Road trip!
Saturday April 06th 2013, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Family

Two possible routes, the GPS said, one up the most heavily congested freeway in northern California (and that’s saying something), the other a ride through beautiful valleys with the hills to each side, a few extra miles but no extra minutes.

Was this a trick question?

And so after our last session of our church’s Conference this afternoon (there are two more sessions Sunday) Michelle and I jumped in the Prius and she drove as I watched birds hover on the winds through those valleys on our way up past the sign that said Sacramento this way, Stockton, that.

Lots and lots of turkey vultures (that’s a raptor, grinned Michelle as she kept her eyes on the road), but also hawks: redtailed, I think, and there was what might even have been a peregrine falcon. The sky was just overcast enough to soften and deepen the colors all around, and on this fine spring day the hills were green, not yet the gold dust coming in a few months.

And so we arrived in a good mood. There was a couple wrapping up their deal and a few workers around but basically we seemed to have the place to ourselves. We found someone to ask for Dante, and he phoned him; shortly thereafter the man Michelle had emailed with came inside the dealership and led us to the Honda they’d been talking about. (She had told him flat out his price was too high and he had agreed to a lower one without her even being there yet–how often does that happen? And she had the printout in case she needed to prove it.)

He had told the place we were coming and had asked this morning for it to be detailed, and it appears that upon our actually walking in in person someone had gone oh, this one’s real, and had pulled it into the carwash–other than that, the thing had a long way to go. Carpets desperately needing to be shampooed, what looked like a shopping cart having ricocheted all the way down one side, a child’s vivid pink bracelet in the trunk. I’m guessing someone traded it in when they needed to be able to get another carseat in. Or got tired of wrestling with one in a coupe.

Seeing it flawed gave us–her–more leverage than seeing it pristine. Michelle had walked away from several salesmen and cars at this point but I had to make myself not say out loud, Oh, this’ll be so perfect!  As was the salesman, who was the antithesis of pushy; I liked him on the spot. Such a relief compared to some I’ve encountered, about whom the nicest thing I could say is that only my husband existed in their eyes, even when it was my car we were buying.

I did say to her, Do you want to look at that Fit in Pleasanton on the way home?

(Mom, the Fit was in…) she said afterwards. But appreciated the help.

And so we went home. They will clean and they will check out the mechanicals a little more closely and they will get rid of those scratches and they will email her Monday to let her know it’s ready and still at that same price. Or we don’t come back. And they know it, because she is a serious buyer but we are hardly close by.

And so we took 680 home, Michelle happy to drive, me happy to watch raptors soar.

And then I made blueberry pie, because, you know, some Saturdays are just near-perfect like that.

7 Comments so far
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How pleasant! I do hope they follow through; it would make for a happy ending to a lovely story.

Comment by Channon 04.07.13 @ 4:33 am

I hate having to car shop! I feel like I can’t trust any salesman. When I bought my current car the salesman didn’t even greet me until my husband walked into the showroom. I was ready to walk out right then but dear hubs calmed me down and made a good deal. Notice I said hubs made the deal. AAARRRGGGHHH!

Comment by Jody 04.07.13 @ 7:21 am

so nice that you had a good day and pleasant scenery

and I hope this means a near end to the great “car shop” issue!

BTW, can I have a piece of pie?

Comment by bev 04.07.13 @ 10:03 am

Rapturous raptors! Fit? You mean Fiat?
Michelle has it right. Give her my congratulations.
Your car search reminds me of the time Amalie and I were shopping for a car big enough to hold both scooters. The salesman wasn’t pushy, but when we saw the mini van, I gave her a nod, she nodded back, and that was that.

Comment by Don Meyer 04.07.13 @ 10:47 am

There’s nothing like a California drive on a California spring day. I’m green with envy at your near-perfect Saturday.

I’ve been reading about easy, breezy San Diego today and wishing for easy, breezy here, now. It hasn’t felt much like spring here so far this year. Soon, though.

Comment by RobinM 04.07.13 @ 3:22 pm

That’s near my old stomping grounds, and beautiful country. I lived in Woodland and Yolo for almost 3 years :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 04.07.13 @ 8:03 pm

It can be fun to negotiate a car deal when you don’t have to buy that car. Calm and matter of fact – sounds like Michelle has what it takes.

Comment by twinsetellen 04.08.13 @ 9:13 pm

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