pages fly away 1

At first the plan was to rent a car and hit the road at the beginning of summer, but then I learned that everyone in America had the same idea.  They were calling it revenge travel.  People were determined to make up for the vacations they’d lost to the pandemic and were going to go out there and get theirs, no matter how much it cost or how many other travelers were doing the same thing.  The result ended up being National Parks with the crowds and chaos of amusement parks and car rentals that were four to five times the normal rate.

Knowing how upsetting it would be to get caught in the middle of that hysteria, I put off my trip until after Labor Day.  When I called Avis about renting a car for six weeks, starting the second week in September, it was still expensive, about twice what I’d previously paid, but less than it had been that summer.  I resolved that whatever they charged me for the rental would be the value of the car when I returned it.

The Avis that I go to is just a little office in a strip mall on Beach Boulevard.  When you make a reservation with them someone has to deliver the car to the agency, so there are no options if you don’t like what they have waiting for you.  I remember once piloting a red clown car all over California and Nevada.  Driving a fire engine would have been less conspicuous, not the approach I was looking to take on this trip.

I’d asked my mother for a ride to Avis.  She dropped me off out front and waited for me to give her a thumbs up, letting her know that things were all right and I could take it from there.  After filling out the paperwork, Mendez got the key and we walked around the side of the building together, to where three cars were parked in the shade. 

Mendez stopped in front of the middle car and a wave of relief washed over me.  It was a Kia Rio, compact and stylish, but the thing that struck me about it, the thing I liked so much, was that it was just bluer than blue.  It was the bluest car I’d ever seen in my life, blue enough to blind you, if that’s even possible.

I’d been worried about the trip, worried about the kind of money I might spend, worried about the cost of gasoline, which in California was almost five dollars a gallon, worried about not finding camping spots, which my trip would depend on since there was no way I could afford to do hotels, but the minute I laid eyes on that blue Kia I knew everything was going to be fine.  All my worries melted away.

Mendez and I came back around the corner, and I gave my mother a thumbs up, meaning she was free to go run her errands.  I don’t know how I knew this, but my big road trip was going to work out just fine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s