After years of fighting it, we’re two-car family.

IMG_2957I had my friend over for a Drive-In movie night at our house Friday night. And we got a new car! A Mini Cooper.

IMG_2873He said

The process entertaining the notion of adding a second vehicle to our homestead inevitably led us to the bank. As with most processes with our bank it involved what seemed like a never-ending list of hoops to jump through. What was even more bizarre was how thrown off the bank seemed at the request of someone wanting to get a loan for a used car–they told us most people just throw it on their line of credit. That was something that we did not want to do.

Our 2011 Mini CooperSo, we applied and ultimately after hoop after hoop of paperwork we needed to provide, the loan was not approved on the basis of it being for a car and to a person rather than a dealership and that as the client rep working with us told us, the hardest type of (car) loan to get. So, regretfully we had to let the person who was selling the car know that the bank nixed that option for us. What was most frustrating about that was in ten minutes we had the hybrid finance we did for the Pilot last fall – a vehicle worth four times the Scion we were looking at.

IMG_2882That brought us to a backup plan. Given that Danielle and I had arrived at acceptance of needing a second vehicle to be able to navigate all of our schedules, we started looking elsewhere. It just so happened that Strickland’s a dealership in Stratford that has a great reputation for new and used cars was having a Black Friday sale Thursday and Friday this week. And it just so happened that they had a few used Mini Coopers on the lot priced reasonably close to the Scion we were looking at.

IMG_2886We waited until Wednesday evening to see the announced price reduction on the Mini’s for the sale and when that did happen and the cars we were interested in were listed at $1000 cheaper, we planned a trip down to Stratford after Danielle and I were done the work day, Thursday. About three hours and one test drive later, we were signing paperwork on a beautiful 2011 Mini Cooper in Chilli Red and arranging pickup for the car on Tuesday this week without a single hitch financing and about a half percent cheaper than what the bank offered. Both Danielle and are I thoroughly happy with the car but Emelia is over the moon about it, already putting in the request to ride home with me when we pick it up tomorrow night.

IMG_2915A Mini Cooper has long been a dream car of mine and I am kind of beside myself that we were able to make it happen and within reasonable distance to the price we were considering for the Scion. There is so much more we’re getting from this car – the least of which is a 3-year warranty that gives us some protection going forward. But, to be able to add the second car for the practicality of it, and have it be a car of my dreams makes it feel like Christmas came early. The only real challenge is going to be letting Danielle get a chance to drive it too, and not be a hog.

IMG_2940Friday this week, after all the car excitement was out of the way, we got back to the thing that Emelia has been planning and working on for some time: her indoor drive-in movie with her friends. It turned out the twins weren’t available for it, but Emelia’s other friends, sisters Marin and Gracyn were around and excited to come. Gracyn ended up coming down with a cold so it was just Emelia and Marin and they had one heck of a fun evening. Danielle got them fixings so they could make their own pizzas and then snacks for during the movie. They settled on one of the American Girl movies and retired downstairs to the movie theatre that Emelia constructed with Poppa’s projector and judging by the amount of laughter and squeals the girls had an amazing evening. When the movie wrapped up we delivered Marin back to her home and all back to the house to retire for the evening.

IMG_2943Saturday found me with another day off and able to join Danielle and Emelia in the regular itinerary of swim class, gymnastics and groceries. The bonus was, once that was out of the way we hopped in the car and headed out to Sparta to do a little window shopping at favourite haunts of ours Winter Wheat and the shops that line the main street in the village of Sparta. It was a beautiful full day, and as much as Winter Wheat has turned a little disappointing to the point that we likely won’t go again, it was a great day and we had good fun together.

Where Sunday was a day at work, today being Thanksgiving, I am off. We’re shortly heading out to dinner with the London contingent of the Teeters to celebrate and be thankful together. I have so much to be thankful here, that to list it all would take far too much time, so I have resigned myself this year when asked what I am thankful for, to provide this simple answer: Everything—Every-damn-thing. Especially that Mini Cooper we pick up tomorrow!


IMG_2950She said

What a glorious week. As John has already mentioned much of this week was wrapped around trying to see about financing a second car. After hours and countless back and forth efforts with the bank I was getting beyond frustrating. We had the income to support it, a strong credit rating but in the end the bank said they would not finance the loan through a private seller. Apparently loans for second cars done directly through the bank is something the bank rarely does, in fact the person I spoke to at the bank had never once processed a used car loan in almost the three years she had been working for TD. Who knew it was such a pain in the ass?

