Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Summer Vacation -OR- 2 X 2 Dirty Words, Plus Three More

Summer has brought with it many more things than usual to occupy my attention and rob me of free time to write for this blog. Paradoxically, one of those things was my family vacation, which consisted of a road trip to my home town of Thunder Bay to relax out at Camp (non-northern Ontario types can replace Camp with Cottage if that helps).

Camp was terrific, with fantastic weather, starry nights, fires, fishing... the works! Getting there and coming back was some work, but even the long hours on the highway were pretty enjoyable. At least nothing strapped to the van fell off...

I managed to carry 4 bikes on a rack designed for 3...

The evenings were the best of all. Fires on the beach are my and Mrs. Rantwick's favourite thing. The picture below was taken after 10 pm, believe it or not. Thunder Bay is at the Western edge of the Eastern Time Zone, which stretches the days a little.

The day after we arrived we went into town to see my Mom and get some stuff. It was at this point that something bad happened:

See that foot in the reflection on the door? That's Mrs. Rantwick's foot. You will never see any more of her than that, because I fear that if my online visitors saw her, they would be as drawn to her as I am and that simply would never do. She's mine! Go find your own perfect woman!

I put this dent in the rear door of the van by backing hard into a cement light standard in an empty parking lot. I wish I had some excuse about being startled or distracted by Mrs. Rantwick or even being angry with the kids, but they weren't in the vehicle. I am a good driver, I swear, but I haven't got a single way to rationalize what I did. That fact is shocking to me, since rationalizing the bad or stupid things I do has always been a real talent of mine. There was such an absence of obstacles or dangers around me that I failed to notice the only possible thing I could hit. I felt like the biggest idiot ever.

Now, here are the first two dirty words:

AAAAGH! Ah well, accidents happen, right? That's where the second 2 dirty words come in:

It's not that Mrs. Rantwick and I are too cheap to spring for insurance or thought it was an OK risk to take. We discussed it before renting and we both remembered checking with our insurance guy years ago to see if our comprehensive insurance covered us on some other rental occasion, and it did. What our aging brains neglected to recall was that you had to call the insurance company and explicitly transfer said comprehensive insurance before taking the trip.

When we called our insurance company, we were reminded of this fact and told we were out of luck. The credit card we used did not offer any recourse either and that is where the last three dirty words I became familiar with came up:

OOP indeed. I am not going to disclose the cost of the repair, but said pocket is still reeling. My Mother always warned us kids that parking lots were among the most dangerous places anywhere, although she was referring to lots with cars in them... in any case,

Always Heed Your Mother.



Kokorozashi said...

OMG! Sorry to hear about the rental-van-and-insurance fiasco!

I hope the rest of the trip was awesome! (Also, I lived in Syracuse, NY for a while -- we called them 'camps' there, too, which confused me at first. I'm glad you made the camp/cottage comparison, for the uninitiated.)

The shot of the sunset is beautiful! We get similarly-long summer days here in Louisville, for the same reason.

cafiend said...

Oh no! My condolences to you and your pocket.

Motor vehicles are sensory deprivation tanks. They block the occupants' perception of their surroundings even with all those misleading windows giving you the mistaken impression that you see all that goes on around you.

Good thing the bikes weren't on there!

RANTWICK said...

Koko - Nice to know others speak Camp.

cafiend - Yeah, that unruly pile of bikes would have made for a spectactular smash up.

Keri said...

As one who declined insurance on a moving truck and then stupidly drove it into a low overhang at the end of a long day (and beginning of a move across country)... I feel your pain.

I love the sunset photo!

Marrock said...

You should have done what I did the last time I had a crappy rental car...

I dumped it in a parking lot several towns away, locked the keys in the trunk, and claimed it was stolen.

I never heard from them again and they knew how to contact me.

Doohickie said...

Ooh, that sucks. Next time just do what I did: 28 hours each way in an aging Ford Taurus with 130,000 miles (that's about 200,000 km to you Canucks) on the odometer. The only issue was the warped rotors.... wiggle-wiggle-wiggle with every application of the brake. Made it home safe and sound yesterday.


RANTWICK said...

Keri - thank you. really.

Marrock - I am way too stright laced for that, although it sounds tempting in hindsight...

Doohickie - You are H A R D C O R E , man! Glad the old girl made it the whole way, and welcome home.

Doohickie said...

Follow-up... this past Wednesday, less than a week after the trip ended, my wife got a flat due to a tire valve failure. I'm so glad that didn't happen when we had a trunk full of stuff on some road in Alabama!

Doohickie said...

Oh... I also wanted to say that I just read "How's My Driving? -- Comments and Responses". I have to say again that I love Canada-- even as the guy continually calls you a moron, he also politely says, "Thanks for the forum to vent..."

You should invite him out for a beer and blog about the result.

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