The Free Ride Day

When you get an offer to drive a brand new car that is a hybrid for a day, you just can’t pass it up. So with one click of the mouse and one phone call we had a brand new hybrid Toyota Avalon for a day.

Before we headed out to St. Louis, we stopped to get a hair cut. We are in no hurry. Our day stretched before us with no one to meet and no place to beat any specified time. We stopped back by the house to pick up an auxiliary cord from my car so we can use my phone to listen to Pandora on the 3.5 hour drive to St. Louis.

I suggested that we stop in St. James (2 hours away) to have lunch at a restaurant we both like. This should put us there shortly after 11 o’clock. (I was already starving.) The bonus was, we had a gift card to this restaurant.

We were on the road less than twenty minutes when neon pink signs appeared along the sides of the highway. Incident ahead. Great! Traffic came to a stop. We rolled on. We stopped. We moved slightly and so on until we came to the incident. A tractor-trailer had tipped over and they were unloading it into another trailer. I felt sorry for that driver, but now we were moving again. It was about a 20-30 minute delay. (My stomach grumbled at the delay, so I fed it a peppermint lifesaver.)

It was past noon when we get to the restaurant for lunch. I already knew what I wanted because I read the menu on my phone. (My stomach demanded “Feed me!” The waitress offered bread, I eagerly accepted.) Reuben sandwich with homemade chips for me. Blackened chicken sandwich with salad for my husband. My Reuben was a disappointment, the bread was toasted not grilled, however the corn beef was tasty and tender. Loved the fresh chips! My husband had no complaints. The gift card totally covered the bill and we were on our way again.

The sun was shining in on me and my seat warmer was on high, so I savored that warmth spreading through my body. I wanted this trip so I would have time to finish reading The False Prince. When I had started it on Sunday, I thought I might abandon the book. However, Jennifer left a comment on my post that made me determined to continue on.

We arrived in St. Louis and headed straight for the REI store. We each wandered around in the sections that interested us. I ended up with a bike skort with capri leggings. My husband found a pair pants where you can zip off the bottom half and have shorts. These pants will work great for traveling when you have to have knees covered but it is hot and you don’t want to wear long pants all day.

Our goal for the day was achieved. We could not think of another thing we wanted to do, so we headed for home. It was a nice diversion. We had been home too many days, trapped by weather. We each got something at the REI store. I finished my book. My husband loved driving the car. (No, we are not getting one.) I did not have to cook lunch or dinner for a day. We were home by 7:30 so I could read slices and make comments. All things considered, it was a good day.

On Sunday I told my son about our adventure. His response was a pause of dead air on the phone, followed by, “That sounds like something retired people would do. Kinda boring.”

I laughed and told him it doesn’t take much to entertain us.

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26 thoughts on “The Free Ride Day

  1. Terje says:

    I loved your response to your son. You are the only one who can decide how exiting or boring your day is. From your post I can clearly see that you enjoyed your day. So next time you get a similar offer to use a car, go for it.

  2. Your day sounds perfect …love the idea of reading with the seat warmer going…sounds great…no way does this sound boring! Relaxing…yes! boring, no!

  3. Tam says:

    You couldn’t have asked for a better day when you had no restraints, free food, and a new car for a day. Life is good. Oh, yeah, good recommendations for the car?

  4. phillip says:

    Sorry, but I AM RETIRED and it sounded a little troubling to me that you COUDN’T THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE TO DO!!! Ok, I know Springfield is a great place, BUT, you really could not think of ANYTHING else to do????? Yah, I agree with your son.

  5. Loved your son’s comment! It sounds like something a typical son of retired parents would say. But I would have to disagree; it sounded like a really great day overall filled with things that you wanted to do. When you’re bored, you’re brain isn’t working and it sure seemed like you kept yourself busy!

  6. It sounds like a lovely day! (I’m glad my comment encouraged you to finish the False Prince, and even more glad you did enjoy it after all!) I laughed out loud at your son’s comment… too funny! (I think my husband and I are “old souls”, because that sounded like a perfectly fun day to me!)

  7. b says:

    This does sound like a nice day…one that totally remedies the feeling of “being homet too many days”. Good description! This winter has been like that, right? And, no, I don’t think this little excursion sounds like retirement fun. I’d gladly take it and I’m thirty years shy. Thanks, too, for letting us know you’re not getting a new car!

  8. Kristen says:

    I think it sounds like a great day, especially being able to relax (not drive) in the passenger seat reading.

  9. Glad you could enjoy a day with a free ride, good food bought with a gift certificate, shopping at REI and finding something special to buy, finishing a book and still getting back in time to read slices and make comments. Sounds like a fantastic day to me (even though you got stuck in traffic). I was really waiting for you to say that you bought the car! Hubby must need to do a little more research?

  10. A great day was had, inspire of the early traffic. You both found deals, enjoyed each others company , and you were able to finish a book. So- success!! I love the way you ended with your son’s I don’t get it response. Kids!

  11. I’m not retired and I don’t consider myself old (yet) and I think it sounds like a great way to spend the day! It isn’t something that my family can do at the drop of a hat…can you imagine the “are we there yet’s” and the “I have to go potty’s” that would be coming from my four little munchkins in the backseat? I’ll pass, but if grandma were to keep the kids for the day…I’d be on the road to somewhere for something and the free car just sweetens the deal! Wait…this sounds like a day date for Hubby and I!

  12. I was waiting for this follow up report. It sounds like a great way to spend the day, a relaxing adventure passed pleasantly in a new car. Hummmm…well I am old(er) though not retired. Boring, didn’t he listen to the part about being stuck in traffic.?!? Ha!

  13. Do you remember the crazy things you thought about older people when you were young? A day when you could abandon other plans and take a spur-of-the-moment drive, stopping where and when you want, no timeline BORING? Sounds like it was a quite heavenly day to me! Thanks for writing about it, I was watching for this follow-up.

  14. Taking road trips is a good thing, Elsie, never boring, plus the way you described it made me wish I was in the back seat. But then we would have visited & you wouldn’t have finished the book. Sounds like a very good day!

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