Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shopping for the Perfect Family Car

It is unfortunately that time. We are in the market for a new "Family Wagon."

For the past 2 weeks, I have invited my Dad to town to go car shopping with me. We started at Toyota where we ruled out the Sienna mostly because it was a van and Chris and I really don't want another van. We kept the Toyota Highlander in the running, though. I liked the highlander, but I was not sure the back row would be suitable for growing kids. I need to bring Alivia along to see.
Next up was Acura and their sweet MDX. This is a sweet crossover. It is fun to drive, too, and it NOT A VAN! LOVE IT! The downfalls (because why make the perfect car?) is the 3rd row sits low to the floor which makes it not as comfortable as our kids reach the upcoming teen years, limited cargo space, and PREMIUM GAS!!! I hated the fact we had to get premium gas with the Audi. COME ON!! So annoying and expensive!!It does, however, score great in gas mileage.
At Honda we looked at the Pilot and, of course, the Odyssey Touring model. The Pilot is big but looks like a box. The Odyssey is a van. It looks cheap inside unless you pay the extra for the bells and whistles. Then, we may as well just get a better vehicle. Additionally, the 2014 model of the Odyssey has lackluster reviews. Since we are new into 2015, it is too soon to tell if they made improvements over last year. I do not want the lemon that is being described of the 2014 addition. And, its still a minivan.
Moving on. We went to Ford as Chris wanted me to look at the Explorer. They look nice on the road. The third row seat is difficult to get to. I was not impressed. We have to be assessing it daily, and it just seemed to difficult and not kid friendly (or adult friendly for that matter). And, the dealership we went to set me up with a limited English speaking sales person who appeared to be on his first day on the job. He found me the cheapest looking Explorer on the lot. It was a step above total crap for thirty some thousand dollars. I was far from impressed.
Dad and I then paid Buick a visit. We checked out the Enclave. It is a bigger car with a more comfortable seating arrangement for sure. The third row is even comfortable for me to sit in! It rides very quietly. Although a large step above a van in looks and price (unfortunately), this vehicle misses out on some of the features I would expect from this price range. The dash board and its features appears outdated with a big ol' clock on it along with the mapping system. The features found standard on the MDX are found on the top of the line of the Enclave if at all. Oh, and the most annoying part, it has a key!! The Highlander and the MDX have push button start (I have seen much less expensive cars going keyless now. Come on Buick?!?! What gives?!). Let's face it, this is an expensive car. The model I like is more expensive than the MDX but it does not have the same features. It is difficult for me to wrap my mind around that one. The Buick does not get very good gas mileage either at 19/23 I believe.
Lastly, we have checked out Lincoln. The car I liked only seated 5 so the very nice and good sales man (which I am are difficult to come by) selected the MKT for our family.  Eh, it is a wagon. Not really the car I had in mind. I showed Chris the picture of it and he immediately was turned off.

Chris checked out the Lexus at the car show, but the back opens to the side. That alone stops me from even looking at the car. I have checked out the Infinity QX60 online but have not seen it. For whatever reason, this car does not pop up on "Best of" reviews, so I have not checked it out.

So...we are down to the Acura MDX, Toyota Highlander and the Enclave. I took Chris out last weekend to check out each car. We "looked" at the MDX but didn't drive it as nobody at Acura of Omaha waited on us (Guess being dressed in jeans and hoodies made us not looked qualified to buy an Acura??? Their loss). We went to Performance Toyota in La Vista. I will be writing an online review of this place. They claimed to not have a single Highlander on the lot. Seriously?! Not a one? There are 2 other dealerships in town selling new Toyotas, but unfortunately we did not have time to shop everywhere. We did go to and actually drive the Buick. Chris was impressed. But, it was the ONLY car he was able to drive. So, compared to the van, yes, it is impressive. But, any car would be!

How did you find you current wheels? Happy with them? We need help. :)

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Seems like yesterday we were celebrating y2K! I feel old. Oh wait, I am old!

Every year I come up with this long or short list of goals. This year is really no different. Last year I wanted to run a marathon and ran 2. This year have scheduled myself for a couple, at least, half marathons and hope to throw in a full marathon at least once this year for fun. I want to travel with the family as much as possible. I really enjoyed all of our trips last year. I hope to spend nearly a month at the lake this year with the kids.

Last year Chris set out to climb Longs Peak and did so last July. He is remaining pretty quiet about 2015s plans. So, I guess I will be surprised.

We have plans to travel this year. Addi would like to go to the Mall of America during spring break. In May, we are taking a beach vacation to Florida (and I can't wait!), and in July the kids and I will try to spend the month at the Lake. Chris and I usually go somewhere for our anniversary in August, too, but I'm not sure what we will do this year.

As far as home improvements, they are still up in the air. We need to replace the van this year...so that is our first priority. Getting Chris and I off of work on the same day when dealerships are open and when we have someone to watch the kids is very tricky. We don't even know what car we want yet!

Really, I would love to get out of Nebraska and move someplace warm. I hate winter so much. I considered briefly signing up for a spring marathon until I went running today. Too cold. I hate winter training...so never mind already!

We will see what 2015 brings...but Chris is optimistic it will be a good year. And, he is always right. ;)

Happy New Year!! What are your goals?

Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas!!

After a month of prep by our little elf, we were ready for Christmas. With my working and then the disney trip, Santa didn't get as much purchased as She would have liked. But, all in all, the kids were still spoiled with the help of their Grandparents.

The kids were awake at 6:30 am to have all of their presents opened by 7. They ate a little breakfast, homemade cinnamon rolls gifted to us by our friends, before making it to 7:30 mass right at 7:30!  We came back home briefly before slipping off to Iowa for the day. We opened presents at my parents first before going into my Aunts house for dinner. My aunt played a game with the kids hiding their giftcards and candy in her cupboard. Drama unfolded but it was a fun idea. :)

It was a fun and mostly quiet day spent with my small little family. The girls got mostly clothes, Legos and barbie things while Asher received clothes, Legos and some Nerf things. We gave our parents name engraved rocks. It sounded good at the time and something I didn't think they would think of.

Chris and I gave each other clothes. We mostly buy our own gifts anymore. Pretty boring.

We would not change a thing. We spend family time together at disney and came home to calmly celebrate Christmas. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!