Friday, September 17, 2010

Traveling in Style!

I thought I'd include a few unrelated but fun details of our trip, while I'm thinking of them. Transportation was one such issue, since we needed a large vehicle in order to accommodate our bikes, the large Samsonite-like bike boxes and our luggage. We needed a van or an SUV to have room for everything but most of the rental car companies wanted outrageously exorbitant amounts of money for the larger vehicles, nor would they take out the rear seats so the bikes and luggage could easily fit. It was a bit of a dilemma until Ron came to the rescue.

No one has ever accused us of lacking style when we travel...but we really our did ourselves this trip! Ron came up with the brilliant idea of forgoing all the usual rental car companies, and rented us a great Ford van, courtesy of .... U-Haul! No back seats, lots of was perfect! And, a bargain to boot: $19.95 a day, plus mileage! Let's just say that we definitely made an impression each time we arrived at a vineyard! If we weren't being directed around to the delivery entrance, then folks seemed to think we were planning on walking in to buy several cases on the spot! Clearly, we had the right vehicle for that! It was actually great fun, bombing around Sonoma and Napa in our bright white new U-Haul amongst the fancy, flashy cars and limos! Style, indeed! 

Ron at Cakebread Cellars, in our shiny new rental van

After a fabulous week of cycling and wine provisioning, we wrapped things up and headed down to Santa Cruz to spend a few days visiting with Ron's step-brother. There, we realized our U-Haul was nothing special, as we were just one among many. There were vehicles of all types and fashions, from bicycles and cars, to campers and trucks, either decidedly down-on-their-luck or decorated beyond belief. We especially liked the outrageously funky and stuffed-animal-decorated RV of the "Revival-ution Party"...not sure what they stand for besides an affinity for attention! This guy seemed to be everywhere in Santa Cruz, though, as we saw the camper several times. 
Tailgating could create a "chocolate mess"! 

After a few final days in Santa Cruz, it was time to head home. Both Ron and I were more than ready to do so, and after such a great trip, we're ready to return our focus to the numerous details we have ahead of us to prepare Equinox for this winter's cruising. Thankfully, while we were gone none of the hurricanes marching across the Atlantic made landfall nor caused damage in the US, so our timing for travel worked out well! Next up: back to the boat!

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