Budget Rent-a-Car...kooks all of 'em!
So the wife and I and our 4 month old baby were feeling adventurous and headed down to the Virgin Islands for a week. I haven't ridden a decent wave in "who-the-f#$k knows" how long, and so I was reasonably stoked to see that the lakey shores of USVI might actually get some surf during our visit.
I picked a beater board and packed it. The plan was to bring it, then leave it to some grom or whatever at the end of the week to avoid the airline fee on our return trip. Anyhow, they charged $150 bucks, which is the most I've ever paid BY A LOT! Normally I used to flirt with the ladies at the check-in table and sweet talk my way to a discount.
Married life is different. That is no longer an acceptable method, so I sucked it up and gave her my credit card. We board the plane, go to Miami, sit around for 4 hours, change some diapers, yada yada yada, and finally find ourselves in St. Thomas two hours later than expected. We are a 30 minute drive from the hotel, and the front desk had informed us they will be closing up shop in 40 minutes. We dash to the rental car desk, ready to claim our SUV w/roof rack. Again, I used to rent the Geo Metro, but parenting life is much different. We needed the space.
So. The geniuses at Budget lost (or ignored) our reservation, and so we got a Ford Focus with no roof rack. Little guy is screaming, my wife is pleading with me to hurry the crap up, and I am standing there with my board bag wondering what the hell to do. With literal tears forming in my eyes, I put the board bag behind a bush, wave goodbye, and get in the car and realize it's no surf for me. The next day we drive up to Cinnamon Bay on St. John and see perfect f#$@ing left's grinding across the reef, and I am torn between feeling excited and wanting to swim back to the other island so I can murder the idiots at Budget Car Rental. But, it's also our one-year anniversary, so I have to suck it up and smile...which is not terribly difficult, especially when you have an awesome wife and rad little boy, but part of me was soooooo damn depressed. I went to Panama in May 2011, and that is the last time I surfed a head-high wave.
Anyhow, I shared this story because...
1. Hopefully it's at least a little bit funny. Feel free to laugh at my sh!tty deal, it's totally cool with me.
2. I guess I'm also hoping some other dad's here have some hopeful advice or encouragement.