Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rental Car Keys

I know that most of you saw the posts on FB about my key fiasco but I wanted to tell you the whole story.

Often when we go on vacation we go to the middle of nowhere to parks during the day and last Friday was no exception. We went to Rialto Beach (among other places but this is where the action went down). It is in Olympic National Park...about 60miles from Port Angeles and about 12 miles from Forks (for all you Twilight fans, those towns both least in the non peak season). Anyway, we are at Rialto Beach, it starts to rain so we go to the car to wait it out, then it stops so Craig goes to take some pictures while I make us lunch. We eat lunch and are talking about whether we are going to go see a waterfall (C's pick) or to a winery (my pick). He decides we need to see the beach at Rialto over where you can get down to the water. I am not sure how familiar you guys are with the beaches on the coast but they are the cliff sand, just lots (and I mean LOTS) of trees that have been washed up on shore and rocks as the "sand". You have to climb over the trees to get to the water. Craig was down on the beach walking around and acting like a kid but I was cold so I was up on the bank, past the trees. He kept asking me to come down but I really didn't want to...finally I felt bad and went down. He was walking toward the waves and showing me how the water didn't come up high (on this beach you can't just run back in the sand because the trees are in the way so I didn't want the water to get me all wet). We walk down, first wave stops about 2ft from us....then he says the famous words "we didn't challenge it enough" so he pulls me closer to the raging waves. Yeah, so a HUGE one comes and 12 inches of water are rushing toward us...and we are backpedalling and I fall IN THE WATER! ASS SOAKED, PANTS SOAKED, MELISSA PISSED. I was so mad because it was exactly what I didn't want to was also extremely scary because the waves are really powerful and you can't run on the rocks and there are trees piled 6ft high that you can smash into so I was also freaked out a bit. When the wave went back Craig was calming me down and I was still mad about being wet (we do have a picture). Finally he said to go to the car and turn on the heat. I reach in my jacket pocket to get the keys and realize they are not there. AWESOME. Now what? We are literally in the middle of nowhere, no cell service, 3 miles to the ranger station (and what would they do) and 12 miles to the nearest town. At first I was thinking that there was no way I lost them. We looked EVERYWHERE. I am panicking. I found a girl and her dad that were leaving the area and asked if they had a phone that worked (to call Hertz) and they said that they didn't but that the would go to the Ranger station and call them. Thanks! They didn't offer to have me ride with. After about 10 mins they came back and said they talked to the ranger and he could send someone out in about an hour. She also said that he gave her the name of a tow truck company and she could call that. I thanked her and asked her to call and she left. Everything of ours was locked in the gear (thousands of dollars worth), purse, phones, everything. Finally C noticed that the driver's window was cracked (an annoying thing he does that usually drives me crazy because it sends a cold chill to my neck, but I will never complain again) and he unlocked the car (which set off the alarm which we couldn't turn off ...just in case you are wondering, they only go off for about 2-3 mins and then it stops). At least we got our stuff out.

Next a Twilight Tour bus pulled up...I thought that maybe someone would have a phone on there that worked but no luck. The driver lived in Forks and said he would take us back there and that there were 3 tow truck companies in town and we could call. Problem was that it had been 25 mins since the last tow truck was called, if they were called. So, we are trying to decide whether we should split up and how to figure out what company was called to see if they were coming or what. The bus was loading up when the tow truck showed up and we were able to get it towed. We had to go toward the town and get gas, switch drivers and then head to Port Angeles, at least there we had a hotel and clothes (I am still soaked and we are working on about 2 hrs now). On the way I call hertz and see what they can do...basically we have to have the car towed to the Seattle airport and then they can tow us another car out (or we can ride in with the two truck driver (2.5hrs) and get a car). Hmm, those didn't seem like options...thanks anyway. So, I called the only car rental place I saw in town...budget. Yuck. whatever, they had a car and said we had to pay a $150 (plus the $150 to rent the car) to drop it off in Seattle. When we get to the hotel in Port Angeles, the tow truck cost $586...yep, not a typo. Then, when I called Hertz from the hotel they said it would be another $402 to tow the car to Seattle and $200 to replace the key. So, in case you didn't keep up...$586+$300+402+200+$1,486 and we were right back where we started the day except the new rental car completely sucked and didn't have power anything. I was so mad. I can think of a hell of a lot of things I would rather spend $1400 on. It really bothered me to "waste" that money. C pointed out that we were really in a bad spot and we were lucky to be safe with relatively little trouble (4hrs total). I know he is right but you guys know how I am about saving money and it just killed me to have to shell out almost $1K for two tow trucks. Needless to say, we will be joining AAA asap...then it would have only been $250 for the tows (plus you get hotel discounts and stuff and we always stay at hotels in the middle of nowhere which are the ones that give the AAA discounts).

So, that is the whole story. When we got back to the hotel and I was a little calmer (and warmer, it took a shower and several hours), Craig gave me a big hug and said that he was glad that I wasn't upset that it was all his fault. He said he thought I was going to be mad at him because he made me go down to the water. I couldn't be mad wasn't really his fault...he was just trying to be playful and the keys were in my pocket and it was an accident. Who would have ever thought that they would fall out??? The only thing I can figure out is that I had my hand in my pocket (since it was cold) and when I was falling I pulled it out to brace myself and they came out too. The whole thing sucked but hopefully we have had our share of bad luck for a while (C also got a speeding ticket :-() I am sort of jaded by being out in the middle of nowhere though so I am sort of hoping for a more city oriented trip next time...