Pretty sure I’ve told this story here before, but…
'Bout a decade ago, a friend wakes me up by knocking on my window. “Pack your bags” he said; “I got a rental car and we’re going on a road trip!”
His truck had been rear-ended a while before, and his insurance car got him a rental while it was being repaired. Don’t remember what kind of car it was; nothing special, but nice and new, well out of our normal price range.
So, I threw some stuff in a duffel and piled in. We took off, heading north out of Dallas Texas, and stopped somewhere in mid-Oklahoma to get a map, and decide where we were going. We settled on San Francisco, since neither of us had ever seen the Pacific Ocean.
Drove out there, crossing the Bridge and driving that little windy road you’re legally obligated to drive down, at least once, while visiting. Found our way to the ocean right near Alcatraz. Got out of the car, walked onto the beach, touched the water, and got right back in the car. “That was fun!” we said.
On the way home, we swung south a bit so as to not drive the same road again. Going through Arizona, I notice that we’ll be fairly close to the Grand Canyon, which I’d never seen, so we decide we’ll stop there. My buddy, who I’ll call “Matt” because his parents do so, decided to take a nap and let me drive. A few hours pass…
And there’s the exit. Turn on my signal, take off cruise control, and there’s a weird THUNK! and the accelerator stops working right. “Matt… wake up dude, we’ve got a problem.”
We manage to sputter to a halt at some little two-bit gas station and call the rental company, who eventually sends out a towtruck for us. The driver also drops us off at a hotel for the night, which was nice.
In the morning we learn a few things:
- The car’s transmission had broken down somehow. It was undriveable. We had to leave it there, and get a new car to get home.
- The rental agency was not happy about this situation, as there was a clause in the contract that the car was not to leave the state! Oops!
- Therefore, Matt’s parents had to drive their own car out a week later, so that one of them could drive the now-fixed rental back to Dallas. They, too, were not happy about the situation!
Moral of the story: San Francisco is actually a pretty nice place to visit.