After several calls to Enterprise car rental last night it became obvious that I'm not going to be able to rent a car from them. Nancy said they were cheap and that there was a drop off near her place but the customer service guy is telling me that you can only go airport to airport if you want to travel just one way. The nearest airport to her is an hour away. So this morning I get on the phone right away and call Thrifty's and they tell me that I can drop off at any of their locations, and there is one about a 5 minute drive from Nancy. I have to reserve it on-line so I sign in and reserve it for tomorrow at 10 am. I tell David and he tells me that won't work for him. Huh? The last I heard, his schedule for Thursday was R&R. I remind him of this and he replies that he has a lot of errands to do tomorrow and he is leaving the house at 8. He tells me to reserve the car for 3 today. I tell him I don't want to leave today, that Nancy isn't expecting me until tomorrow. (OK, that noise outside is getting louder. It's a sort of grunting sound. What on earth is it?) He tells me I can leave at 8 when he leaves. So I cancel the reservation I just made and re-reserve the car for 3:00 today. Then I read the fine print. The car has to be reserved in David's name as he is using his credit card to secure it as I don't have one since I declared bankruptcy. So I cancel it again and re-reserve it in his name. I try to get David to let me reserve it for after dinner but he just says "Reserve it for 4 o'clock please." So I do.
After some time on the computer I decide to catch some sunshine and use the pool one last time. I tell David that I didn't sleep much last night so I might fall asleep outside and would he mind coming out and giving me a half hour's warning before we have to leave to get the car. He looks up from his game of solitaire on the computer and says, "Why? You're an adult." Touche. "Fine, I'll use my phone as an alarm." I reply and walk off. "I'll do it. Jesus Christ." he says to my back. I am so relieved that spending the next several months of my life on the boat with him isn't going to happen.
We drive to Tampa airport and he follows the signs that say 'Rental Car Returns'. I suggest that perhaps that isn't the way to go as all the cars going there are rental cars and there won't be anywhere to park. He ignores me. Sure enough. He stops in a row meant for returning cars - the whole parking garage is painted off in long rows the width of a car and people are pulling into the ones marked for the rental agency they used, just like lining up for the ferry, in rows. We get out and he asks an attendant if he can leave his car there. I am expecting the guy to tell him there is no way but he says 'sure' and points the way to the Thrifty desk. This is one of the big differences I see between the states and Canada. You would never get that response at the Vancouver airport.
Apparently, in all the canceling and re-booking, I reserved the car for tomorrow. The lady makes it sound like this is going to be a huge problem, and then says she can just book it as a walk-in. When David hands over his credit card, he starts asking questions about his liability. I have already explained to him that I will buy the insurance that has no risk to the renter. She explains to him what I have already said and THEN he is fine with it. She tells me that I can just pay cash for the charges when I return the car and I tell her that would be good. David pipes up "Can you include that on the contract?" I turn and look at him but he won't look at me. I shouldn't be surprised, I have heard enough from him to know that money is all he cares about, but I am anyway. In conversation a day or so ago I had said how I had wasted precious money coming down here and he had replied that he was out the ticket money to Guatemala. I said that my ticket here cost more than that and he brushed me off with, "We have both had losses." or words to that effect. He asked me to put together his pamphlet saying he was trying to find a way to help me out and that he would pay me and I worked on it for six hours, yet I have yet to see a penny - and I am fully sure I won't. I have assumed most of the risk and the loss coming down here to crew with him and now he has the nerve to voice that he doesn't trust me to pay the car rental. I am seething. I feel like telling him that even if I didn't pay the tab at the other end, it wouldn't cover my time for the pamphlet.
I am so relieved to get away from him and his driving habits and drive myself around for a change. I start up the GPS unit I had them include and set off. I told David I would be stopping for something to eat (it is now 4:30 pm and I haven't eaten today). I stop at a Panda Express and have some of the best sweet and sour chicken I have ever had. As I get underway I keep my eyes peeled for a Ross. Back home, my friends Carol and Cary's stories about shopping at every Ross they could find while in Phoenix has me wanting to take a look for myself. I see one but miss the turn off. I turn as soon as I can get over and then make my way back. I spend about an hour inside and marvel at the prices. It's like Winners but at half the price. I buy a huge white purse and a top, hand over a 10 and a 20 and get change. So great.
I get home fine, thanks to the GPS, and after an hour of puttering about I decide to go out again. I love having a car. I go up to the shops at the end of the road and buy a cord to plug my iPod into the car stereo for the trip tomorrow. I also buy a card reader for my computer as I can't find the cord to my camera anywhere. I head back and spend the next hour or so downloading photos.
I turn on Skype and see that my new son-in-law, Rob, is on and so ring him up and we have a lovely chat. It was SO GOOD to see him. Ashleigh comes home as we are about to wrap it up so I chat with her for about 20 min. She wants to see the house so I take my laptop around on a tour and turn on some lights so she can see.
I give Shonah a call and we talk for a few minutes but she is at a friends for dinner so we keep it short. She finds out tomorrow if she gets the promotion at Club Penguin. I really hope and pray she does.
I can't wait to get on the road. And I plan to stop at Miami Beach this time.
OK that grunting noise is getting louder and now there are two of whatever they are. I am off to find out what it is.