Farewell Nelly, Hello Rex!
We noticed a bit of tire damage on the car that we’d rented in MN as we were heading out of Seattle. Better safe than sorry, we thought, so we called Hertz – they told us we could exchange our little Kia at the Portland Airport for another, no prob.
Nelly earned her name by her utter lack of spunk – basically, she had 0 ‘go’ power, then all of the sudden she’d kick it into gear, tearing past the car we were just trying to pass slowly. ‘Whoa Nelly!’ Nick did finally figure out that even automatics can be driven in manual mode to some extent (I’d always wondered what D2 etc were all about…). She also got pretty good gas mileage, and was darn comfy to ride in for long distances. We’d gotten quite comfortable with Nelly – all our stuff (and there is lots of it – camping gear, wood, groceries, all my various warm tops, water bottles, salt packets, ipod, Ted, etc) had their place. It was going to take us forever to swap everything over to another car, and it was getting late in the day. Plus, she had MN plates – I didn’t want to give her up and become just another generic West-coaster! But at the end we decided to be smart, expecting we would just get a Nelly II, just in a different color.
When we got to the front of the line, though, they only had one car available in the same price range – a Pontiac G6. I took an instant dislike to the new car. It is incredibly showy and ostentatious – super shiny hubcaps, big silver grill, everything in the interior is also silver and shiny, sunken leather seats. Nick assured me it was better from a driver’s perspective, but seeing as I have been a passenger for a large part of the trip (Nick prefers to drive and I prefer to navigate/DJ/look around aimlessly at cows and scenery) it was kind of annoying that seemingly no thought had gone into the passenger’s comfort or usability. Case in point – awful cup holders and a glove compartment that can barely hold a pair of sunglasses! Sigh. The name Rex just somehow fit. It sounded like someone who thinks he’s cool but really isn’t. He’s as bling as Nelly was humble, but I guess it is nice to have all the gadgets to tell us what station we’re listening to and how many more miles we have on our tank of gas. So I guess we’ll keep him. However, we now have Arizona license plates – I guess it could be worse, there aren’t any stereotypes I know of about AZ drivers, are there? (If so, I should really know so I know what people are swearing at me).