Thursday, May 26, 2011

The story of the worst rental car ever and other intersting anecdotes

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.

We were lucky(depending on how you look at it) that we actually got to see the divers in action, using their sticks to alter the sharks course.

Jeff and I both noted that this is the second time we have been at such a facility where we got to see the animals caretakers interact in their exhibit. The other time was at the National Zoo in Washington DC. Of all the amazing exhibits including their famous pandas, I most remember the baby elephant getting a bath buy its caretaker and how tender and interactive the whole experience was.

And yet another interesting trip story involving the Astoria Column in (you guessed it) Astoria. (Amazing how that works)

Last time we were here I was seven months pregnant with Avalon. (In fact everything on this trip was so much different. I had the energy to do everything. And despite having been here before, it was a totally new experience)

Last time I maybe maid it up 40 stairs out of the 164 before I was huffing and puffing so hard. Disappointed I told Jeff that I would never make it to the top and would wait for him at the bottom. So this time I was determined to make it up. Not afraid of heights, I didn't think it was an issue. *dun dun dun*

We start clmbing the stair case, Avalon on Jeff's shoulders, and me behind them. We make it about a quarter of the way up and the walls start closing in and panic sets in. The walls are about an arms span wide and the stairs just spiraled around and around to the top with no real platforms to stop, i started to get almost dizzy. So instead of huffing and puffing out of exercise, I'm huffing and puffing out of fear and hyperventilation.

I yell at Jeff to stop and he says I can wait for him at the bottom and I totally felt like a quitter. I wanted so badly to make it to the top. Meanwhile Jeff's looking at me like I'm a total freak(not a lot of things scare me but I nearly was having a panic attack something that hasn't happened since right after Avalon was born) But I had to make it so I made Jeff walk directly in front of me so I could watch him and not the stairs and told him to go fast so we could just get to the top. At last we did.

Once we were up I was fine. Heights don't scare me. We even had bought a glider airplane and threw if off and watched it fly off into the trees. Unfortunately we had to go back down. So like before I made Jeff go down right in front of me as quickly as possible. And I discovered a fear I never had.

And before I get to the story of the worst rental car ever, here is a pic of me and Avalon playing in the sand. Of all the things we did during our week at the Oregon Coast, the thing Avalon liked the least was the actual ocean and the surf. And even when I walked in it, she said, "Watch out Mom, the waves are gonna get you." But this day we talked her into playing on the beach. And she finally warmed up to it. She never did warm up to ocean and only actually walked in the water once the first day we were there.

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.

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