Saturday, July 4, 2009

A 4th of a Road Trip

Stars, stripes, patriotism, fireworks... It's that time of year again! We caught the tail end of Midlothian's fireworks show last night, and spent the day taking a day trip to Weatherford. To me, spending time with your family is an excellent way to celebrate freedom. I know I sometimes take for granted the fact that I can basically do whatever I want, whenever I want. I don't have to worry about not going to that side of town that's being bombed, or what have you. This truly is a wonderful country we live in.

We intended to get an early start on our little road trip, but little Tucker wasn't feeling well. So once we did get out, the first stop was lunch. We ate at Colter's, and let me just say that it was indeed fantastically delicious!


After that, we stopped at Starbucks because it just wouldn't be a holiday without a nice cup o' coffee. Or, if you're me, a tall Java Chip Frappuccino. 

Then, on to Weatherford! We were hoping to check out some Antique shops and the like, but a lot of places turned out to be closed. Even still, we took some pictures of some cool buildings and we had a really great time! 

But if you don't want to take my word for it, take a gander at the pictures we took!

I call this look "determination". :)

Me and Mom!


We decided to head home so that we could meet up with some friends and see Public Enemies. It was so crowded that not all of us could sit together, which was kind of a bummer. My parents and I ended up in the third row, or something. It was one of those situations where having glasses is irritating because I couldn't quite fit all of the screen into my glasses, if that makes sense. (If you wear glasses, you'll know what I mean.) And since we were so close, I had to pick one thing to look at on screen. Like Johnny's left eye, nose, hat. Okay, maybe that's a little big of an exaggeration. But you get the idea. It was more or less impossible to focus on the whole screen at once. And action scenes took me so long to focus on I'm pretty sure I missed them all. But the good news is, from what I could tell, the movie was really good! It would help to see it in order, though. Yeah, our theater had for some reason had to tinker with the film reel they were sent, and as a result we saw Public Enemies out of sequence. It was a tad bit confusing. But we got free passes to any other movie at the theater in return, so I figure that solves the problem.

After the movie, we trekked over to IHOP for a late dinner and stayed there chatting until about 11. At that point, I was starting to get sleepy, and Tucker was in the kitchen at home and had been ill the last couple of nights so we wanted to make sure he was alright.

All in all, it was a wonderful 4th! Especially if you consider the fact that it was spent with my family and a couple of close friends. I hope everyone else had an eventful, fun-filled 4th of July! :)

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

PT Cruisin'

There's something incredibly exciting about getting a new car. Actually, there are several things that are incredibly exciting about getting a new car. Maybe it's the thrill of investigating all of the new nooks, crannies, gadgets, slots, etc. Or maybe it's that feeling that you're the coolest cat around cruisin' in the new wheels. It could also be the newness of it all, even if it's not a 'brand new' car; it's new to you!

Personally, I think it's all of those things. And probably a few more that I'm not clever enough to put into words at the moment.

Either way, I'm feelin' it right now! I got a new car, which brought a long a lot of new experiences. I remember getting my last car, which, as it turns out, was my first car. But what I remember about that involved more of the joy, excitement, thrill, etc. Also, the last time I wasn't actually present for the purchase. I just test drove it and we left without it, and the next day Dad went to get it while I had a hair appointment, so actually getting the car was a surprise. :)

This time I was there for all of it. 

I found the ad online, which isn't too unusual. When one is obsessively seeking out a new car, finding online ads isn't exactly rare. But for once I found an online ad that Dad thought might be worth checking out. The night I mentioned it to him, I had to work, so we couldn't go then. But we talked about going the next day. That night, I am not ashamed to say that I dreamed about getting that car.

It was a 2006 Inferno Red Limited Edition PT Cruiser, 26,500 miles, a sunroof, leather seats, power everything. It was fantastic.

The next day we started getting ready to go to the dealership and Mom called to make sure the car was still there. I couldn't hear all of the conversation, but at some point she came in and asked me where I saw the ad. This made me think that the car had sold and they wanted to know which ad they hadn't taken down. Apparently I was much more excited about this car than I realized, because when I thought it had sold I pretty much just wanted to cry. I was really disappointed. After Mom hung up with the dealership, she immediately got a call from someone else so she couldn't tell me what the dealership said. So for about half an hour I was really bummed out thinking the car I wanted was gone.

While it wasn't fun at the time, fortunately it did give me a clue as to the fact that I didn't really need to ask myself if I wanted the car. It was pretty apparent that I did. I was thrilled when I found out the car was still there.

