When The Story is Better Than The Experience


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Some friends and I were discussing our favorite vacations recently.  I was recounting the trip my wife and I took to Hawaii, and how we rented a black Mustang GT convertible for a single day and cruised around the island of Kauai.

I could see the thoughts racing through my friends’ minds.  Visions of a muscle car squealing it tires around tight corners as we raced through the countryside of island paradise with the wind blowing through our hair, and the sun shining down on our backs.  It’s exactly how I envisioned it as well.

Except that’s not at all what happened.

We did spurge and spend extra money to rent not only a sports car, but a convertible sports car.   I honestly don’t remember how much it was, but I remember that it was more than double the cost of getting a compact car.  The goal was to have transportation to travel to the east side of the island where we were going to snorkel, then along the south side of the island for shopping where it’s more heavily populated.  But how often are we in Kauai?  We HAVE to get the convertible, right?  I remember thinking what a great story it would make.

It definitively got us where we wanted to go, but the rest of the vision didn’t go as planned.  It was excruciatingly hot that day, so quite frankly we had the top up and AC on most of the time.   As far as speeding through the countryside in a sports car, there’s something we learned that day about the highway structure of Kauai.  There’s one main road that essentially follows the perimeter of the island, as the middle is mostly trees and an inactive volcano.  The speed limit on this road is painfully slow, something like 35mph.

But I rarely ever tell that part of the story.

The fact of the matter is, even if the weather had been perfect and the roads more agreeable to sports car use, the Mustang Convertible really wouldn’t have added anything to the experience.  The most memorable parts of the day were seeing a whole school of tropical fish while snorkeling in chest deep water, and the amazing seafood restaurant we found to eat at that evening.

But still, I mention how we rented a convertible Mustang GT (gotta remember the GT part) every time.

I have to. After all, it’s a great story, and I paid for it.

Have you ever done something that the idea of it turned out better than the actual experience?  Did you pay extra for it?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I think all experiences have some great stories that were not great experiences. In fact, I have had many “we will laugh about this later” experiences that turned into great stories.

    One time, we were flying to New York for vacation and our flight got delayed in little Minneapolis, Minnesota. We stayed the night there and the airline gave us $40 for meal vouchers between the two of us because we made a fuss when they only gave us $6 (we are used to Canadian prices!). Anyway, we checked into our hotel, and went to the hotel restaurant grumpy, tired, and upset about missing a day of our vacation and realized that we really did only need the $5 vouchers – prices in that city are so low! We ordered SO many things off of the menu and ended up having a buffet style dinner. It sucked at the time but now it’s funny.

  • Not long ago, I bought a sweet used 2006 Suzuki RF-900R motorcycle for $3000. It was the fasted motorcycle I ever owned. It also pretzeled up my body so bad that I could only take it on short rides before my shoulders, back, and legs would really hurt. I ended up selling it on Craigslist for $2000 after only putting 500 miles on it. But it sure was a sweet ride.

  • Hey, guess what Brock, life is about having memorable and fun experiences. If you had more fun in the GT than in a compact car then that is what is important.
    Great story!!!
    Like the way you connected it to the financial aspect.

  • Haha “gotta remember the GT part”. At least you have a nice story to tell 😉 And even if the experience wasn’t as nice as what you thought it would be, it was a memorable one wasn’t it?

  • @Daisy – I actually live close to the Minneapolis area, LOL. Glad to hear you have a great story to tell from your trip to the great state of Minnesota. 🙂

  • @Bryce – That DOES sounds like a sweet ride….too bad it didn’t work out for you. You lost $1000 on the bike….is the story worth the money you lost? Maybe it was!!! 🙂

  • @David – Life is definitely about experiences – but no, I don’t think it was worth the money. I could have rented a compact car and had just a great of a day. But is SOUNDS way more awesome that we were tooling around the island in a Mustang Convertible, right??

  • @poorstudent – The car part didn’t work out so great, but the rest of the day was simply fantastic. What I wouldn’t do for some fresh seafood and sunshine right now….it’s been a HARD winter!

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