Our house in Long Beach was infested with cockroaches. We got rid of them. Our Maple Valley abode was crawling with carpenter ants. We got rid of them. And our brand new Charlottesville home? Crawling with ladybugs. Yes, that’s right, ladybugs. How can you hurt cute little ladybugs? Megan has been catching them and taking them outside, but they still manage to find their way back in.
Today I took my car for a Virginia State inspection. I kept procrastinating it until I happened to get a free inspection coupon in the mail. Very fortuitous. So I took it to the Toyota dealership to take advantage of the coupon. There was a long wait, but I didn’t mind, because I had brought a book along. However, I decided to walk over to the sales department and check out minivans. I currently drive a 1995 Toyota Camry wagon. It is a great car, only 113K miles. It runs like a dream, has tons of cargo room and gets incredible gas mileage (40+ mpg on the last trip to SC). But, as the kids are getting bigger and I am constantly hauling them and their friends around, I am ready for a minivan.
Because my car is fine and because we, you know, have no income, Christopher is adamant that we don’t upgrade to a minivan until we have another kid, which is a very reasonable position that I can support. However, it doesn’t hurt to look, right? Since I had a few hours to kill at the Toyota dealership, and armed with a pre-approved $50K car loan from USAA, I headed over to the sales department and requested to see the most expensive Sienna on the lot.
The Toyota Sienna XLE Limited is basically my dream car. I drooled over that thing for at least an hour. If I was a billionaire, I wouldn’t drive a nicer car than this (it cost about $36K out the door). The comfy leather captain’s chairs, 4 LATCH anchors, DVD player with 4 wireless headseats, premium sound system, GPS navigation system, automatic sliding doors, and wood grain paneling and steering wheel were just for starters.
Some of my favorite features included the Bluetooth technology, laser cruise control, and 60/40 back row split. The Bluetooth means you can program your cell phone so when it rings, you press a button on the steering wheel and talk on your phone through the car’s sound system. It will automatically mute the music or DVD you have playing so you can talk on your phone. The laser cruise was especially fun. I tested it out on the interstate. If your cruise is set at 70 mph, and a car pulls in front of you going 65, the car automatically adjusts its speed to travel a safe distance from the car in front of you. Then, when you or the other car moves, it speeds back up to 70. It was pretty cool. Finally, the 60/40 split means you can have one or two kids sitting in the back seat, and with the press of a button one or two of those seat will fold into the floor, giving you extra cargo space.
If you are a mother, you know exactly why all these features are priceless. Of course, when Christopher reads this, he will smile and say, “Dream on, sweetie!” But these are the kind of dreams that will get me through business school.