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.
Results 1 to 10 of 31
Mar 18, 2013, 05:11 PM #1
Budget Rent-a-Car...kooks all of 'em!
Last edited by live aloha; Mar 18, 2013 at 05:13 PM. Reason: CAPT Grammar-Pants.
Mar 18, 2013, 05:16 PM #2
any option of leaving the kid with the grandparents?
was it a long board? If not, there are numerous ways to get reasonable sized (6'2"-6'4") boards in a car:
1. lay front passenger seat down
2. back seats flip forward, half in the trunk half in back seat
3. nose on the dash and the board goes straight down the middle of vehicle
4. tied to roof with leash and other cordage, hand out the window holding as extra precaution
5. across back seat, nose out the window
Some of these assume wife would be alright with possibly sitting in the back.
Remove board from bag fold bag up and smush it with luggage to make room for the stick!
If it's a funboard then that's the problem, you need a thruster! I would have left a funboard in the bushes BEFORE I left for the trip. lol.
Never expect things to work out as you planned. Don't rely on anyone to do what they say they will. The world is full of people who will bend over backwards to help you out, but it's more full of idiots who don't give a rats ass.
Whatever you are doing, you live and die by the six P's - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance
Always always always bring your own straps. A rolled up towel or two and some long straps and that board goes on top of the Focus just fine, roof racks or no.
Mar 18, 2013, 06:01 PM #5
Mar 18, 2013, 06:08 PM #6
Oh, I have straps...or "had", rather. It was most certainly not poor planning. I've done many a surf trip in my day. Unfortunately the rackless strappage don't work too well when you only have ~5 minutes to play with, risking leaving your little guy without shelter for the night.
To the pumpmaster, nah, bringing little amigo was the primary purpose of the trip. The consolation prize was definitely getting him in the water for the first time, which made the whole thing worthwhile after all! I can't wait to find a log and get him into some ankle slappers this summer.
Mar 18, 2013, 06:09 PM #7
Mar 18, 2013, 06:26 PM #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
bring your own soft racks, or improvised system with tie downs and a towl even.
Never leave home without them
Mar 18, 2013, 06:37 PM #9
Shoulda, woulda, coulda, everyone is going to have the answer! LOL Sorry about your mishap!! And sorry mother nature had to rub it in your face, she's a *****!
Mar 18, 2013, 06:50 PM #10
Welcome to fatherhood. It will be the first of many sacrifices you will make for the little guy but it will all be worth it when you push him into his first wave. They don't rent boards down there?