Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend came and went and I haven’t had time to update you all on my happenings. My parents are in town. The arrived last Wednesday. They’ve been here a whole week and I have not mentioned them here yet. Can you see how swamped I’ve been? Can you sense it. I’ve been meaning to tell stories, post photos, reflect on things, even maybe complain a bit, but have no blogging time whatsoever. Work, on job-time and then my parents on free-time, have completely taken over. You should see my apartment, it desperately needs some cleaning attention.

Anyhow, a lot of things have happened since last week. For one, my job has taken off these past days. But when I say taken off, I mean it like the world is going to end next week and the only way we will all make it to the other side is by working. I kid you not, it’s hectic and I’m starting to feel the burden of stress. Time. I need more time! But I’ll tell you all about work and what I’ve been doing another time. I want to tell you about the fun stuff. The stuff I’ve been up to with my parents. The stuff we did this weekend.

When I moved to Chicago I immediately made a to-do list, because that’s what I do. I make lists. On my list there were things to do, things to buy and places to visit. On the purchases there were a few very expensive ones I needed to get, well, because Chicago is a different type of city than NYC and with those differences come different lifestyles too. On my to-buy list was a car.

I’ve driven since I was 17 years old (you can only get a license at 18 in Venezuela) and had a car from day one. My first car was a Ford Sierra, beige (not my favorite color, but I inherited my dad’s car once he purchased a new one). My second car was dreamy, another Ford Sierra, but this was was a Sierra 3000 and it was red. This car my dad bought especially for me, he knew I loved it and he looked and looked until he found the exact one I liked and gave it to me as a surprise present. It was perfect! And I was not the only one who thought so, it drew attention like it was on fire. People honked at me to compliment the car and while at it asked for my number. I got hit-on just by driving that car more than I’ve ever have.

My third car was a Mitsubishi MF, it was also passed on to me by my dad, when he went on to get a Mercedes, mind you, and it was the fanciest car I’d ever had. The red Sierra was a sports car, the MF was a luxury car. It had a great engine, but also all the little “periquitos” one could possibly imagine. I loved it!

My fourth car was a step down. I knew I was moving to the US in a year and I wanted the cheapest new car on the market. I didn’t want to worry about maintenance with an old car (the MF was starting to ask for many expensive repairs) so I bought a dark blue Daewoo Matiz. This was a tiny car, tiny engine, but quite spacious interior. It served it’s purpose and I had it for less than a year, but it had manual transmission and I never got used to that. So as cute as it was, it was a pain to drive. 

Anyway, I moved to NYC (again), sold my car and never looked back. During the almost 6 years I lived in NYC I didn’t own a car. There seem to be no need and as a full-time student (working only part time) I couldn’t really afford it either. Fast forward to my now living in Chicago, where everyone and their mother seems to own a car, and winters are brutal, I started thinking I might needed one.

The thing is though, I got used to walking everywhere and now I live really close to work, so did I really need a car? On the list, the car had a question mark next to it from the very beginning. But then I started navigating Chicago. It’s no NYC grid, I’ll tell you that. And since people don’t do much walking it just feels a bit strange. I’ve taken the L mostly everywhere I can, but it gets to be a pain when buying things and transporting them back home. And the thought of incredibly cold winters and me standing in the open subway stations (I have no clue why in a place like this they have open/above surface subway stations) waiting for the train wasn’t appealing at all. So I got a car.

I had seen the Honda Civic because that’s the car my mom had in Caracas and I enjoyed driving it when there. I saw the Fit too, but it reminded me too much of the little Matiz and it’s tiny engine. I had looked into the Fords too. Having had two of those cars and loving them, Ford seemed like a good option. I was out of the loop about cars though. Once you don’t drive, cars start to feel unimportant, even to me, a car/driving loving gal. So once my parents got here, one of the first things on the list was to go see cars and get my dad’s input on what to get and why. I need my dad for negotiation purposes, among many other things 😉

Saturday, we spent the day looking at cars and we found one we all liked. So here it is, I give you my fifth car, a black Ford Fusion SEL. It’s she a beauty? I am so thrilled with this car. It has all the “periquitos” plus and the comfort of the MF, the engine of the Sierra 3000, and the non-manual transmission of the Matiz. Perfect!

Of course we had to try the car. So on Sunday we were off to Lake Geneva, a summer vacation spot about an hour and half from Chicago, in Wisconsin. The car did superb and the town was a great way to spend the day, take a look:

It truly proved to be a great day/road trip and I was glad I got to do it with my parents… and my new car! The shopping though, didn’t stop there this weekend. Monday proved to be another fabulous shopping day. You see, my birthday is coming up in October and my parents decided they would give me my birthday present in advance, since they won’t be with me then. Remember that flat screen TV I needed (more like really wanted!)? Well, yeah, they got me that!

So now I have two new toys to play with. Did I mention I have a new car?! 🙂 I only wish I had more time to play, or maybe a double, that would work too.

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4 responses to “Labor Day Weekend

  1. Sounds like you’re making the most of your time in Chicago with your parents. Glad you made the leap to getting a car. I have a good friend who moved here from NYC about 4 years ago and continues to lament that she doesn’t have a car. Oooh and Lake Geneva … I have lived here for 14 years and have yet to make that trip. You’re already one step ahead of me!

    • I’m trying. I wish I could do many more things while my parents are here, but between work and getting settled in (my parents during the day make many stops to home depot and fix things around the apt) it seems like we haven’t done much. But I am glad I got the car, so they can use it while they’re here. My parents are definitely not public transportation kind of folks 😉
      Lake Geneva was great, a nice day trip for sure. You should check it out. Another friend also told me, that after 11 years living here, he had still not made it out there 😉

  2. Oh, how wonderful that you got to spend time with your parents and that you got to explore your new city some more!
    Those pictures are wonderful.

    And congratulations on your new car! NICE! 🙂

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