“Would you like to upgrade to a convertible?” she asked. “It will only cost you this much more for the duration of your stay.”
She held up the piece of paper, which had the number “150” written on it. After driving a cramped, underpowered subcompact on Oahu, the temptation was irresistible.
I called my wife, who was waiting outside with the luggage. I begged her to let me upgrade, since I had never driven a convertible in my life, and where better to drive one than Hawaii?
“No,” she told me, quite firmly. Crestfallen, I turned to the clerk and relayed the disappointing news.
“Would you do it for this?” she asked. The sales clerk had no doubt witnessed this exact scenario hundreds of times. During the call, she had crossed out the “150” and written “75” on the piece of paper.
“Yes!” I blurted. We concluded the paperwork and I went outside for the reckoning with my wife. I asked her to follow me and we dragged our luggage through the parking lot to the car, which turned out to be a fire-engine red Mustang. After a brief exchange of unpleasant language, my wife agreed that it seemed like I had gotten a pretty good deal, although the license plate was a bit over the top.
Kauai is arguably the most scenic of the Hawaiian islands. It’s the oldest, and therefore the most eroded. It is thick with rainforest on the windward side, and Wai’ale’ale crater is one of the wettest spots on the planet, receiving about 460 inches of rain each year. The mountains are spectacular.