I realize I've been out of touch all week, but I have a good excuse...
You may recall that last year, our summer got off to a bit of a rocky start. Vomiting, lice and other plagues followed us east. But I was determined to have this summer get off to a better start than last year. So I packed my Xanax in my carry-on.
This year's plan was for my wonderful man to drive me and my kids to the airport (he couldn't come because of work so he's house-sitting for me) and the kids and I would take a flight to NY that got in around midnight. From JFK we would take a cab to my mom's apartment in the city and sleep over.
Then, we would pick up our rental car first thing in the morning (...sure, ANYONE can rent a car from the airport, but I had to rent one from a company that closed at midnight.) From the city we would drive up to my ex-in-laws and stay with them for 2 nights before dropping Izzy off at sleepaway camp. The final leg would be me and the twins in our rented car driving from Izzy's camp to Woodstock where we would spend most of our summer.
After having to say goodbye to Scott in front of the kids (I couldn't even give him a proper kiss), I hauled all of our crap inside (the curb-side check-in was NOWHERE in site) and I was rewarded for my efforts by being charged excessive penalties for lots of overweight luggage. Then we boarded the plane where my kids' screamed and yelled the entire flight causing a wake of discontent that rippled 7 rows deep. (I apologize most deeply to the woman in 6C whose seat was rhythmically kicked every 3 seconds and the guy in 6B who got cheese in his hair...)
We pulled up to my mom's apartment in the city at 1:00AM and we dragged our luggage (...let me rephrase that..."I" dragged our luggage) out of the cab and up to her apartment where the Hellions and I collapsed.
Four hours later my kids jumped up and down on my head telling me to wake up and "seize the day!" (Yes...Izzy said this.) Oh, I was ready to seize something alright...but it wasn't the day...
I reluctantly got out of bed and decided to make the most of being in the city. Now that we were finally in the city, it was all going to go smoothly. So I told the in-laws we'd see them that night and I moved the pick-up time for our rental car.
"When would you like to pick it up?" the lovely voice on the phone asked me.
"Around 7pm. 6 or 7."
"I'll put you down for 6."
"Okay. But it will probably be closer to 7."
"We'll see you later Ms. Maizes."
Yes. Our day stretched out before us.
And it was a lovely day. 3 hours at the Metropolitan museum of art, visits with family and friends, NYC pickles. Things were going swell!
We pulled up to Enterprise rent-a-car at 7:35pm, well-fed, happy, and ready to go see grandma and grandpa.
They were closed.
Now let me ask you...and be honest here...if YOU made a reservation at a car place to pick up a car at 7pm - even if they put your reservation down for 6 pm - wouldn't YOU expect them to tell you they closed at 7:00?????!!!! Doesn't that just make sense????!!!!!!!!
I went ballistic. I called the main office.
"Your reservation was at 6pm, Maam."
"Yes, I know it was at 6pm, but I told them it would be closer to 7!!!! Even if I HAD made
it for 6pm, shouldn't SOMEBODY have told me "Hey, listen be here by 7. WE CLOSE AT 7!"
"But your reservation was for 6."
"But ONLY BECAUSE your lady told me she was putting me down for 6! I told her I would be there closer to 7."
"It's 7:35 now."
"I KNOW! That's not the point! Why didn't you TELL me you closed at 7pm. I would have BEEN HERE!!!!"
"But your reservation was at 6. You shouldn't have been late."
"Renting a car isn't like a dinner reservation!!!!!
"We think it is. That's why we call it a reservation."
"It's a general TIME! A WINDOW of opportunity to pick up your car!!!!!!"
"It's not. It's a set time."
"THEN THEY SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME YOU CLOSE AT 7!!!!!!!!!!" I tried to calm down, but I was SO stunned by this guys' idiocy and inability to grasp such a simple principal and help me find a way to get in a car right then and there. "DON"T YOU UNDERSTAND????? I"M A SINGLE MOM WITH 3 SMALL CHILDREN STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF NEW YORK CITY WITH NO WHERE TO GO!!!! (Of course I had somewhere to go, but they didn't know that. Plus I've found that I get a lot of mileage out of the "single mom with 3 kids" line, so I pull it out when I need an Ace in the Hole.)
He was unmoved. Cold bastard.
While Livi was pulling on my arm telling me she "thought of a way to get out car (I didn't even want to entertain this...I'm sure it was illegal), I spoke with the imbecile at Enterprise. "Well, you can rent a car if you go back to the airport. I think. If they have any cars, that is. Oh, and if you don't live here. You can't rent a car at the airport if you live here."
"I JUST GOT OFF A PLANE AND I'M RENTING A CAR FOR 7 WEEKS! DO YOU THINK I LIVE HERE????!!!!!"
"I don't appreciate your sarcastic tone Maam."
I had obviously hit a dead end with this guy.
I spent the next two hours trying to find an available car in the city and a LOVELY man at Hertz came to my rescue. So I called Enterprise all excited to cancel my next-day pick-up (Take THAT, Enterprise! PPPPPHHHHHHLLLLLPPPPPP!!!!!) and a very bored woman who clearly had a screen full of notations in front of her that alerted her to the fact that I was rabid, bid me "a nice trip."
We made it, EXHAUSTED, to my ex-in-laws around 11pm, where my children were greeted with kisses, hugs and the inevitable "Are you hungry???" They were promptly plied with bowls of Lucky Charms, Trix cereal and chocolate sauce. Yes. Chocolate sauce. Too tired and beaten to object, I sat at the kitchen table and watched my kids scarf down their sugar-laden, late-night snack, waiting to see if - like in the movie "Gremlins" - they would physically transformation into reptilian demons (the mental transformation was obviously complete).
Finally, they stopped seizing from the sugar and we all fell asleep around 1AM. Their grandmother was kind enough to get up with the kids and try to keep them from waking me before 9am.
Anyway, LONG story short, Izzy made it off to camp (with a few tears on my end...) and we finally settled in here in Woodstock.
Like last year it was a looooooooong trip to get here. But it's totally worth it. And if I look on the bright side, at least no one vomited and we don't have lice.
This summer is off to a better start already.
(Tags: Mom humor, parenting humor, Dad humor, Enterprise Car Rental, Hertz Car Rental, traveling with children, summer vacation...)