We just returned from a fly-drive trip to Missouri. With just 10 days for spring break, a big desire to see our new granddaughter, and our daughter about to undergo some serious medical treatment, flying seemed prudent. For the first time ever, upon arriving at the car rental agency in St Louis, we upgraded our car choice. Normally we go with a "standard" sedan. This time, we chose a Chevy Traverse, which is listed as a "crossover/SUV" --- larger than the average mini-van, smaller than a Yukon or a Suburban. For our purposes this trip, it was perfect. The vehicle appeared to get 18-20 city and combined driving, 22+ mpg highway. We needed its space for the luggage, and later for hauling around one very sweet baby girl and her stuff!
This was never intended to be a "road trip". However, when one puts 900 miles on a rental in 10 days, we did spend some time on the road in it. We stayed with my husband's sister and her family in Columbia, MO, traveling down to Jefferson City (40 miles one way) 6 of the 10 days, and traveling over to Mexico, MO some of those days too. So we were driving that triangle.
Fuel was running $3.79/gallon when we first arrived there at the end of March. Within three days, it had dropped to $3.69 in Columbia and Kingdom City, though it stuck to $3.79 at Jefferson City. The closer you get to St Louis, though, the prices were in the $3.83 range. This morning I filled the rental for the last time at $3.69/gallon, just outside of STL.
One thing I learned about Enterprise rentals: if you sign up for their cheaper "return the car and we'll fill it for you at this rate" plan, they charge you for a FILL, even if you bring it back only down a few gallons. Or at least, that's what the paperwork said. We signed up for that when we rented the car, thinking that the $3.78 gal price was loads cheaper than the $5+ gal they'll charge you if you don't sign up and bring it back less than full. Well, the guy removed an $80+ charge on the bill when he saw that I brought it back full. Boy, was I glad I thought to fill it, even though it was only down 6 gallons or so. From now on, we'll always bring a car back full if it goes out with a full tank!
I also learned something about airline TSA practices: I brought back some special Missouri BBQ sauce that we love -- a bottle for us, and a bottle for the lady taking care of our cat while we were gone. I put it in my suitcase, wrapped in a grocery bag which was tied. When I opened my suitcase at home, there was a note that they had searched my suitcase. I also noticed that they had untied the bag and not tied it back up. I was thankful that the bottles did not break or my clothes would have been ruined. Next time, I will pack the BBQ sauce in a clear zippered bag. (This special sauce is called Show Me BBQ sauce. We just love it!)
When we return to Missouri in the summer, it will be by road.