the saturday after thanksgiving, we got up and began getting the car packed to head home. overnight, we had done some research and had found a couple of used cars that we wanted to check out on the way home. one of them was located at toyota of apex, and it is owned by the same dealer that has sold us all of our toyotas in my family. on a whim, we called to see if they still had the RAV-4 (and they did) so we headed home by way of apex.
mind you, this was a different car shopping experience than the day before. rather than it just being myself and justin, we had a 1 year old and a dog in tow. not exactly your typical car shopping crew. luckily, this was a new dealership and they had a special area just for kids with toys, books, puzzles and a big tv dedicated to nick jr. justin and davis settled down in front of yo gabba gabba while our salesman pulled around the car we were interested in and accompanied me on the test drive. when we got back, justin and i talked and determined that yes, this was a good deal for this car, and yes, we wanted to go home with it tonight. and so began the "dealing" part of the car buying experience, which justin excels at, and davis and i played peekaboo around the huge columns outside to keep him entertained while genuinely charming the rest of the staff there.
four hours later, we had ourselves a car and a tired toddler. i think this picture says it all.
and here she is--a 2010 RAV4 with about 38,000 miles on her. four wheel drive, which will allow us to either go cruising on the beach or tackle snowy west virginia mountains (both of which are necessary/possible)
davis said he likes the new car, but he still thinks his step 1 blue convertible looks cooler.
and then came the fun part...cleaning out the camry. we're not quite sure what to do with it yet--likely, it will be sold through classifieds or something like that to someone who is willing to invest the time/money into her that we weren't able to. those who know me personally know that i was kinda rough on this car--after she reached a certain age and a certain number of scratches/dents, it all went down hill. that hadn't improved a whole lot since davis was born, and the day of the break-down was essentially the final insult. as i rushed around to the passenger side to stand by davis's seat while we waited for the sitter and the tow truck, i grabbed my tote bag and one of the handles snagged my full mug of coffee, pouring it out into the front passenger seat. which then sat there for over a week until we could actually get time to clean it out. (note the box of engine cover parts as well that they didn't put back on--those are a fun accessory.)
and this is all the stuff that was actually buried in the car. my pack rat tendencies carry over in to multiple areas of my life, obviously.
but in some ways, i'm okay with being a pack rat. because it allows the opportunity to explore some fun memories. like finding one of these...
and then i found this--my mobile of shells that hung from my rear view mirror. for a while, the camry had a beach theme. it sorta started with putting a few shells that i picked up from the beach in one of the center pockets by the console. that collection grew with each trip to the beach and at one point included a ceramic frog that my friend maggie brought back from salamanca, spain, and some other little characters. the mobile was a nice touch, and every time i went around a curve, you could hear the shells clinking together.
but this one. i knew this one was there, even though i hadn't seen it in months...and maybe i didn't want to uncover it at first, just because of the memories. but i'm glad i did.
this was "commissioned" for me by dad. during one of his stays in the hospital several years ago, he had a nurse that was a young girl, just out of college, who liked to dress up her scrubs by making fun necklaces and bracelets from plastic beads and hemp in all sorts of bright colors and designs. i think scrubs are one of the few "professional" outfits where you can do that, or at least this nurse decided she could :)
dad noticed her necklaces and told her that he had a daughter that was just about her age who also used to make necklaces and bracelets from beads and hemp and that she probably would love something like that. so she asked him what kind of colors i liked, and he told her blue was my favorite color, and that i liked dolphins. she brought this to him a couple of days later, that he eventually gave to me when i came up to visit him in the hospital that weekend. it took up residence on my rear view mirror for quite some time, but got put into the middle console and buried under things during a cleaning spree one time. where it stayed until last weekend.
and now it lives a new life in the new (to us) car--watching over our little family as we start another chapter of our story in another vehicle. just like i imagine dad is :)