That licence plate has been with me for thirteen years. Almost as long as Luke has been with me. It's been on the back of a Hyundai, an Audi, a Subaru, a Kia, an Isuzu, and now, it finally gets to sit on the back of a brand spanking new 2007 Toyota Yaris. I'm still in shock.
I went to a Toyota dealership in Manchester with my friends Paula and Karlo on Saturday because they said that they wanted to test drive a Yaris. Well, sneaky Paula tricked me into test driving it and I was pleasantly surprised. It was very roomy inside and seriously peppy to drive. It has a sporty little shifter and low clutch pedal that made it really fun to drive. I loved it, Paula and Karlo loved it, but Luke still hadn't seen it. I told the salesgirl that I'd bring Luke back later and then we could decide.
I left there with that skeevy, slightly violated feeling you get after sitting in close proximity to a car salesperson. I was driving home and figured, heck, I already feel icky, why not go to another dealership and see what they have to say.
I drove out to Toyota of Colchester and was greeted by a friendly guy named Joe. He took some information from me and went to see what they had for Yarises that matched my requirements. He came out with the cutest little silver one - how did he know I wanted a silver one? He didn't even ask about color. I test drove it and again and loved it. I had it out on route 2 and was speeding before I knew it. It's got a lot of get-up-and-go for a little 4-cylinder! Again I went back and said that Luke needed to test drive it and maybe we could come back next weekend. Seeing as how it's the end of the month, they were anxious to make me a deal so they said that most amazing words I never expected from a car dealership - "Why don't you take it home? Bring it back on Monday". And so began my 42-hour test drive.
I was able to see how it did driving up my slushy, muddy driveway, how well my scrapbooking stuff fit in the hatchback area, how the headlights and dash lights looked at night, how easily I could reach the ATM from the driver's seat, how groceries fit in the back, and most importantly, how it looked sitting in the driveway. Then the test of all tests - Monday morning I had to bring it back before work and we had 4" of new snow on the ground. I got to see how it drove in the snow. It was the ideal test drive. I knew I loved it and I wanted it.
I went back to the dealership last night to try an work a deal. My Rodeo still had a loan on it so I needed some money for it and when they offered me $1,000 I grabbed my stuff and said "thank you, good-bye". I managed to negotiate up another $2,000 which I thought was pretty darn good form someone who usually responds to any type of struggle by bursting into tears.
So my Rodeo is gone, I do feel a little sad about that, and a new little car has taken it's place. Meet my new Yaris. She still doesn't have a name yet. I've always called my cars "Bessie" because they were all heaps of junk, but the Yaris is perky and new so she needs a good name. Some cute, Japanese name, maybe. For now, she's just my Yaris.