake Wales, Florida, just off of S.R. 60, I overheated and broke down again, and learned those dopes in Yeehaw Junction didn't prime my water pump. Assholes.
My father was pretty worried about me, and I called him collect several times to give him an update. The saving grace that ended up getting me home and keeping my car cool was the torrential downpour I had to drive through during the final hours of my commute. When I arrived, my father had dinner ready, complete with dessert and I was really happy and relieved to be home.