Hyundai Elantra, my latest Hertz Rental Car – HaliPawz

As my summer with mom draws to a close, it was time for me to head back to Kansas City, Missouri from Port Huron, Michigan. I rented a car from Hertz like I normally do. I wasn’t as happy this time about the rental price, but that is another story. I had picked the group “Toyota Corolla or similar” and ended up with a 2015 Hyundai Elantra.  I have some question about the Elantra and the Corolla being in the same class, but Hertz, like any rental car, is never specific enough to give you an true answer and it wasn’t so far off that I feel like complaining again to them.

Rental Car 2015 Hyundai Elantra

Rental Car 2015 Hyundai Elantra

Let’s talk about this car for a minute. The first thing I want to acknowledge is that it is a nice looking car. I’m really more of an SUV/truck person in general, but I do appreciate a decent looking car at a good value. The car has a nice sleek look to it. When I got in to drive away, I was impressed with the amount of legroom when you put the seat all the way back. I’m 5 foot 10, so plenty of legroom, especially for a long drive, is very important.  I still don’t like how low it is to the ground, like I mentioned in a previous rental review, but again, I’m used to being higher up in my mini suv.

Headed to my moms to pick up my luggage I didn’t have a real chance to check the vehicle out, as it is a straight shot on a normal road. The brakes were crazy intense though! I barely tapped them and the car jolted to a stop!

When I start loading the luggage, I was impressed with the amount of trunk space there was. I am not the neatest packer, especially on car road trips. As long as everything can shove in the trunk I am happy! Because of this, I appreciate ample trunk space. I fit my suitcase, a duffle bag, a baby gate (for the dogs), a 30 pound bag of dog food, two tie outs, the dog’s travel bag, my laptop bag, a pair of shoes, some miscellaneous small bags,  and a big Sam’s Club thermal tote with some food in it.

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Hyundai Elantra Trunk filled with stuff

Since it’s a rental, I covered all of the seats in sheets and blankets.  Filled the dogs water cooler and put it in the back, on the floor.  Loaded the dogs up and we were on our way.

Bella asleep in the backseat of the Hyundai Elantra Rental Car

Bella asleep in the backseat of the Hyundai Elantra Rental Car

The backseat must not be too bad, because Bella was not as restless as she was on the trip six weeks ago in the rental car. She only wanted her head out the window for about two minutes and then settled in on the seat and fell asleep. Zipper crashed in his normal place on the floor of the backseat.

When I first hit the expressway, I was a little concerned as the car seemed to want to sway back-and-forth quite a bit. There wasn’t a lot of wind, so I wasn’t really sure what caused it. All I knew was it was going to be a long drive if it continued. After a while, I began to think maybe it was me, because it seemed to get better as we drove along. There is an interesting feature I found on the car, you can choose what mode you want to drive it. The options are normal, Sport, and Comfort. I’m not going to lie, I played with it a few different times on the road, and I honestly couldn’t see that much of a difference. The steering wheel might be a little tighter in sport mode but it was very minimal.

I have to drive from Port Huron, Michigan to Kansas City, Missouri pretty down pat. I usually know where I’m going to have to stop, I know when I’m a third of the way, I know when I’m half way, especially when I’m doing the drive overnight. As I was crossing Michigan, I was on the phone and realized that I had already been on the road about four hours and the gas tank was still at half a tank. I couldn’t believe it!  I made it all the way from My mom’s house, to Kanake, Illinois before I had to stop!  It wasn’t because I needed gas, it’s because my bladder gave out before the gas did. It only took 10 gallons to fill it back up and we were back on the road. I noticed I still had 447 miles to go until I reached my home, and the car was saying I had 417 miles to empty. Had I waited another half an hour, I would’ve only needed to fill the vehicle up once for a 12 hour drive! That is pretty impressive. In looking at the gauges I averaged about 36.8 to 38.4 miles per gallon.  Not too bad.

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Hyundai Elantra Gauge showing 36.8 mpg

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Notice the angle of the edges on the driver’s seat of this Hyundai Elantra

As I have mentioned before, I am not a small woman. The seats were not the most comfortable in my opinion. The edges kind of dug into my outer thighs a little bit so I found myself shifting a lot. Perhaps if I had a vehicle with power seats, it might have been a  little better because I could have raised them up a little, but I doubt it. I found myself sliding down in the seat quite often and then having to shift myself back up. It’s just not comfortable when you’re wearing a pair shorts! Another complaint I had which I have often in cars, is the position of the center armrest and the side armrest; there is no comfortable way for me to rest my arm on it while I’m driving. They were both way too low. I found myself bringing my left leg up and resting my arm on it while I kept my hand on the steering wheel.

