It was finally Relay for Life weekend.
But first, John and I had to spend a good portion of Saturday car shopping, because the insurance company did total my car. There are so many reasons why I don’t want to have to get another car and only one in the plus column (because I have to).
One big reason is my parking space at work. It’s in a garage under our building and the ceiling above my space slopes down to only 54 inches at the wall. So clearance is tight. It’s a buddy space, meaning I share it with my friend Sue (of the Panamanian molas fame) and we park end-to-end. So if I could guarantee that she would always be the first car in, I wouldn’t have any concerns. But since that isn’t practical, I have to consider a vehicle that will fit nose-in to the wall (I’m not one to back into my space like Sue and the majority of Richmonders. I just don’t get it, plus I wouldn’t be any good at it).
So early Saturday morning, John and I drove down to the office and measured the space. Then we went to the Honda dealer and looked at the CR-V. While the back seats don’t fold flat which would be my preference, they do fold out of the way, giving about 4 lineal feet of storage space to the tailgate. It has a sunroof and an input jack so that I can plug in my iPod, those are my requirements. The salesman let us drive it back to the office to see if it will fit in the space, which it does just fine, so we didn’t need to make that first trip. But who knew you can take a brand-new vehicle out for a joy ride without the salesman having to ride in the back seat and go farther than just around the block? Times have changed since our last new-car purchase.
We went next door to the Hyundai dealer to look at Tucsons and Santa Fes. The Tucson is out right off the bat because you can’t get one with a sunroof. I think I would love a Santa Fe if it would fit into that spot. It’s too tall. So we didn’t spend much time at this dealership.
Then we went down to the Toyota dealer and looked at the RAV-4. We asked for the salesman who sold us the Corolla, yep he’s still there, and if anything, he’s goofier than I remember from 2003. I don’t know if I can stand him long enough to negotiate a purchase if that’s what we decide to do. He’s a nice guy, but he just doesn’t stop joking around. Anyway, he let us take the RAV to the office, too. As expected, it fits in the space as easily as the CR-V.
That’s all the time we could spend and at that point, I think I like the Honda a little better than the Toyota. The only thing I didn’t like about the CR-V is that the seat didn’t feel like it molded very well to my back. The RAV has more comfortable seats and 6 lineal feet of storage, but there were other minor little things about it that I didn’t like, such as the sunroof, when open and driving on the interstate, had a much louder sound to it than the Honda’s. They both drive very nicely, although the RAV sounded creaky when driving over the cobblestones near the office.
So I changed into my workout pants and RFL t-shirt, packed the rental car with a folding chair, jacket, my pillow and a blanket, stopped at Pizza Hut and picked up my dinner and away I went to Lee-Davis High in Mechanicsville for RFL.
There were a lot of teams there from around the Richmond area, with tents set up for the overnight and a lot of those party-tent things. There was a tailgate-like atmosphere as people lugged in grills and folding tables and food, food, food. There was music playing on the PA system and bands were setting up.
The luminaria ceremony was very moving, as they turned off the stadium lights, lit the candles and read all the names from the luminaria bags (probably a thousand if I could guess). Here are the bags donated by my sponsors:
I walked the track from 8-9pm, 11-12pm and 2-3am. I did about 7 miles. My legs were hurting by the last circuit so I didn’t make my usual 3 miles. At 3, I decided to try and get a couple hours sleep in the car, but I wasn’t comfortable and couldn’t stop coughing when laying down. It was cool and very damp that night, and I was wondering if I was going to have an asthma attack or get pneumonia. So the coughing was better if I sat up, but I can’t sleep sitting up. I gave up trying before 5 and went back to my group, prepared to walk one last time from 5-6. But what I found was that those who were still there were packing up to leave. Once the PA system shut down at 11pm, there was little to no communication from the organizers so no one knew what the “closing ceremonies” were going to be like and who was going to feed us breakfast, if indeed someone was going to do that. There were still a few people walking the track but as you might expect the crowds had thinned out considerably by that time.
So I got home just before 6 and happily crawled into bed. At 8:15 Joey decided he’d had enough of me sleeping so he came in and barked until I got up. Thanks, dog.
Sunday we were back to thinking about car shopping. A lot (most?) car dealers in Richmond are closed on Sundays, but we did go to Carmax, the used car dealer, and didn’t really see anything I liked. We went back home and scoured the internet, emailing for rate quotes on Corollas and Civics. I learned that Toyota does not put sunroofs in Corollas as standard equipment 😦 but Honda does put them in one of the Civic models.
It’s stressful having to shop for a car when you have to and don’t want to (and I only have the rental car until Friday).