fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

a “mini” vacation

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Free is good.

A free Mini for a day is very good.

The Wife — courtesy her entry in a public transportation agency’s contest — ended up with a free Zipcar for a day. And as luck would have it, she invited me to come along. For the car, she picked a Mini and left the destination(s) to me.

A silver Mini named “McNorton” waited at a parking garage on Geary St. in San Francisco. We took BART in, hiked a few blocks to the parking garage, and gained entry with a magic wave of a ZipCar card. Pretty unique and convenient system. A few blocks down the road and my wife, decidedly not the “car nut,” was thoroughly enjoying a sporting drive to the Exploratorium, where the kid bailed and we officially began “having a day.” By now my wife had announced a few times that the “wanted this car.”

The car was entertaining on many levels — there’s always switches to play with in unfamiliar cars — but it was the computer’s calculation of average fuel consumption that held our attention at first. Up and down the hills of the city it bounced around the teens, but once we were on the highway to San Mateo, it quickly rose to the rather amazing 30 to 32 mpg range. Did I mention that my wife said she wanted her own Mini?

After a nice visit with my sister’s family in San Mateo, we pointed the bonnet west. Destination: Half Moon Bay. The weather: incredible for January. (I’m very conflicted about enjoying the great weather at a time when we should have rain.) In Half Moon Bay, in my humble opinion, one can find some of the best fish and chips around at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. So it was fish and chips for me, mini Kobe burgers for Karen, and an IPA shared between us. A great lunch with a great view on the bay. A quick drive back up the coast brought us back to reality, but it was a great “mini-vacation.”

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