Monday - 05.14.01
We had calculated that we needed to get out of town by 11am in order to make it back to Vegas in time for our flight. We had to repack all of our bags as they had managed to become quite a disarray over the last week. We also had to clean out the rental car, as somehow it had also become quite a mess…
After completing the tasks, we climbed in the car and headed back into Nevada. Our drive North through the Nevada desert was uneventful. We saw more Joshua trees and vast expanses of nothing. Eventually we made it back to the Boulder City area (close to Hoover Dam), and got back onto the Interstate. That’s when we had a little mishap; we followed two semis loaded full of rocks going up the onramp to the Interstate. As we sped up to pass one of the trucks, a rock flew from its trailer and struck our windshield leaving a decent sized crack in it. Ooops. We weren’t exactly sure what to do about it except worry, neither one of us had ever ‘damaged’ a rental before. Of course we had declined all the insurance options that the agency offered. We had thought that if anything happened, we were covered by Kurt’s AAA, car insurance, or the credit card we rented it with. However, once we started thinking about the situation, we determined that we would probably have to pay the $500 deductible. We worried about what would happen when we turned the car in.
We arrived in Las Vegas about 3 hours before our flight (which left at 4:15pm), so we found a mall (the Galleria at Sunset Mall) to kill a little time. We didn’t find too much that interested us, and we left about an hour after arriving.
We headed toward the airport, stopping for gas along the way. We finally found the rental return office and pulled the car in where the attendant directed us. He gave us a receipt for our expenses and told us to have a nice day. He didn’t even look over the car – what a relief! Now we just hoped that we didn’t get a call or an e-mail in the next week or so. We hopped on the shuttle bus and rode to the terminal. When Kurt and I checked in at Southwest’s ticket counter, we discovered that we had a direct flight to Kansas City! We had thought we’d have to go through Salt Lake again. There was at least 45 minutes before we could check in at the gate counter to get our boarding assignments and since we were slightly hungry by this time, we found a Tex-Mex restaurant and had a few snacks.
We arrived at our gate in time to be about the 4th or 5th people in line and therefore got very good assignment numbers. Kurt and I then decided to obtain a little reading material to occupy us on the plane, so we headed to a news shop and purchased a couple of magazines apiece. The flight itself was uneventful; we got a small package of snacks – cheese and crackers, summer sausage, granola bars and a few other things. Before we knew it, we were back in Kansas City. The first thing we noticed as we were walking off the plane onto the jet way was the humidity!!! Wow – we didn’t notice exactly how much we had missed it…
Once again, all our baggage made it back and all that was left to do was catch the bus to the Parking Spot parking lot. The car was just as we had left it 10 days earlier in the parking lot. We paid our steep $66 and headed toward Kurt’s parent’s house. When we got there, we had a couple of drinks and filled his parents in on the highlights of our trip. We then got back into the car and headed towards Manhattan, trying not to think about work the next day. We got back to town about 1am, feeling partly glad to be home, partly sad that vacation was over, and partly stunned that we had to go to work the next day. In all, we still felt incredibly invincible after hiking the Grand Canyon.