Simon and I had a wonderful, wonderful weekend–a much needed wonderful one. He’s been working 13-hour shifts 7 days a week with only every other Sunday off. Add at least 90 minutes of driving a day and I see him a mere few waking hours a day. Simon used to not mind work-a-thons when he was single and had only a hotel room to retire to. Now that I’m in the picture, he yearns for more than just a big paycheck to blow on fishing and Jack & Coke.
Friday started with Simon working from 5-10AM. He was originally supposed to get the entire day off, but a transformer at work went boom and he had to go in to help fix the situation. We went out to lunch shortly after he got home, since we had a solid four hours of driving ahead, our commute including several dust devil sightings and one car with a huge tumbleweed stuck on the nose of its car. I’d expected to watch the vehicle pull over, but since the curved branches were blocking more of the passenger than driver side, it zoomed along without slowing.
If that’d been me, I’d have pulled over. Not only was the bush almost half the size of the car, I’d rather not put around with a driving hazard stuck to my front bumper. However, tumbleweeds are prone to exploding on impact when hit by a car. Simon informed me that anyone would be better off hitting one than swerving to avoid it. If that day ever comes, I’ll probably swerve on instinct.
We pulled in at Avondale Toyota around 4Pm, despite my reservations. We’d made an appointment for 8AM on Saturday but, since our final destination lay in California, another 4 hours of driving, we were hoping the dealership could squeeze us in a day early. However we argued about it along the way, me insisting the non-appointment drive-in was for oil changes only, while Simon insisted it was for everything. I nagged him into calling to make sure he was right but he lost signal during the call, resulting in him half-seriously, half-playfully complaining that I never listen to him, and me saying, “Fiiiine. We’ll go to the dealership.”
Let me pause a moment to explain that “because I know I’m right” will never ever convince me to take a person’s word for it. I want to know how a person knows they’re right, and why; not follow along without question. I just plain don’t work that way. I patiently explained this to him and he met me halfway by explaining how Phoenix is a big place and need to be able to take customers in without appointment for any vehicular needs.
That’s the explanation I was looking for!
We technically arrived a bit late in the day to do the regular maintenance and get new brakes but a couple of mechanics volunteered to stay late since not only do we have such a long commute to reach the dealership, we were headed to Cali the next day. Simon and I ate out at Buffalo Wild Wings and returned with some extra wings for the mechanics as a thank you.
We slept over at Nina’s house (Simon’s sister) but neither of us got much sleep. We couldn’t get comfy on the pullout couch. The next morning we picked up Simon’s mother, hit up a place that sold breakfast burritos for them and a Dunkin Donuts for me.
Simon’s mother talked almost the entire ride, which was fine, since I was in a listening mood and got to learn more about her, Simon, and family, along with the crazy winds we had the week before. We had some hefty winds with gusts approaching 50, but the farther west we went, the worse the winds got. At least the southern part of California we went to has something called the Santa Ana winds, which can reach hurricane force. They’d actually closed schools and whatnot because of the winds, and the aftermath was like a mild version of the snowstorm of doom from October 2011, with branches and trees lining the sides of roads.
Thankfully California’s smog wasn’t as thick as it had been back during New Year’s. It smelled normal, despite tinting the wispy clouds brown. Last time, it’d made Simon and I congested and feel a bit ill, but this time we enjoyed our stay and breathed unhindered. Uncle Martin hosted Simon’s grandmother’s 80th birthday, who’s a sweet old lady with lots of spice still in her. She posses quick wit and a good sense of humor, and even danced a little in front of everyone.
The food, the drink, and especially the familial company was great; however, mine and Simon’s energy level tanked towards the end of the night. We retired to Hama’s and Little Martin’s house, Simon passing out on the La-z-boy in under five minutes, and me taking a bit longer, having to cocoon tall me just right with two quilts, one for my legs and one for my torso.
We tried to sleep in, but by 7AM our circadian rhythms insisted we get on with our day. We had a WoW friend to visit, a D-Backs game to catch in San Diego, and the return trip to Buckeye all that day.
