Nothing Says You're Traveling Too Much Like A Lincoln Navigator

I've been traveling a lot lately. Tuesday I traveled 10 hours from North Carolina, through Chicago, to see this out our window as we were landing in California.


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This was taken from my iPhone. Objects in an iPhone picture are closer than they appear. There were audible gasps from people on the plane and one woman shrieked. The planes keep getting closer as we came in for a landing.  A little scary, but we lived...

One of the things about business travel is the more you do it the more "perks" they give you.  And perks usually means bigger; more leg room, a higher floor in the hotel, extra coffee in your cup. These things are better and you are expected to want them because you deserve them... Or something.

Having survived a synchronized landing with the other plane I made my way to the Hertz car rental place and walked straight down to the cars.  As a "Gold Member" one of the perks is I don't have to talk to anyone at Hertz; I just walk out to my car and drive away.

As I'm making my way to my car I notice several big bright green signs. $15 off if I get a hybrid car.  In the back of my travel weary head I'm thinking, "Boy that would be kind of cool, I'd like to try out a hybrid car! I always request a small car, maybe I'll get one of those."

Not so much. Hertz rewarded me with the most ridiculous single personal transport vehicle since the IT (South Park).


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Don't be fooled by the fact that I got the entire thing in frame. That thing that looks like a bush next to it is actually a small tree.


When you open the front door a motor whirls and a step slides out from under the car.  The first time I got in I didn't notice the step and had to jump to get in the car. Once you get used to the step it's kind of like using a stirrup to mount a horse. It has a radio with more buttons than the control room for the Apollo missions, seating for 7 and something like 37 cup holders.

I drove 30 minutes from the airport to the hotel and used 1/8 a tank of gas. The next 1/8 of a tank disappeared as I drove to the outskirts of the hotel's parking lot because the hotel is surrounded by compact car only parking.

I grabbed my bags (one gym bag and a computer backpack) and hiked back past all the compact car parking to the hotel check-in desk.  The nice lady at the front desk explained that because I was such a good customer I had been upgraded to a suite.  Merde...

At this point I had been awake for something like 22 hours and  "Upgrade" meant that I could not take the elevator up to a room and simply pass out. Because I was such a valued guest I had to hike back to my shunned upgrade of a car, and navigate around the hotel complex to the suites.

"Are you serious?" I asked. She smiled as if giving me a great gift and said "Absolutely! There's even an assigned parking spot for you there! Enjoy your stay!"

As I backed out of my spot at the outskirts of the hotel parking lot I discovered that there was a rear view camera in the mirror of my car.



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Even in my exhausted state this was pretty impressive. If Joseph Hazelwood had one of these, maybe he wouldn't have crashed.

After a little hunting I found my assigned parking spot. A covered spot that would have fit my Civic nicely. As I pulled into it I was introduced to another brilliant feature of the Lincoln Navigator.



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I can only assume they sell airplane hangers with each purchase of a Navigator because there was no way to park my upgraded car in my upgraded parking space without being audibly assaulted by proximity alarms.


The next morning I enjoyed a nice view from the balcony of my upgraded suite.  It was pretty for a minute, then I headed out the door to 15 hours of meetings.



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And so it was that I had been perked and upgraded.  I'm home now and much the happier for it.