Goodbye, Old Friend

Well, it’s done. We took my vehicle over to my friend’s house last night and signed over the title. They were nice enough to make us dinner. Two dinners, actually. Hotdogs and coleslaw for the men and salmon and asparagus for the women.

The Cayenne looks a lot bigger than the FX45, so before we purchased her, I checked the width to make sure she would fit in the garage. Turns out, both vehicles are 85 inches wide mirror to mirror, so no problem there. The surprising thing is that Xena is only 1.5 inches taller and 2 inches longer than Gina.

So it shouldn’t feel like I’m driving a much bigger vehicle. And yet, it does. Gina felt like a tallish sedan. Xena feels like an incredibly muscular and agile SUV. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but right now I’m a little tentative. The ride is amazingly smooth and I’m looking forward to our first road trip. Goodbye Gina, hello Xena.

The Beginning of the End

Sunday was the longest day of the year. You know what that means, of course. It’s all downhill from here. It will be July next week. Where did the summer go? I feel like we barely got started. On the plus side, the start of July means we only have two months until we head to Hawaii for quality baby time. We were able to book a ticket using frequent flier miles for my husband’s stateside sister. So, all three siblings will be reunited for a week. It’s beyond awesome.

Monday we took Xena in for her first round of wrap. They received a couple more templates and were actually able to complete more than they expected. Bad news is that two of the sections got contaminated by dirt under the film, so they’ll have to be redone. We booked the appointment to take her back in next Tuesday. At least she’s mostly protected for now.

Which is really important, because tomorrow night I have to bid farewell to her predecessor, Gina. We are taking her to her new (temporary) home. Her actual owner will be driving up from Iowa to claim her. My friend’s son won that battle. He’s a good, responsible person and I’m sure he’ll take good care of her.

The parting will be a little bittersweet. Not sure if it’s because I wasn’t quite emotionally ready to part with her or if it’s because she’s the first vehicle I’ve really been fond of. It’s stupid, I know, getting emotional about a car. At least I can take comfort in knowing that she’s going to a good home.

Staked Out

Our architect had the surveyor stake the corners of our new house on our lot. There are two reasons for doing this – one is to figure out exactly which trees we will need to remove before starting construction and the other is to give us a better sense of exactly how the house will fit on the lot.

The staking was done on Thursday and the architect went to check it out on Friday. We weren’t able to come at that time because of my afternoon appointment. So we went out there today to take a look. It wasn’t really a fun experience. First we had to soak ourselves with mosquito repellant before venturing up to our lot. Then we had to wade through a lot of waist high weeds.

We had trouble finding some of the stakes. I’m not really sure all of them got placed. For some reason the porch wasn’t included in the boundary of the entertainment space, so the full length of the building wasn’t reflected. A few trees had been tagged for removal, but the largest one was missed because of the unmarked porch.

The whole thing just seemed like a huge bust and left me feeling depressed. Our once seemingly huge lot appeared cramped by the proposed footprint of the house. Are we trying to build something that doesn’t fit the site? Should be have more spaces on the second level? I am plagued with doubt. It just wasn’t a happy way to end the week.

Don’t Mess with Me, Tommy B.

I  just placed my third online order with Tommy Bahama in less than 24 hours. Why, you might ask? Because I had three $50 off promotion codes and they wouldn’t let me use more than one per order. Like I’m going to let that stop me.

Tommy Bahama periodically runs this event they call “on the flip side.” You spend a certain amount and you get a gift card for $50. Usually the amount is $250. So, it’s sort of like a 25% off discount, but not really because you end up getting $300 worth of stuff for $250, which is 17% off. And that’s only if you can hit exactly $250 on the first purchase and $50 on the second, which is nearly impossible.

But, occasionally they lower the spending threshold to $150 for the $50 gift card. These usually last for only a few days. They have one going right now and I happened to have the promo codes to use on the purchase. (One via email, one via snail mail and one that my husband received via email) So I’m thinking I can make a purchase and get $150 off, plus get a $50 gift card for every $150 I spend. Totally awesome, right?

Then I read the fine print and found out I could only use one promo code per order. Yeah, well F U Tommy Bahama. So I placed three separate orders starting yesterday morning. Fortunately, their shipping charge is only $5. Now I just get to sit back and wait for the gift cards to roll in. Then I have until the middle of July to use them all. Which means spending more money at Tommy Bahama. Wait, who got who with this deal?

We’re Gonna See the Baby

The arrival of Xena wasn’t the only exciting thing that happened yesterday. My husband and I have been talking about going to Hawaii in September, to make up for the trip we aborted in May. We need the miles to push us into the Diamond frequent flyer level with Delta next year. It will probably be the only time we have an opportunity to reach that level, so we’re motivated.

Since Hawaii is sort of halfway between Melbourne and Minnesota, we’ve been working on getting my sister-in-law to bring our niece and join us there. It’s a 10+ hour flight with a toddler, so it’s not a small thing to ask. But I just can’t stand the thought of not seeing Nola until after Christmas. Nola asking to visit us at “our” flat in Melbourne probably helped make my case.

So I sent my sister-in-law a proposed itinerary yesterday afternoon and she accepted almost immediately. After we got back from the dealership, I booked our flights. Then I got on the phone with my sister-in-law and booked a flight for her and Nola. We will be landing in Honolulu on September 1st and they will be arriving the morning of September 3rd.

Less than 11 weeks until we get to see the baby again! I am so excited. I already made a reservation for a gorgeous house on the North Shore of Oahu. We will spend just over a week hanging out, snorkeling and building sand castles on the beach. I have a feeling we’re really going to need the break by then.

