Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I can’t recall the last time I rented a car on a vacation before, since my vacations usually involve visiting family members who seem to have extra cars lying around. However, on this most recent visit to Southern California to visit family, we couldn’t figure out who had a big enough vehicle to pick us up from the airport so my mother-in-law offered to rent us a mini-van for the week.


God bless Alamo, because they sent me out to their car lot and said to me, “pick one!” So I skipped down the row marked ‘vans’ and chose me a Dodge Grand Caravan, which was not as exciting as I was anticipating. I thought I would have more choices on models, but it was really only a decision between the black, white, or silver Dodge. Still, it was fun to have someone plunk me in the middle of a car lot and say, “Pick one!” and for just a moment imagine I was pickin’ me a new Cadillac Escalade.

Once in the car (after my handsome baggage handler loaded our mountain of luggage – which is another story), Ruthie announced we were on our way to Uncle Bad’s house, which is a fairly accurate description of my brother-in-law, Brad’s, personality.

Ruthie had been announcing each phase of our trip as it occurred, beginning with the tragic tears of sorrow as she watched her car seat ride away on the conveyor belt toward the belly of the plane. “I WANT MY CAR SEAT!” she sobbed, as she watched it disappear. But soon, the tragic loss of the car seat was forgotten as she saw airplanes out the window of the terminal and began chanting, “I WANNA GO ON A BOAT!” over and over again, even as I tried to explain we were actually flying in an AIRPLANE.

Once in CA we (and by ‘we’ I mean Bryan, the handsome baggage handler) loaded and unloaded our mountain of luggage no less than five times as we made our way from the baggage terminal, onto a shuttle, to the car rental building which was NOT onsite at the terminal as I had been told on the phone.

By the time we got to the rental lot and the guy said, “Pick one!” I turned to Bryan to see if he wanted to pick and he growled, “JUST DO IT, ALREADY!” as he wiped the sweat from his forehead.

In the future, when I think of all the times I get stuck running around after children while he obliviously buries his head in a book, I will remember how I DIDN’T have to load and unload four pieces of luggage, a car seat, and two carry-ons no less than five times in one day.

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