For some reason I don’t seem to like the cruise control on this vehicle. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I was constantly tapping my break and shutting it off and then driving with my foot on the gas again. I hit a little bit of rain at one point in the drive, and the vehicle handled it pretty well. I had control of the vehicle at all times.

***A little safety tip… Never ever ever use your cruise control when it is sprinkling, raining, snowing, icy, etc.!  It is not safe.***

Okay, back to the review!

The headlights were weird. I know that sounds strange, but I had difficulty figuring out if my lights were on or not!  I drove at least an hour and a half to two hours with just my parking lights on until it got dark enough for me to realize I didn’t have my actual headlights on. What threw me off was it looked like they came on automatically because the dashboard lit up a little differently when I got dusk but it didn’t look like any lights were on the outside so then I flipped the switch and saw a slight change on my dash and what I thought were lights on the car but then, like I said, it was only my parking lights!  Oops! Oh well I eventually figured it out.

The mirrors on the side are very nice, they are a good size, and the driver side has a little mirror insert in the upper left hand corner so you can see the road from two different perspectives.

The gauge lighting is nice, you have a clear indication of your fuel, you can toggle between your trip Miles, your miles per gallon, how many miles to empty, what your average rate of speed is, and how long you have been on this trip. It was easy to reset each one of them when I  started my trip. As I am a huge fan of the color blue, I was happy to see that most of the lights on the dash were a nice navy blue tone. Accented with white or a lighter shade of blue depending on which one you were looking at.

The steering wheel has a nice assortment of gauges on it including your cruise control your emotions to go between the different styles of driving, your trip information and you can quickly reset it from your steering well. I was surprised to not see any radio controls on the steering wheel, not sure if that is an option that can be added on different models or not.  The one thing I found weird though was that the controls were all on one side, so when you’re driving at night, it just didn’t look symmetrical.  If you have a case of OCD, I’m sure it would annoy you a little!

It has a sunglass holder up near the roof along with nice lights that are easily accessible and easy to turn on for the interior, I know they’re easy to turn on because Bella‘s big head turned them on more than once when she decided to walk around a little bit and try to move to the front seat!  I said try, because she wasn’t successful, but she did hit the light!

You have a 12 V plug along with a USB plug and in auxiliary plug all at your fingertips. The USB plug is a very nice touch. There is a small area to the right of the plug to put a few things. I put my Bolle` sunglass case in it though and it pretty much filled up the area, so it isn’t very big. The center armrest also opens up for additional storage, but I don’t like to put things in there for a rental car because I don’t want to forget them.  There is another 12v plug just off to the right so a passenger could also plug something in.  I forgot to look to see if any were in the back seat or not.

Front Area of Hyundai Elantra Rental Car from Hertz

Front Area of Hyundai Elantra Rental Car from Hertz

All in all, even with being uncomfortable seats, for a rental car on a long trip I would definitely choose it again if given the option because I loved the gas mileage and how little I spent on gas for the trip. I just need to either lose weight, or make sure I’m wearing jeans the next time! LOL

Both Zipper and Bella were able to fit their head out of the same window when we were closer to home!

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Bella and Zipper sticking their head out of the rental car Hyundai Elantra

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Bella and Zipper happy to be home after 15 hours in a car. You can see the water cooler on the floor behind them.

Would I purchase the car?  No, it would be too uncomfortable for me long term, but for one or two people (or skinny people) renting a car, it might be a good choice.

I hope this review helps you! Share your comments and thoughts if you have this car or have driven one?

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz

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Dogs, Couch, Sleep…Bad Combination

I know all the reasons I should not fall asleep on the couch. Common sense tells me to just take my butt to bed but it isn’t that easy. You have to understand, sleepy brain has been shown to be as dangerous as drunk brain when it comes to driving, so I have to believe it impairs the thought process in general. I have never been drunk, so I have nothing to compare it to….so to make me feel better about my silly decisions in this post, I am sticking to this theory!

