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Weekend of the Car

I mentioned that Brad's '98 Lexus took its last breath last month. He spent 2 weeks driving a rental car, and fell in love with the Chevrolet Impala he was driving from Hertz. We looked at a few other possible cars, as we were NOT planning on a car in this year's budget!

I have owned 5 cars in my life. Except for my first car, bought by my parents, I have always paid cash, never had a car payment, and always bought my cars new. (That first Camero was purchased shortly after my 16th birthday, but my dad turned 81 that year and stopped driving!) I have owned a second Camero, a Honda Prelude, an Infinity, and my current Chrysler Sebring.

Our decision was to buy a year old car with low mileage, as this was not an exciting purchase, but a necessity. Brad checked out all the Impalas within 250 miles of us. They come in black, white, red and silver. Ok, this is going to live in our driveway in the hot desert sun with sand blowing and settling on it weekly. That leaves out black and white. We need "dirt-colored" cars. Red, while cute, is out for Brad. If you have ever ridden in the car with "Mr. Drives like an Italian" you would know that this would be like wearing a "cop magnet" sign across his head. That left silver. The only silver Impala was at a dealership in Buellton (near Santa Barbara). The silver one had a larger engine, and all the extras the others didn't have (leather seats, Sirius radio, etc.) All we had to do was drive 4.5 hours and go pick it up.

Serendipitously, 30 seconds before Brad called the dealer, they had purchased a car from an on-line auction, and needed to get it from the PALM SPRINGS Mercedes dealership. Brad agreed to drive it there, and they knocked off a couple more hundred from his price! So we drove to Buellton in this little Kompressor. I was eventually able to crawl out of the little sardine can!

Kompressor.jpg

Here is Brad's new car. He is very happy with it. So far, my favorite features are the butt-warmers, the satellite radio, and a nice handle for the passenger to grab onto when terrified.

Impala.jpg

We checked into our room in Solvang and on this rainy cold night, set off in seach of dinner. After two false starts, by 8:30, we were happily seated at Cafe Angelica with the scent of garlic in the air.

Cafe%20Angelica.jpg

We had delicious cheesy bread, a glass of great wine, and soon our entrees arrived. Both Brad's fish, and my gorgonzola stuffed filet were perfect.

Angelica%20fish.jpg

Angelica%20steak.jpg

Tomorrow...Solvang

Comments (11)

Barb Cabot:

I love those serendipitous moments...it makes me a believer that when something is right all the stars align. I also love "butt warmer seats"...ooh that's a real plus. The dinner looks scrumptious. Glad everything worked out for Brad.

Marcia:

Silver is apparently the Slow Traveler's car color of choice, judging from the winery parking lots this weekend. Without consulting the boards, I, too, have picked silver for the new car we bought last week. But that Kompressor must have been a fun ride up to Solvang.

sandrac:

Lovely car, I hope you and Brad enjoy it.

I think I read on Slow Travel (did Amy say this?) that those live-saving handles are called "Jesus bars." (Presumably, for the cry for help one lets out while grabbing for something to avoid flying through the windshield)

Jane:

"....a nice handle for the passenger to grab onto when terrified."

Oh, Palma, that gave me a smile--a great big one! It seems I spend much of my time hanging on to that handle. I am sure I was doing that on Highway 46 just last Sunday :-)

jgk:

Tell Brad I said congrats on the new car. How does it smell?

sheri:

Love the handle for terrified passengers. Now if they could only install that brake pedal on the passenger side.....

butt warmer! Handle when terrified! Love it, Palma!

Congratulations on the new car! And I look forward to hearing about Solvang... I was there in November and did not exactly fall in love with it.

nancyhol:

The car looks great! And it doesn't even look familiar from when you passed me on Hwy 46! Guess I'm just not very observant.

Enjoy the new wheels. Thank God for the terrified bar!

Can't wait to read about Solvang-the food looks great!

Congratulations on the new shiny car. I also avoid the same colors due to the heat and the red dirt. My car is brown (and right now a very dirty brown). I have been to Solvang a couple of times. My sister is living there now.

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