Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Knight in Shining Armour

Or dirty work clothes, whatever works.

I'm interrupting my Christmas reminiscing posts to share my stellar day.

Well, that's not a totally sarcastic comment - my day started out pretty good.

I bought a new Van today. I couldn't help myself - they're practically GIVING new cars away right now! My "old" (read: current for a few more days) van is a 2003. A 2003 that we paid over $30,000 for 5 years ago.... and just rolled over 200,000 km on our trip to my husband's home for Christmas.

It's been a great vehicle for our family. It's a tricked out sport model and has some bells and whistles that I've loved, but I swear, since rolling over that "milestone" mileage, I can hear things starting to fall apart.... I know of two major outstanding repairs (the first ones ever that I didn't have fixed immediately - this van has had every single piece of scheduled maintenance done on it since the day we brought it home) and now the heater is making a really unhealthy noise.

Now they laughed at me in Florida (actually looked at me like I had two heads) when I told them I didn't care if they fixed the A/C in my old car (we were moving back to Canada that month and I could totally live without it). But I assure you, living here in winter, a heater is DEFINITELY something I can't live without.

And lately, with the auto industry being the the dire straits that it is, I've seen some very tempting car ads in the paper. If the prices I was seeing were legit, how could I not at least look? I'm not overly eager to get back into having a car payment again, but man I would love me a new warranty!

So I scouted and got quotes from a couple of dealerships. And found a deal I couldn't pass up. I returned to the dealership that I purchased my last 3 vehicles from, and the one that I've also referred a few other sales to over the years - and they appreciate me there :)

They're giving me my same van (that I love) but a 2008 instead of 2003 (with some shnazzy new upgrades!), throwing in the towing package I wanted for free, letting me keep the $1,000 tires I recently put on the old van, AND giving me almost double what the others offered for my, albeit long-in-the-tooth, 2003.

All for less than half of what I paid in 2003 for our old/current van. Wow.

So a new van is on it's way to me :) It should be here Friday, then they have to install the tow package - so by next week my family will be riding on new wheels.

Nice way to start a day.

Until I headed from the dealership to my office.

And had to drive down the snow dusted and deeply ice-rutted road along the way.... past a stretch where I'd seen another vehicle in the ditch yesterday and where the shoulders where marked with various tread marks from cars swerving to stay on the road.

Yesterday, when I spotted my unfortunate fellow driver half-buried in the 8 feet of snow in the ditch, I had moved to the left hand lane to give the "accident" more room. The left hand lane was clearer anyway.

But today, for whatever reason, I was driving in the right hand, deeply ice-rutted, lane. And just as I approached the spot where the other van had hit the ditch yesterday, a jag in the ice tossed my vehicle slightly to the side and my van went into a full on, out-of-control spin on the icy road.
Thank God there were no other vehicles near me at the time.

I went from cautiously driving in the right hand lane, to spinning right around facing on-coming traffic in the left hand lane, to the passenger side rear end of my vehicle slamming into, and hoping over, the boulevard curb (as the complete 360 spin continued) on to plowing a fair section of snow off said boulevard with the side of my van (as I careened about 10 feet along it) - until my front driver's tire hit the boulevard curb and knocked me down back into the left had driving lane. Facing the right direction.... and I was still in motion! So I just kept driving....

HOLY CRAP! My heart was pounding but there was no damage done. The entire 306 degree spin-out had taken less than 3 seconds and the result was just me being in the left hand lane instead of the right. Whoah. I'm so lucky there were no cars travelling alongside or closely behind me....

And you know, all I could think when I was spinning was "OMG - no, please no - I can't crash the van NOW - I just traded it!

But I was lucky.... made it to work and parked as usual, shaken but none the worse for wear.

And you know, when I called the city to complain about the dangerous ice-ruts on this main thoroughfare, all the woman had to say was "Oh yeah, we've received several complaints about that stretch".

Ya think??

but like I said, no harm no foul.

Or at least that's how I felt until I left for the day.... and only made it a few blocks before a suspicious howling-type noise made me pull over and look around the van.

That's when I saw the flat.

I guess my rear-end slamming into the boulevard curb (or maybe the plowing across it) had torn the rubber from the rim on my back passenger tire - it was flat as a pancake.

That's where my knight in shining armour came in ;)

I only had to wait about 30 minutes before my hubby, just off work, rescued me and put the mongo-size van donut on so I could take my broken tire the shop.

Dear dealership: I promise I'll have it put together just like new before next week (you'll never even know ;)

What a day.


Anonymous said...

OMG ... OMG ... OMG ... my stomach turned a bit as I was reading of your secret service style spin out ... yowza ...

Now I understand reading the Atlas in the car ... still think a game or two on your phone would be good ...

And you KNOW I can't WAIT to see photos of the new family van ... how could you not write about the extras - so curious ... after getting to test drive that 2008 I know how sweeeeet they can be ... congratulations ... now I can barely see my eyes are so green :)

Mbdiamond said...

OK, OK - the "extras" are just standard features on the '08 that our '03 didn't have... the stow & go seats (I told Cam the new van has "magic" seats that dissappear into the floor - he asked me if it could fly too!) and the windows on the sliding doors go down - both boys will be SO stoked about that - they think windows that go down in our rentals are the cats meow, lol.