The car story

I {LOVE} my Landrover Freelander. I {HATE} the problems with it. In 2002 we purchased my cute little SUV- the kids were almost all out of the house (no mini-van) I really hate mini-vans. When Brett and I married- I traded my pickup for Brett's van...and began the life of a soccer (volleyball) Mom.

The car started having problems the first month of ownership. Little things like- driving on the freeway- and it goes into hill decent mode. slamming on the brakes and going 25 mph. Everything is electronic... parts are ordered from England. I feel dread at my purchase - which I tried to justify by saying Consumer Reports gave it a high rating that year. Kind of dumb. The truth is probably more of a romantic notion of African Safaris and Ralph Lauren Style- I was an elite Landrover owner.... reality was pure frustration.

Fast forward to life at the beach. The nearest Landrover dealer is in Portland. 2 hour drive. Did I mention how much I really dislike the snobby Landrover service people? In Bellevue and in Portland. When I told Bellevue that I was moving to the beach full-time...they acted like I needed a court order to take the car out of their area. Should have been another clue. I blame my first ever speeding ticket on them. After a lengthy argument that they MUST give me a loaner vehicle to take to my beach house for Easter weekend - they gave me one of those large fancy Landrovers. (and I had to get special approval to take out of Seattle area) The local state police who set up traps for tourists pulled me over. (it was dismissed in court) I believe they thought I was a tourist- and they were going to get ticket quota with me. (should have seen how surprised the officer was when he looked at my drivers license and realized I was a local) and yes- I tried having local mechanics work on it. Result was having to buy a NEW ENGINE- that had to be sent from England. (do you know how long that takes? and how expensive?)

I digress..... anyway... after too many problems, too much- last week- the scariest car situation of my life happened...and Brett decided it was time to buy me a new car. I researched. We decided to look locally first. You can check inventory online. I had made lists, printed off charts and was ready to shop. - I forgot the list at home.

Partly due to the responses I had always received- 'well, gee- what did you expect with an English car?" I decided to buy American. and I decided to buy local. That limited things a bit.

We headed off to Astoria. I was already crabby. Car shopping is not my idea of fun. As a former motivational speaker- I could never understand how people would suggest that you should go test drive the car of your dreams... get the feel, make it real. That would be the equivalent of hell to me.

Brett realized that a few beers at Fort George Brewery- and a lunch of fresh organic food would settle me down and mellow me out for the afternoon ahead. It did. I only snapped a few times at people- like when that dumb manager started asking my husband 'what are you looking for in a vehicle' and ignoring me. (he left quickly when I finished my retort)

I had forgotten my list- so we pulled out an envelope and recreated my list. I drove past a few dealers- cranky and not liking the inventory. Then- the first car on my list was this little Explorer Sport Coupe. The young man- Eric- caught my attention and the game was on. I ended up with an American car- (assembled in Kentucky, engine from Germany, transmission from France- who knew?!) Eric was new to the sales process. How delightful. His very nice mother hovered a little. (she works there too) (I like helicopter moms- being one myself) perfect! His sales manager (pictured above with him) was also very nice and we drove home a cute little suv/pickup that night. A little give and take- a little bit of compromise... and I am falling in love with my new little guy. Perfect for the beach life.