The next day, we got up bright and early, if slightly disoriented from being back in Idaho. After a bit of packing a re-arranging, we hit the bank for our loan and swung by Lindsay's parent's house to drop off their car (Which my mom borrowed for the trip to Salt Lake while hers was in the shop)
Our new car was in Idaho Falls, about 40 minutes to the north, in a town that gets all the good stores. So we stopped in at the Barnes and Noble so that I could try out my nook in the store. Nothing too thrilling, but I did get a free copy of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and chatted with an employee who had some great hints for searching the nook store. For instance, you can type in "0.00 history" to bring up a list of all of the history related free books for download. This is a cool thing.
I also discussed the cracked button issue with him, and he said most of the store's nooks, as well as the employee's personal ones have cracked as well. He actually likes his cracked, it makes the button pushing easier, and he was pretty sure that the next one would crack too. That is probably very true, but man, it sandpapers my chicken that it's something I'll just have to accept. Maybe I'll have to get a silicone sleeve for it that will hide the button from view. But then I wouldn't be able to fit the nook in my back pocket!
Smith Honda had a shiny new Citrus Fire Metallic Element parked out front waiting for me. Very cool. I was iffy about the color at first, I'm used to cooler colors like greens, but the paint is interesting, kind of an autumny blood orange that changes colors in the light. I liked it.
Naturally, thanks to the Honda dealer in Poky, I didn't have the paperwork filled out here, so we hit a nearby fish and chicken place for lunch while the salesman finished my papers. Then, a few signatures later and Lindsay and I pulled out of the lot in our new car. Easy, fun and no shadiness.
This is our third element, we bought it in the third month and when we got in, the trip meter was at 33.3 miles. Third time had better be the charm!
I christened this vessel Captain Stormalong, after a New England Tall Tale about a giant ship captain (Kind of a Paul Bunyan of the Atlantic) and in honor of it, the first song we played in him was "Old Cape Cod" a remake of it by a group called the Puppini Sisters, three lovely young ladies who sing in an olde timey way with a suicide girls twist. Coincidentally, Old Cape Cod also happened to be the third track on the CD... Spooky!
The rest of the day was spent getting ready to leave. Our plans for the E consisted of removing the back seats and installing a sleeping/storage platform that Rich (My father in law) had built for us based loosely on some plans from the internet. It turned out really great, though we did have to make a few simple changes. Essentially, what we did was create a platform out of wood and pipes that allows us to stash all of our stuff under it and have a mattress and sleeping stuff above it. When we are driving, the mattress folds under to the shorter length and is nice and kooshy for the pets to ride on and at night, we slide the seats forward and lay the seat backs flat, flush against the platform. Once we unroll the mattress the rest of the way, this creates a full size bed in the back, with enough sleeping room at the front by the steering area for the dogs to sleep.
Then my wife went to work, cramming a shocking amount of stuff into that little 4x4x1' storage hold. I was shocked, frankly.
We spent the remainder of the evening with family, eating dinner with both sides of parents and stopping in to visit a few friends. That night, we added a few touches to the car and headed to bed.
The first day of the trip started out pretty decent. We left town at 11:11am, fully loaded. Cats on harnesses and leashes, dogs getting used to the new back platform... and we headed East! Well... North really.
The pets adjusted to the first day of driving pretty well. Ludo, of course, just settled right in, chewing on rawhide and looking out the window at the back of the car. He loved how the raised platform allowed him to lie down and look out the windows. Pooka was a bit fidgety, whining a little and shifting around a lot. We had some pills that would make him drowsy and help with nausea that we were probably going to have to use eventually. The cats... Were very good. They crawled around a bit, exploring things, getting tangled up, wanting to sit on my lap, getting stepped on by Pooka... But other than that, they were great! They looked out the window a bit and eventually decided they liked riding on the floor under Lindsay's feet.
That night, we grabbed some fast food at a Taco Johns, eating it in the car next to a school while we watched TV on Lindsay's laptop. (With the sound piped through the a/v jack in Stormalong, which made the theme song to Big Bang Theory pretty impressive!)