A few weeks ago I noticed that our Accord was a little louder than usual. It wasn't bad at all, but it was noticeable. It was time for a new muffler. A few days later we were driving to church. Randy stopped at the one stop sign on Shaw Ave and as soon as he put his foot back on the gas pedal we heard a very loud roar. Maren's big eyes got even bigger and Henry shouted from the back, "Oh no! We better get a new car!"
Determined to stick to our plan and not buy a car until we bought a house we took the car into our well trusted mechanic to take a look. Not only did the entire exhaust system need to be replaced but the the catalytic converter was just about rusted through and needed to be replaced. A quote of $2000 changed our minds. Plans, shmans! Off to CarMax we go!
We test drove a Ford Escape and weren't impressed at all. It wasn't a total bust, though. The Accord was appraised for $2000. Both Randy and I were very pleased considering the fact that the car was 12 years old, had 130K miles on it, obviously needed a new muffler, had a big old rusty dent in the back, power windows that worked sporadically, a lock on the door that screamed at you every time it locked (if you've been in our car, you know what I'm talking about), barf stains on the back seat.... Oh, I could go on and on!
Anyway, we walked out of Carmax with our written offer and looked around. We found a good deal on a 2006 Sienna and decided to go take a look. We actually took the kids with us which I would not recommend doing-- even to my worst enemy. Henry wasn't too bad. I had him walk around the car with me and told him we were looking for any dents or scratches. He took his job very seriously. He walked around pointing out every speck of dirt, scratch and most disturbing to him-- bird poop. Despite the poop, Henry agreed to take the car out for a spin.
Ah, the test drive! Maren cried the ENTIRE time. Randy was about ready to toss her out the power sliding door! Other than that, things went well. The first thing Henry noticed was the DVD player. "It has a TV!" The bird poop was a distant memory. Randy and I were pretty impressed. Seriously, I guess it doesn't take much to impress someone who has been driving a 12 year old car. Compared to our beat up Accord, I felt like I was in a space ship!
After the drive, we went inside and started the haggling process. Long story short, after going back and forth a few times, a very grumpy Randy stood up and told the guy we were leaving. Henry slinked under the desk and began crying softly. His dream of having a car with a TV in it was shattered! They made one last offer, which I liked, but Randy was done. As Randy was walking out the door to get the car seats situated, I whispered to the salesman that I would be back in the morning.
After talking to his dad, Randy felt good about the car and I did go back in the morning to buy it. We are now proud owners of a white 2006 Toyota Sienna. Yup-- mini van. Hmm.