I haven't written about my Volvo, Donna, in a while..luckily. But recent events have made it impossible to not mention her.
So Chris and I recently had the pleasure of visiting my uncle, aunt, and cousins in New Jersey. We drove the 5 hours down without a problem, just to visit for a short weekend. In the restaurant industry it is rare that you are given a Saturday off so we were excited to celebrate it with a road trip. I had not seen my aunt and uncle for a couple of years and it was great to catch up. My cousins Courtney and Ryan had come to visit us a couple of months ago but we always enjoy seeing them because they are only a few years older than us so we have a great friendship. I grew up visiting this side of the family at the Jersey shore and so reuniting brought back a lot of childhood memories. It was the first time that Chris got to meet my aunt and uncle, but it's always such a confirmation when family immediately treats your other half like they are already family.
The weekend went very well. A few hours before we left my cousin Ryan mentioned that his vehicle was probably going to die soon because his check engine light had been blinking. Stupid me, I said "It's blinking? That's never happened to me before.." Well sure enough halfway home, my check engine light started blinking. We made it back to my parents, and refilled the fluids, then trekked on back to Rochester. I called around and asked for the most trustworthy mechanic around- because we all know how difficult is to find a mechanic. After dropping my car off at a place outside of the city I got a call with the damage. The first number I got was $645. Weeeooo. That was to get my tie rods fixed, my radiator replaced, and my spark plug wires replaced. Right off the bat I let the mechanic know that the tie rods had been loose for a year and that had not stopped me from driving it. That brought the price down to $440. I then called my trusty hometown mechanic and he let me know that I should just get the spark plugs replaced and then bring it to him to have him check it out the leakage from the radiator. So finally I had the price of $241 which- compared to the first price was a relief.
Once I paid that debt, I tried out my new spark plug wires on the first beautiful day of the year! The Volvo was driving great until a lady pulled out of a driveway, apparently not seeing me and my passenger bumper hit her front fender. Really? REALLY? yeah really. So I spent a good part of the day on the phone with two insurance companies. But, the woman who failed to see me driving on the main road was obviously at fault and her insurance company set me up to have my car inspected and fixed on them, AND a rental car free of charge. So I guess my whole week would be filled with auto shops, but hey at least it wasn't going to cost me any money.
Before I was to get my light fixed I had to get my radiator looked at by trustworthy Brad my hometown mechanic. After dropping Donna off my dad shuttled me off to scope out the tire market. For the winter, I was lucky enough to have hefty snow tires but the regular tires were completely bald and so I thought I would get the tires on now that THE SNOW IS GONE. Apparently, there was NOTHING wrong with my radiator. Yeah, um sorry I can't just drop 200 bucks to replace a radiator that is not broken. Long story short, I drove away with four brand spankin new tires and I couldn't have felt better. Until today.
I took my car in for the insurance claim and to get it fixed. They traded in my good old 98 Volvo for a brand new Mini Cooper. I have not been a huge fan of this car until now but Christopher has tried to talk me into this car before. And now, I am thinking about it. Not only do I get to drive in an upgrade for the weekend FOR FREE, but the shop called me with a compromise. They offered to fix the broken headlight and give me a couple of hundred dollars versus fix the headlight and repaint the front fender as well as fix a few scrapes on the front of my car. So obviously I took the money. I guess there is often a silver lining, you just might have to go through a lot of trouble in order to get to it.