Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Birthday Weekend Road Trip to Buy a Car (with a stop at FireKeepers Casino)

I occasionally mention Mrs. lightning in my blog posts. So yes, please make any jokes/comments about how she must suffer being married to me now so that they are out of the way ...

... Okay! Anyway, one of the many great things about her is that she is relatively low maintenance and does not focus on material things. However, in a matter that was quite unusual for her, she became obsessed about getting a very specific car: a 2017 Volkswagon Beetle convertible in bright metallic fuschia. In fact, this uniquely colored car has its own hashtag: #PinkBeetle. Now for some background information ... We have not bought a new/nearly new vehicle for over 12 years. She has been driving a minivan for the past twenty years. I guess one could say it was about time she got something a tad flashier than another soccer mom vehicle! Unfortunately, this special addition was only made for one year, so finding one for sale is challenging.

We began the search in earnest in November/December. New Jersey - just didn't work out with the time and distance. Albuquerque - another timing and distance problem, especially since this period is one of my busiest at work. Washington D.C/Baltimore area -- this looked worth a shot, but weather and work again proved problematic. However, it felt like we were getting closer. North of Detroit -- bingo! The car had a few more miles on it than others we'd seen, but it was also at a significantly lower price. My wife exchanged phone calls and texts with a salesman at the dealership and I also communicated with him. I didn't want to wait since these cars have been sold relatively fast, so we made plans to drive up to Michigan ON MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND to look at and possibly buy the car.

After canceling a dinner reservation at the St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis (one of the best in the country), we both worked all day Friday and headed to Michigan Friday evening. The trip would be over 400 miles and six hours, so we decided to stay overnight near Battle Creek. We stayed at a place that TBC has stayed at before -- Howard's Motel, a small family business near FireKeepers Casino -- and drive in the final two hours in the morning. When we got to the dealership and saw the car, I knew right away that we would buy it. Aside from a paperwork issue (the owner of the dealership required that a purchased car be insured before it left the lot, causing me to get on the phone with State Farm for a half hour), things went well. We bought the car, had lunch and drove back to Battle Creek. Since we were familiar with Howard's and want to support small businesses, we decided to stay there Saturday night. We went to our room, crashed for a few hours and had dinner.

After dinner, Mrs. lightning stayed at the motel to read the instruction booklet for her car while I ... you guessed it, headed to FireKeepers Casino to play poker. Imagine that!

A new table was opening just as I got to the poker room, so there was no wait. Score! The table had a couple of crusty old guys who were not very good. A man and a woman at my end (I was in seat 9 of 9) were regulars and appeared to be okay players. There were a few other players who appeared to be average.

I started out down a bit when I couldn't hit a flop, then climbed back up. I misplayed one hand badly and let one of the old guys stay in a hand and he got me runner runner. Later on I built my stack back up when I had an open ended straight draw and the second nut flush draw going to the river. Fortunately, the betting on the turn was small. I got the flush on the river and shoved all in over a raise, winning  a nice pot of chips.  I ended the session up $250 before I decided to call it a night, try out a NEW Willie Wonka slot machine and head to bed. Unfortunately, dummy me lost his motel key! Fortunately, the motel only charged me an extra $5 for it when I checked out.

The four-hour ride back Sunday morning/afternoon was made longer for frequent stops as my wife and I were both pretty tired. I watched a little football, but wasn't particularly interested in the games. Come Monday, it was back to work.

My wife's birthday is this coming weekend, so it looks we will actually celebrate both of ours. And then, one week afterward ... Las Vegas! Life is good!
Mrs. lightning with her new baby


6 Comments:

Blogger Lester said...

MrsLightning deserves that car on sooooo... many levels! I am glad that worked out for both of you. Happy Birthday to both of you!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Now that's a nice car!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Mark Jilson said...

Nice ride. Nothing like a top-down cruise on a summer evening as the sun's going down.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Alysia Chang said...

You could have saved time and energy and just gotten a car WRAPPED. Just saying.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous KenP said...

OK, one large brownie (fuschia) point.

Now take out the garbage.

12:04 PM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Happy birthday to you both. Enjoy the new wheels.

8:55 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home