Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011

This past Christmas was probably the most disjointed one ever. Even with the craziness, though, it was a good one. I book my airline tickets about 3-4 months out. Late Christmas Eve I learned that Delta had canceled over 500 flights in and out of Atlanta on Christmas Day and mine was one of them. I called Orbitz (who I booked the ticket through) and they almost booked me on a later flight, then assured me that Delta was re-booking me. Delta did re-book me... for the following day. Which would have been okay if the storm front predicted for Atlanta wasn't also coming this way.

For whatever reason, I waited until Christmas Day to see how the weather here would do and I slept in. What I realized when I woke up is that Delta could have made their morning flights (and it appeared that my flight out of Atlanta that morning was on time, which just made me cranky). Realizing that I ran a very big risk of not flying out the next day, I canceled the Delta flight (at no charge, so I am very grateful to Delta for that and to the agents who helped me re-book) and booked on American. The cost was a bit higher, but I wanted to go ahead and fly out on Christmas Day; the little voice was telling me this was the thing to do. So, I did it. Friend WC kindly drove me to the airport. The airport was beyond quiet and the flights were good. While waiting for my connecting flight in Dallas, the shuttle service I use called and canceled my pick-up for the next day, validating my get out of town now feeling. I had canceled the second leg of the shuttle trip but had been unable to cancel online due to the changes to the reservation. At any rate, while I got in much later than I planned, I was in Louisiana on Christmas Day.

The few days there were good. Among other things, we sold my very first car... finally. It was a 1987 Honda Accord Hatchback. I loved that car, probably more than any other car I've had. And, I drove it for 10 years. However, it was time to let it go. We got a good offer for it and took it. The new owner - a young lady who will be starting community college in January. Her dad is a Honda fan and currently works at the dealership we originally bought the car at. I feel like it went to a good home and am glad that we own one less car.

Speaking of cars. Over the past couple of years, I've been monitoring the value of my car, a Toyota Matrix I've driven for 7 years and very much enjoyed. However, car prices are good and Toyota had good incentives. Add this to helping a friend car shop several months ago and I'd done most of the preliminary work. So, the Saturday before Christmas I test drove the Prius. And, I liked it. I hadn't planned on buying that day, but the trade-in on my car had gone down over the past couple of years (expected). Toyota gave me good value for the trade-in, as well as a good discount, in addition to the 0% financing. So, with a little bit of sadness mixed with excitement, I traded in the Matrix. I'm now the proud owner of a Toyota Prius III in Sandy Beach Metallic. I'd have preferred a light shade of blue or the red, but neither was available, so I decided to try a different car color. Not sure about a light interior, but so far I'm enjoying the car. I expected the gas milage to be lower in the winter due to the colder weather and running the heater, but right now I'm getting about 49 mpg and I haven't even used a quarter of tank. Stay tuned for how it goes with the car, because honestly, it just fascinates me.

The year ended on a sad note, with the death of my college roommate. However, overall, 2010 was basically a good year. I've got good vibes coming at me for 2011. I wish everyone nothing but the best in the coming year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

In Memoriam....

Today I learned of the death of my college roommate, Becki. We were roommates for four years and they were all good. We shared pizza at 2:00 in the morning, had road trips, argued, but generally we just had a good time. We turned out to be very good friends in addition to roommates, which just enhanced the whole college experience. She was much too young to die. I will miss her, but she will always live in my memories and in my heart.

Sympathies and prayers to her husband, children, and the rest of her family.