25 June 2009

t-5 days, and we now have a car for our road trip

We took the Chinatown bus down to New York (complete with a slice of classy triangle-box pizza) and drove home in a new (to us) car. Sweet!

It was a little magical, how it all came together. I was talking with my partner's dad on the phone, and I casually mentioned that we were going to drive to California and needed to find a car.

I wasn't worried-- I'd found Adventures on Wheels and was planning on buying an old station wagon for $1500 and then selling it in California. (You can also buy something more expensive that they promise to buy back after you're done.)

But Papi (my partner's dad) said they actually wanted to buy a car on the east coast (because prices were better here) but didn't know how to get it to California. I was stunned into silence (which is rare). And then started screaming and talking a mile a minute (which is unfortunately common).

So, we bussed down to New York and went with the parents to pick up the car in a fancy neighborhood on the Upper West Side, get temporary insurance and register paperwork at the Harlem DMV. Ah, DMVs. Always a good time.

Finally, we sorted out all the registration paperwork and drove our effectively free car back to Boston. And now, we have Max (what we've named our little silver car) to get us 4000 miles to the west coast.

We had to get Max inspected in New York state within ten days but didn't have time to do it that day, so we drove across the state border two mornings ago to a cute little town called Canaan. It was a mile from Massachusetts.

There were some long stretches without gas stations (or exits), and I was a little worried we'd slow down and get steamrolled by one of those big rigs. Our gas was pretty low, but we made it to the next gas station.

Incidentally, my partner said Massachusetts must have neglected to pay their weather tax because as soon as we approached New York, the neverending (as of late) Boston cloud cover disappeared.

We found this great one-man operation who charged us $20 less than they were going to in New York City and said it would take fifteen minutes instead of the two hours they quoted us in the city.





This perfect countryside scene was across the street. There was an orange motorcycle in the office, and a bunch of awards hiding behind it on the ground.

The walls were covered in photos of his adventurous life: driving race cars, fancy cars, buses and motorcycles; tobogganing in Lake Placid; and one of a crazy bus crash.












He also had an original Woodstock poster and a beautiful old mahogany roll-top desk. It seemed he'd lived his dream life, and we were happy to support his business.

So, the final result of all this?

Max is now ready to go. Yay!