Monday, August 30, 2010

Hot Wheels!

Three weeks after graduating from college in 1998, DH and I got married. He was already employed, but it took me 4 months to find a job. Less than a month after I started working, my car died. We had no choice but to run out that weekend and get a car. We couldn't afford to buy at the time, so we leased a gold 1999 Toyota Camry (in November of 1998; weren't we special! LOL). Seven months later, in June of 1999, DH's car died. Once again, we had to go out that very weekend and get something. We wanted to buy this time instead of leasing a second vehicle, but we needed something cheap. There was this new car brand on the market, so we decided to try it. No frills, not even power windows or locks (though it did have a CD player vs my Camry's tape deck), but for the price, we really couldn't do better. We drove off the lot with a white 1999 Kia Sephia. Out of college and married less than a year, and we were already driving two brand new cars! Our friends were stunned. (BTW, those same friends were again stunned when they visited our new house in June 2010 and saw those SAME two "brand new cars" sitting in the carport 12 years later. They simply could not believe we still had them! LOL) By the end of 1999, we were totally in love with my Camry, and we were already threatening to get rid of the Kia and replace it with another Camry!

It may have taken 11 years, but we finally did it. The Kia is so old and poorly made, they don't even produce them any more. It has been driven to and from downtown Atlanta most every work day for over 11 years and was getting crankier and crankier by the day. It's had a hard life, including having a window broken out by a thief and being side swiped in the parking deck. We can't really complain, though. The dealer said that 12 years was about 7 years longer than the average for a 1999 Kia Sephia, and it did get us to and from where we needed to be most of the time, even if it was a loud rough ride. But it was time for a change. Check out our new hot wheels:

Introducing our brand new silver 2011 Toyota Camry! Okay, so maybe not "hot." In fact, it is pretty much the world's most boring car in the world's most popular color. (Hey, what do you expect from two engineers with a 5-year-old?) But it's brand new and we like it! It barely fits in the carport, but that's okay. It is smooth and quiet, and it has tons more leg room (than the Kia or my 1999 Camry) in the back for Luke. No more feet in my back on long trips! (Well, at least for a while, until he grows some more.) Since my Camry is still running quite well for her age with a fresh oil change, tire rotation, and new battery, we kept it and sent the Kia packing. We didn't want to be in the position again to have to run out and buy a car because one died (and with two 1999 cars, the odds of catastrophic failure were rising daily). We wanted time to shop and decide what we wanted, but there was no great hurry either. Then we saw that the same Toyota dealer where we bought my 1999 Camry was running a great deal, several thousand less than anyone else around. We simply could not pass it up. (The finance guy also went on and on that in the 10 years he had been financing cars, he has never seen a married couple with identical credit scores.)

Important Aside: I have to brag on Luke for a minute. He got up at 6:15 AM Saturday morning (by choice! oy). We left around 9:30 and headed to the Mall of Georgia (30-40 minutes away), where we test drove some different cars before and after lunch. Once we decided on another Camry for sure, we came home, since no one up there could/would match the deal we'd already found. We got home around 3:30, where Luke rested while watching one episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, had a snack, and played a bit while DH and I crunched numbers and decided to proceed with purchase. By 4:30, we were heading back out, this time to Stone Mountain (20 miles away, different direction than the morning) to make the deal before the special pricing expired on September 1. We did not leave the dealership until 8:30 PM!! No, not even for dinner! I have absolutely no idea what took so long, and it didn't really seem to take that long at the time. (I honestly can't tell you the last time we were out after dark in the summer when we weren't traveling.) And we still had to eat. We didn't tuck Luke in bed until about 10 PM. In all that time, over 12 hours after starting this wild journey, he behaved near perfectly! The only time he even bordered on a meltdown was when we told him we had to leave the house again at 4:30. We dragged him all over this city, and he was a complete angel the entire time. I'm sure the car dealership employees have seen some incredibly badly behaved children in their time, and they all commented on how incredibly well behaved he was. He does have his moments! Here he is nearly asleep in the back seat of the new car, finally on the way home after a *very* long day.

The new Camry is to be DH's car. I've had "the good car" for a long time, and it's his turn. After all, he *does* commute every day, whereas I go days without driving anywhere since all I have to do anymore is walk Luke to the bus stop. We will also use the new Camry on trips due to the extra leg room, the smoother and quieter ride, and to try to make my older Camry last a bit longer. She's put in 160,000 miles already; she's earned a bit of retirement. But don't worry about me, we're already eyeing our next car purchase. Just give us a little time.

BTW, we decided to keep the new car a secret to surprise our families over Labor Day weekend, which meant that I couldn't mention it on my blog, the board, Twitter, or Facebook. I didn't even tell my brother! (Now that is saying something! LOL) I wrote this post the night we bought the car, Sunday, August 29, and I didn't publish it until Sunday, September 5. Sitting on this news for over a week has been torture!

Currently feeling: cruisin'

No comments:

Post a Comment

My apologies for not allowing comments from Anonymous users. I was getting way too much spam. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!