The Season has Begun (and other stuff)

Birthday party season that is.  Yep, already just five days into the new school year we’ve got a date for a birthday party this Saturday.  Apparently there are twins in Boo’s class that are turning 6?, anyway the invite didn’t specify the ages but I would assume 6.  So now I have three days to find birthday gifts for these children.  And I say ‘children’ because I am only fairly certain they are both boys.  I really can’t tell from the names, which I think are Italian.  Since we are new to the school I don’t know these children so I have no reference.  Boo when I asked him yesterday only knew GC was in his class.  But when Hubby came home and asked him he said yes G was also in his class along with GC.  We will see.The good thing about the party (other than being smack dab in the middle of a Saturday) is that it is at one of those indoor play places that are super popular here.  It’s a drop-off situation. We blessedly don’t have to stay and supervise.  

I think we will take the three hours given to us and visit the Audi and Saab dealer for fun.  (Car shopping, or window car shopping cheers me up.  And I have been in the dumps lately.)  Not that we are buying a new car.  But in however long from now when we do move I think we’ve come to a nice little agreement on the car situation.  Truly, I am getting something fun.  Boo says Mama should get a convertible (Beetle, to be precise Lucy 2).  I am torn between the Mini (still) and the Beetle.  Have you seen the gas mileage the Mini gets (non-convertible Cooper version)?  Insane.  In an Automatic – 34 hwy, 26 city for a combined – 29 mpg!  That’s 449 miles per tank.  Heeelllo Mini!  (Beetle convertible by comparison – 20/28 Automatic).

But if we are also going to just have fun we will of course need to consider the Audi A4 convertible (21/30 mpg A4 2.0) and the Saab 3 convertible (2.0 gets 18/24 mpg bleh but it’s a cute car with a bigger backseat).  For fun, you know?  Hubby of course will get the family car, a Volvo S60.  Since I really won’t need the space too much (except summer when we’d switch cars… maybe) with kids being in school and all.  I’ve done the mom car thing for 6 years it’s time to spread my wings and have a little fun (or it could be a mid-life crisis.  I don’t know, do women have those??)

But upon searching to the VW site I discovered they have brought back my beloved Jetta Wagon.  In a Sport version.  Nice, Very Nice.  A wagon (should I go the normal sane mom route) is perfect.  Even though I did spend two years driving the BMW 3 wagon I didn’t like it (well the space for the wagon part stunk but the car itself, driving Utopia!).  I much prefer the 3 in the sedan version I am driving now.  But the Jetta wagon doesn’t have that weird back like the 3 does, it’s more squared so you can actually fit stuff.  Which is the point of a wagon right?
Of course I could go whole hog and just get the Mazda 5 mini-minivan.  Hubby would rather die than drive it (he’s actually said he will not ever again do the mini-van thing, he does have a point).  
But lets not destroy my dreamy convertible vision yet.  Allow me some more time to think I am a cool, hip mom.

Cars. Tell me what you know about these…

We’ve been on the look-out the past week for a nice, fun, reliable used car. Something sporty (and probably not practical but who cares!) but I don’t know much about used cars since we’ve never really bought one. And I definitely don’t know anything about the ones we are looking at except they look good. So I turn to you bloggers for advice. Please let me know what you know about these pretty little cars. These are the top contenders because the prices are so much better used here than in the US (with the exception being the Mini, it’s the same) so might as well get something here while it’s affordable 🙂

Car #1 03 BMW 320ci Cabrio, dealership also has an 04. Both automatic.

Car #2 04 Mercedes CLK320 Cabrio. I’ve read some stuff on reliability. Let me know if that’s true.

Car #3 Mini Cooper, various model years

Give me the Good Bad and Ugly. The last thing I need is another Lemon! I am editing my post to add one rarely known fact about me: I absolutely, positively ADORE car shopping. And I’m a girl, go figure!

A Sightseeing Sunday

Yesterday we decided to go to Venlo Netherlands to check out the Tref SuperMarket that Heather talked about on her blog. After getting directions and triple checking store hours for Sunday (it seems the Dutch can figure out a way to co-exist with stores being open on a Sunday, listen up Germans!) we set off about 10:30. After an hour we come to the conclusion we were almost there but needed a lunch break. So we hit up Boo’s favorite – The Yellow M. I must say Germany does the Yellow M right, quite fancy really. Very posh and all that in comparsion with the US M’s I’ve been to. (The picture isn’t so good, but gives you an idea of the comfy seats and trendy decor.)

So refueled we climbed back on the A61 and headed into Venlo. What a cute little town! We drove over to the Tref. And to our horrified discovery – it was closed. Now, I may not completely grasp German all that well but even I know the days of the week. The Tref website states : Verkaufsoffene Sonntage:von 12:00 bis 17:00 Uhr Ok, Sonntage is Sunday. My dictionary wasn’t so good with Verkaufsoffene. So what did I mistranslate?? Why weren’t they open? Babelfish says Verkaufsoffene means “salesopen”, umm, no they weren’t. Very disappointing! We left our grocery hopes behind and decided to salvage the day by seeing what else was around and headed into a parking garage so we could walk around. It seems nearly every other store in Venlo was open. Book shops, clothing stores, cheese stores. We spent a relaxing hour walking around the town taking in the sights. One funny one was a Pearl Vision store. A little bit of good ole US smack dab in the middle of Venlo, Netherlands! That was weird to see, I wasn’t expecting a eyeglass store from the US there. The best part of this place was that on a Sunday, things were open and it’s only a short one hour and 15 minute ride from our house. I think we may make Venlo a once a month trip just for the novelty of being able to go shopping on a Sunday!

Once we returned home we did a few more fun things. The boys got ice cream and I got to drool over a car. Not just any car, a Mini Cooper. Which I have loved and will love till the end of time. We have decided to add a second car, selling dh’s beloved Harley (which has always been the plan) and getting something fun. Like a Mini Cooper. Or a convertible. The biggest problem is I don’t drive a manual transmission, which most cars here are. We bought a stick once and I tried to drive, I really made a good effort, but no luck. I just prefer all my hands on the wheel or one on the wheel and the other wrapped around a Starbucks Latte. 🙂 So even though we can find wonderful prices on a Mini manual, we continue the search for the elusive automatisches Senden. I will say, and have made it known to dh, if we get this Mini or convertible, he’s not likely to get his hands on it. He’s going to be regaled to driving the mom-mobile station wagon for awhile. After all, I am turning 30, I need a little mid-life crisis toy this month.

Adding a linky-link. I’ve converted my dh to the dark side, blogging that is. His blog is in my links section (Favorite Reads), Where In The World Is Paul?