Sunday, October 5, 2008

Minivan Nightmare

This is a long post, feel free to skip right on to the next blog-don't worry I'll get over it. :)
Wednesday August 20
Joe and I had made the decision a month or so before that we would be buying a new car...most likely a minivan. I've said for a while that I wanted a minivan but when it came down to the wire I started having a little anxiety about me actually DRIVING a minivan. I mean seriously...aren't I a little too YOUNG to be cruising around in a MINIVAN! I would get real excited one minute and then freak out the next. Poor Joe didn't know what to do with me. Every time I'd bring up some other type of car he would ask, "So you don't want a minivan?" In reality I knew that a minivan was the best decision for us economically and financially. The only reason we were able to afford one was b/c of some stocks we had bought years ago when we lived in Utah and worked at Well the company was bought out and we didn't have an option of keeping our stocks but we made way more money than I thought we would. And Joe had told me when we got the paperwork in that he was thinking of getting me a new car. And by-golly I needed one! I was driving my little 97 Honda Civic with 2 car seats and it was pretty cramped!
So anyway on Wednesday Lisa watched the kids for us and Joe and I went car shopping. I had looked at a few prospects online but we just wanted to see what a few dealerships had. We had in our mind a Dodge Grand Caravan for the room and we loved the idea of stow-a-way seating. I really like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey but they're so much more expensive. I knew there was no way I could get one that was only a couple of years old. Regardless of price we stop by a Toyota dealership just to test drive a Sienna. I really loved the one I drove but it had no key less entry! What new car doesn't have key less entry?? Plus I was really hoping for automatic doors. Well the Sienna was way more than we were wanting to spend and ended up seeing one lonely Grand Caravan SXT on the Toyota lot. We take a look at it and I love it! It's only a 2007 with power everything and electric doors! I started day dreaming immediately of my future trips to wal-mart with the push of a button the doors are open and the kids are in the van while I unload...pure bliss! We take it for a short drive and I do love the roominess more in the Toyota I can't help but love all the bells and whistles that come with the Caravan plus the price tag is a lot more budget friendly. So that was it we head inside and many of you know this is where the fun starts...HA! Joe made it very clear we didn't want to buy tonight b/c we weren't prepared for that plus we didn't even bring our check book! The sales guy, though very nice, will not let us leave. And I was amazed with how well Joe took care of business and talked them down. The sticker price was set for $19,999 but was clearanced for $16,985 and we bought it for $13,985. We left the dealership with an agreement and the keys to the van so that we could see how we liked it before we officially bought it. We got home around 10 and surprised my mom (my mom took over babysitting so Lisa could get some sleep) and Kaiden (who still happened to be awake in his room) to the new van. I hadn't told my mom we were bringing the van home so when Kaiden looked out the window to see the van he was so excited and my mom was a little shocked. I wish I had a camera to capture the looks on their faces.
Thursday Aug 21
I took full advantage of my free van-for-a-day and headed to the mall. I must say I absolutely loved the extra room I had. While I moved the kids car seats they ran around in the van like ti was a playground. They love it and it was so funny to watch them. Both of them were just smiling the whole way. I took these cute pictures from my phone to send to Joe so he could see how quickly they adjusted to having a new vehicle.
After a day of running around in the new van Joe came home and it was back to the dealership to finish up the sale. We decided to trade my little civic in so there was more back and forth on the trade-in value. Finally everything was said and done and signed and we walked away with a minivan! Joe needed a moment of silence b/c this was really not something he wanted but knew we needed. He's such a good sport! There were a few things we wanted to have done so we had arranged to drop the van back off the next morning to get it detailed and see why the back hatch wasn't opening with the key chain. But other than that it was all ours!
One last picture with my lil civic...she was good to me for 9 whole years!
Friday August 22
I drop the van off that morning and wait for my rental for the day. I was really hoping for the Sienna that I liked so much but it ended up being a Mazda minivan. It was a few years older but in nice condition and it was top of the line back in its prime. It had the electric door, sunroof, leather seats the works. But the thing was dirty! I was rather annoyed that it was so dirty but our sales guy wasn't around b/c he was off with another customer so I just took the van and left. Then I was even more annoyed once I got in and started driving away b/c it hardly had any gas in it! I called Joe and he said not to worry about it so I just picked up the kids and we headed for our play date at ChuckECheese. My good friend Cathy's little girl, Ella, had just turned 2 and she had just a small get together to celebrate. The kids had so much fun and loved running around and riding any ride they wanted, plus we almost had the whole place to ourselves!
Now for the NIGHTMARE part. On the way home we stopped by my dad's office since its just down the road. Kaiden also got to show of his very cool, new glasses.

