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50 States Day 186

50 States Day 186, San Diego to Las Vegas, 345 miles in a rental car
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."
~Mother Teresa

 With a few extra days on our hands, we elected to drive to Las Vegas and visit relatives. And now is time for a RAVE:
There are no bad cars anymore. Okay, somewhere there are people building junky cars like in China, but we rented a Toyota Yaris. An economy car. Tuna fish can. Let's look over our shoulder first. Remember Volkswagen bugs? My sister owned one, and here are some features in an early sixties VeeWee. The trunk. In the front. (Rear air cooled engine). You had to open it to gas up, a small tank that basically sat in your lap. And to shut the trunk, you had to step on the bumper to get it to clear. The heater. It made heat only if it was a hot day. Radio? AM. Four speed manual transmission. Her model came equipped with a gas gauge. Price new? Around $1,850.00, so if you made $2 per hour, it would take 925 hours to acquire one.

Now, what it lacked, and what the Yaris features: A/C, a heater that works, rear window defogger, AM/FM radio with a dozen channel buttons, cruise control, electric windows, automatic transmission, water cooled engine, electronic fuel injection, 40k + tires, reclining seats, seat belts with shoulder harnesses, air bags, 2 outside mirrors, day night mirror, vanity lights, mirrors in sun visors, and on and on. The car goes 80 MPH (I know) without a whimper. VeeDub? Not even close and it would shake your fillings out past sixty. The Yarris doesn't leak air, water or oil, doesn't rust, starts in a
millisecond, and handles like a dream. And the VW? Well, people nicknamed it 'Hitler's revenge.'

Okay, the Yarris costs $14,500. Takes around 925 hours to acquire if you made $15.58 per hour. So when people talk about 'You can't buy what you used to', I say thank God for that! One thing the bug and, wedge-have in common is if you get hit by a truck, you'll be squished like a bug. But then we ride a motorcycle...

We visited the kids, spoiled the grandkids in our limited time, and settled into the hotel, which I will now issue a RANT on Sunset Stations Casino.

When pricing on Priceline, SSC comes up low; $36 bucks and change. Cool. I reserve it and it's $42.88 with tax. Fine. When we arrive, they tack on a 'hotel charge' of $14.99 plus tax, $16.99 for the Internet (a weak, wimpy wifi), a newspaper, and the exercise room. And why do they do that? To appear like the best value rooms. Scammers. Shame on them.

Tomorrow, more spoiling and back to San Diego. We tried to get SWA to change our tickets to return from Las Vegas and they would be happy to do it. For $580. Each. Ouch. We'll drive back to SD and hop on the plane, thank you! Nice to see the desert again, too. Makes me want to jump on my dirt bike and take off through the open desert. Later.

Hope the Gold Wing isn't a victim of looters. We've tried to contact the motel and cannot get through.

And happy birthday to our son Jonathan, 29 years old today. Somehow God missed the memo about, 'Please, not on Halloween.'

And a huge RAVE to Jonathan, as he suggested we Early Vote today. We had given up on voting, so this enabled us to exercise our patriotic duty. Thanks, JEP! 
Thanks for following.


702sandbagger said...

Yaris is made by Toyota just wanted to clear that up...your welcome

Mel Nason said...

I was just about to commit to placing my entry in the "50 States in 50 Weeks Guess the Mileage Contest", when you two start traveling back and forth across the country in airplanes and rental cars. Before we know it, you could end up on a cruise ship somewhere off the coast of Florida.

You might just inspire a "50 States in 50 Ways Tour"... bicycle, boat, canoe, car, charter bus, city bus, commercial airplane, cruise ship, hike, hitch-hike, hot air balloon, jog, kayak, limo, pickup truck, roller-skate, shuttle bus, skate-board, subway, taxi, train, truck, van and swim, just to name a few possibilities.

Back to my original question: The mileage contest is just for total mileage on the Gold Wing and any rented motorcycles used on the tour, right?

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Right! It could complicate things, no? Add 7k air miles, 2 miles of white water, ten miles of Jet Skiing, 23 miles on a bicycle, and let's not forget the Cog Railway.
So Gold Wing and rented bikes (i.e. Alaska and Hawaii...) unless of course, the Gold Wing is a twisted metal and plastic pile of crap in Newark. Tomorrow will tell!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Mark; Yes, after our conversation, I looked all over the car and, no brand name! FINALLY I found it hidden on the dashboard! Who would have looked there? Thanks for the heads up.