Monday, July 30, 2007

Good-bye Luxury - Hello Economy, & Cape May

Our whirlwind weekend began on Friday evening with Michael waking me in mid-snore, “Mary, Joe’s here!” I, flat on the sofa after dinner and doing some yard clean-up, looked like a beat up ditch digger (ouch). Good friends from Maryland planned a surprise visit and I loved seeing them for a few hours on Friday night. I threw some water on my face, brushed my hair, and was good to go. We met again on Saturday evening.


Michael (left) and Joe. “The Two Stooges”. We had a great time at a nice Italian restaurant with Joe’s lovely wife and two wonderful daughters.

After dinner, we walked to Border’s and I found Geoff’s book!


Susan, let him know I shuffled the shelves a bit.

Earlier on Saturday, we headed out to continue to shop for and test drive SUVs. I wasn’t looking forward to it since it was the third consecutive Saturday we were out and nothing thrilled me. My mind wandered on the way…


Michael thinks I’m a nut but this bug held on to the passenger mirror during 40 miles per hour. Whoa!

SUVs offer nothing I want or need anymore. My beloved Envoy had a heavenly ride but it only carried “little old me” most of the time. Do I need the room? No. Do I need to pay for gas at 22-24 mpg highway? No. The Honda dealership had a nice CRV but not in the colors I prefer – white, black, or red. It was hot on that new car parking lot and I wanted to get it done. I saw an Accord in black that was very nice with leather, a peppy four-cylinder, and amenities I like. I thought, “Why not buy a sedan?”, then I convinced Michael that I liked it very much and we should put an end to this torture right here and now.


He does his car-buying homework and loves playing “Let’s Make a Deal”, knowing how far he can push the card and this deal lasted a while with a manager that offered us the MSRP on the first try. We laughed! It reminded us of a friend in Maryland who had an out-of-body experience in a Ford dealership once and screamed, “Do you think we’re STUPID???!!!!!!” She stormed out. Her husband was mortified but agreed there was good cause for her to become ballistic. We giggled about that, waiting for a more than decent deal to be set in front of us. And it did.

The sale took a few hours to finalize and I spent my time outdoors until I had to sign the papers. The financing, waiting, and everything else about car dealerships makes me dizzy and downright bored to tears. I would have walked home if the Envoy wasn’t registered in my name.


I always find something out of the ordinary. Whaaat? On a parking lot?


While we transferred my stuff to the new Accord, I shed some tears. I cry over nuts and bolts. My wonderful, three-year old GMC with only 35,000 miles was worth less than half its purchase price. That is an American tragedy and I’ll never, repeat never, buy into it again. Sorry.


It’s not as “cushy” as the Envoy but it’s nice and black. I’ll bond with this car. It has a great sound system that will entertain me for long rides on the interstates (to Cape May, see below!). I'll also enjoy 34 mpg - very nice.

In the future, I see me in a red Mercedes sports coupe convertible. I’ll drive it wearing a wide-brimmed hat tied under my chin with top down and A/C running. My XM radio will play my favorite 80’s & 90's, loudly. I'll sing and hold onto my hat.


I was washing hummingbird feeders and making nectar on Sunday afternoon while watching the Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees in Cooperstown, NY. The Baltimore Orioles and Cal Ripken, Jr. made my heart swell with pride even though I’m not big a fan of major league baseball. (Allison, I do know Cal was #8). The Orioles have been blessed with numerous hall of famers over several decades and I remember them all.

Baltimore - My Home Town, hon.

Until I get my rear in gear and upgrade my template and sidebar:
I'm so excited
for the First Birder Blogging Conference
at the Cape May, NJ Autumn Weekend
October 26-27-28, 2007
Join the FLOCK:
Lynne @ Hasty Brook
Sharon, the Birdchick
the list is growing...and open to all!
It'll be a whoot!
For more info:


KGMom said...

Oh good--I may get the first word in. The ONLY question about the new car is. . .how well does it do U-turns?
Pretty snappy set of wheels, there, girl.
You go!

RuthieJ said...

Hey Mary, I'm with you on the car buying thing. My spousal unit loves that kind of stuff and could also spend hours "negotiating." I'm usually outside too looking for birds & such, but I've NEVER seen a chicken at the used car lot. Good thing you had your camera along.

P.S. That's a really nice looking car. Do Bella and Chloe get to ride in it?

Anonymous said...

Yes, depreciation is nasty, isn't it? I decided I would never buy a new car again simply because of that. We just bought a used Honda van (I love Honda) and we went to Carmax. It was painless. No, I don't own stock in them :)

I love the Accord. Especially in the black. Here's to years of great driving with the music blasting!

Mary said...

Nice car we are looking to change ours but dont know what to get.Wish I could join you for October but a bit far to travel!!!cant get there by car.

Susie said...

Nice car! Isn't it awful what they give you for a trade in?
How funny to see a chicken in the parking lot!
That Cape May sounds fun, but far :(

Q said...

Cape May in October???
I might be able to do this.
Would be extra fun with all of you.
Let me check the dates again.
Nice car. You will enjoy it very much.
Next car is top down, ac on right?
Cape May.
Would be fun.....
Chicken in the parking lot!!!LOL
Good one.
Cape May.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Isn't it a relief to have a sealed deal!
I hate car shopping almost as much as the dentist. It's always a good feeling to have it behind you and know it will be a while before you have to go through it again!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I like the mental picture of you with your hat!! It looks like a nice car- glad you like it.

Hooty- HOOT!! Cape May here we come!

LostRoses said...

