Tuesday, 16 June 2009

California - Day Three, part one

Another early start. We packed our bags and left the hotel in the fresh clear sunny morning and walked a block to the car hire place, trundling our cases behind us. This was the bit N was looking forward to, getting the car and heading out onto the open road.

We had booked a car in advance, which we thought was a reasonable size but was still within our budget (which wasn't much). From the pictures on the website this car looked way bigger than either of our little cars at home so we were pretty happy with our choice. Talking to the man at the desk you would think that we had ordered a mini to transport seven people. He looked at us, then at our luggage (two cases and two handluggage) and shook his head. You'll never fit it in the trunk he said. Hmmm we were a little bit suspicious. You need to upgrade to a bigger car he said - the suspicion grew. We'll be fine we said. No you wont he said. Stand off. How much is the bigger car N said. $5 a day he said. Okay I have to admit this changed things a little. This didn't seem like a lot of money as we were only hiring the car for a week and shared between two it would only come to $20. Plus this was the bit N was really looking forward to and surely it would be more pleasureable in a better car? So we upgraded (suckers!)

While N was sorting out the paperwork I nipped accross to Starbucks and picked up a couple of coffees, orange juices and bran muffins and made my way to the car lot. I almost dropped my bag of goodies when I saw the beast we had been assigned. Our car was officially gargantuan. I have never seen a car so big. Enough room for our luggage? You could have happily fitted all of Imelda Marcos's shoes in the trunk. It was twice as wide as anything I'd ever driven before. And we had to drive this thing out of the car lot and through the streets of SF. And this is us, used to the smallest cars imaginable. Oh. my. god.

Strapped into the car with what seemed like a mile separating us we started to laugh with nervous hysteria. Luckily N was driving first off and we plunged into the city's quiet streets thankful that we had made an early start. This thing was so wide that the car literally took up the whole lane and every time a similarly wide-loaded car passed by I winced imagining the wing mirors flying off. Soon N got the feel for it and we decided to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Across the other side we found a little park and a bench where we had our picnic breakfast looking across to the city. This was it. After breakfast we would get back into the vanilla beast, drive back across the bridge and set off on our adventure...


Emma said...

I had to laugh at loud at your experience - there's no such thing as a small car in the States, at least, not like our small cars. When we last went to California we hired the smallest size car there was. And then got confused when we saw that they were in no way small. It's very odd!
Your trip sounds wonderful so far - I love California!

Pink Peony said...

Got an award for you...stop by :)