I just got back from a week long trip to Oahu, Hawaii. I must say, I don't think I have ever had a better consecutive seven days in my entire life; but that is neither here nor there. The point of this review is to basically say I pity people who rents cars in Hawaii that are not convertibles.
A little background about myself, first: I am not a car person, nor do I love fancy cars. My wife and I had never driven a convertible and only thought about it one other time (when we actually rented one in Napa Valley but later decided to downgrade). Needless to say, if we were ever going to drive a convertible, the time to do it would be in Hawaii, for the obvious reasons.
However, when we arrived at the rental car agency in Honolulu we were given a silver Ford Mustang, with a black top. I wasn't really excited for the reasons listed above. I'm more of a practical guy and sitting so close to the ground with so little room for our massive amount of luggage was not exactly thrilling. In fact, it was so unthrilling that we didn't even put the top down until the second full day. After that, though, there was no turning back. After that, the only time we put the top up was three times: once when it started raining hard, and twice when we were on our way to dinner and my wife didn't want to mess up her hair (although in my opinion having a slop of hair would have been worth every second with the top down).
One of my favorite books of all time is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig. In the opening chapters of the book the narrator, Phaedrus, talks about his trip on a motorcycle across Montana and the feeling of being a part of the environment instead of viewing the environment through a car windshield (or even a motorcycle windshield for that matter). He goes into great detail and gives a wonderful explanation about the experience of traveling that way; and that is exactly how I felt in a convertible with the top down. Driving around the H1 and H2 highways, through the mountains, by the beaches was an amazing experience with the cliche wind blowing through my hair and smelling all the fragrances and, simply put, living the dream. Additionally, driving through Waikiki Beach at night, with all the lights, made me feel like a high roller. Heck, I was a high roller! My hair was always a mess after driving for forty minutes, but I felt like it was a badge of honor. Everywhere I went it was obvious who had the best time driving around.
There is only two minor flaws with the convertible, especially in a tropical climate: the inability to put sunscreen on the top of my head due to my hair; and, having to always be applying sunscreen to my face and arms. I could tell the top of my head was burnt, even if I couldn't see it in the mirror. I could feel it. My Dad tells the story about working on the farm growing up and his family doctor constantly telling him that he needed to wear a hat while farming in the beating Midwest sun or else he would damage the top of his head. My Dad then says he disregarded the advice due to the fact that he was "young and invincible," and then he went prematurely bald. I felt a similar feeling driving around with the top down with my head burning; however, I think the difference was that instead of feeling invincible like my Dad on the farm, I actually was invincible in that convertible.
If this review and the associated pictures haven't convinced you to spring for a convertible while visiting Hawaii then you are a lost cause and I pity you. Just imagine experiencing the beauty that is Hawaii including the sights, smells, sounds, and the general environment without being enclosed in a tight space. It was the most freeing and exhilarating experience of my life.
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Thanks for viewing my profile! I am a college administrator that currently works in housing a private university. The main purpose of my job (other than providing a safe and comfortable living environment … more