Nice car, Mary! But I can visualize you a little better in the red Mercedes coupe with the top down. All the better to take pictures from! Oh, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who rides around with the air on and the windows down.

Cape May in the fall! Back when I was an enthusiastic young birder I did that trip with another birder friend. We were totally intimidated by all the world-class birders there and we found we couldn't identify any of those hawks (pinpricks in the air). But we had a blast anyway, as I'm sure you will. Plus you've got Susan, your ace in the hole when it comes to identifying birds!

Cathy said...

I cry over my discarded cars, too. So many great memories .

We hate car-buying so much we use a broker.

what's with that chicken?

If I can determine what's goin' on with my neck (hard to look up at the birds) I'd be mightily tempted to head for Cape May for the FBBC.
It'd be a hoot :0)

Alyssa said...

Your new car looks very pretty. I'm glad you got what you really wanted. We need another vehicle now and I'm just dreading the whole thing. Steve hates "wheeling and dealing" and I don't have much interest in it. Ugh.

What a nice weekend you had - good friends, new car, Hall of Fame and a wandering chicken. I think that's horsefly on your mirror.

Oh yes, have the girls gone for a ride in Mom's new car?? I'll bet they will love it.

Jayne said...

Congrats on the new ride Mary! I like it very much. Accords are just such reliable cars and hold their value well. Wish I could join you guys at Cape May!

Ruth said...

Like you and Cathy, I get teary-eyed when old vehicles go. Even my last lemony Lumina that cost me a fortune in repairs held so many good family memories. Love the new wheels. I will be getting a Honda or Toyota next time too.

Mary said...

Donna, :o) It's a road hugger - I'll waste no time getting to the scene!

Ruthie, every time you say "spousal unit" I crack up!

Kathie, Hello and thanks for visiting! This is my third Honda. You can't go wrong!

Mary, we'll have a great time. Remember the invitation is open!

Susie, that chicken was a riot. I chased it for a while.

Sherry, I'll be in touch with you!

Nina, I'm lucky to have a husband who knows how to negotiate. I could not be less interested...

Lynne, HOOT!

Lost Roses, you have time to think about the trip... Yes, I'll be intimidated but I'll learn a lot, too. Laugh alot? Oh, yes.

Cathy, we are indeed similar - crying over cars. I hope your neck straightens itself out and please please consider the trip?

Alyssa, they haven't been in the new car yet. I'll take them for a spin over the weekend, for sure!

Jayne, it would be a long ride for you but some have already made flight arrangements...think about it?

Ruth, I'm so glad to learn that others get teary-eyed about cars, too. They hold a lot of memories!

Annie in Austin said...

Like LostRoses I'd like to see you in the hat and red convertible, Mary! In the meantime, the new 'stealth' car might be just your style. I wonder whether the birds would notice a black car more or less than the white SUV when you stalk them for photos?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

dguzman said...

Is there anything worse than buying? But then, is there anything better than DRIVING AWAY?!
Good luck with the new baby.

I need to get the FBBC info on my site too--just haven't had time (or inspiration) to blog lately. Maybe it's just too hot!

Susan said...

Count me in for Cape May in October & congratulations on your new car!

thailandchani said...

I lived in Baltimore (Charles Village) for a while, too, hon :)

Buying a new car? Ain't gonna happen here. I'll buy some old used thing to get me around.. but it must be cheap and small.



Dirty Fingernails said...

who doesn't love Cal Ripken Jr? He played with style and was a class act. As well as Tony Gwinn who was inducted as well.. I love the photo of the bee, where you can see the camera in the window reflection..

cat59 said...

Wow; what an eventful weekend! Glad you got the car thing figured out. The Honda looks very nice. When DH retires we are going to be in the market for something used and cheap because he currently has a company car. Love the description of you in the Mercedes!

NatureWoman said...

Wow Mary, that's cool, because I have my eye on a Honda Accord (not that I'm in the market right now, but when I am. . .). Okay, does it have great pick up? Car dealers bore me to tears with their games.
What the heck is a chicken doing in the parking lot, hmmmm?

Susan Gets Native said...

Thanks for the book rearranging, Mary.
You will be able to sneak up on more birds with a little black car.
kgmom had the same thought I well does it do U-turns!

Beth said...

I love the car, but it seems sort of imposing for a birding lady...more like a birding detective...

Cape May sounds really intriguing. I am considering it...seriously...

Anonymous said...

I so would love to join your guys but you are at CAPE MAY because the birds are migrating south and the same reason I have to stay at home trying to catch owls! :(

kate said...

Cool-looking car, Mary! I love it. That was relatively painless, from the sounds of it. The chicken was a hoot!

possumlady said...

My sister has a black Accord and loves it. Now, not to be too much of a single woman whiner but....count you blessings you have someone to do the nitty gritty negotiations!!! As someone who has NEVER had anyone to help with car negotiations you have NO idea how lucky you are!! Okay rant over.

Me, I also love Hondas. I drive my little SUV crossover the Element. My trick for buying is to go at the end of the month but to make sure it is when I'm PMS'ing. Boy Howdy, they don't know what they're in for!! I bought my Element the year it came out and it was very popular. Even so, I still got it below MSRP with keyless entry thrown in.

Dorothy said...

Best of luck with your spiffy new wheels Mary! I had an Accord for over 10 years and I just loved it! The only problem, in an SUV you are "higher up" and better able to take 'drive-by' photos. In my little Solara that I'm driving now...I can't get a good drive-by shot to save my life. I'm too close to the ground in it..and my side mirror gets in the way. (Good excuses, aren't they?) LOL