I feel I need to include a little backstory. Tuesday was spent working all day. Literally all day. My creative juices were flowing so I was on my laptop practically all day. I started a new project about 11:30pm Tuesday night and finally closed the laptop at 4:30am Wed morning. I went to sleep around 5am and was back up around 8am. 3 hours is enough for me to function but then I’m tired the next night. I felt it was important to explain HOW tired (it helps with my sleep brain theory)! I fell asleep, sitting in the chair, watching TV. I woke up to a Great Dane trying to get in the chair with me. You see, that’s a key point! I didn’t wake up on my own, I was FORCED to wake up. Startled even. Ok, startled may be a stretch. I guess Titan decided I had been away from him too long and wanted to be closer. Titan, a one year old Great Dane, is very needy affectionate.

Sitting in a chair with a Great Dane that cannot seem to get comfortable is not easy, even when I’m awake, but downright annoying when I’m tired. I stand up with the intent to go upstairs to go to bed. I shut off the lights (the REAL reason I’m always receiving “you use more electricity than your neighbors” letters. I’m about to head upstairs when my sleepy brain kicks in.

First, I would have to put the gates up because Titan and Bella are both counter surfers. You can understand….those SUPER HEAVY gates I use that are so cumbersome to put in place. There are so many of them. Sleepy brain kicks in and reminds me if I just crash on the couch I’m standing next to, I wouldn’t have to mess with the gates. They don’t counter surf when I’m downstairs with them. Sleepy brain…you have a valid point. Now, I’m not that easy. Sleepy brain doesn’t win that easy! I argued a little. The gates aren’t heavy at all, there are only two, and I walk right by one as I head upstairs.

The stairs. The dreaded stairs. Sleepy brain reminds me I have 30 stairs to climb to get upstairs and I have to dodge flying missiles on my way up. Reality, I have 13 stairs. The flying missiles are the three dogs fighting each other to be the first up the stairs. The first one in the bedroom gets the prime spot they want on the bed. At least, that’s what I think goes through their mind in the race upstairs. Sleepy brain tells me I am too tired to fight them and won’t have the strength in my voice to just tell them to wait as I walk up. Sleep brain is pretty convincing. Just as I am about to win the debate in my head, Sleep Brain reminds me I left a few things on my bed earlier in the day. That is the winning argument. I don’t have the energy to clean them off and with three dogs vying for a spot, not moving them is not an option. Sleepy brain does a little victory dance as I lay down on the couch.

My couch was comfortable pre Titan. It had thick cushions along the back that you can just sink into. After coming home multiple times to those cushions laying on my deck, thanks to an over active Great Dane puppy who has an affinity for taking thinks out my dog door, I removed all the cushions. Without the cushions, it’s just a hard back surface. Of course, it’s also a lot wider without the cushions.

As I’m laying down, trying to get comfortable, I’m also keeping two piranhas dogs at bay. They are both eager to jump up on the couch with me. I get settled with my blanket over me. Within 5 seconds I have Titan climbing over me to lay down by my feet and Zipper, my Jack Russell, jumping up to lay up by my chest. Zipper has dog aggressions from time to time and still hasn’t fully accepted Titan in the house. I’m always on alert when those two are near each other because Zipper can get aggressive when he’s laying with me. He’s fine if Titan is asleep first but if he’s up near me first, he doesn’t always let Titan up. Yes, the 18lb dog rules the house.

I keep the ottoman near the couch so Bella, my Neapolitan Mastiff, can also be close. She is such a good girl. She’s happy to just chill on the ottoman, away from all the dog drama. She isn’t very cuddly at night. I think her Mastiff side kicks in and she’s on guard duty. The irony is, when she DOES want to cuddle, she just pushes the other two out of the way and claims her spot.

You would think this is where my story ends, but it isn’t. It is really where it begins! You see, I’m sound asleep, oblivious to the devious mind at work, until I am forced awake by a cold, very wet, nose. Ugh! Titan had just gotten a drink and felt I needed to be awake with him. Lucky me. I close my eyes to go back to sleep. Titan begins pacing. I’m so tired I don’t think a lot about it. I tell him to lay down and start dozing. I feel a heavy head plop on my arm. I start to doze again. Titan wakes me up again.

What is his problem?

I slightly shift and realize his dilemma. He had climbed off the couch and the evil one (Zipper) had moved down to where Titan had vacated. Zipper NEVER lays at my feet unless it’s to torment Titan. Titan knows he is the underdog in this house. He doesn’t dare try to move Zipper. I chuckle to myself, remind him he shouldn’t have moved, adjust my pillow, move to my side, and proceed to try to go back to sleep.

