“Up in Memphis the music’s like a heatwave. White lightning, bound to drive you wild.” — Alannah Myles

After what seemed like a whirlwind of adventure to get to New Orleans it was time to head north. Nashville is about 530 miles north and a little east of New Orleans, which translates to about 8 hours. I wanted an early start to the day as I had plans to stop in Birmingham, AL to stop at the Civil Rights Institute which was open from 1-5pm. By the time I was on the road (after a detour to drive through the Garden District, and to swing by Starbucks) it was close to 9am.

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I got to within 23 miles of the Institute when I hit some stormy weather. No tornado warnings, just a total downpour. I ended up exiting the freeway to wait it out in a CVS parking lot because I couldn’t see and the amount of water on the roadway was incredible. Very thankful for those new tires because I was certain I was going to skid off the road at one point. I didn’t arrive at the Institute until nearly 3pm, but it was absolutely worth finding my way downtown for. Because it’s free on Sundays the place was packed and we had to go inside in groups so that they could space everyone a little bit. Also because the A/C was having a hard time keeping up with all the people in there and it was a little too hot in some areas. It was very eye opening disappointing in a way. To see how far we HAVEN’T come in the past 60 or so years is, well, sad. AMERICA, PULL YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.

I wanted to grab a late lunch in Birmingham, but my radar showed a massive front headed toward Nashville (3hrs north) that had already caused problems in Memphis and had flood watches popping up all over central Tennessee.

I skipped lunch and headed North, watching as the storm clouds rolled in… and then nothing. I had about ten minutes of a sprinkle of rain and that was it. Nothing every materialized and I watched the dark clouds just roll on by. Damnit. My dinner (some diner near my hotel) was mediocre in comparison to the few places I had sought out in Birmingham. Oh well, I was able to get a pretty long, decent nights sleep.

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Rockin’ on the front porch.

The following morning I started off with a visit to the Belle Meade Plantation. What caught my attention about this place is it’s influence on the American Thoroughbred. I had *THE* best guide who led the tour of the house (no pics allowed inside, boo). He wove together the family history of FIVE generations who all seemed to be named the same, state history of Tennessee, slavery and the civil war as well as all this equestrian history. And it all comes down to this one horse I’d never heard of: Bonnie Scotland. I don’t remember the exact number, but something like 120 of the 143 Kentucky Derby winners can be traced back to this horse. Man O’War, War Admiral, Seattle Slew, California Chrome, Secretariat, etc.

So I spent a little longer touring the house, the carriage barns, the stable, etc, because it IMG_9742was 11am before I even hit the gift shop (and I’m not leaving without touring the gift shop). From there I headed to Downtown Nashville and circled FOREVER before spending a small fortune on parking. My plan was to tour the Ryman auditorium and then hit the Johnny Cash museum. Unfortunately, the Ryman was packed, so I just hit the Johnny Cash museum before my three hour drive West to Memphis.

Aside from the ridiculous amount of road work, it was a pretty easy drive. I detoured

slightly to drive through Loretta Lynn’s Ranch which is everything and nothing. When you first turn in there is an office for the campground/RV park, signs to a pool and arcade. You then drive past concert grounds, a motorcross… place (who knew she was into that?) before arriving at a gift shop and museum and place for horse rides, plus what looks like a private residence. In any case, the museum was closed (A/C broke). I let my GPS guide me back toward the highway and it took me on a long, narrow gravel road in the middle of nowhere for miles. At one point I almost turned around, but when I zoomed out on the GPS I saw it did know what it was doing.

And now, I’m in Memphis.

IMG_9780Because I’ve just got one day here, I stuck to Beale St., the Peabody ducks and a few of my favorite places to eat. But I feel like the next time I’m here, it’s time to discover a new part of town. I was a little let down by the hotel this year (the room is fine, the bed comfy) but the staff has been cold and unwelcoming which is a complete turn around from the last several times I’ve stayed here. For the past several years this has been hands down, one of my most favorite places to visit. And this time, just a standard hotel within walking distance of one of my fav. places to booze it up.

Speaking of, one of my absolute favorite places in Memphis is the Kooky Canuck. A

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Flying Moose: Melon, citrus vodka, raspberry rum, sour and mist. 

Canadian restaurant. But the drinks here are amazing. As are their fried green tomatoes and fried pickles – both of which are pretty much life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Thick cut, juicy with just enough breading to keep things interesting, but not get gross.

