Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I went home to California this past weekend for a Tribal Council meeting. I flew into San Francisco on Friday morning. I stepped out onto the platform to catch the "AirRide" to the rental car parking lot and had my breathe taken away. Yowza, it was freezing. I had left 90 degree weather in the ATL and stepped out into SFO's 50something degrees. Instantly my bronchitis cough erupted. Yes, I was home. Woohoo! I tried not to get teary-eyed as I admired the hills of San Bruno, Oakland and the Bay while riding the "AirRide" train. I'm a "Emerald Club" member with a certain car rental company so I can pick whatever cars are parked in the so called "Emerald" area. I chose a 2012 Mazda5. Why? I have no clue. It didn't look to big or too small and it was a pretty green color. LOL I zipped on down to Salinas to stay the night with my godparents with a quick stop at the Gilroy Target. Had a nice dinner and visit with my cousins and godparents, made sure I got to bed at a reasonable time of 11pm (2am est). I was pretty tired after a HELLacious week at work. I was up and out the door at 8:15am for our 9:00am meeting in Gilroy.
Here's where my troubles start...
As we broke for lunch I was going to drive to wherever we were eating but discovered it was right across the street and could be walked. I went to put my keys back in the room but was distracted and ended up carrying them with me. I know I had them because I was annoyed to be carrying them. I had no pant pockets to stuff them into. My fellow Council Members and I ordered lunch and sat at a couple outside tables. Let me say the new, well new to me, Mexican chain Mi Pueblo Food Center is awesome! They were a fine tuned machine behind the super Cocina Mexicana. I believe it was while cleaning up our bags and containers that one of us accidentially threw my keys in the garbage. Of course I did not discover this until 5:45pm when the 8.5 hour meeting was over.
I was beyond the point of crying when I called the "Emerald" hotline to report that my sorry ass lost the keys to my car. I'm anal, I'm organized, I don't do these type of things, well guess what, I do. <sigh> "Ms. Cxxxxxr, did you retrace your steps?" "Yes." "Ms. Cxxxxxr, did you go back to the restaurant?" "Yes." "Ms. Cxxxxxr, did you look on the floor of the vehicle?" "YES!" This was going no where fast. I finally said, "Look, they are gone, so what are you going to do to help me?" "Ms. Cxxxxxr, are you in a safe place?" "Um, well as long as it's daylight yes." The woman replied, "Ok, so we can dispatch for a truck to come out and unlock the door to the vehicle so you can take out all your belongings." "Then you will have to call us back and we will dispatch a truck to tow away the vehicle, return to the rental station, pick up a new car and tow it back?" "Huh?" "Are you kidding me?" "No, Ms. Cxxxxxr, that is our policy, one thing at a time." I said, "well how long will this take?" "To dispatch to unlock one hour, to dispatch to pick up vehicle and bring you a new vehicle three hours." "OMG!" "Well, Ms. Cxxxxxr you did lose the keys to your vehicle." <slow simmer> "Yes, I am aware of that fact, thank you." Thankfully, two of my cousins had stayed with me. They were busy in the background trying to call locksmiths to come make me a key but as we suspected due to these new fandango type of cars and keys, no can do. So I was stuck with "Emerald's" plan of attack. So I called back with a weak tired voice and said, "Ok, dispatch the round one please."
Meanwhile I was texting with my sister because the week leading into my trip we came up with the grand plan to invite my aunts and female cousins to come to her house for pizza after my meeting. So they would all be waiting for me. Waiting and waiting and waiting apparently. I told her to cancel. One aunt and two girl cousins stuck to the plan and were either on their way or had already arrived. "Enjoy the pizza family. Wah!"
