Since living in Seattle, TBE has visited his aunt and uncle in Palm Springs, California every February. Going to Palm Springs has been a bit of a challenge for him. Two years in a row, he’s asked his girlfriends to go with him, they’ve agreed, but right before the plane takes off they ditch him. I would be the second girl he’s taken but apparently the first girlfriend-girlfriend…right.

This trip things were going to be different. I purchased the plane tickets. He got the rental car. This way, I was less likely to ditch. Oh, TBE. We chose to do an evening flight so as to maximize our days. Ha. Ha-ha. Ha. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 8:50 and land around 11. This was going to make getting to the rental car company a little tight. Fortunately, TBE had already booked our car and all we’d have to do is get there on time. At 8:40 it was announced that our plane was delayed so that a microphone switch could be replaced. We would begin boarding at 9:00. TBE called the rental car company as soon as we knew our flight was going to be late. We were told to call as soon as we landed and someone might wait so we could get our car.

We board our plane and find that our seats had changed. Apparently, booking your seats on Expedia doesn’t guarantee you the seat you picked on their site. When we had grabbed our tickets at the kiosk, we were given seats near the bathrooms on the back of the plane. Great. Not really. Whatever, though, right? We’re going to make the best of it. A little turbulence here, some bathroom smells there, and a strong crosswind that even made me a slightly nervous flyer later, we arrived in Ontario, California.

As soon as we touch ground, we whip our our cellphones to try and reach our rental car guy. TBE gets in contact and yes, a person will wait just for us-if we hurry. We hash out a plan that TBE will get on the shuttle to the cars and I’ll wrangle the one piece of checked luggage, then meet him. Clearly luck was on our side as that luggage was the second piece to come out of the claim. We were able to shuttle together. When we walk into the building we see all the rental car companies are staffed. Clearly, closing right at midnight is only on paper. We get our information about where to get our car, “Third aisle, license 024–“. The parking lot isn’t labeled. It isn’t until 20 minutes after wandering that we see a parking lot we haven’t tried that is separate from all the other rental car companies.

Finally finding our car, we get in, have it inspected so we don’t get charged for the dings that are already there, we turn on the GPS to find that the screen is all wonky. It’s covered in lines and looks cracked. Never mind that its brand new, we’re happy it still gives voice commands. We think we set our destination-an hour’s drive!-and set off. A half hour later we realize we’re not going the right direction and the drive seems really weird. We readjust the GPS, call TBE‘s aunt and uncle, and head in the correct direction, 1.5 hour’s drive, now. The GPS, however, doesn’t always warn about interesting maneuvers. So it tells us to keep left on the highway when it splits but doesn’t tell us we’ll take the immediate ramp right after it splits and we hang left. We miss our ramp. A few more moves like this and we finally get on a straight stretch. The GPS battery dies. I plug my phone into the USB on the radio. It doesn’t power up. Great. We use my phone only to know what exit to look for, not how long it will take to get there. We get to Palm Springs! My phone dies. We switch to David’s phone to get to the exact address. His phone’s map doesn’t readjust to the compass. One turn around later, we figure that out and get to our destination in 5 minutes.

Edit: I have counted 10 “Eh?”s since landing in California. Eight from David as he was frustrated on the drive and two from his relatives when we arrived.

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