I dream of gardens in the desert sand

Alrighty then!

The night was weird kinda. I was dead tired, yeah, still sleep was only caught a few hours each time. Ah well, I did get my 8 hrs of sleep, total, so that’s good, right?

So, finally, 8 AM and we decide to skip breakfast at the hotel in favor of picking up the rental and then locating an IHOP or Waffle House or something of the breakfast persuasion while en route to the Bass Pro Shop.

Picking up the rental was easy. Seriously, I am totally impressed.
They pooled all rental companies in one new building here in Phoenix,
at least for the airport, and have a shuttle going there from all
terminals. That means you don’t have to wait for the shuttle for your
specific rental company, but just hop on any of the buses waiting
there. Thumbs up, folks.

Choosing the rental was machine aided.
A rather clever GUI led you through the process, digesting your
reservation and then spitting out the lot where to pick up your car
along with the various receipts. Yes, I did get what I want and we shelled out the extra 50 bucks for Sirius. I got hooked in Miami with the free upgrade, stop snickering. The only grief I have though is the fact that their upsell sucks big time. Instead of telling you how much a day extra the next category would be or an SUV or what not, they also should tell you the total. Just with the daily increase you will not get that many people to upgrade I bet. 

Ah well.

The car we got is…ummm…a tad bigger than we are used to, although not yet of the ship variety common to so many car types in the US and associated with ‘car’. It’s a Saturn Aura, a bit larger than the Focus we had last time, and Mel is muttering about its dimensions. Maybe she is right and we shouldn’t have gone higher than the compact, but we know better next time I reckon. Plus she didn’t want the Chrysler Sebring or the Mustang, both convertibles. So nyah. 

But why does only the driver get power seats and the peons on shotgun have to manually fiddle around with the settings? Equal treatment, darn you, Saturn! No wonder the industry is not doing well. BAH!

Our satnav was doing fine in the car, there’s just the minor problem that a major interchange on the way to the store was kinda closed down…and our faithful satnav tried its darndest to get us to take the closed ramp anyway. So only with the power of ignorance of her whiny voice and some intense ‘shaddup, missy!’ did we convince her that the route we took AWAY from the ramp was ultimately the right one. I imagine Lisa (that’s the voice’s name) was shuffling maps in a hissy fit in there, muttering the new directions through her teeth.

The store itself is quite huge and I got excellent service when shopping for shoes. Seriously though, the price for the better hiking boots in there makes you cry when you think that the very same boot costs about twice as much in Germany. And then they were apologetic of showing us a 20 bucks more expensive boot….

The trip out to the Desert Botanical Garden was an easy one though…and well worth its money. I haven’t known that there are that many cacti (cactuses to y’all from over yonder).

BIG bonus though: Hummbingbirds. Gosh golly darn, I’ve never seen any in the wild, let alone NOT on tv, and I actually managed to snag a few rather decent shots of them. I think I can understand the thrill in hunting in this, yet all the shots I take end up in an album instead of on a dinner table. Pity I am not good enough to put food on our table that way but I am having fun, and that’s all that counts.

But seriously, those hummingbirds….I am looking forward to being able to brush up the pictures back home on my hopefully soon arriving new computer.

The rest of the day is quickly told, we both were rather tired after four hours in the park, headed back to the hotel and had sandwiches for dinner while watching the Cubs/Brewers game in the bar. Good times.

Tomorrow, it’s off to Tucson!

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