Past Trips – California – Los Angeles Arrivial [3]

My bag arrived at the second time of asking and with that we were of to Alamo to pick up our car.

There was quite the queue and one of the attendants suggested we use the automated self service machines. It wanted to sell us add-ons, one of them seemed quite advisable, a Sat-Nav, it was tempting but cost a good half of the car rental which seemed a little unnecessary.

Eventually i’d prodded my way through the various pages, along with some forward a bit back a bit dithering eventually settling on not adding the Sat-Nav. Unlike anything we’d seen before, we were not allocated a car, instead we were just offered up a receipt and sent out, there was little more too it when we got outside, where we were pointed in the direction of the cars and told simply to pick our own from those available.

We’d selected sports utility with a view to a Toyota Rav4, as the example given on the websites.. There was a Rav4 but there were also others and among those other a big big old Jeep, very shinny and new looking. We loitered around it, sort of half selecting the Jeep before becoming uncertain, it was rather large pointed out Mitch, much larger than anything we were accustomed to, unnecessarily so… also maybe it was parked in the wrong location, it didnt look much like the other vehicles parked around it, looked like it belonged among the more premium options.

Eventually we did load up, it seemed wrong not to try it.. they could always turn us back on attempting to leave if we had picked up a vehicle to which we were not entitled. Mitch wanted to drive and i wanted to sleep, which worked out most well as i settled into the passenger seat and Mitch set to attempting operate the bulk of this thing.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Alamo

We’d inadvertently booked a hotel that it now turned out was on the same road as this car hire pick up place. The chap at Alamo had been quite friendly and although he didn’t know about our hotel was able to point us in the right direction. No one stopped us as we drove out, so that was us on our way, the Road trip would then be us and the Grand Cherokee, it had a large screen in the center which provided a rear view camera when reversing but now just displayed the radio station and song information. That was not all, there was a sound system management thing to balance out what levels of sound were to be emitted from where, seat and temperature control bits and … most handy … most most handy and fortunate – a Sat-Nav.. a built in, not additional accessory, Sat-Nav all of our own ..

The hotel proved almost as easy to find as a hotel that’s on the same road as your already on ought to be, only more road than expected, further, far enough to begin to sow the seed of ‘have we over shot things somehow’ doubts.

Springhill Suites Marriott Los Angeles

The hotel was not close to very much, there was some sort of Tram or Train depot visible from the window, there were roads and other hotels about the place. A convenient spot for the first day, after the airport wise but didn’t appear so central to anything interesting.
Had we been more familiar with the surrounds and more awash with energy, then in actuality we were only ten or fifteen minute drive from the some pretty nice coastal spots. But we were not so aware of the location of things or for that matter ourselves at this point and for me at any rate the energy rates were not really there for doing so very much.

I have little recollection of anything much filling the hours after arrival, i can only assume some rest and possibly studying of the tourist guide books or TV watching. Nothing due recollection.

I did attempt to drive the vehicle, an automatic, Mitch explained how it worked and i became confused by what had previously seemed an altogether simpler proposition. It did not go well, with my left foot choosing to get itself involved in proceedings, i never realised how specialised my right foots skill at operating a brake peddle was, it was not one it had cared to share with the left one. This was now eminently clear and the whole thing seemed deeply confounding, if this was how it went in the car park then that would really not work out well on the road.. Any driving, for now at least, would need to be left to Mitch, he had that level of familiarity with automatics through his parents actually owning one and had proven more than competent at getting us this far.

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