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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Zipcars and Folks

I did the Zipcar thing for the first time yesterday.



We reserved "Ronda", who is a VW Rabbit. There are zipcars in my own neighborhood - on my childhood block, in fact - but the only one available this Sunday was an SUV. Ronda was only a 20 minute bus ride away, so we took that.

Wasn't a 20 minute bus ride - there was a street fair on Coney Island Ave between Ave I and Ditmas so the bus had to detour to Ocean Parkway - but I'd left in plenty of time for my reservation plus being late wouldn't be a problem - it's not as if anyone else could take her. It took me a bit to figure out how to get into the parking garage. I had the sense to print out the confirmation page, so I had the entry code for the garage right there, and that was that.

I met a couple coming up the ramp.

Them: "Zipcar?"
Me: "Yes. Ronda?"
Them: "Yes."

And, indeed, I could hear Ronda cooling off as I walked up to her. Zipcar is funny - you don't use a key to get in. You use your card, tapping it against the windshield in a specific place. There's a chip in the card. It will unlock the car - and only that car, and it's the only way to get in. The key itself is in the car, and should never leave it. That part worked fine, but I had to find the key and then I had to open it. And figure out how to adjust the seat and the mirrors - there was a highly abridged manual in the glove compartment, which helped. What it didn't help was to figure out how to shut off the rear windshield wiper. Also, there was a malfunction light. I was in an underground garage, so I had to drive the car out of the garage to get a phone signal. I eventually (three tries, a wrong number and my husband calling in the middle) spoke to a person, who assured me that the light was not important.

So. Rear windshield going at intervals, I drove off, picked up Jonathan and the gifts for my folks and we were off.

The Folks

It's my folks' first anniversary. Do you know how hard it is to find a card for this? I couldn't find a mom and stepdad card at all, mom and dad cards are all about the past, and first anniversary cards are all about the future. I found a generic one that seemed about the present, so I took it.

I made my mother a lace shawl, and my father-in-law a sweater vest. The next big project will be for me, btw. I have the pattern picked out and the yarn ordered. And I will post the pictures tonight, iy"h. I made them into real presents - gift boxes, tissue paper, and gift wrap. I'm very bad at wrapping presents - one got too little, one got too much - but they looked passable because the paper was pretty.

They loved them. I believe my mom because I made it in her favorite color and it was just the sort of thing she could wear this summer in over-air conditioned spaces - plus she can then make her friends all jealous. :) Lenny - well, he's very sweet. I do believe he'll wear it because it's something Mom said he used - sleeveless sweater vests under light jackets. Can't get him into a coat in the winter. They gave me a crystal cream and sugar set from Ireland, where they went a few weeks ago.

Mom was all set for us to go out to lunch after we had a "light snack" - rolls, cream cheese, salad, kosher deli salads.... We convinced her that this was enough of a lunch, which it was, and we'd be happy staying and chatting until we had to leave so we could return the car.

It was just *nice*. I have to say, having a definite time limit - car had to be back by 5:30PM - made a tremendous difference. I could relax, knowing I would leave before I turned into a whiney 16 year old. We talked about their trip to Ireland and about my nephew and Jonathan's nieces and knitting and looked at pictures, including my wedding album. And at 4PM, we said our goodbyes.

We actually dropped the car off at 5PM, but that was fine. We even lucked out - a bus pulled into the stop next to the garage just as we got out. So we wandered around Eichler's for a while, and then went to dinner, and then home.

Somewhere in there, my nose started to run like a faucet, but as colds go, this seems to be a mild one - I'm already feeling better.

Comments

you don't use a key to get in. You use your card, tapping it against the windshield in a specific place

This is really cool -- I will be telling the kids about it, it's the kind of thing they love to learn.

It really is cool. It's also how you lock the car on the way out, since, if you're leaving the key in the car, you need to lock the car.

Fellow Traveller

Don't worry, you'll get used to the procedure after the first couple of times. Checking in late isn't a problem. Returning the car late, however, subjects you to horrendous surcharges. I was hit with an extra $30 bucks once for getting back to the garage THREE MINUTES past my end time.

Re: Fellow Traveller

That's good to know.

And, you know? "Mom, if we stay late, it'll cost us $50" works wonders when it comes time to leave...