I took my kawila up to the dealer’s to get the sliding door fixed (yep, it’s under warranty!) on Tuesday. They thought it’d take about three hours, so I went prepared with knitting to while away the time. After about an hour, however, my advisor told me it was gonna take a lot longer to complete; it was a pretty complex repair, and they wanted to make sure they did it right the first time. (Yay, Dick Hannah Chrysler in Vancouver!) And it was going to take till the end of the day, and they didn’t think I’d want to wait that long. True dat.
And wow. Amanda told me they’d pay for a 24-hour rental car for me so that I could go home. Really? No cost to me? Nope. And not only that, it wouldn’t be a Smart Car or anything; it’d be comparable to my rig! (Yay, Dick Hannah Chrysler Numbah Two!) Cool dat. So Amanda called for a ride to Enterprise, nearby, and the driver was ready to pick me up in less than fifteen minutes.
We got to the rental place; they didn’t have any minivans available, so fixed me up in a 2014 Ford Explorer. I was good with that; I’d never driven one before, but I’m a pretty fast learner. I’d read online that it’s a good idea to get their lowest kind of insurance so that in case of an accident, I wouldn’t have to pay any deductible. $16/day is worth it.
So off I went. I was kinda nervous, cuz you know, not my kawila, etc. But soon I was cruising back down I-205 in the Explorer. And I got home just fine. It had this sparkly kine paint job that looked so pretty in the sun.
Before I left, I told Amanda that there was no way I could return the rig on Wednesday; that I’d be in Canby for a good part of the day and didn’t want to spend two hours in traffic going north, which is horrendous after 2:30 p.m. Guess what she said? “No problem. Just return it by Thursday morning and we’ll pay for the second day, too.” Which was a good thing anyway, because the car wasn’t ready till late yesterday afternoon. (Yay, Dick Hannah Chrysler Numbah Chree!) Can you believe it?
So this morning, I stopped and got gas enough to fill up the Explorer to half a tank, which is what it was when I picked it up. I also got some coffee at The Arrow Coffee House before I left Damascus. And took another photo of my temporary wheels.
I drove to Enterprise and returned the Explorer, and their driver took me back to Dick Hannah’s. The only money out of my pocket was the insurance. Erin at Dick Hannah had my repaired van out front and ready to go in less than five minutes. I signed the receipt/work order, which was full of zeroes because I didn’t have to pay a thing! And then I headed back down the freeway to home.
So, what did I think about the Explorer? Did I like it better than my van? Some things yes. For instance, road noise was quite a bit less in it. And it had a cool instant fuel economy da kine, so you can adjust your driving to get the best mileage possible. My van has something lidat, but it’s not a digital display.
EDIT: Sheesh. What I meant to say was that it’s not on all the time like in the Explorer. And it’s not pretty colors, either. But I can leave the display up by changing the menu.
I also liked that when I turned off the engine, the driver’s seat slides back to make it easy to get out of the kawila, and when I turn on the engine, it slides forward to where I’d set it. Good for short kine people like me! I don’t need that feature in my van, but in the Explorer, it was nice to have.
The sound system was awesome. I put in one of my Hawaiian CDs, and listened to Dennis Kamakahi and ʻohana as I drove along. The speakers in the Explorer are in the middle as well as wrapped around part of the front/sides. One thing though, it didn’t recognize the album/group; the readout was “Unknown Artist/Album”. My Chrysler knew it all, all the tracks, even down to the Hawaiian diacritical marks. Much better than “Unknown”.
Although the controls in my van aren’t digital like in the Explorer, I find they’re just as easy to locate and use.
The ride is definitely more cushioned in my van. I like that. A lot, especially on long road trips. Like to Montana, which I’ll get back to next time. I also like the steering wheel better in my van, which isn’t as skinny as the Explorer’s. And I like the sliding door better, too. I get better mileage in my van, too.
All that said, driving the Ford was pleasant and fun, and it was a good temporary substitute for my Chrysler. I still prefer my own van and its amenities, but I wouldn’t have been unhappy to have the Explorer for a longer time. The best thing about it was that for a day and a half I got to be just like my friend Susie, who has an Explorer just like this one except for the color!