It has been a long time coming....trading in the green bullet for a newer car. My heart was set on finding a beautiful, used, brown (the color of dirt!) SUV/crossover that I would be able to pack full of equipment and odds and ends. For part one of the journey, check out The Green Bullet Farewell Tour. Here's the rest of the story.
I know a guy who knows cars. His name is Jerry and he worked all sorts of sorcery on the green bullet that kept it running over the last couple of years. Jerry is also gifted in finding cars. I knew when I was ready to go looking for a new one, he would be my best bet.
Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago went something like this:
Jerry stood in the hallway by the children's wing as I walked up to him.
"is it time?" he asked. I nodded, "It's time."
The next day he texted me a picture of a Rav4 his toyota place had in stock. With Blue exterior, 47k in mileage, it seemed a likely candidate. I took (dragged) my friend Nathan that afternoon to look at it. I hesitantly poked and prodded and drove the car around, trying to take in the two toned interior that was equal parts dark grey and beige...awful! When we got back from the test drive, I looked at Jerry and said, "I like it, but I don't love it."
With car #1 under my belt, I was brave enough to start searching online in hopes of finding a similiar car minus the beige interior. But finding a 2010 rav4 within 100 miles of Fort Wayne proved impossible, so I loaded up my friend Jess and convinced my psuedo-midwest Dad, Doug, to take the trip to Michigan to check out another car.
We showed up to the dealership, and Aimee, our sales rep, sent us out on a test drive unchaperoned. She pointed to the nearest highway and told us to take our time.... we hit every button, looked in every nook, and gave the cruise control a spin. I texted Jerry my opinions (not while driving) and updates how things were going. He asked if I Liked it or loved it. "I really, really like it." I answered back.
But negotiations went sour, probably a combination of loving the grey interior of the car, but not liking the blue exterior, and wanting to experience that true, hassle/negotiate/get the sales guy hooked kind of buying. Frankly, our lady didn't care whether I bought the car or not. As I sat and asked questions and thought through things, she casually took phone calls and answered emails. I finally looked at her, told her the price I was willing to pay, and when she said she couldn't do it, I said thank you, we're done.It was definitely disappointing to walk away, but that disappointment was quickly swallowed up in some cheeseburgers and fries at a local 70's diner and then completely forgotten as we toured downtown Marshall, Michigan. We visited the Honolulu House, Dark Horse Brewery, the local coffee shop, and random antique stores along the way.
One more google search was all it took to find the absolute perfect car...a 2010 Rav4, pyrite mica (brown) exterior with ash (grey) interior, 40k in mileage...only problem? It was three hours away in Illinois.
But no problem at all if you are willing to get in your fifteen year old car and see where the wind takes you...all the way to Tinley Park to a Toyota dealership with the typical salesmen and many a suit and tie business manager. I left the green bullet with them, and brought home the car I absolutely LOVE despite the fact that it doesn't feel like my car yet, and as far as names...well, it will have to earn that my friends. The good news is bountiful. I now have reliable transportation...I mean, I could go anywhere....Mexico maybe? AND I only felt nauseous for the first couple of hours after writing the biggest check of my life (I'm told this is normal, and much worse when buying a house)... it has been quite fun showing off the rav's tailgating cup-holders and bootlegging compartments.
And back to Indiana
On the way back from Illinois, I stopped at Albanese, a candy factory and outlet. It seemed quite the day to celebrate with bags of gummi frogs that are in the cast off bin, not quite perfect enough to ship out, but oh so tasty! The drive back was uneventful, despite the fact I caught myself creeping past the speed limit on a few occasions... :o)