Tomorrow I head further west to Oklahoma City. It’s about 7 hours (direct on I-40). It’ll be interesting to approach from the other direction, but I doubt I’ll need my GPS. I have a full day scheduled for the following day visiting my favorite shops, driving through a specific neighborhood in Moore that I’ve toured every year since the tornado. It’s been interesting to see how everything just slowly comes back together. And of course a martini at my favorite bar, Flint.

Ciao!

“Everybody here has a story. New Orleans was always a place where people talked too much even if they had nothing to say.” — Chris Rose

The road to New Orleans was long, but I made it! Traffic leaving Houston was a mess due to an accident that rerouted everyone off the freeway, across a small intersection and then back on. What a nightmare. And then again in Baton Rouge, I spent over 30 minutes on the bridge that crosses the Mississippi. Overall, I arrived at my hotel more than TWO HOURS later than I had planned (and that original time included the time I spent at Vermilionville Living History and Folk Life park – which wasn’t much because is was disgustingly hot and humid).

After dropping off some stuff I drove down for Kels, I made my way through the narrow, one-way streets of New Orleans to my hotel. The Place d’Armes is located in the heart of the French Quarter, just off Jackson Square and two blocks off Bourbon St. It happens to be the same place Cait and I stayed back in 2013. What can I say, once I find a place I like, I like to return.

IMG_9675The hotel is amazing! My room on the 3rd floor is in the oldest building on the property (the hotel is four buildings surrounding a quiet courtyard with a pool, and places to relax). It was originally a school and some people say it’s now haunted. Apparently a young girl as well as the headmaster were killed in a fire long ago and have been spotted around the hotel. I’ve seen nothing.

Yesterday I had a full day to explore. I started with breakfast at Stanley – which is a place that Cait and I discovered last time. Returning after 4 years, I wasn’t disappointed. Banana fosters french toast and hot cocoa with baileys. Breakfast of champions.

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Amazing breakfast is amazing. 

Afterward I explored a few shops around the square and then brought my purchases back to the hotel room before setting off for the National WW2 museum. It was 1.3 miles from my hotel and in order to save a $7 uber ride I walked. Heh. Didn’t make that mistake on the way back, that’s for sure.Â

The museum was HUGE and I didn’t see more than half in the few hours I spend there. It was speedy to get in, but I felt it worth the price. I spent extra to see the movie (which was intense as the seats rumbled and everyone jumped with the booms and bangs and other noises of war – I was actually shocked there wasn’t a warning that came with it) and this submarine thing (that was a waste of money).Â

IMG_9692I ubered back toward my hotel and stopped off at a CVS for some bottled water and then hit Cafe du Monde for a snack to bring back to the hotel. I showered and relaxed for a bit before picking another restaurant for a bite to eat and a drink and then headed back to the hotel.

I managed to sleep in this morning and then packed up what I could, bringing some of my shit back to the car so I have less to load up tomorrow. I walked a few blocks to a new place to try for an early lunch. I walked around a bit more and then returned for a shower and to relax in the AC and watch the Sounders (ugh, we lost) before getting ready for the main event.

MY BEST FRIEND GOT MARRIED! IMG_9717

We’ve been friends for a long time and have walked each other through some tough shit. It makes me so happy to see her so happy. She looked absolutely stunning! I’m so glad I was able to watch her walk down the aisle (albeit in a little bit of rain with some thunder rolling in the distance). Luckily the weather cleared up for the second line parade (google it). My videos didn’t turn out great – turns out it’s hard to wave a handkerchief  and take video and walk at the same time. Who knew?

“There are no foothills to the Tetons. They rise suddenly in rugged majesty from the rock strewn plain…” — Gustavus Cheney Doane

I’ve been waiting a long time for this trip. My last road trip of any decent length was in 2013 where I spent the majority of my time scanning the radar for possible tornado activity after a long and exhausting evening in a shelter in Oklahoma.

When Kelsey announced that her wedding would be in New Orleans, that familiar sense of adventure started to tingle in my spine. Obviously, I wasn’t going to miss the wedding,  but I’m not sure when “I think I might drive down” turned into “oh yeah, I’m driving down”.

In the weeks leading up to my departure I struggled with a little anxiety around heading out on my own. What if it’s stormy? What do I do if I’m in the middle of nowhere and the sky turns green? What if my car dies? Can I do 750 miles in a day?