At 7:00pm, the tow truck pulled in, this was a huge flatbed that could easily haul two vehicles. The driver unlocks the Mazda, we unload my things and I asked him, "Hey do you think you could take me and the vehicle back to the San Jose Airport if I call and they agree?" He said sure so I made the call. It took the rental car agency 30 minutes to make up their minds. Yes, he could haul the car and me back so I'm thinking small victory, yay! Then I start feeling a tiny bit nervous about driving the hour back to San Jose with a complete stranger. I'm not a sissy-lala by any means but still things run through your mind. So I jokingly told the guy with my eyebrow on high arched alert, "So I'm not going to end up in Mexico working in slave labor while Nancy Grace pleads for my life on Fox month after month right?" "I just want you to know if you try to kill me or you know do other things, you will get hurt in the process." "I will go down with a fight and you will suffer SOMETHING for it." "Trust me on this!" Thankfully, Bobby as I would come to know him over the next two hours, had a sense of humor but clearly got the message. ;>
So off we went up the 101 (with 'do you know the way to San Jose' fighting for a spot in my head against 'Me and Bobby McGee' - busted flat in a Church parking lot, waitin' for a tow truck) bouncing roughly in the big ass truck and slowly creeping through the traffic. Bobby McSanchez and I talked about our families, being from the Bay Area, living in the South, and my Tribe. About half way, I get a phone call from "Emerald" telling me that the car lot is in Santa Clara and here's the address. The customer care person said I would have to wait at this lot while Bobby went and loaded a new vehicle and brought it back to me. WTH?! Bobby had a GPS so we figured out it wasn't really that far from the airport but still thanks for the detailed instructions an hour ago. I had told him I could call a cab once there, I wasn't goint to make him go through all that. We find the lot at 8:15pm. Lots of crashed and broke down cars, one night attendant in a pitch black lot. I'm not sure if Bobby felt the slow panic rising in me or the guy just had good old fashion manners and common sense, I think probably a combo of all three but he said to me, "Wait in the truck, I'm going to unload the car and take you straight to the rental car place, no way in hell I'm leaving you out here." If he hadn't been 5' 1", married with grandkids and seriously needing a shower, he might, just might, have been my knight in shining armor. Instead he was my hero tow truck driver! <insert Enrique Iglesias - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5m5aEtC0Hw>
It was now 8:45pm.
It was now 8:45pm.
If you've been to the new San Jose Airport set-up with the six story rental car parking lot and new terminals then you know just what kind of driver Bobby McTowTruckDriverHero was to pull that rig into there. That was no small feat to deliver me right smack in front of the sliding glass doors to the rental car station. I was majorly impressed. I slid out, grabbed my gear, thanked him over and over, gave him a grateful tip and headed inside. I can only imagine the sight I must have been. Wrinkled clothes, hair a mess, three target bags of souveniors, two Smokey the Bear hats, my luggage and a tote. It was now 9:05pm.
After having to tell the entire story over to the clueless staff at the station I was directed to go to the sixth floor via elevator. The doors open and Rico Sauve greets me. He's clueless and I have to re-explain everything to him. He finds me a car, I load all my stuff inside, slide into the driver's seat, text my sister and exhale from exhaustion and relief.
I pull around to the booth that checks your rental agreement, lifts the bar and sets you free. Unfortunately, she had no clue about my swap of vehicles and after what felt like another hour of phone calls and arguing with the downstairs guys wishes me a "blessed night" and let's me free. It's now 9:40pm.
I rolled down the drivers side window, crank up the stereo to the Saturday night 70's and 80's soul station and find my way to Livermore. I pull into my sister's drive way at 10:10pm. Yes, I flew and I cannot remember the drive at all. But dang if that pizza and cold Heinekin didn't taste SO good. And yes, it was great to see my family. My night ended that morning at 1:00am after spending the last three hours laughing and talking with my family.
Thankfully, the rest of the weekend was pleasant and uneventful. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the senior citizens that sat next to me on the plane, ripped my blouse and spilled water on my head. I should have sensed it was going to be a strange adventure then!
Posted by Lisa & Sis at 5/26/2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Today is the third day of my four day solo living in Georgia. Now I've never had a problem being by myself and enjoy it occasionally. Some of the positives are eating out of, or on, any type of paper plate, plastic container, a pot, paper towel or napkin. Also whatever comestibles that remain from prior meals. That's right, leftovers, like homemade blueberry pie, meatloaf sandwiches. The pleasure of having the tv volume at any level I choose or can hear. Watching more foreign films and less cooking shows. Hearing how we should try to make these meals that would cost a fortune and takes a restaurant style kitchen to prepare them in. Not having to hear a word for these past four days about Spain. My daughters safe return with lots of stories of her adventures and about family. Negatives: CAT duty. That meant I had to clean the very full litter box, ugh! I have only owned one cat in my adult life and she was an indoor/outdoor cat who went somewhere private to eliminate. No one to share the Giant's games, a good meal, adventures and visiting family.