Generation Z. Cruising in an RV.: OLA: Ending the Saga of Our New Used Car in Denver!

Monday, August 19, 2013

OLA: Ending the Saga of Our New Used Car in Denver!

the large quartz Bill needs to add to my jewelry collection!
This is the saga of our new used car. There have been such happy events in the past weeks that we couldn’t believe what happened to us. Or maybe we have just been too happy that it was decided we should be tried and tested, too!

First the red Saturn that has been our dinghy for the past 3 years conked out on us. Then we, instead of buying a new one in the US, decided to buy in Canada.  It would have been a lot more expensive otherwise: 1) the plane fare would have cost about $500 for all three of us, Bill, Krishna, and me,  2)  we packed with a road trip in mind so we couldn’t have flown without more expense for luggage fees, and 3) on paper, we found that the 2002 Saturn SL2s we eyed (because we could just move the old one’s towing base plate and wiring to the new one) were even pricier in Seattle!

We researched and prepared all the paperwork that might be needed for the border inspection and the eventual registration in Seattle such as the ‘in transit’ permit from the Canadian Registry Office and the Washington Department of Transportation , the deed of sale from the car dealer, the manufacturer’s compliance letter for EPA and safety standards.  At the border, we were whizzed through in a jiffy. Boy, were we so proud and, boy, were we so wrong!

First the car did not pass the emissions test when Bill was registering it. He had to take it to a Chevy dealer who said that a spring broke on the transmission control box and it is best that we have it done now rather than later. Bill was so glad that the dealer in Canada paid the premium for a $3,000 insurance policy for a year! The part was ordered and the job finished by Friday afternoon.  And the car passed the emissions test. But, that was just the beginning of the ordeal!

It turned out that we had to have a customs clearance from the port of entry.  So Bill went back to the Peach Arch port of entry, 2 hours away, on Saturday. Finally, he got the precious customs clearance. When he went back to the registration office, he was told that he had to have the title. Had we been registering in Canada, the Bill of Sale would have sufficed due to their computerized tracking of the VIN. But we were registering in Washington State, so that Monday, after talking with the Canadian Vehicle Registry Office, Bill sent the car dealer the necessary authorization paper and copies of all documents. Our visit to Jim and his family in Boise, unfortunately, had to be scrapped.

And then another unimaginable thing happened. The car dealer brought the envelope with the document to the Canadian Post Office (not FedEx) who then turned it over to FedEx. This added a day.  Even if we paid for next day delivery, we finally picked it up from the Kent FedEx station on Thursday. The additional delay of a day was because a whole batch of deliveries, which included our little envelope, were released without proper clearance and had to be returned to the Memphis Customs Office!

at the Vehicle Licensing Office in Kent, Washington
Bill camped in front of the FedEx Kent station by 8:30 AM and we got the envelope 5 minutes after they opened at 9. We rushed to the Vehicle Licensing Office and, lo and behold, they quickly had our car plates ready for us! Finally, we were off to two 10-hour, instead of three 7-hour, drive-days. We stopped at Twin Falls, Idaho by 9 PM and the next day, we were off to Denver by 8 AM. At 7 PM, we were tired, but happy to see Suzanne and family again!

finally at Suzanne's driveway in Denver, Colorado!
Even before we reached Denver, we got an email from Cassie, now 12. She has posted 3 more items on her blog: http://askmyparents.blogspot.com. She also has a new phone and the whole trip we kept on texting each other until my last one that said: ‘On 94th! 1 minute to go’. She is such a sweetie pie. I have shared her blog on Facebook, twitter and Google+. She will definitely beat her friend’s blog with her 350 views as of today!

After a wonderful home-cooked dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, we played four rounds of Mexican train dominoes which I won! But Bill was so tired from 2 days of 10-hour drives he had to retire early but I had to watch the recorded classic quarterfinal match between Federer and Nadal at the Western-Southern Open which we went to in Cincy in 2011. That Nadal beat the legend made my day!

the Happy Harpers at the Weekend Peach Festival
Bill with peach cobblet!
The following day I was excited to join them at the Peach Festival in Lafayette, Colorado, an annual event all about the peach. There were peaches galore and everything about peaches: peach cobblers, peach smoothies, peach pizzas, etc.  It was really hot though and, after a few finds, we trooped to Yak and Yeti, a favorite Indian buffet for a late lunch and early dinner.  The night was devoted to recorded tennis semifinals of the Cincy Open and Nadal beat Berdych to land in the finals.

@ Yak and Yeti Indian Buffet
having fun @ IMAX 
Sunday was a great day at the Denver Museum of Science and History. The added fun was the Scavenger Hunt for elves hidden among dioramas of different exhibits, embedded in videos, or painted into murals. The feature on Galapagos Island at the IMAX Theater moved me to write about something and to complete the other 6 Top 10 Islands of Travel and Leisure Magazine we have also not seen. (We have seen Palawan and Boracay, both from the Philippines at #1 and #2, Bali, and Prince Edward Island. 

the Denver Skyline from atop the museum
We also watched The Cosmic Journey at The Planetarium and learned new stuff about our Solar System.  Cassie then led me to the top floor where I got a great shot of the Denver Skyline. Sadly, however, I lost the pop tab bracelet Cassie made for me. We were able to register it at the Lost and Found. I hope a good samaritan finds it! We ended the weekend with the movie Oz, the Great and Powerful.  But I was able to watch Nadal finally beat Isner at the finals! 


the lovely bracelet Cassie made me which I lost!
It was a busy weekend with the Happy Harpers so, with their permission, we decided to stay longer!