Solution: just rent the damn car

Does Daniel have any idea how much extra work it is to travel with him? Good thing we all love him so much, eh?

After spending an entire evening calculating the total cost of checking an extra piece of luggage (80 buckaroos one way), or renting a portable crib ($100 plus delivery fee), or shipping a portable crib via UPS overnight (you don't even want to know how much that costs), plus the added cost of shuttle service for four people, not to mention the royal pain in the tuckus it would be to install a large, cumbersome toddler safety seat into a large van while all the other passengers are waiting...I just decided to rent a car. When you add up all of those other expenses, renting a car was just a little bit more money and significantly less hassle. In other words, worth it. Plus, this way my mom and brother will have an easy way to get around if they need a change of scenery; I imagine the beach can only entertain the Danimal for so long. At least parking is free on the Pepperdine campus.

Andre, Thorny, and Animal, thanks for your suggestions, by the way, but this just seemed the best option. Checking an extra piece or renting a crib adds enough to the cost that it didn't seem worth it, and there's no way I'll have time to find a Target to buy a crib. I pretty much have to hit the ground running and get into rehearsals the minute I get onto campus.

Even the car rental took a few tries, though. The cheapest option I found is three miles away from the airport, necessitating a shuttle ride to pick up the car, the irony of which did not escape me...though I didn't realize all this until I had made a reservation, which I immediately canceled. Orbitz, normally a great website for finding the best rates for airfare and rentals and so on, was also no help because they couldn't guarantee availability for "special equipment" (i.e. car seats), which is ridiculous. You either need a car seat or you don't; there's nothing optional about it. I tried another rental company that appeared to have pretty good rates, but their website simply didn't work, no matter what browser I tried. Another place wanted to charge twelve bucks a day for a car seat with no cap, adding a good $250 to the rental fee just for a safety seat; no thank you. I eventually found a place with decent rates and made a reservation and it's all good.

But let me tell you, they better have that seat installed when I pick up the car or I'll give them WHAT FOR.

I'm getting kind of heady with excitement about this trip. The enormity of it all is just starting to sink in: I'll be spending two weeks studying one of my favorite genres - song accompanying - with two of the world's best experts in the field; three prominent American composers will be there (James Primosch, Jake Heggie, Ricky Ian Gordon); I get to premiere a piece by John Harbison; I get to meet a whole pile of singers; I'm going to a beautiful place I've never been before (Malibu!). I get to do all this with my little boy, my mom, and my brother. (I bet someday, when Daniel is a teenager, he'll complain that I took him to Malibu when he was too little to remember.)

I don't know what kind of internet access I'll have in California. It's not as though I'm going someplace rustic, but I won't have space in my luggage for a laptop (somehow, clothes and diapers take priority), and I won't have much extra time to sit around and blog. I'll try and check in at least once, though, and rest assured I'll tell you all about it when I get back. I return home on June 26, so if you don't hear from me until then, don't despair!



Thorny said…
Hey, don't mind that my suggestions didn't work - glad you found an option that did!!

Have a fabulous time, all of you, and I can't wait to hear about it when you get back!
Animal said…
Be well! Rock on!
Ooohhh! Congrats, good luck, and have fun!!!!!!!!!!1

I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!

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