No, no, no. Stop. This is not scary. The open road is home. It’s comforting. I know this, but sometimes I need to be reminded that I know this. For two weeks there was a quiet little track in the back of my mind reminding me of all the things that could go wrong. At 5am when I pulled out of the driveway, it disappeared.

Everyone asks if I get bored, sometimes doing upwards of 750 miles in a day, alone in the car.

The short answer, not really.

The long answer, absolutely.

There are absolutely times that I just want to be done. I want to get out of the car, stretch out and move and be anywhere but in the car. But it’s not often. More often than not I’m singing along to one of my carefully curated road trip playlists. Or lost in thought. Plotting a new story or dreaming up things that could never happen, but are fun to imagine anyway. Driving way out in the middle of nowhere is so freeing and it’s amazing. Maybe because I am an only child and learned how to entertain myself, but I’m damn good company on a road trip.

And then I get to a place like Grand Teton National Park and it’s like a continuous loop of wow with every curve and bend in the road.

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Unlike Yellowstone, I didn’t see much wildlife (a few pronghorn and hawks and people on horseback) though signs to watch for bears are everywhere. But Tetons are amazing. No pictures or words can even begin to describe how impressive this place is. The drive takes you through flat open plains and up through rugged terrain at nearly 10,000ft above sea level.

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This drive through the Park was honestly such a tease. With only a couple hours to drive through, I feel like I walked away with sneak peek and the call to return.

Leaving the park I headed toward Casper, WY where I was spending the night. I could see storm clouds in the distance, but I wasn’t too concerned until it started to rain a lot harder than just a summer shower. With about 25 miles to go (and completely alone out on the road) I decided to check my phone radar. Only to find that Casper was in the middle of a tornado warning and severe thunderstorm. I could see it was moving away from Casper and away from me. I debated pulling over, but the wasn’t much room to pull out of the way if another car came from behind. So I slowed the cruise control down 20mph and slowed my approach.

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Not slow enough.

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I rode in on the tail of a complete downpour. It was like driving through a wall of water and even on the highest setting, my wipers couldn’t keep my windshield clear. The roads were covered in standing water and they were slick, but once I turned into the town, the rain slowed and gave way to sunny skies as the storm moved northeast.

On Monday I drove from Casper, WY to Amarillo, TX — another long day, coupled with losing an hour of the day (time zone change). It’s a route that I’ve taken before, so it wasn’t anything new. But the promise of a possible tornado warning in the afternoon and I hauled out as soon as possible.

But leaving early didn’t help the drive. Much of Colorado is apparently being repaved at the same time and despite the lack of traffic, it was stop and go all over the place. The worst.

Then as I drove through the vast nothing, also known as Texas farmland, I could see some suspicious looking clouds.

SRSLY WTF WEATHER?

Thankfully it was just south of where I was and although I could see the lightning, it wasn’t anything to be concerned about. But enough, okay?

Today was a shorter drive, but I had plans. I went to the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame/Museum in Amarillo, met a friend for lunch in Lubbock and coffee with my cousin in Abilene before finally landing at my hotel just in time to watch the Sounders US Open Cup game vs. Portland (spoiler alert, we won).

Although Texas is large, I’ve found that there are a billion tiny, nearly abandoned towns along the way. In some ways, it’s nice. Plenty of places to stop for fuel, bathroom breaks, etc. But as soon as you get cruise control set to 75, you approach a town and it drops to 70… 60….55….50….45… 35. Then you pass three buildings and then the speed limit climbs to 75 again. Way to screw with my  gas mileage.

We’re Not Finished Yet…

Except we just fucking finished it!

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It’s been a week and I still can’t even handle it. Back in June, July… I was ready for the season to be over. Like, let’s just unplug the season and plug it back in a few months later to prepare for January/pre-season.

But then suddenly we got a new player and others were finally healthy and oh yeah, we dropped Sigi and let Brian take the wheel. I think the best case scenario that we all thought was that we wouldn’t end the season scraping the bottom of the barrel. But then we kept winning and playing better and when we went to the locker room at the half, down a point, we came back out and didn’t give up.

And the next thing I know, I’m scrambling to get a rental car and a flight home from Toronto at midnight the night before I fly out to DC.

How did this even happen?

I am so beyond thrilled for my team, my city, my soccer fam. For Zach Scott, ending his 15 year career with the Sounders by hoisting the cup. Unbelievable.

