Two weeks ago: I was looking through the paper and happened to look through the car ads, just for fun. I saw a Honda Pilot advertised and it said "8 passenger seating" and "4-wheel drive". I thought, "Wow, I'd love to have an SUV with 8 passenger seating and 4-wheel drive and that doesn't look too huge." I mentioned it to Josh, who gave some kind of non-committal answer, and then said that I thought it'd be fun to go on a date and test drive some cars. His response was "why?". I said it would be free and it'd be nice to see what is out there and if we like it. It's certainly not realistic to take 4 children and 2 car seats with you to test drive a vehicle. He didn't see the point in even looking right now since we're not going to buy.
One week ago: Josh came home from work. He had taken our van in to get the air conditioner fixed. We noticed it wasn't working on one of those freaky warm days in March but knew we had awhile before it became a necessity. Then we forgot about it and had to drive without air 4 hours on a regular warm day. Not a good thing. So he had taken it in and I asked what the verdict was. He said, "Remember how you thought it would be fun to go test-drive some vehicles?" Uh-oh.
It turns out our ac wasn't just broke, it was beyond broke. Every single thing connected to the ac would have to be replaced and rebuilt and the poor mechanics (who are very well-qualified and have kept our truck running smoothly for 10 years now) were nervous to take on such a job. They were concerned that once they put it back together, other things would start leaking and falling apart because of all the work involved. And then he told me the cost. They had stopped estimating when they got to $2000 to see if we still wanted them to do it. They wondered how much we wanted to invest in a van that was only worth $5000 tops. $2000 wasn't even the final estimate.
We thought about it. Hmm, spend more than $2000 and hope nothing else breaks or falls apart or needs fixing. It didn't take long for us to decide that wasn't a good option.
So we started looking around on-line. As much as I love the idea of an SUV, I don't want to drive a beast. I don't want to deal with kids having to climb over car seats. I want more storage, not less. And I don't want to have to take out a loan to fill up with gas. That left us with another mini-van.
When life gives you lemons (in this case, having to drive a mini-van), make lemonade (get a cool one!) Because my brother-in-law is a manager at a dealership, he was able to get us an excellent deal on a 2007 Dodge Caravan with stow-n-go (yes, extra storage!), captain chairs in the middle (easier to get through), a dvd player (yes, quiet kids on long trips!), and a 6-disc cd changer! Hmm, I wonder if you can play that up front while the kids listen to the dvd player in the back? Not sure how that will work. I'll take quieter kids over listening to music though.
We go pick it up on Saturday and I am so excited! He offered to drive it up for us (from Indiana, no less!) but my parents are having the kids stay with them this weekend so it worked out for us to take a road trip down there to get it. We can do some shopping on the way and hang out with my sister and her husband for a bit. Then on Sunday we're having an open house so there is a lot going on this weekend. It will be nice being able to focus on what needs to be done while the kids are having fun at Grandma and Grandpa's.