go, speed racer!

Well, we did it. We bought a minivan.

We'd been mulling about this for a while. Andrea's '97 Chrysler Concorde, Sheila, has been a faithful steed for our family for the last seven years or so. She bought it for $6,000 while I was on my mission, and we finished paying off the loan soon after we got married.

But's it's starting to show it's age and it's getting harder and harder to fit both girls in there with all the stuff which seems to gravitate around them like Jupiter's moons. So we started looking at minivans.

We read good things about the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey, and test-drove a couple of Sienna's, but they're rather pricey (or, as I like to say, "freaking-butt expensive"). So, while we were at the Hertz dealership last week our salesman-guy showed us a Hyundai Entourage, which we test drove and decided we liked. We came home and researched it some more, and, after reading lots of positive reviews, decided we'd give it a go.

So, this morning we loaded up in ol' Sheila and headed back into town. We looked at the two Entourages they had and decided the blue one seemed somewhat lacking (and funky smelling, too), so we hopped back in the gold one and took it for another spin, after checking out all the latches, levers, straps, and hooks to make sure they work. We drove it out to Cloverdale to drive up on the ramps at Andrea's folks' house to have a looksie. After deciding that everything looked good, we drove back to begin the dickering.

For the record, I hate the whole dickering/bargaining thing. I think it's retarded. If only there were a fair way for everyone to just know how much stuff fairly cost, and we pay that. Actually, I think they tried that: it was called communism and it didn't go too hot. So never mind. Anyway, I'd kind of been sweating the whole thing, but I think I held my own pretty well. We only had to threaten to leave twice, but the guy we were working with was pretty good to work with. We were able to talk him down from $17,900 to $16,600 and before we knew it, we were signing papers! We also were able to get a crazy-low 3.94% interest rate and put $5,000 down, so our monthly payments are going to be pretty manageable.

So that's it! We're the proud owners of a gold 2007 Hyundai Entourage with 18,000 miles on it. It's definitely the newest thing Andrea or I have ever owned. We're pretty happy about it.

Features we like:

We came home pretty pumped about the whole experience. Andrea was actually kind of leaping around doing some sort of Leprechaun jig or something.

We're not sure yet of the social implications of owning a mini-van. Does this make us "square," at least any moreso than we already were? Is Andrea a "soccer-mom?" I turn 26 this June. That officially puts me in my "late twenties," which is durned-near forty, as far as I can tell. I wonder if having a minivan is just another symptom.

Oh well, it'll be nice to have in my old age. I guess I could sit in our driveway on the rear bumper while I yell at the kids to get the heck off my lawn.

Here's the link to the gallery, since you REALLY want to see our new van SO much. And, for those who don't want to click, here are some pictures:

Our new van

The "grocery bag hook" Andrea thought was so funny

Me holding on to the "oh crap" bar

Andrea at the wheel

As per our tradition, we've decided on a name for our sexy new beast. We're naming it (him, I suppose) Vincent. As in, "Vincent Van, Go!"

By the way, Sheila is for sale now. We're asking $2,900 or best offer. If you or anyone you know needs a car that still runs great for cheap, let us know.