We visited Michael since he was a mere 20 minutes from Simon’s family in California, and was a blast to finally meet him and his family in person after all these years. He has a lovely wife and two adorable daughters, ages–I think–1 and 2. Since Simon and I have been talking marriage and kids, I took the opportunity to observe the children and assess my readiness to enter motherhood. Michael explained that the early years are more about making sure your kids don’t inadvertently kill themselves than anything else. They’re pretty darn easy to entertain and keep happy at that age. His youngest daughter loved being spun in a computer chair, and the older one loves being startled and trying to startle you back. Both girls had me in stitches, and the smile on the younger one’s face while being spun in the chair was so friggin’ cute. I wish I’d taken a picture.
I also talked with Michael’s wife, Amy, about being a first time mom, and if it was impossible to not be scared. She insisted I was gonna be scared no matter what, that she was scared of having something growing inside of her belly, too, and the pain of childbirth–the whole nine yards. It was nice to hear such things from a woman who’d just met me. Still, there’s no rush to start popping out kids. Simon and I wanna do some traveling and whatnot, get steadier work, and, most importantly, get married before starting a family. I already know I want this Legend of Zelda ring he showed me. I’d love that more than a diamond any day.
After Michael and family, we headed to San Diego, scratching our heads at the scant number of cars parked in Qualcomm Stadium before realizing that was for the Chargers and not the Padres. We corrected our route to Petco Stadium and were greeted with the slew of fans we’d been anticipating. The stadium is beautiful, complete with a view of the ocean from the upper tiers, pristine facilities, and excellent dining accommodations, complete with ballpark pricing. It was refreshing to see a live game again, even though the Diamondbacks lost. I must confess I didn’t care who won, since I’m a faithful Red Sox fan, but hey. I’m living in National League territory, so I’ll be rooting for the D-Backs, unless they play against my beloved Sox team.
The game went into extra innings but we headed out right before the bottom of the 9th since we had a hefty commute ahead of us. We picked up Simon’s mom at the birthday grandma’s house and exchanged farewells. Grandma even told me I “better take good care of her grandson or else.” I smiled and defensively put up my fists, and she imitated my stance and smiled back, taking a few mock swings at the air for good measure.
We didn’t reach Buckeye until after 11 at night, thanks to an incident involving my Prius suddenly running out of gas 5 miles from the final exit. Oh, the irony. My gas gauge went from 20% to empty in one minute thanks to my car having a gas bladder instead of a gas tank, meaning the gauge sucks at being accurate. That’s the first time in my life I’ve ever run out of gas and I can safely say I’ll never let myself get in that situation ever again. Simon’s brother drove to the rescue with some extra gas and I drove us to the next gas station, thoroughly embarrassed and my head hung low with injured pride.
After dropping off Simon’s mom at her home at last, we drove to a motel that was anything but 4 stars. We had a choice of one of two places in the area. At least it was free of bugs and critters, and the bed was more than comfy enough to get a good night’s sleep in.
We returned to the dealership the next morning–not because of the gas bladder issue but because I’d gotten a call on Saturday, a dealer telling me they’d love to have me trade in my car for a newer one I could get for 0% APR for 60 months. My Prius is a 2009 and already has 95k miles on it. It’s bee from Coast Guard beach in Cape Cod, to San Diego, and gets 100 miles put on it every work day. A new vehicle sounded great.
Turns out the deal was a no-go. The dealer tried his darndest to pressure me into a sale but the price tag of a new hybrid made my eyes glaze over with disinterest, even after sitting in a shiny new vehicle. The bluebook value of my Prius is only 9k and the 60-month plan would’ve almost doubled my current payment. It wasn’t worth it, and I got so fed up with his subtle pushiness that I wasn’t interested in talking used for 1.9% We shook hands and bid each other good day.
Simon’s dealt with a few car salesmen and has dabbled in floor sales himself, so he knows a loooot of the tricks salesmen use to net a sale, the biggest selling point being putting the product in a customer’s hand, and then taking it away, thus instilling a sense of possession and a need to re-obtain the product no matter the price. I wanted that 2014 Prius alright, but not for 26k and even more debt to work off.
It felt so good to be home Monday even, but Simon and I were so beat by the end of the day that we both fell asleep by 8:30PM. Nothing like concluding an enjoyable weekend in the comfort of your own bed.