I was so thrilled, in fact, that I wasn't even interested in going to lunch before we went to the dealership; and for those of you who know me, it takes a lot to keep me from being excited about eating. ;)

We had called ahead to the dealer so they were ready for us when we got there. I figured out which car was the one I'd seen when we drove up, and it wasn't long before we were walking out to check it out.

It was way better looking in person, but I was trying to play it cool like my parents had talked to me about. Seemed like a mighty fine idea, but when you're excited it's definitely a challenge to keep the outbursts of, "Isn't it great, Dad?" and "Ooh, look at that! I didn't know it had that!"s to a minimum.

I'd say I did alright.

I'm not sure if my parents would agree, but I think I kept it pretty cool.

We did some of our family discussing when the dealer wasn't around, and agreed it was a great deal for the price. Dad asked me if I would like it for me (Both Mom and I have been looking into getting new cars) and this was when I was especially glad for the dream about getting it coupled with the disappointment I experienced when I thought it had sold because I for once could say I did without wondering if I was making a hasty decision and not shopping around enough.

After we test drove the car, we ended up back indoors and sitting at a round table with our dealer. I think he knew he had me sold since I saw the car, because he gave me the key to hold on to while he and my Dad talked price, and all that stuff. It's actually pretty shocking how long it takes to buy a car. We probably got at the dealership around 2:30, maybe even a little earlier. When we sat down and started talking about prices and such it was probably 3--3:30, and our salesman told us he could have us out of there by 4:30.

He lied.

It took much longer. I'd say we left around 6. I did the best I could to stay interested, or at least to continue paying attention. He had us do the typical 'write-your-offer-on-this-paper' deal, and it was sort of fun to see that happen in real life. :)

Eventually we settled on a price, and they made me hit a gong. Apparently that happens when you buy a car. You hit a gong. I didn't really want to, but I have to admit it was fun. I got a round of applause from everyone else inside. Plus we took a picture. Observe:


At this point, I was getting hungry for dinner but we still had financial stuff to settle out. We ended up getting a warranty that should cover the transmission, motor, engine, etc. as well as the mechanical stuff; CD player, power windows, sunroof, etc. Which is really great because I should be able to just take the car in to the Chrysler dealership in College Station if anything ever goes wrong. Which will save me or my parents a trip one way or the other just to get things sorted out. Handy, indeed!

It was very surreal to sit there, key in hand, knowing I would walk--or really, drive--away with a car. And that it would be mine. My own. My precious.

Even though I literally held the key in my hand, it still felt sort of like a dream. But dream or not, fiddling with the key kept me entertained during some of the discussions.

PhotobucketI also stayed pretty entertained thinking about my soon-to-be car. I never expected a brand spankin' new car, but let me just say that even though this car is a 2006, it looks totally brand spankin' new. The leather is flawless, no scratches, no spots on the headliner, floor, no dings on the controls, no buttons worn off. It literally looks like a brand new car on the inside, and on the outside! And being a Limited Edition, I got a lot of little "cool factor" additions that I wouldn't have normally been able to get. Like chrome detailing, a spoiler, a fancy grill. It's absolutely incredible because I feel like I'm actually getting the experience of having a brand new car. I want to keep it totally clean, it isn't already a little dingy so that I don't care as much about keeping it perfect. Apparently the man who owned it before was a military man, and he kept the car immaculately clean. He also hardly broke it in mileage wise. I really did get a flippin' sweet deal. :)

When we sealed the deal and left the dealership, Mom took my VW and I rode with Dad in the Cruiser. I sincerely wanted to drive, but I wasn't quite sure where we were or how to get back to where we were going, plus that left me free to play with buttons, check the radio (it has a fantastic sound system, just by the way), and fawn over my cup holders. For those of you who don't know, the cup holders in my VW are...irritating. Not quite big enough to fit some cups, and good luck fitting a water bottle in there. So having cup holders that hold not only bottles and cups, but those over-sized combo upgrade drinks is pretty fantastic to me.

I talked my parents into having Sam's Pizza for dinner. And I indulged in all of the joys that come with being the owner of a new car and ogled it through the window from our table.

Needless to say, my July started out wonderfully! (We got the car on the 1st!) Now if you don't mind, I think I'll go make sure my new PT Cruiser is tucked safely in the garage. Because along with the joys of new ownership come the concerns, like hail, cat scratches, general damage, etc. But it's a small price to pay for being behind the wheel of a car you really enjoy having, driving, owning.