I knew today was going to be unusual. The only thing on my schedule was a funeral at lunchtime (a friend at shul), but I planned to work before and afterwards.
The morning got off to a bit of a slow start — I came to work dressed in a suit, which threw everyone offstride. Shortly after I arrived, I got an instant message from a friend who’d been given 30 days to find a new job or leave the company — he’d found a new job, and it was probably better than the one he’d had. And I was able to help another friend with a question from a client (at least I think I gave her good data!). But one of our summer interns was leaving, having finished her six month stay (she’s from Australia, so she arrived during her summer and left during ours), and that was somewhat sad.
I dropped by the credit union to deposit a check and pick up another car loan preapproval (our first one had expired already); one of the people in line was incredibly happy — it turns out it was his last day of work (he decided to retire at the end of the month and was going on vacation between now and then). I congratulated him, of course. Then I took care of my business and returned to my office to get a little work done.
Very little, as it turned out. At 10:45, my phone rang — it was Bob Martin from Hansel Toyota in Petaluma, calling to tell me that he had a new Prius for us (Blue, AM package, which was our first choice) and wanting to know when we’d be in to get it. Since the funeral was going to go well into the afternoon, I decided we might as well go to Petaluma afterwards instead of coming back to work for an hour or so.
So I worked until it was time to leave — then hurried to Shir Hadash for the memorial service, arriving barely in time. Then it was over to the cemetery for the interment, and then home to change.
There was a Hertz location near the dealership in Petaluma, so we were able to drive up together in the Hertz car and home in the new car. The only catch was getting to Hertz by the time they closed — 6pm. We left home at 3:20 for a 95-mile trip — we arrived at 5:52pm. I guess I shouldn’t have believed Mapquest when it suggested taking the East Bay route — the merge from 580 to 101 took 20 minutes all by itself. But we arrived safely, if frazzled, and got rid of the car.
Now we were 95 miles from home with no car. So we did the obvious thing — we went to the closest restaurant (Cattlemen’s) for dinner. It’s a steak house — and pretty good. I’d go back, though I wouldn’t make a trip to Petaluma just for a meal there.
The dealership was about a 20-minute walk away; we arrived, met our salesperson for the first time (we found him through craigslist), and got started on the actual transaction. Two hours later, we were finished (it did help that we knew the car already, so we didn’t need the one-hour intro we got when we bought my Prius) and on the road for home.
This time, we avoided the East Bay and took 101 to the Golden Gate Bridge, then 19th Avenue through the city, followed by 280 and 85 to home. Elapsed time in this direction: one hour, 40 minutes.
I hope to avoid car shopping for quite a while. I won’t avoid Petaluma, though — we have a trip there with Shir Hadash on Thursday.