Wacky Wednesday

Wacky Wednesday

Guess what I did on Wednesday.

Go ahead.

Try and guess.

I’ll just tell you.

You’ll never guess.

Friend Lou and I flew to Florida to buy a hybrid minivan for our family.

Wouldn’t have guessed that, would you?

Buds and I had been planning/discussing a new van for many months. Chrysler came out with a hybrid, which appealed to me, and their tech. package appealed to Buds.

As the negotiator in the relationship, I talked to a local dealer to attempt a deal. We got to a moderately good deal, on a van that was black.

Throughout this process, Buds had been scouting out other options in the elusive “copper pearl” color that we liked much better. When a superb deal with our local dealer did not materialize, Buds pointed me toward a dealer outside Tampa that had one of the copper colors that would be more interesting for the many years we plan to own this vehicle.

After many discussions and emails and hilarious conversations that I wish I had recorded:

(“Okay, Ginnie, this is not a negotiation. I’m just going to tell you what I can do for you.”

“That deal doesn’t work for me. Thanks for trying.”

“Okay, Ginnie, I was trying to make a little profit, which I see isn’t going to work, so let’s see what else we can do.”)

we reached a deal with that dealer that felt fair.

I’m sure they still made a healthy margin of profit off us, but we’ll have a family story and an orange van, and I got a road trip out of the whole thing.

I called up Friend Lou to see if she wanted to have an adventure, and being awesome she was game.

We were up at 3:30. Buds dropped us at the airport by 4:45, ready for our 6:10 a.m. flight direct to Tampa.

Ready to fly.
Rod and I have similar morning hairstyles.
Flying over Percy Priest Lake on our way out of town.
Someone at home also noticed the gorgeous sunrise.
Lou pointed out our kitchen tile in the airport in Tampa.

Rob, the retired Ohio State Trooper turned dealer driver, met us at the airport for the 45 minute drive to the dealership outside of town.

We met with Joseph to learn all the buttons and pretty, pretty lights on the new van. Buds even got in on the introduction for awhile via video call.

Plugged in and shined up.

It’s a keyless world.

Except for the Honda Fit which still needs a key, thanks to our electronic door locks on the house and the keyless driving on the new van, I just realized I don’t even need to carry “keys” any more. All I need is the key fob somewhere on my person.

I suppose I could have it surgically implanted.

What a world.

The one wrinkle in the plan was when Joseph went to give my check for the van to the finance person and came back to tell me, “We have a problem.”

Note to all humans: That is never, ever, ever the correct way to begin a conversation.

The issue was with Buds not being there to sign for the van when his name was also on the credit information. With the information the way it was, either we were both there, or I would need to buy the van with just my credit.

Sooo, I’m now the proud owner of a new minivan.

Buds may already be tired of my jokes about this, but I’m not.

I loved having Lou along so that we could roll our eyes at each other when Joseph told me we had a problem. You expect to have a problem when buying a new car.

The dealership was fine though. We dealt with all white men. They were respectful and friendly. The finance man with whom I signed all the final paperwork did make harrumphing sounds when I stopped his spiel about the extra coverages we could purchase.

“There are a lot of electronics on a hybrid,” he informed me.

Thanks for the tip.

We spent about an hour listening and learning about the minivan. I’ve forgotten much of what was said, but we did come away with an appreciation of the array of technology, and I knew how to make a phone call while still safely steering the car and not taking my eyes off the road.

If I hadn’t had Lou along, I would have needed that feature much more often, but thanks to her company the hours flew by.

Tutored and ready to go.

L was the perfect companion. I drove the whole way, but she and I drive in a very similar fashion, so if she would have needed to drive I would have been comfortable with that.

We have similar perspectives on the world and politics and humans, though we did find a few things to disagree about, just for variety.

Lou’s favorite burger joint from Kansas also appeared in Florida.
Freddie the Founder of the burger joint.

The kids laughed when I told them where we had eaten lunch. Our family stumbled across a Freddie’s a couple weeks ago on our Virginia excursion, and though the food was fine, we found the family pictures and Freddie adoration scattered throughout the restaurant, including the restroom, a little spooky.

I didn’t remember it was a Freddie’s where we had eaten until Lou and I walked in and I saw all the family photos on the walls.

Starbucks stop.

Lou was teasing Buds about getting to push all the buttons on the new tech. before he got to. She even had me take this picture of the dashboard screen to show him all our fingerprints all over it.

He cringed when I showed him.

The hours flew by as we chatted, listened to Christmas music, solved the world’s problems, and laughed. I loved getting to hear stories of Lou’s life, and I was definitely much more awake for the many hours of the drive than I would have been without her.

First gas stop somewhere in Georgia.
The gas tank has no cover, just a flip top. It looks like an eyeball to me.
Panera for dinner.
McDonald’s has clean restrooms.

The picture above is also a reminder of the one accident we saw on the journey. We were coming down through the mountains somewhere in Georgia. Google maps showed our way to be clear, but we suddenly came upon stopped traffic. As we drove past in the right lane, we saw the battered truck and car up against the rail on the left side of the road. The drivers were walking around, so we had high hopes that everyone escaped with only hurt vehicles.

It was a good wake up call reminder to us.

We stopped shortly after that at the McDonald’s, and saw three or four local police cars, which headed out right after we arrived.

That last half hour of the drive always feels so long. We know the airport is so close to home, but we still have to get across town.

Both Lou and her husband offered to use their travel miles to cover the cost of a hotel if we needed to stop, but I never had any doubts that we’d make it home.

I dropped Lou off slightly after midnight. We left the dealership around 12:15 Florida time, so about a 13 hour trip.

Mom, Monkey, and Yessa were waiting up for me. Buds had left me a loving message when he headed to bed. Buster had zonked out much earlier in his regular routine.

So now we have a hybrid minivan. It drives like a dream. The seats are super comfortable, heated seats, space for the longer legs in the family, and the color is easy to spot in a parking lot.


There’s a DVD player in back, which will be a novelty for us.

The battery should allow me to drive the children to school without using hardly any gas. Buds drove it to work downtown today and still had 60% battery power left when he got to work.

The power cord has its own carry case.

It’s like “The 5” has a mother.

I wasn’t sure about “letting” Buds drive it to work today, but I realized I have to let it out of my sight sometime.

Another new adventure. We like those.