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It was brutally cold on Saturday in Toronto. I believe the game time temp was somewhere around 24F – which is cold, but considering we were what felt like 8 miles up, the wind was  biting and I have no idea what the windchill factor was. I had two hand warmers in each glove, one against my palm and the other on the back of my hand, but I could still hardly feel my fingers. I had two larger heat packs (the kind for cramps or muscle aches) stuck to my back. I had three hoods as well as a hat, and of course my scarf which covered my mouth and nose for most of the time. But the worst was my legs and feet. I wore boots with my thick sounder socks, but by the time I got back to my hotel at 1am I couldn’t feel my toes much at all and I couldn’t bend them.

With a 4:40am wake up, I decided against a shower (horrible mistake). It took forever to fall asleep (I think I got about 2 hours of sleep) and I woke up still shivering. The worst. But that said, TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Because we’re champions now.

Four US Open Cups, a Supporter’s Shield and finally the MLS Cup.

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Brian Schmetzer’s Rave Green Army

What a night, right? The Cubs won the world series after a really long time.   The Sounders front office got one right!

 

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I had 1200 words worth of Sounders verbal diarrhea to post about last nights announcement making Brian Schmetzer the permanent head coach. But none of it seems to be enough, so have some photos.

 

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From the first time I met Schmetzer and he invited me to practice to meet the team

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“If you have a heartbeat, there’s still time for your dreams.” – Sean Stephenson

 

After 27 years, he’s still got it! It’s only been in the last 6-7 years that I’ve finally been able to see him live (twice at Snoqualmie, once in Bremerton, once in Kingston and once in Tacoma). In previous years I was either in Denmark or too young to attend concerts in casinos.

Anyway, just a few of my favorite pics to remember the night. Until next time!

“Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain…”

It’s been a busy, hot and sweaty few days in Oklahoma, but it sure has been a blast. Every year I meet and get to know more and more people who attend Mark Harmon’s event. FullSizeRender 4They event felt much more low-key this year. There were a few people who were a little too pushy and in his face, including one who pushed in on my photo and chit-chat time. I opted not to get anything signed, because after my photo there was a bit of conversation time and I didn’t want to be like some of the other people shoving a shit ton of memorabilia in his face. I mentioned wanting the bike in the silent auction (I was sitting on it at $240 until some asshole bid $400), and he asked if I was going to bike back to Seattle. I thanked him for another great season of NCIS and he thanked me for my time and money in supporting his event. What I like about him is that he’s so sincere – it’s not just a quick thanks, but he takes the time to look you in the eye, touch your shoulder and let you know that he really appreciates the support.

In the end, the NCIS set tour went for $15,000. My dream is to win the lotto and let the bidding go back and forth until someone thinks they’ve won it. And then stand up and double tIMG_8849he price. Bitch, please. That set tour is mine. Sadly, I’m not there yet. And I don’t play the lotto, so… but some day!
I wasn’t in bed until 1, but managed to roll back out at 8:00. I got ready for the day and then made the drive (40 min) back up north to Guthrie, OK. This little historic town is just the cutest! The houses are adorable, the people are friendly and the old brick buildings are beautiful! I stopped by the Oklahoma Territorial Museum first. It was two stories and had one floor about the land grab and the second floor about Oklahoma Statehood. It was good,  but small and the gift shop left much to be desired. From there I headed to Stacy’s Place for lunch. The food was great (fried green tomatoes are my favorite) and then walked up and down the street, popping into a few antique stIMG_8850ores. While it was cooler than the 103 on Wednesday when I came through, 98 wasn’t much better and there was only so long before I needed some AC. I drove back to OKC and hit a few little boutique shops along the way. OKC has so many little gems, but without a car, they’d be hard to hit for a tourist staying in/near Bricktown where you are pretty closed in.

It’s my last night in Oklahoma, and while I’m sad to leave the comfort of my swanky hotel room and a city I’ve become rather familiar with over the years, I will not miss this heavy and humid heat.

 

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” Woody Guthrie

Hot.

When I have previously driven to OKC, I’ve able to slowly adjust to the heat – usually as I make my way through Wyoming, Colorado and into New Mexico. By the time I make it to Oklahoma City, I’m relatively adjust to the blistering heat of the summer. But when I fly in, there is always a huge shock when I step out from the climate controlled airport and into the furnace otherwise known as Oklahoma.

