Monday, October 25, 2010

Wheel Experience Abroad

I highly recommend renting a car when you travel abroad. Not only do you get to see the country-side from non-guided excursions, you have the adventure of following their roads and…their rules. Traversing down narrow lanes, navigating through a heard of mountain goats, gliding the open spaces, and bending along the sharp cliff-edged turns.

On my second visit to Greece, Jaclyn and I decided we would do just that: rent a car and tour the Peloponnese for a week before skipping off to the ever popular islands. I would wheel the cities relying on her navigation and she the country-side. Trusting a travel agent I had used before, our hotels and car were booked. Great prices and great itinerary; we really couldn’t complain. Anxious to get there and start our adventure, days moved at a snail’s pace.

The day we finally arrived in Athens I was astounded by my memory and walked us straight through the Plaka to the travel agent. The ancient city stayed true. Nothing changed. Why should it? 1000s of years or 7? What’s the difference there?

Sitting there, excited to get our vouchers and itinerary we were all a glow…until: “Did you say the car is a standard?” Blanched faces, fluttering tummies, eyes as big and white as the moon.  “We don’t know how to drive a standard!”

Images of trying to learn how to drive a standard in downtown Athens raced through our minds. “What do you mean we’ll be ok? Isn’t the Peloponnese mountainous?!”

We spent our first night pleading with God for an automatic.

Answered prayers the next day, the last automatic in the entire city became available at the last minute. Not car girls, that Matrix was a well hugged car!

Beaming we drove off. Praising our blessings. That car took us wherever we steered it. We learned fast is good and stop is just a suggestion.

Days later our dear Matrix had a flat. Stereotypical girls, we couldn’t figure out the jack. So Jaclyn ran back to the hotel where we suspected we would find help. I can imagine the scene even now: A 6’2”, slender woman with chocolate hair and eyes, and a brilliant smile running into the hotel lobby past the dining men on the patio. She’s wearing short shorts and a tank top and has tourist written all over her. Who could resist her cry for help?

Shortly after I see her running back with not one, not two, but five (YES FIVE) members of a local soccer team to change the tire of one wheel. Cheers to Jaclyn.

We like to tell ourselves it was their National team. Giggle.

Thanks boys!

This memory was inspired by Theme Thursday's: Wheel. Oh and they had trouble with the jack as well. ;)


  1. haha. fun story...and nice quip in your postscript...

  2. That is a great story! The photo of the not one, not two but five cute boys really made the story complete! Good stuff!! :)

  3. I love the comment - "Nothing changed. Why should it? 1000s of years or 7?" It is refreshing sometimes when life stands still - it draws us back and it feels right. Nice story - keeps one's interest. I also like the "boys" (tee hee) in the picture.


  4. Sometimes the best stories come from life and not fiction. We thought they were pretty cute too. Giggle.

  5. That is a great story. Gotta love the local soccer team guys!

    Fun Theme Thursday write. Glad I stopped by.