We said good-bye to an old friend last week.
After 7 years, we bid adieu to my Honda Element. I loved that car. Like really, really loved that car. Until I hated it. In fact, everything that I originally loved about it, became everything that I hated about it once we had kids.
After ten months of suicide doors, I’d had it. If you’re not familiar with suicide doors, let me just tell you, they make it much more difficult to get not one, but two infant carriers into the car. I regularly banged my head into the ceiling of the car, banged my knee into the large metal ring that the door locked into on the floor, and could rarely open both doors if any other cars were parked too closely on either side of me. The sun roof let the sun shine directly into the babies’ eyes, which actually could be used as a form of torture in the future. There were only two seats in the back because each seat could split and fold into each wall, again, awesome pre-children, not so cool post-children.
Even with all of these annoyances, trading in the Element was still hard to do.
This car had been with us through so much. Moves, new jobs, vacations, puppies, and finally babies. We would regularly fold the seats up, throw our bikes in the back and go to the boardwalk or park. It was perfect for the dogs, because it was so easy to sweep the floor or hose it out. And with Bruiser’s shedding habit, it was done very often.
But, it was time.
Two summers ago, we had the privilege of driving a Chevy Traverse to the Outer Banks for vacation (thanks to the woman who hit my car in the grocery parking lot, and thanks to Allstate for providing us with a giant SUV just in time for vacation). So, with three adults (yay, Katydaddy!), three dogs (cousin Sammy), and enough luggage to stay for five months, the 8 hour drive felt like a pre-vacation to our trip. After that, we knew (even before we found out we were having twins) the Traverse would be our next car.
And for good reason. It’s a minivan for people like us. “People like us”, meaning people who aren’t ready for a minivan. It has two captain seats and a third row bench seat in the back, which means we can fit seven people. Best of all, there are vents for the AC way back there, which means the dogs won’t be panting in the back while we’re cool and comfortable in the front. And with the third row folded down, we have a massive cargo area for wagons, giant strollers, and sweet yard sale finds.
As it turns out, car shopping with two babies is a little different from the way we used to do it. Keith would send me links to cars in the area via email, but I wouldn’t have time to look at them. But hen he would arrive home asking which car I liked best.
Uh, all of them? The blue one? The Traverse? I confessed that I hadn’t looked at the cars he sent me. I meant to check them out, but somewhere between pumping, chasing crawling babies, and making/feeding/washing bottles, it slipped my mind.
Once we (he) found the car that best suited our needs, we went to the dealership. We warned the salesman that we our time was limited because of the babies. When he saw two babies in our arms, he knew not to push the envelope.
I test drove the Traverse, while Keith and the babies hung out in the spacious Element. After the test drive, I gave the dealer all of our information and then asked them to call us if they could work something out.
Best plan ever.
It’s way easier to negotiate price over the phone, rather than sitting at a desk in front of a salesman. No nagging, no “let me see if there’s any wiggle room here”, no “well, let me talk to the finance manager”.
Long story short, we got a great deal, and picked the car up last week. Woohoo!