05 September 2017

"get ready, get set..."- total solar eclipse trip 2017 posting, part 3

So, after all that with my car acting up,
what happened?
I rented a car! For the very first time in my life. Yes, that's right. Here's me on Facebook live, Monday August 14, 2017, getting the car packed up and ready to roll the next morning.
       Do you remember, earlier this year when I said that I was cleaning up my finances? Well, that included filing four years worth of back self-employment taxes. I used one of the refund checks to rent a car. This was due to the fact that I opened up a free checking account with the bank where we've had a savings for the past twelve years. That was also part of the intuitive guidance I had gotten in the beginning of this year, since I had needed a debit card to be able to order the test that my son needed to take this year to fulfill the homeschooling requirements. The old service, with whom I would always order by mail with a money order , doesn't test at his grade level.
       So, I searched all over my home area and found that by going an hour south of here, I could get two weeks out of a rental, with full car coverage, for the same price that I would get for one week of rental near to me.
       I also set  into about a month's worth of late night research, obsessively planning drive routes and reading all of the reviews on Trip Advisor (to which I also started contributing this year), and booking our overnight accommodations until the day of the eclipse. It was like another part-time job, the trip planning and booking. But, with this "job", I enjoyed it.
I couldn't book any further past the date of the actual eclipse, once I got that much all set. I just didn't have the feeling to. I was mentally exhausted. There was an energetic block. I was advised by my Guides to book the rest of the accommodations and to figure out the return trip route when we got closer to Eclipse Day.
       There was also the part of dealing with our old cats. After a disappointing, and just bad experience with a house/cat sitter in June when we went to Vermont and Ausable Chasm, I wasn't sure if the additional stress of finding someone who was a straight shooter to do what we agreed for my home and cats... Well that was something that I wasn't able to add to my to-do list. After all, I was about to drive a car, alone with my teenage son, further from home and for more hours and miles per day than I ever had in my life! I couldn't be worried about our beloved kitties all with that. So, the day that I called Enterprise to book the car rental, I also called our Vet and booked the cats in for nine days there. We would take them as we departed for Erie, PA and pick them up on the way home from wherever we managed to get to by then. I felt bad, though that I couldn't allow them to be in the comfort of their familiar surroundings. At least, I consoled myself, they would be expertly cared for and they would be safe.
       There were a lot of moving parts on this plan. Another one being getting the two shifts covered that I would miss at the job. I work at a very small place with only a few employees. Once those got covered, the planning went into high gear, especially after I listened to the guidance that I was being given and just gave in and rented the car. Things started falling into place.

just a photo from the internet, but I actually did rent from Enterprise and they were very good
       The area in which I live has very spotty public transportation. I mean, we have some bus and train available, but you can't get absolutely everywhere that you need to get to without a car. I chose a car rental location, however, where there was train service connected by two busses. I planned to drop my car off at the mechanic in my town for repair while I was away, then take the morning bus from my town to another town, where I would connect with another bus, which would take me to a commuter train service., which I would ride one or two stops to Beacon, NY. Then I would either walk the 2.5 miles to the car rental place, or as I found out, they would come and pick me up from the train. Not too bad.       Of course, as soon as I made that commitment, I was inspired to contact an acquaintance who is the public library branch director in the city where I needed to go to pick the car up. I wondered if she was going to work on Monday, my car pick up day, and if I could maybe ride along. Yes, she was, and yes, I could! We were leaving on Tuesday morning, to make good time to be in position for the total solar eclipse in southern Illinois, while having some time out of the car to enjoy some things. I decided to rent the car for an even two weeks, returning the rental on the day after my son's  birthday.

me, trying out the glasses, 2 months before I knew the trip would actually happen
       Amy met me at 9am on Monday morning at the mechanic in town. She had been the director of our local library for some years, and I always fancied getting to know her better. Cool people, she is.  Being able to ride along to work with her was a great excuse to spend an hour together and talk. Another great part of how this dream was coming together so far. She even escorted me in her little two-seater to the Enterprise rental, where I was given a free upgrade to a lovely Nissan with a push button starter. Wow! An encouraging start. The drive back to the apartment was fun. My 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis can just wait for me at Mike and Anthony's until I get home...(part 4, on the way)

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