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Car rental weekend: Pumpkin farm, bike race

We do drive cars sometimes. This weekend was one of those times. Friday night, Erik and I were chatting about the next few days and realized we had some places to go. Places that might not be a breeze via bike and public transit, or at least not in the timeframe that was shaping up. So I hopped on Priceline and found us a Chevy Impala for, well, not the best daily price we’ve ever gotten, but not a terrible price either.

Saturday afternoon we drove to Alameda Point to show some friends our new favorite hangout, Rock Wall Winery, and pick up a couple of cases (since we had a car with a huge trunk and all). The kids commenced acting like jerks the moment they were strapped into the back seat. There was hitting and spitting. I reminded them countless times that the main reason we had a car today was to take them to a pumpkin patch after this. So many shits were not given by them. All of them, in truth. All shits were retained.


Despite their crappy behavior in the car and at the winery, we still drove to a pumpkin patch afterwards. This is a downside of relying on rentals when you need a car: We couldn’t really say, “We’re not going to the pumpkin patch because you guys have been acting like jerks,” because we didn’t want to rent another car on another day to go instead. We wanted to get our rental money’s worth. So we went. Sunday morning bright and early, we were back in the car, headed to the Presidio, where I was going to observe and write about the Disaster Relief Trials, a race that demonstrates how very useful cargo bikes can be after that big diasaster that we all know is going to happen here sooner or later. (Later, please.) As we drove in, I lowered the windows despite the fog and breathed deeply to get that cough-drop flavor of all those eucalyptus trees. While I was using the car to chase bicyclists all over town, Erik and the kids checked out the newly-restored Officer’s Club, which has a cool little museum and a kids’ craft area where the kids made their very own adobe bricks. The O club might just be the oldest building in San Francisco. Then they walked to two different playgrounds and met up with some friends who live nearby.


On the way home, we wanted to hit up El Faro in Fruitvale for dinner, but both our cell phones had run out of battery and we couldn’t find it without GPS. We were within a block of it at one point and didn’t see it. I wanted to ask some guys standing on the corner for directions, but Erik refused just because they were counting a big pile of cash. Who says drug dealers don’t know where the burrito store is? Usually we would rent a car for just the weekend, but since one of us had a work-related trip to make on Tuesday, we held onto it. I was really busy Monday, but I squeezed in a big grocery trip to make use of the Impala’s roomy trunk. We’ll return it tomorrow morning. It cost us nearly $200 this time, but since two of the days we used it were work-related, we can deduct that from our taxes. As always, I’m happy to be able to say goodbye to the car without having to clean it, change its oil or do any maintenance.