Warrior Princess

First thing this morning I received a call from the auto glass replacement company. The technician was not happy with the quality of the windshield he had received for our BMW, so the appointment needed to be rescheduled. Which is problematic, since I have appointments in both the morning and afternoon tomorrow.

So we rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. This means my husband will need to drive me to my appointment and then be on call to run out to the dealership and sign off on the work after it’s complete. Then, I finally got a call back from Porsche with a quote for the full wrap on my new Cayenne. It was double what the place that did our Tesla was quoting. So, we are back to having it done in two stages.

On the plus side, there was now no reason to delay taking delivery. So we headed back out to the dealership late in the afternoon and took the tour of her command center. And I do mean command center – driving the Cayenne is like piloting the space shuttle. There are a ridiculous amount of buttons and switches. It’s going to take forever to figure everything out. But after a crash course, I drove her home.

I had spent quite a bit of time researching potential names for our new baby.  I considered everything from Pepper (Cayenne, get it?) to Luna (her color is moonlight blue). German women’s names are not particularly attractive. But nothing seemed to stick. After meeting her, I knew the name needed to reflect her speed and power, but also her incredibly sexiness. So I landed on Xena, Warrior Princess.

Truthfully, I thought it was a little silly at first, but it just seems right so I’m going to stick with it. She is amazing to drive and received quite a few head turns as I came home. For now she is safely parked in the garage and will remain there until we take her out Monday morning to be wrapped. Welcome home Xena.

 

Another Snag in the Plan

My day started out with way too many phone calls. First to the insurance company to file the windshield replacement claim, then to the auto glass place, then back to the insurance company who subsequently handed me back to the auto glass place. I repeated my information about four times during the process.

It was way more complicated than it should have been because the first person I talked to at the insurance company wasn’t a glass replacement specialist and didn’t really know the procedure. But I finally got it scheduled for tomorrow morning. As soon as that’s done we should be able to take delivery of the Cayenne.

Or maybe not. We had an appointment scheduled for a full paint protection wrap next Monday and Tuesday, at the same place that did our Tesla. In firming up the pricing, we found out they don’t have all of the templates needed to do a 2016 Cayenne GTS. So they can do a partial wrap next week and finish it at the end of the month when the rest of the templates arrive. Or we can wait until the end of the month and do the whole thing. Neither option is great.

So I called Porsche to see what they would charge and when they could do it. Simple question, right? They actually tried to sell this option to us when we bought the car. Strangely, they couldn’t get me an answer before the end of the day, so I’m waiting for a callback tomorrow. So, when will I actually be able to take delivery of the sexy beast? Stay tuned.

New Car, Almost

We scheduled our appointment to pick up my new Cayenne at 6:00 PM, to allow plenty of time to finish cleaning up and cleaning out my husband’s BMW. Since we knew all of the freeways between our home and the dealership would be a nightmare, we took a a convoluted route using side streets.

I was leading in my Infiniti. The only reason we needed to take both cars is that we can only fit one of the BMW’s snow tires in its trunk. So we needed my car to haul the other three. We had only gone a few miles when my husband passed me and took the lead. I found out why when he pulled into a gas station a few minutes later. His fuel light had come on.

Of course the car still had plenty of gas to make it the the dealership, but you really don’t want the fuel light to be on when they are appraising the car. He added a few gallons and we continued on. My new Cayenne GTS was parked on the showroom floor when we arrived. Two words – sexy beast. I was worried about committing to a car I hadn’t seen in person, but she far exceeded my expectations.

My husband’s car appraised at the high end of their original estimate, with one caveat – the windshield needed to be replaced. He had a few stone chips and one was starting to crack. They gave us the option of having our insurance cover the work or knocking $1000 off the trade-in price. I went with option A. So we completed all of the paperwork and left without the BMW or the new Cayenne. It had just started to rain, so I was happy to leave my new baby cozy and dry on the showroom floor. We’ll pick her up in a few days.

Out With the Old

I received a phone call from the Porsche dealership this morning to let me know that my new vehicle had arrived. Of course this meant we needed to clean up my husband’s BMW before trading it in.

Helping my husband with washing and waxing the car normally wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I was doing it on top of an hour long session with my personal trainer followed by three hours of yard work with my mom. So after two plus hours of working on the car, I was pretty much trashed.

By the time we finished it was almost 5:00 and the thought of making dinner was overwhelming. So I copped out and ordered a pizza. I tried to control the damage somewhat by not eating the crust. Thus turning my dinner into a pile of melted cheese with pepperoni, sausage and green olives. It was delicious.

Wild, Wild Life

I’m back in the pattern of waking up way too early, regardless of what time I go to bed. Last night it was 11:00, which is typical. The first time I checked the clock this morning it was 5:15. I didn’t get out of bed for another hour, but I didn’t really get much sleep after that. It’s a little frustrating.

My husband didn’t do any better, so we tried to make the best of the situation by going for a walk around the lake. About fifteen minutes in, we were rewarded by the sight of an American Bald Eagle perched high in a tree. A blue jay was darting around it, screeching like mad. The eagle was unimpressed.

Our second major wildlife sighting was a Great Blue Heron. It was stalking along the edge of the lake, hunting for fish. We watched it for a few minutes, hoping to see it catch one, but no luck. Of course the only reason we see things like this when we are out walking is that I’m not carrying bird repellant, aka my camera.

Unfortunately, in addition to the wildlife, there were way more people than I expected to see out at 6:45 am. Apparently there are a whole lot of running clubs who are out at the crack of dawn on a Saturday. Roving gangs of people huffing and puffing and sweating kept disturbing the peaceful morning. While I’m sure they were getting great exercise, I’m also sure they didn’t see the eagle or the heron. There’s something to be said for exercising at a leisurely pace.