Monday, December 14, 2009


This weekend was a pleasant mix of achievement, domesticity and fun.

On Saturday morning Daisy got her first H1N1 shot. (For those of you who follow my status updates on Facebook, you'll know that this was the "achievement" part of this post.) Then went to swimming lessons and came home so that Mummy could... a new car!

Or, more specifically, a used SUV - a 2008 Kia Sorrento EX.

If you've known me for a while know, you'll know that is quite a leap. If you haven't, then let me summarize to bring you up to speed: I like to drive (fast); I like fast cars; I like stick shifts; I frown on automatics because it's like driving a go-kart; my previous car (Altima 3.5SE) was my baby and took my breath away when I drove it for the first time; I vowed never to change any of these preferences and purchase an SUV or an automatic just because I had become a mommy.

Shoot, well, so much for that.

In all honesty, I didn't buy this car because I'm a mommy and/or because I have somehow abandoned everything fun and exciting that I was before. I purchased it as part 1 of my New Year's Resolution - get my financial house in order. I'm going to sell my old car private party (it's paid-up) and use the money to pay off credit card debt. So, you can sort of look upon it as refinancing my unsecured credit card debt for a secured loan at a lower APR (4.7%).

This year has, understandably, been a bit of an expensive year. In addition to Daisy and our vacations (which is what I view my credit cards as being for and which I refused to negotiate for my own mental health), I put other large purchases on my card this year - my Gym, Daisy's Viacord service, to name just two. Now, with credit cards playing hanky-panky with your interest rates and no doubt trying to find new ways to gouge money out of you now that the new laws are coming into effect in 2010, I have decided that it's time to do the responsible thing and move my debt elsewhere

Unfortunately, a new Altima 3.5SE did not fit well into those plans, unless I leased, which I consider to be pretty much on-par with renting a house - good money thrown away. Hence, I needed something different. I've been researching for a while and boiled it down to several vehicles that met my space criteria (room for a car seat and two people in the back seat, a large trunk for strollers and groceries), as well as my own personal preferences (sunroof, power seats, an automatically dimming rear mirror, a compass, and an engine that wouldn't leave me poodling away from a light like a granny.) The Sorrento was on that list and so I visited the local Kia dealer last week for a test drive.

Originally I test-drove a brand new LX 4x4 - the last new Sorrento they had in stock. It felt clunky, too high-up, and, quite frankly, a little cheap and plastic inside. Plus it didn't check a lot of my personal boxes re: features. I wasn't impressed. Then the salesman mentioned a loaded 2008 EX that a Priest had just returned. (Yes, I said Priest - my car has been blessed!)

Aparently said Priest had been recently reassigned to the foothills, just above the snow level, but was told by his boss (? who the heck manages Priest relocations?) that it really never snowed there. So, he purchased a 2 wheel drive vehicle new. Then, this past weekend, a foot or so of snow dropped on him and he freaked out. It seems that he wasn't willing to leave his safety on the snow to prayer alone and returned the loaded EX for a 4-wheel drive LX. His loss was my gain because his $26k new vehicle is now mine for just over $19k. Woot!

Ms. Sorrento is black, has leather, heated seats, power seat adjustment, a sunroof, a 6 CD changer with in-wheel controls, towing package, dual climate control... plus lots more that I've probably forgotten. As a 2-wheel drive it's lower and way less clunky than the 4x4 I originally test-drove and, with it's 3.8L engine, it's not too shabby in the acceleration department either - yay, no granny driving for moi! In fact, the more I've driven it this weekend, the more I've come to love it. I have to say that the heated seats came in really handy this wintery weekend: nothing like having a warm ass

So, all in all, not too much of a sacrifice, although one day in the future I WILL purchase another ridiculously fast car with manual transmission again. This is a temporary, if not entirely terrible, compromise.

As you've probably experienced with car purchases yourself, this took up my Saturday afternoon.

Saturday evening we had a Christmas party to attend and, after Daisy was safely in bed, handed the monitor to Mum and Dad to head-out for a few hours of adult merriment. That's the pic of us all dressed up with somewhere to go, at the top of this post. The best part of the party for me (although the party itself was good) was putting on a dress, looking in the mirror, and actually liking what I saw! Ok, so I still have 8lbs to go but, if I say so myself, I did not look too shabby at all. In fact, I'd venture to say that a good 50% of my pre-pregnancy clothes are now fitting me again! This, obviously, put me in a wonderful mood.

With all the excitement of Saturday out of the way, Sunday was our day to chill. I made blueberry muffins for breakfast (which Daisy inhaled), took a quick visit out for some groveries with Daisy and Mum, and then made our favorite rainy-day dish - Winter Pot Roast.

The only bad thing I can say about the whole weekend was that my back and hips were HOWLING at me on Sunday gnith. I'm not exactly sure what the catlyst was here but all I know is that I needed a muscle-relaxer and two painkillers before bed. Unfortunately, this put me into a comatose state until 6am when I woke up with a start to the sound of Daisy kicking the crib bars, realizing I had completely slept-through my supposed gym time. Drats! Such is the price of a great weekend. Today I'll just yoga.


CGBCYouth said...


(of the said life-altering vehicle of course...)

Linh and Yogi said...

congrats on the new car and getting your finances together. It's never easy but its a great move! BTW, we know what you mean about the warm ass...we love that feature too!

SHE-PRIOR said...

what happened to your new anne taylor getup? i'm thinking you needed the shirt in a medium!! :)

PS - you look FABULOUS!

TravelVixen said...

Hello SHEPRIOR: I was going to wear that to an afternoon party but we didn't end up going to that. Since I'm so far behind on my laundry, I literally didn't have anything to put on the bottom that went with the top except jeans and so it didn't work for the night time. So, I am reserving it for my cocktail evening on Friday. I did try it on, however, and I'm going to rock it with some cute, dark jeans and high heels. Will post pics.

e said...

Except for the hip and back, an awesome weekend. Did you wear heels Saturday? Sometimes heels set me off, and I've pretty much decided I don't wear heels anymore. Maybe in a year or two I will again, but not now.

The car sounds perfect! It's a compromise, but not too bad of one.

And you look great, you must feel terrific! Well done!!

Mala said...

Congratulations on your new car! And as I've said before on FB - you lok beautiful!

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