After a short visit it was definitely nap time so we headed off. Now the gas light had just came on so I was certain we could make it home to fill up since it would be cheaper than doing so in Baton Rouge. Well I'm first in line to turn left onto Airline from Siegen. Anyone who's from here KNOWS what a busy intersection this is no matter what time of day. As the light turns green I step on the gas and nothing, the van just dies! Remember this is the older Mazda not my van. I'm seriously panicking. I'm wondering what in the world am I going to do and how many people are behind me that are seriously going to get so mad?!? I start to call my dad while I'm turning off the air and rolling down the windows, but before he answers I hang up b/c it actually started. Now I'm just praying it runs long enough for the light to turn green. Well it did and then I was praying to make it to a gas station but unfortunately that's where my luck ended. I felt it die so I had to cut over 2 lanes to get into a right turn lane (all with no power steering) and then coast and make a hard left turn into a bank parking lot. I talked to my dad and he said he would head over there to bring me some gas. But he first needed to go to Home Depot to pick up a gas can and then to the gas station. We were right next to Home Depot so I didn't think it would take too long. I rolled the windows down and opened the sunroof while the kids ran around in the van. Seriously an hour later and were still there! I didn't want to call and bother my dad b/c I knew he was trying to hurry but I was sweating and poor little Kalli was soaked! Well as luck would have it my dad looks all over Home Depot for a gas can and no one knows where it is so he's going from one end of the store to the next. Once he waits in line to check out he heads for the gas station but the first one he gets to is out of gas!! So he goes to another one waits in line but then gets turned around and turns the wrong way onto Airline and goes the opposite direction we are! He finally made it to us and its really starting to rain. So our windows were rolled up and I was seriously sooo HOT!
As were filling up the van he gets a important business call, just adding to the mayhem. Well I crank the van up and even though we didn't use all the gas in the can I know there's enough to get me and the kids home. So i take off. I'm on the phone with Joe telling him all the drama and shortly after I get on the interstate the stinkin' van dies again! I had just passed the on ramp on O'Neal and I have to cut across to stop on the shoulder. I just could not believe this was happening again! After my dad brought gas a check engine light was on but I didn't think anything of it. Well that must of been the problem b/c I know it wasn't the gas this time! I was so furious! I called our salesman and let him know what was going on and he said someone would be there right away to pick me up. Luckily my dad called to see if I had made it home and ended up showing up on the interstate to take my kids home with him. By this time Kalli had already fallen asleep-they were so exhausted!
A service guy picks me up and we drive back to the Toyota dealership. Meanwhile Joe calls to make sure my new rental will be something very RELIABLE! I was so mad but still found it kind of funny all the craziness that happened. If only I was able to keep MY van everything would of been fine! I was able to bring home the Sienna for the weekend and picked up my Grand Caravan on Monday. The real kicker is the main reason we left our van at the dealership was to have the back hatch fixed. Well come to find out it was never suppose to open from the key chain! That would have been nice to know BEFORE breaking down TWICE in my rental van!! I was so glad to be in the van we actually paid for and the automatic doors have been heavenly!
But to make that story even more tiring after picking up the kids from my parent's I put them down for their very late naps and then and to go to work! Man was I tired. But Joe was sweet enough to let me sleep in the next day.


Murray Family said...

Oh my word. What a nightmare!! Congrats on the new van though! It's so fun getting a new car :)

Trimble said...

Wow, that is horrible. I'm so glad you had a happy ending with your new nice van!

Maxwells said...

Thatsounds like a day I would have. We didn't want a van eithor. We were on our way to by a GMC Acadia and saw our Town and Country (with a dvd and stow n go) So we really couldn't pass up the price. Don't you just hate it when you have to make the "smart" choice.