Who Needs a Mini Van?

Written by: JILLIAN MORRIS

 

When my husband and I purchased our place in Bimini, we had no idea if the dilapidated green golf cart outside the house was even ours. It had four flat tires, giant rust patches, and looked as though a lot of hard miles had left it far beyond repair. A storage unit full of random items peaked our curiosity, so we asked the property manager if the Green Goblin (my affectionate pet name for the cart) was in fact ours. We were handed a very tiny key and told, “Good luck.”

Upon further inspection, we discovered more rust and six absolutely lifeless batteries. Disappointed, our feeble optimism faded over the course of a year. We walked by the cart every day, though didn’t have the heart to have her towed away. One day, after a long sweaty walk to get groceries, we got a wild hair and decided to ask around and see if anyone had any intel on our chariot. One of the maintenance guys immediately breathed some hope into the situation, explaining that the cart was good and that it just needed new batteries and some air in the tires. It had been sitting untouched for two years, but with a little TLC, she would ride again. We were less than optimistic, but the prospect of having a golf cart was enough motivation for us to take action.

Luscacruise

Six batteries, a new solenoid, a tire repair kit, and gallons of sweat later, the Green Goblin started! We were both beaming from ear to ear as we took our first cruise on our sweet, not-so-new ride. A little more tweaking and a little more sweat, and she was able to go on the main roads. She was not fast, but she worked! We cruised just because we could and thoroughly enjoyed giving others a lift, just because we could. Never in my life did I expect to be so excited about owning a golf cart, but there I was, smiling away and loving the ever-so-slight breeze on my face.

The headlights didn’t work ( and currently are only sometimes working), so we just took a flashlight with us for evening adventures. One day, as we were riding way too fast over a very bumpy road ( the shocks are long since shot, so your teeth chatter in your head), both headlights wriggled themselves lose and onto the ground. One survived, but the other one was crushed under the weight of the left side tires. We collected the “good” light and stood in silence staring at the shards of glass and plastic on the dirt road before both bursting into a fit of laughter.

We have since put another six new batteries, two new headlights, and two somewhat new tires on the Green Goblin, one of which has a blue rim. She has duct tape on the windshield (which has fallen off a few times), and a sagging roof… but she still runs! It is surprising how many people and how much gear you can actually get on a golf cart. The Green Goblin is our island-style mini van. We have put two paddleboards (hence the sagging roof), eight full scuba tanks, at least six people, and varying combinations of people and luggage on her without any major issues. Sure, it takes us a lot longer to get anywhere with a full load, but the point is, we get there.

golfcartgear

Our dog absolutely loves golf cart rides, and I always find myself smiling and becoming just as happy as she is to be riding around on a beautiful tropical island. She is not content to ride on the back seat – she has to be either perched with her front paws on top of the seat, sitting right between us, or with her front paws precariously placed on the dashboard. The latter of the three poses is how we have managed to lose the windshield a few times. It always cracks me up to see the passing faces of people as we are out cruising around with our hood ornament of a dog. If the wind blows just right, her ears stick straight up, which makes me laugh out loud every time.

No, the Green Goblin is definitely not a Mercedes Benz, but she is ours, and we think she is beautiful. Even if I could have a fancy car, I wouldn’t trade in our golf cart or this life! No traffic jams, no road rage, no waiting at long lights, just island time and island cruising.

Golf cart crusing

What’s your version of an island-style “mini van” on your rock? Do you roll in a vehicle that you likely wouldn’t be riding in elsewhere?

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Jillian Morris

About Jillian Morris

Jillian found herself on the “Island in the Stream” a decade before it would actually become home. While the white sand beaches of Bimini are stunning, it is the underwater world that was too intoxicating for her and her husband to resist. As a marine biologist turned photographer/videographer, the Bahamas, arguably the Shark Diving capital of the world, was an obvious choice for habitation. It also supports her, possibly unhealthy, obsession with sharks.

While Bimini is only 50 miles from Florida, it has not been overrun with development or lost too much of its charm. Jillian does not miss the noise or traffic of life in the States; she does, however, constantly crave Thai food, micro-brewed beer, and Whole Foods. If she and her husband are not swimming with sharks, you will find her swearing at the computer because of the slow internet, cruising around on the golf cart with her 75-pound pit bull riding as a hood ornament, or adding to her already out of control sea glass collection.

Jillian and her husband also run a shark education non-profit called Sharks4Kids (www.sharks4kids.com), teaching kids around the world about the importance of these misunderstood animals. You can learn more about this and Jillian’s other shark adventures on her blog, The Adventures of Shark Girl: www.shark-girl.blogspot.com/.

CURRENT ROCK OF RESIDENCE: South Bimini

ISLAND GIRL SINCE: 2012

ORIGINALLY HAILS FROM: Sebec Village, Maine

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5 thoughts on “Who Needs a Mini Van?

  1. LOVE IT. It really ties into the sort of “lowered expectations” of island life. Jalopies and torn, dirty clothes that would never cut it in the real world are just another part of the island chic. Not to mention the constant sweatiness. Did I say “sweat”? I meant, “glow,” of course.

    Also, super cool what you guys are doing with sharks! Fun and education AND danger, what’s not to love?

  2. Pingback: September 2015 - Good Reads - Foolproof Living

  3. Great post! I love Bimini. The first time I visited, I came in by sailboat from Florida. I can still remember yelling…”what is the depth?!” because I was worried about running aground, but then laughing when I found out it was 30 ft and I could see the bottom. The water there is so amazing and shockingly blue, and so completely different from FL water.

    I now live in Harbour Island and my island trans is a Honda Ruckus scooter and a Diahatsu micro van. I certainly would not be driving that van anywhere else in the world, it’s rusty and the doors don’t lock and I hose it out to clean it. But it’s my perfect island vehicle and I would feel silly driving anything fancier!

    Hope you fared well with Joaquin!! Windy and swelly here, but no damage, thank goodness.

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