It’s like a level of hell, or walking into an oven or just… Of course I’m here just in time for an excessive heat warning. In Seattle we have ‘heat advisories’ for the low-90s, telling people to stay indoors, drink water, etc. Through Saturday we’re under an ‘Excessive Heat Warning’ with a heat index (temp/humidity) up to 115. Gross.

IMG_8769But since I didn’t drive down, I rented a car for my stay. The Colcord Hotel (home away from home) does have a shuttle for Downtown/Bricktown, but with a few days to explore, I’d rather have a car at my disposal.

I arrived around dinner time on Tuesday. I found a liquor store to buy a bottle of wine (because you can’t get wine in a grocery store – nor can you buy a wine opener where they sell wine, had to find one elsewhere), ordered room service and crashed out early. I was up and out the door by 9:30 yesterday. Since I didn’t get to road trip down, and I have unlimited miles on my rental, I decided to try and put a few miles on. From OKC I drove 110 miles up to Tulsa to visit the Woody Guthrie Center. It’s not a big place to explore, but it holds several interesting pieces from his collection as well as a ton of history surrounding his songs and art work.

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Lyrics to “This Land is Your Land”

From Tulsa I headed 115 miles west to Enid, OK for an ‘old time museum’ that was supposed to be open. Except it wasn’t and I wasted 2.5 hours driving there and then back toward I-35S. Oh well, it was a pretty drive. From Enid it was another 100 miles back toward OKC. I made a stop in Guthrie, OK to visit the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum – wow, they had a ton of stuff on display. And I love how pretty much everything was cured with morphine and alcohol. Established in 1887, Guthrie was the original capital of Oklahoma and it’s beautiful downtown is considered a National Historic Landmark. I wanted to spent more time exploring the city, but at 105F, it just wasn’t worth the misery of strolling the old streets. I might try and head back up on Saturday, but we’ll see.

Once I got back to the hotel, I met up with some friends who arrived from various corners of the US (and one from England). We walked down to the pub for a bite to eat and ended up playing Trivia. We were doing great, but fumbled in the last minute to come in 4th (I think?) out of six. For the majority of the game we were in second place. Boo.

This morning I was up and out the door around 9am (already 85F). I headed south to Moore, OK where a massive Tornado hit in 2013 just prior to my visit/tornado dance. Cait and I had explored one of the neighborhoods and I returned in 2014 to the same block for progress photos. This year it was almost unrecognizable. There was still one empty lot, but otherwise life goes on, right?

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Life not quite back to normal.

From there I drove down some backroads (only other traffic I saw was a tractor) to El Reno where the tornado that put me in a shelter, touched down. There is a memorial for the three members of the TWISTEX team that died. I have to say, it was a little nerve-wracking being out in those fields, so far from anything. There weren’t any storm clouds in the distance or anything (I would’ve chickened out), but still… It didn’t help that the radio had played an ad for storm shelters on the drive out.

Tomorrow a few more friend arrive in the morning, Harmon’s charity event tomorrow evening. Since I opted out of the Saturday golf event, I hope to spend the day exploring a bit more. Sunday will be lazy until it’s time to say goodbye for another year and head home. In an airplane. Zoom Zoom.

“Never run after a man or a bus, there’s always another one in five minutes.” ― Cherry Adair, Kiss and Tell

Wow, what an incredible weekend. One that has left me near brain dead, but also full of inspiration, drive and this sparkling shred of hope that maybe I really can do this.

I was lucky enough to spend the past Wednesday – Monday with five other (ah-mazing) women as we slaved our way through plots for our next (first, in my case) fully polished novels. Brought together by Cherry Adair‘s Master Class Writing retreat, the idea was that Cherry would teach us the tricks of plotting by color and then we’d do some writing (at least, that’s how I understood it). Oh no, we spent close to 9 hours a day over Fri/Sat/Sun as we worked through each person’s plot. Some pretty much know what they wanted and already had their stories mapped out extremely well. Some of us (read: me) had this vague idea of some characters and what might happen, but zero clue on how to get from point A to point B.

Well no, that’s a little bit of a lie. Let’s bring that back a bit. It’s scary shit to share something that comes from your inner creative… being. You can bake a cake and everyone can tell if you’ve put too much salt or not enough sugar in, but with something like a story, it’s up to interpretation. It’s hard enough to share ideas with fellow retreat authors (we at least had two nights to get to know each other better, play CAD, and drink enough wine to really relax), but the idea of sharing in front of an author who has sold a bajillion books is SCARY. So when she asked about my idea, I approached it with the vaguest idea of what I had, rather than “this is my imagined start, middle and end…” I couldn’t put it all out there because:

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What if I just have to ‘make the first move’ and just fucking write this shit. 