After hearing Titan pace a little more (he REALLY wanted on the couch) I finally fall back to sleep. Knowing this standoff was happening, I couldn’t go to a deep sleep because I was worried Titan would push his luck and Zipper would try to attack him. I love Zipper dearly. His Jekyll and Hyde personality is something I have come to accept, even though it drives me crazy.

Next thing I know, Titan is climbing over me and stretches himself alongside me. I’m proud of him for figuring out a solution. The issue is, I am NOT a small woman. Titan is 130 pound dog. I honestly don’t know how this is comfortable for him. To add humor to all this, Zipper immediately leaves his post by my feet to crawl up and lay along my arm. Now that his tormenting Titan is over, he wants back up closer to me. The problem is, now his head and Titan’s head are right by each other. Titan moves A LOT. I could see it happening. Titan moves, wakes Zipper up, and Zip attacks him. So much for me going back to sleep. I notice they are actually touching. Zipper lives by his own set of rules. You can’t touch him, but he can touch you.

Luckily, they both seemed to have a mutual understanding and I finally fell back asleep for about 45 minutes. Even now, as I type this up, I am using the mobile app so they are comfortable. There has been numerous shifts on their part but they are happy because they get to be near me.

In the end, that’s what we are here for isn’t it? Their happiness? I am pretty sure they believe it is.

I really need to sleep in my bed tonight!

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A little post note…as I was finishing typing this up, getting ready to get up and log on to the laptop to clean it up and correct any spelling, I thought it would be funny to share that Bella decided it was her turn to lay with me so she pushed the other two away. Once she was up, it was clear Titan wasn’t happy. He’s trying to hard to find out how he can get some love as well!

Have a great day everyone!

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Trash cans need to come with instructions

Now I would like to think of myself as an intelligent person. I did pretty well in school. Test at an above average IQ. I tested above average on all my proficiency tests. I’m not saying all this to brag. I’m Saying this to let others know that even intelligent people can really be off their game sometimes. I would like to think that what happened to me has happened to others, because you know, misery loves company!

I have a dog that loves to get into the trash. Actually the dog I had before him love to as well. Perhaps it is a terrier thing. Anyway, I invested in one of those stainless steel tubular trash cans with the foot pedal. It helped for the most part.

Here’s where my intelligence level will come into question. Do you know the square piece of wire metal at the back of the trashcan? The one that can flip up or lay flat against the trashcan? I have seen it many times. Sometimes I use it to lift the trashcan if I’m trying to move it out of my way but never gave it a lot of thought. I always just assumed it was a strange handle. In all these years, I never realized is serves a real purpose.

I have two of those styles of trash cans, a tall one in my kitchen, a small one in my bathroom. Jake my rat terrier, had learned how to step on the footpedal and raise it up to still get the garbage out of it. He was such a smart dog! Clearly smarter than me. Jake passed away in 2008 and Zipper, my Jack Russell terrier, is not as good at stepping on the footpedal. Unfortunately, he is very good at using his nose to push the lid up on the kitchen one and quickly grabbing garbage off the top before the lid closes again. So many times I would come home to an absolute mess in my kitchen. My solution? Turn the garbage can around in both the kitchen and the bathroom. It solved the problem but is a major inconvenience sometimes.

Then I added a tall Neapolitan Mastiff to my family. She likes to counter surf so over time, the new solution is to block off the kitchen with a baby gate when I am not home. Problem solved, except that the kitchen garbage was turned back around to normal positioning and I would forget to block off the kitchen when I went upstairs. The Mastiff only counter surfs when I am gone, but Zipper would go after the garbage if something smelled good to him at anytime.

All these years, never knowing a solution was already attached to the trash can.

It has a locking mechanism!!! If you flip that little wire handle over to the top of the can, you can not raise the lid! How did I not know this? Where are the instructions?!?!?! The funny thing is, as I have talked to others, I’m learning that I am not the only one that did not know this. As I said….misery loves company so when I have a “duh” moment, I’m appreciative knowing others are just like me! 🙂

Trashcan For Blog

 

It’s really that simple!

My visit to K-9 Closet in Waldo, MO

I realize that many of us are guilty of not exploring the area closest to our home. I have been making an effort to change that. I have driven down Wornall in Waldo many times and noticed a business titled K-9 Closet. Whenever I see it, I think, I need to check that place out….but I never do; until today.