IMG_2952So we were on to plan B or in our real case our original hopeful plan A. We hadn’t even explored going through a dealership for a Mini because we thought it was going to be out of budget for a second car. We had explored so heavily the option of the Scion because the price was great but with the bank rates, the hoops we were jumping through it wasn’t an option. In the end we got the car we really wanted, and with the extended warranty, in mint condition and low mileage the rate offered at the dealership made the payments barely noticeable on a weekly basis compared to the Scion we thought was such an incredible price.

IMG_2954Thursday night we headed out to the test drive the car, it is so tiny compared to what we are used to but man is it fun to drive. I was a wee bit nervous test driving it as we haven’t owned a stick shift in over 15 years but it was like riding a bike picked it up right away. Needless to say we are quite happy about the purchase and Emelia loves it as well. It will really make life a ton easier and the constant dread of John having a closing shift, or pulling favours all the time to get rides to assure we have everything we need done in the week, or even the freedom to get things done in the week versus running around like a mad woman on the weekends. So Tuesday, after 25 years we are finally not a one car family!

IMG_2956The car wasn’t the only big thing going on this week. About 4 weeks ago Emelia joined the school’s cross country team. She wasn’t too sure at first but was wiling to give it a try as her closest friends had also joined. Well like most sports she really took to it. In her very first year of cross country she has made the regional championship that will take place later this month. She has worked so hard and she and I have done some practicing after school has really helped her. We are so proud of her!

Before we knew it the weekend was here and it was all about family. John has had a fair bit of time off this weekend so we got to spend a lot of time together as a family. Saturday we did our usual errands and Emelia’s activities of swim and gymnastics but the weather was amazing so we wanted to assure we spent as much time outside as possible. We decided on a trip out to one of our favourite places of Winter Wheat. Well it WAS one of our favourite places.

IMG_2963I had spent lots and lots of time out at this former magical place, it was a place you could find unique folk art. However, since the ownership change from the original owner/artist it isn’t the same at all. Long gone is the unique art and it has been replaced with mass produced goods. It is not at all the same. It makes me so sad, it was a place we used to love to go as an escape from the city. Sadly it will likely be our last trip there. Emelia still had a great time going through the forested area around the shop and we got to spend some time out in the country in the fresh air and lots of time as a family.

IMG_2964Sunday John had to work so Emelia and I filled our day with spending time with friends, getting decorations for the front of the house and decorating for Halloween. The weather again was amazing so we were able to transform the front of the house for Halloween. We had a great time and it looks great. Later in the day she and I went over to visit with Helen and Doug before I had to swing back to pick up John so we could have a nice dinner out all 5 of us. Any time we get to spend time with family is just about perfect.

IMG_2958And finally we come to today, Thanksgiving. John of course got the holiday off so we could spend all day today as a family. John got up with Emelia this morning so I could have a rare full sleep in. Not going to lie it was amazing to wake when my body felt like it. And since I slept until well after 9:30 I guess my body really needed that extra sleep. The weather again was incredible today so we decided to spend as much of the day as we could outside in the sunshine.

IMG_2962After lunch we went out to Apple Land Station for our annual trip to the farm and apple picking. Sadly because of severe frost in the spring the supply of pick your own apples was long done but there is so much to do there that it was still well worth the admission. Emelia spent a ton of time on her much loved sand mountain, we spent a good hour in the corn maze and even managed to run into friends there so we got a brief chance to catch up before our kids pulled us in opposite directions. It was a great day and we finished off with a great night.

IMG_2965Tonight was our Thanksgiving dinner with John’s family. Unfortunately David, Linda and the kids were not able to come but the rest of the London Teeters all made it out. There were a ton of laughs and lots of wedding talk with the two weddings coming up so soon. All in all it was about spending time as a family and being with the people we are so thankful are part of our lives.

We have so much to be thankful for, our health, our family, our friends and the lives we love. Hoping everyone spent the weekend with the people they love the most. I wish I could have seen my sister and her little family this weekend and then I could have said I spent the weekend with everyone I am most thankful for. But all in all it was a weekend about family and friends and what else can you want in life.

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