What if I suck?

What if my ideas blow?

What if she tells me that writing isn’t my jam and I should just go home?

I mean, logically, I didn’t think she’d actually say these things (and she didn’t) but these are the things that ran on a loop through my head as she’s sitting across from me saying, “okay, what’s your story?”

Six hours later, I’ve got a pretty story board with some pretty legit ideas for book two in the series I’ve dreamed up. I’ve got new characters, new drama and now I need to go home and rework book one.

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What if I just have to ‘make the first move’ and just fucking write this shit.

And then I drank wine and put myself to bed early (11:30 while some stayed up until 2am) because my brain was two sizes too big for my skull with all the new information. Ouch.

In the end, this was probably one of the most reaffirming moments in my ‘career vs hobby’ writing habit.

Not only do you have to want it, you have to do it.

You have to write it.

You have to share it.


Two of the women I was with have blogs/websites. Check them out at:

Åsa Maria Bradley

Eliana West

 

 

“Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.” E. B. White

Yo. I just bought a car.

Like a real grown-up car.

One that I had to finance because I don’t have nearly twenty grand in cash lying around.

Let me start that, while I knew this day was coming, I’m not sure I was ready for it. But I jumped in with both feet and had a pretty good time. While full of great memories and

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Old friend.

amazing adventure, my old 1994 Camry with nearly 240,000 miles is at the end
of her long career. While not junk yard material yet (c’mon it’s a camry, with a little work she’s got another 100K miles left in her), it’s just not a car that I would trust on a road trip across the US, which is something I’d like to do again.

So this past weekend, knowing mostly what I was looking for, I grabbed my check book, my loan pre-approval, and headed down to Burien Toyota to look at a bright blue (sounder blue, I might add) 2014 Camry LE. Unfortunately, the person who traded it in, had driven with some sort of motorbike on top of it and there were a ton of scratches. A ton. I understand that buying a used car means that it’s not perfect, but it looked awful when you got close – obviously why it was priced so competitively. So then I found a 2014 Camry LE with only 14,000 miles on it. Super low miles and priced to sell at only $17,999. I drove it, my mom drove it and it was a great car.

$17,999 was a bit more than I wanted to pay, but for a great car… it wasn’t a bad price. We got it down to $17,499, but the big boss came over and was so pushy and in a rush to sell. It just wasn’t a comfortable experience. I said that I was looking closer to $17k and waffled a bit, but then I had to get to an appointment. I left and came back, and they said they just couldn’t budge from $17,499. If he had left it at that, I probably would have gone back after a visit to Renton, but rather than just say that $17,499 was their best price, I got this whole talk about how they need to make money for this new building they are building.

Um, what? Last I checked I came to buy a car, not a building. And we’re $500 apart, that’s not even half a fridge for the employee break room.

So I left. The original guy followed me out to my car, offered to look at some older cars, and then offered to call me if the boss changed his mind. Whatever.

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We are going to have so much fun together!

I went to Renton and test drove a car, but upon closer inspection, there was a crack around the headlight. There was no carfax info on it, so it looked like someone had fixed it and repainted it themselves. No thanks.

Sunday morning I headed up to Rodland Toyota in Everett. It’s where my dad bought his highlander in 2014 and if the same guy had been working there still, I would’ve gone there first.

What a difference between Rodland and Burien. I mean, night and day. I enjoyed the time I spent at Rodland. I never felt pressured, there was no rush and when I wanted a minute to talk to my parents to get their view on the deal we had semi-settled on, he was happy to walk away and give us some quiet time.

I ended up paying a little more than what I wanted, but for the car I got, I’m not concerned. It was a great experience and other than the fact that I’m not broke AF and committed to a legit loan, I have zero negative comments about the deal.

That said, while I was waiting to sign the finance papers, the guy from Burien called to ‘chat’. “Too bad buddy, I’m already signing papers up north.” He hung up.

So if you need a car, go see Russell Pyles and tell him Hanne sent you. Unless you’re interested in a 1994 Camry needing a little work, let me know.

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Evan ‘checking the engine’ for me.