Big shout-out after awesome rental car experience

I’m not a big fan of rental cars — I actually prefer public transportation where possible, but many times a car is the only sane option. Especially if you need to get somewhere late at night.

Here’s how I shop: I never use the big names — which is to say Hertz and Avis. Reason is, even with the coupons I get with my frequent-flyer airline credit card, the price is always through the roof. Not worth the miles.

When I was booking my trip to the urban farm in Miami, I went with a new company, Sixt. They’re a German outfit I’d seen all over Europe — and they’re partnered with lots of airlines —  so I thought I’d see what the deal was. And the deal looked pretty good, actually.

The price was among the lowest of the low. And the reviews were fairly good. I signed up for my usual economy car, expecting the usual box on wheels with no flair. Hey, it wasn’t like I had a job interview with Donald Trump: Who cared?

So there I was, waiting for my ride at the Sixt airport lot in Fort Lauderdale. (For boring reasons you don’t need to know about, I opted for Fort Lauderdale’s airport instead of Miami’s.)

I braced for the usual set of ugly wheels.

Out came a cute little Smart car.

Wow. Never drove one and never had a desire to; always thought they looked like sawed-off front ends of regular-sized cars. They were so tiny, I could never see driving one of them farther than the supermarket, let alone the South Florida Speedway otherwise known as Interstate 95.

I nicely voiced my concerns, aware that the Sixt guys didn’t have all day to deal with my phobias.

Next thing I knew, a foxy, silver Mini Cooper convertible was at my feet.

I just smiled, afraid if I said what I was thinking — That’s an economy car? they’d realize their mistake and it would — poof — turn into a lime-green Chevy Cruze, which is what I thought I was getting in the first place.

So off I blissfully went — after they took more time to help me — a Mini virgin — fiddle with all the controls.

As it turns out, my right side view mirror was adjusted to useless; and even with the air con, the windows kept fogging up, no doubt from the Miami humidity and my heavy breathing.

But I was already on I-95; it was late; and I was more terrified to stop somewhere and fix the mirror than to plow along and hope for the best.

mini me

Mini and Me down on the farm in Miami.

When I returned the car, I was bracing for the usual penalty for not refilling the gas tank. Since I’d used so little, I got a pass. What a nice surprise.

But are you ready for this? There was a food truck in the Sixt lot practically on top of the airport shuttle bus stop.

food truck

I applauded the business chops of whoever had the idea to position a food truck in such a great location. Full of crazed tourists in a rush. How could they resist?

food truck menu

The menu looked surprisingly interesting, too. After cavorting with all the darling pigs and the like on the farm, I should have had the “Mac N Cheese Ball” (at the bottom) on principal.

Instead, I had “The Daily” with chicken (yes, shame!) but did ask them to hold the bacon. I, ahem, don’t think they heard me.

food cart sandwich

It was so good and convenient, since I had a plane to catch  …

sandwich closeup… So gourmet. 

Here’s the kicker. This wasn’t an outside food truck that pushed its way onto the Sixt lot. It was a business hired by Sixt itself to provide free grub and bottled water to customers.

So a big shout-out to Sixt. Whether I just got lucky, or they’re that accommodating everywhere, remains to be seen. I’ll be back to find out!

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