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!
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.
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.
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.