I knew this was gonna be a pain in the rear, but man... That was a long trip. I have a lot to say about it, and this blog will probably only cover the basics. Then I'll make little separate observations about the details of the trip later, thus avoiding the dreaded Serial Effect that most of my trips have, but still allowing me to ramble and rant like I usually do. That said, this will still have to be a couple of installments... ha!
Unlike most of our road trips, this trip was not that fun for the most part. Last week, my wife and I left Maine, where we have been slowly building our new lives, and returned to Idaho to pick up something was missing from it, our pets. We have 4; a black cat named Clover, a Siamese named Sassafras and two dogs, a Great Pyrenees named Pooka and Ludo, a Newfoundland/Retriever.
We love these guys and it's been hard being away from them for so long, so it would be good to have them here with us. Getting them here though would prove to be a challenge.
First off, we had to buy a car, and not just any, my third Element. We started talking with a friend that worked for the local Honda dealer in Pocatello. He's a great guy and I love him and his wife, but we've had problems with the dealer before, so we were wary. We needed to get this purchase taken care of before we arrived - We only had about 36 hours in town before we had to leave for Maine again, and we didn't have time for silly Car Dealer crap or delays.
It went smoothly for a while, but then things derailed. They got the car but could never give me an official, final price, so I had to get the loan without a total. They did tell me that a certain price would be sufficient, so that's what I asked for and received from my bank. Two days later, the paperwork arrived in the mail, with a price of $3,000 more than my loan, and a down payment.
Needless to say, we were not amused. I spent the next days trying to get an answer for what was going on and they kept coming back with different excuses. The papers were wrong, don't worry - Oh, well, just hold on and we'll fix it.... Hmm, seems there was a mistake, but your loan still isn't enough... We don't need a down, let me see what I can do...
Finally, I got ahold of the finance guy, Brett. Who, incidentally, was the reason we walked on an Element a few years ago. He admitted that they hadn't been up front about the pricing and they should have gotten the total finalized a long time ago, but that it wasn't his fault. I should have known better than to buy a car like that. Then, he said that he would not apologize for the confusion. He admitted they were wrong, but would not apologize. Grr. The money wasn't that big of a deal, I could adjust my loan, but this pissed me off. A simple sorry and I would have kept up with them.
Instead, I told Brett to shove it and walked. I felt bad because they'd shipped in the car from Montana, and I truly don't feel that it was our salesman's fault, but I wouldn't stand for that. We called a dealer in nearby Idaho Falls, and they happily sold us a new Element for $2000 less than the local dealer said was the lowest they could go.
Of course, afterwards, I got all sorts of calls from other people in the Pocatello Honda asking us to come back. Bah to them.
Anyway, that figured out, we headed to the airport. I was kind of looking forward to this flight. Previously, I've always had tons of luggage and this time I was flying light, just my coat and nook. Well, apparently, I also looked like I was carrying something else, because not only did I get frisked at the security point, I also got frisked a second time at the gate, as did Lindsay... I must look shady.
The flights were long and boring and full up, so we didn't get to pick our seats, though I sat next to a cool musician out of LA the first leg, a chatty Scottsman the second and my wife the third. I read the most part of two books on the flight and had to demonstrate the nook to a few folks that seemed fascinated by it. Lindsay, meanwhile, sat next to some grumpy old men and a excessively friendly flight attendant. In Salt Lake, when we finally landed, we met my mom and brother for dinner at the charming and delicious Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Trolley Square in SLC. I've always loved this place. I don't even like pasta, but their food is pretty reasonable and the decor is fabulous there. We met Lindsay's sisters and brother there and had a very nice meal.
Then the highlight of the trip, seeing our pets for the first time in two months. They were ecstatic to see us and by the time we went to bed, it was well after 1am Mountain time, which was a LONG time from the 6am Eastern when we got up....
The next day was going to be busy!