Monday, July 19, 2010

On Vacation





As some of you may have noticed the blog entries haven't exactly been coming as fast and furious as they started. Don't worry, I haven't lost interest. I've been in San Diego for a good friends wedding for the last week, and I have done absolutely zero triathlon training.

The trip started off great! My wife Morgan and I had an 11:30 flight so I got up early and swam outside, at Comstock Park in the 50 meter pool. For those that haven't done it, I'm not sure there is a better way to start out your morning. After I that I headed for home and a quick 45 minutes threshold bike ride. I couldn't have been in a better mood. Off to the airport we headed without much incidence all the way to San Diego.

Stepping off the plane I was instantly relaxed and ready get this vacation started. No checked bags meant we could bypass the luggage fiasco.

We made it to the rental shuttle pick up just in time to see our shuttle driving away empty. I thought it was a little weird so we called the rental place and they said they would call him and have him come back. We sat down and proceeded to watch every other rental company send 4 or 5 shuttles to pick people up without seeing ours. After about 30 minutes of this that the relaxed vacation feeling began to dissipate. We called the company again, and they informed us that they were only running one shuttle at that time and he should be back shortly. We waited another 15 minutes and he finally got there. The door flew open and he motioned to us to get on. Now I don't mind carrying my own bags up the stairs, but I do think he could have at least stood up and acted like he would help my wife. Put this guy together with fact that it took 40 minutes to get a shuttle to the rental place and I should have known things would only get worse. The ride to the rental place was a little crazy with guy talking on his cell phone and driving like a mad man (you would think that a man driving like this wouldn't be able to stretch a 15 minute round trip into 40, but he must have figured out a way).

We got off the shuttle, again without much help and headed into the Payless car rental building. I found it a little odd that there were no other car rental companies around, but what can you do? Morgan walked up to the counter and gave the guy our name. He typed away on the computer for about 30 seconds then looked up at us said "Your reservation was for 10:30 and when you didn't show up we gave your car away."

Okay, that's weird, but surely they will figure something out and give us something comparable or upgrade us. Right? No. That's not what happened. He informed us that he gave our car away, but he did have a full size car he could get us for about $150 more. Luckily my wife is a pretty tough chick and she wasn't having any of it. She told him we would take the full size but were weren't going to pay more. He then got an attitude and started telling us that it wasn't his fault that we made the reservation for 10:30 when our flight didn't get in until 4:30. Now, I've always operated under the assumption that if they gave away you're car they would at least try and work something else out with you to keep you happy. Not this guy! He obsviously hated his job and didn't really want to be there anymore. About this time another guy walks in and the guy that was helping us poked his head out the back door and came back in to inform us that we were in luck. He had just found a compact that we could have for the price that we reserved our midsize for. I'm not a math major but, that just didn't add up.
So, I asked the guy "Your telling me that we're getting a smaller car for the same amount?"

To which he responded "You booked your car on the special internet price, and when you didn't show up for your car, your reservation gets cancelled. Besides this is the same type of car you booked."

"Wait a minute. You just said this was a compact and we booked a midsize" I said

His response "Yea it's a compact midsize. It's basically the same thing"

Me- "Is it basically the same thing or is it the same thing?"
Him- "It's the same thing"

So now this guy was flat out lying to us, but we were stuck in the middle of the ghetto in downtown San Diego with no other option, so I just took the Ford Focus, and headed to our condo still seathing from our encounter.

It didn't take long to realize that this car was a pile of crap. It's bad enough that's it tiny, but it was also beat up, and smelled like smoke, with a giant cigarette hole burned into the drivers seat. The ironic thing was that our rental contract had giant red stamp saying that we weren't allowed to smoke in the car.

I decided I would deal with it the next day and get the vacation started without any residual anger. Things started to turn around as soon as we pulled up to our condo in Ocean Beach. It was awesome! The condo was on a section of sea cliffs with a balcony looking all the way down to the pier on Ocean Beach and out towards open ocean. You could hear waves crashing against the rocks and the sunsets were amazing.

We were staying there with 6 other people, including 4 of my single guy friends who were also in the wedding party. This would prove to be another a challenge. You don't realize how different your life style is from a bachelors until you live with them for a week. I gotta give credit to my wife for holding things together for the week. I don't know too many other women who could handle that life for that long. She has been doing it 10 years, but it seems to get harder and harder as we get older.

Now mentally that lifestyle was hard to deal with, but physically it was impossible. I have been living the somewhat "healthy" triathlon lifestyle for the last year, while they enjoy more of an eat and drink whatever you want life (they aren't always like this , but vacation means milking every ounce you can out of it). Needless to say my body could not handle it. I only made it through 3 days of the burrito for every meal and drink every night life before I started to feel like I had the flu and I might die at any minute. I was throwing up and having some other GI problems. I can't really blame it on them though. I blame my competitive nature. Whether it's riding a bike or staying out all night, I want to be able to hang with the best. The problem is I definitely can't hang! I ended up sleeping for 15 hours one day before I started to come back around.

I was able to make a full recovery before the rehersal dinner and wedding. I had an awesome time at the wedding! Actually I probably had a little too much fun at the wedding as you can see from the chip and dales pictures. But, I should be honest.... That's pretty much what I do at every wedding reception I attend. You put me in suspenders and a bow tie and your asking for trouble. I can't help myself. :)

So now it's time to get back to the Ironman training. I never thought I'd be so relieved to be starting back into 5 hour bikes rides, but my body likes that a lot better than the burrito diet.


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