My quest to document all the painted cars of Eugene continues. And here’s a fine specimen: a 2004 Hyundai Accent not only pained but adorned with seasonal greenery instead of a rear bumper.
I see some fir and spruce, but can’t quite identify the long tendrils hanging low. I’m not really sure it’s seasonal; there weren’t any lights or ornaments; well, there is that butterfly.
I quite like the front end; a four eyed cat, no less. Those headlight covers are getting mighty opaque.
We had a four door Accent for a rental on our first trip to the Yucatan in 2005. We were impressed how cheap the tickets were. That’s because it was Hurricane season, and sure enough, Hurricane Wilma, the most powerful hurricane ever measured in the Atlantic region, arrived about a week into our two week sojourn working our way down the coast as we were in Punta Alan. Being completely out of touch we had no idea it was even coming. the Canadian proprietors of a lodge there told us to get inland right away, and suggested Bacalar. We found some lodgings and hunkered down for three days while the storm passed to the north and settled in on top of Cancun.
We were supposed to return our car in Cancun and fly home from there. The airport was destroyed. So we just bopped around the interior of the Yucatan peninsula for several days, which was wonderful and very unspoiled yet. We ended up in Merida,which is a delightful colonial city. We had no cell phones. I ran into a guy in a restaurant and he took me to an internet cafe where he used his Skype to call our rental car company and Continental Airlines. The airline said go to the Merida airport right away for their evacuation flights. And the car rental company said there were places in town to drop off the car. So we did and took a taxi to the airport.
As we arrived, we saw thousands of folks camped out in front of the airport. It looked like a refugee camp. Whoa? What’s going on? We were clueless. Turns out they were finally evacuating all the tens of thousands of tourists stuck in Cancun during the hurricane by bus to the Merida airport, and hoping to catch flights out. Some had been there for days already. We worked our way into the completely jammed small airport and found the Continental counter. They said to stay close by, as they expected another Continental evacuation flight within hours.
While we were waiting, we heard tales of misery. Folks that arrived from Europe and Canada on charter flights just the day before Wilma hit. They were taken to shelters, which were basements or school buildings. Little food, no beds. For three to five days. So much for a vacation. We felt guilty, as we had a wonderful time. So far.
A charter plane had been sitting on the tarmac for hours, but couldn’t get an open gate to load up. The pilot finally climbed out the window with an emergency rope ladder, and walked into the airport to tell the dismayed passengers who had been there for two days that he was going to have to take off again, as he could only be allowed so many hours for the total flight. Most of the gates were reserved for the regular airlines. The poor folks were crying. He almost was too. It was heart rendering to watch him take off empty.
I was worried something similar was going to happen to us too. But withing two hours a Continental jet arrived and pulled right up to the Continental gate (Continental was a regular scheduled airline at Merida), we loaded up, and were out of there. Whew! But I felt bad for those folks left behind.
The lesson is: the hotels and flights during hurricane season are cheaper, but there’s a reason.
And our Hyundai Accent was a pretty decent ride for the three of us. But then you know I’m pretty tolerant of cheap little cars.