Jack found an incredible deal at AAA Travel Agency in Tysons, Virginia; for $517.12; six days, a standard size SUV with no extra charge for mileage or drop off fee. Now I just needed to call Rafa, our contact in San Miguel de Allende, to ask much it would cost to drive us the rest of the way.
A barrage of Spanish bombarded me when his recorded voice answered, completely undermining any tiny glimmer of confidence I had gained from studying Spanish with Duolingo at home on my computer over the past seven months.
“Lo siento, mi español es muy mal,” I stammered back into the phone. This was too important a call to screw it up using my shaky Spanish skills, and I was ready to hang up. Fortunately Rafa picked up the phone and quckly switched to very good English, which he spoke with a charming Mexican accent. Natasha had told him I’d be calling and what I wanted.
“It will be $1200.00, U.S.” he said. That’s a lot more than the week’s car rental will cost, but it’s a ten hour drive from San Miguel to Laredo, plus he’ll have stay overnight in a hotel before driving us back with him the next morning. Besides, Jack had checked with a limo service in Texas who said it would be $2200.00 for the same service. Hands down we’d go with Rafa.
“There’s a La Quinta hotel in Laredo,” he said. “They take dogs and is not too expensive. I meet you at 7:00 in the morning, then we drive. You bring your passport, but you don’t need many things. Is easy. Oh, and Natasha said you maybe are looking for a house to rent? San Miguel is small place. I live there all my life. Twenty people in my family. I will ask around for you.”
“Thank you, Rafa. You don’t know how much better I feel after talking to you, knowing you’ll drive us.”
“Is easy. Don’t worry. Be happy. We will be in touch.”