Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The OC

I am on a brief research trip that requires a car rental (free airfare thanks to Rapid Rewards). I reserved a mid-size car because they are $20 a day cheaper than economy or compact. Why, you ask? Because there are not enough of the latter to go around and the former are gas guzzlers suddenly out of favor with the car-renting public (at least this is my take on the economic logic that undergirds Thrifty's "special pricing"). According to their website, a mid-size was supposed to be a Chyrsler Sebring or something like that, but instead, I got this:

So not what I was hoping for. I haven't been seated this low in a bucket seat for more than a decade. And, it's a noisy. What I like most about it? The palm tree reflection I captured in this photo. While I'll bet TH would like driving it down Hwy. 1, it is utterly wasted on me.

My hotel room was kind of a replay of the car thing: no King or Queen rooms. Nope, only rooms with two double beds. After the fact, this has worked out well. I can sort the $17.00 worth of photocopies I made today on one bed and watch TV/blog/read from the other. Nice. I'll take it.

I love the way bougainvillea just spills all over town and gown here, crawling with equal vigor up expensive buildings and down the icky freeway grade. Ack. I've tried to grow it at home (twice--a waste of $50.00 a decade ago) and it is useless; another reason I need a beach house.

And a few more pix...

This is NARA's (S0Not) lovely SoCal Building:

I just noticed that (as with all Federal Bldg.s post-Oklahoma City bombing) there are massive concrete blockades here that add to the overall lack of aesthetic. (But, the archivists more than make up for it; they rock--at least 2 of the 3 I am dealing with). Anyway, this is supposedly called The Ziggurat. It doesn't really look like one, although I suppose the terrain/climate around these parts is very much like Mesopotamia (???).

Leaving the ziggurat and heading for the hills.
Laguna Hills that is...

This is the golf course next to the hotel. Eucalyptus everywhere on one side, I-5 on the other. I'm hoping the AC drowns out the freeway noise.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice car. It fits you perfectly - next stop, Big Sur!

academic poser said...

What a pretty car! At least it drowns out the other freeway noise while driving... and the radio....and the police sirens... Enjoy the fresh air.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if it doesn't have a car seat I'll take it.

MP1 said...

I'm so jealous! We have to plan a girls weekend soon!

Auto Ethnographer said...

Anon#1: yeah, I'll do Big Sur if it includes dinner at Nepenthe and shopping at the Phoenix.
AP: This is *definitely* your kind of car.
Anon#2: Nope, no car seat, but cramped a back set that can accommodate one, or two, I'm sure
MP1: yes, let's do it soon

Auto Ethnographer said...

edit: should read: "a cramped back seat." Or maybe "a death trap back seat."

the cheerful pessimist said...

So how was the noise level?

Auto Ethnographer said...

It wasn't too bad. I was on a higher floor, so that helped a lot.

the cheerful pessimist said...

Two words: Noise.Machine.