Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Travelogue: Getting To Minnesota

This morning I am headed off to Minnesota (ya sure you betcha) for the annual family gathering at my folks' place. I had been planning on putting the dog into her kennel in the back seat of the Honda and driving (starting at butt-ugly early o'clock this morning) but that plan changed when my car got t-boned in a parking lot last week.

No amount of explaining to the rental car company that I drive a compact car that gets incredible gas mileage could seem to convince the car rental agency that I really didn't want or need an SUV as a replacement vehicle. They just didn’t seem to want to take "no" for an answer on this one. So the vehicle that I got (which, by the way, I hated) was some Chevrolet monstrosity that had four doors and a cargo space I could have packed a largish refrigerator into. It also had a windshield that was surprisingly small in a vehicle so large. The result was that sitting at the line at an intersection, I had to hunker down over the wheel to be able to look up to see the traffic signals. The darn thing also had a blind spot so large… well let's put it this way, I have been in departure lounges that were smaller than the blind spots on this vehicle.

Oh, and as for gas mileage, in the four days I have had it, by cutting down on my driving, I have put about a hundred miles on it. I've burned over half a tank of gasoline. It's not really an economic drive!

So this morning, I am headed to the airport. This, by the way, is why I prefer travelling by car when I go on vacation. I hate being tied to a schedule when I am on vacation! I have to schedule my time very carefully to meet deadlines all day, every day at the office… I would much rather be at my own pace when it is my own time.

I much prefer to be able to go back and have a second cup of coffee if that is what I want! I hate feeling that I have to be somewhere at some certain time. Besides, do the math. I will spend almost an hour getting to the gate where I will have to wait at least an hour. Then there is the hassle of getting on the plane not to mention the two-or-so hours in the air, the hour getting to the luggage carousel, the process of waiting for a shuttle and/or a relative to meet me and then the drive to my dad's place. All told, it will take between ten and eleven hours from door-to-door. My personal best by car is just under twelve. I am not sure that the hour I save by flying is really worth it!

But I also cannot bring myself to be so ecologically inconsiderate as to burn that much gas in that big a vehicle when it is just me and my little one. So, Saga went to the Doggie Spa last night (boy, did she give me the stink eye when I left her there!) and I am flying to Minnesota this morning. At least it is supposed to be a good day for it!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you'll have a great day for whatever it is you have planned!

Don Bergquist – May 25, 2011 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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