But before I regale you with the story of the worst rental care ever, let me show you this picture I took the Sunday before we left. This was just outside our motel room on the beach. We had spent the whole afternoon flying kites and making sand castles. And the sun on the water was so incredible. Certainly better than the deluge we've been suffering here in Billings and the surrounding areas. In fact, Jeff along with the other employees at Stillwater were evacuated yesterday morning for fear that all the roads in and out of the mine might be closed due to flooding since a number of them had already been closed.
(I just wanna go back)
This next pic was taken at the Newport Aquarium in, none other than, Newport. (Shocking I know) We had so much fun here showing Avalon all the animals in their habitats.) Avalon however hated the shark exhibit mainly due to the scuba divers in the tank. Three divers, all in dry suits, were in the aquarium performing maintenence. There was one diver that was actually cleaning the windows on the tunnel that you walk through. The other two divers were there to protect and watch out for the cleaner.
Since the aquarium keeps the animals well fed, they were not in any danger of being bit. But as the volunteer noted, sharks do not like changing their course at any cost and if you are in their way, they will headbutt their victim. SO the divers used their sticks to alter their course. I'm betting being headbutted buy a 100 lb shark kinda hurts.
And yet another interesting trip story involving the Astoria Column in (you guessed it) Astoria. (Amazing how that works)
Last but not least, let me introduce you to the "Worst Rental Car Ever." This micro car(in all fairness, most cars are micro compared to my 4Runner) was a 2011 Nissan Versa with nearly 6000 miles on it. The problem sadly, was not the size. The size was the least of its problems.
When we first got our rental car and were preparing to load our suitcases in the back(hatchback=worst idea ever) there was no place to insert our key to open the truck. So Jeff opened the front door thinking there would be some sort of apparutus to open. Wrong. Fortunately unlocking the driver side door unlocked the trunk. Okay, that'll work. Wrong. But I'll get to it.
So we get in and start going. This car has no power. Thank god we weren't in a hurry to get anywhere because we weren't going to get there in a hurry. So we're making our way our of Eugene to Florence and then up the coast. There was no center console to put any of our belongings like the map or cellphone or arm. SO i go to put down the arm rest since there isn't a console and my hand would just hang and touch the floor. No freaking arm rests! So I spent the whole trip with my arm across the back of Jeff's seat.
Our first stop was at the Sea Lion Caves. Get out and Jeff points out that there are no power locks. It takes about 3 days to get used to no power locks and go back to the car multiple times to lock the doors. (Also no power windows but that wasn't as huge an issue)
A couple times, we made trips back to the car to grab a coat or camera and in order to get in any door on the car, you had to unlock the drivers door and then manually unlock whatever door needed unlocked. Every time we all got back in the car, Jeff had to unlock his door, then mine, then Avalon and then load her into her carseat(which United still hasn't found).
Finally, if Jeff got out of the car and locked his door and I needed something out of the trunk, I couldn't get it until he unlocked his door and then had to relock it.
Lastly this little economical car was not so economical. We filled up three times in the 6 days we were there and we maybe drove a total of 600 miles. And at 4.15 a gallon it was not cheap. That car had a huge ass tank for such a tiny car. I would never reccomend a Nissan Versa. And, how in the year 2011, can we make cars with out power windows and locks and only one place for a key. Nevertheless, we still had the best time.