I parked in the back (plenty of parking and easy to access) and walked around to the entrance. The location is small, but tastefully laid out with some nice items. I was greeted immediately. I was going to just look around, but as I saw cute Halloween costumes right up at the front, I decided to inquire about how large the costumes went up to. I was told X-large, which didn’t work for me, so figured I would just look around. I started to chalk the store up to another froo froo dog place that caters to the small dog owner. The associate, seeing that I didn’t seem satisfied, inquired as to what I was looking for. After explaining that I was looking for a boy/girl costume that the girl one would be big enough for Bella, my Neapolitan Mastiff, and the boy costume small enough for my Jack Russell Terrier. She took more information from me, including Bella’s measurements, said she would talk to the owner and one of them would get back with me. She went on to explain that the owner was also the designer of all of their collars along the wall and the photographer of all the photos hanging all over as decorations.

Let’s talk about the collars first. There was a multitude of colors, designs, and thicknesses. In addition to that, there was three styles as far as getting the best fit and control of your dog. In addition, I was told that I could request any color/design fabric I saw made into any of the styles they offered. I LOVED the fact that they had thick collars in really cute, “girly” colors. When you have a large dog, that is a big deal because so often, the larger dogs have to settle for a mean look, i.e. Skull and crossbones, spikes, etc or dark “boy” colors. Sometimes a basic pink, but nothing as cute as these collars. I didn’t see a lot of leashes but the associate told me they could also make those to match the collar. (I am regretting not getting her name. If I go back in there and she is working, I will update this post)

The collars are reasonably priced for the styles and colors. A little more expensive then your average collar, but they can be customized, made locally, and appear to be great quality; all traits that warrant spending a little more. I found a couple fabrics I liked but told the associate I’d like to bring Bella in to see the color against her fur before I had the collar made for her. She was very enthusiastic about that and said they love when the dogs come to visit them. I am hesitant because the store is so small and Bella is so big, but I will take her in to look at collars and then maybe take Zipper in at a different time. I won’t do it at the same time, that would be too much for that little store!

I continued looking around and the associate chatted with me some more about their products and shared personal experiences with some of the product. She had a big dog as well. They had some adorable toys, reasonably priced. Not the huge mark up you see in most small businesses. I spied these cute lips and long tongue dog toys that I couldn’t stop going back to. I eventually ended up buying them!

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I looked at their clothing line (I’m a sucker for a cute dog coat or sweater). Zipper has so many but Bella only has one that fits her. They had an adorable pink/black thick winter coat but it only went up to an x-large. Too small for Bella but I would have bought it if it had been available. It was one of the cutest girl dog coats I had seen.

The store also has a wide variety of treats, the typical manufactured ones and some adorable home made ones. They had birthday cakes, cookies, rice crispy treats, just to name a few.

Going back to the photos I mentioned earlier….looking around, I was impressed by all of them. Being a hobby photographer, I appreciate photos that catch my attention. What I noticed the most was how happy and lively the dogs appeared to be in the photos. The photographer caught the spirit of each one. They were bright and cheerful scattered tastefully around the store. One thought I had was….I wonder if she could find a way to capture all three of my babies (Luke, my horse, is my third) in one photo? Hmmm, I may have to ask if she expands beyond dogs! The owner and/or her merchandisers did a great job showcasing the variety of things they offer while maximizing their minimal space without giving it a cluttered feel.

As I was walking up to the counter to pay for the two toys, I spied the food that Bella eats out of the corner of my eye. I asked the associate how much it was and we walked back to the food area. It was comparable to what I was currently spending and asked about the type of food Zipper eats (they eat two different kinds). Imagine my surprise that they actually carried it! Up until today, I only knew of one pet store that offered it in town. The price was about the same. (In fairness, I believe one food was about $1.00 higher and the other was about $1.00 less than where I currently purchase it). I am so happy to know I have another choice to purchase it so depending on what area of town I am, I can pick up dog food. That is a big deal when the hours are limited and locations may not be right near where I am shopping. I also appreciated that she genuinely seemed to care that one price seemed higher and said she would pass it on to the owner.

I was finishing my shopping and went to pay for my new dog toys. The associate gave me a goodie bag with four fairly large dog treats to take home to my babies. I was pleasantly surprised as they weren’t the typical small boring samples stores give out.

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I thanked her. As I was leaving she thanked me and reminded me that I would hear back from them regarding the costumes.

I went out to my vehicle and found them on Facebook, liked their page, and tweeted about them.

I will definitely be back. I’m happy I took the time to stop in and visit this cute Waldo business.

Link to K-9 Closet