I can honestly say that yesterday was one of the better days I've ever had in my entire life. Nothing exploded or melted down, I had a wonderful one-on-one chat with one of our executives about our corporate social responsibility, and a meeting that I'd been dreading with my boss went off, not only without any issues, but with several doors being opened from both a career and a personal standpoint.
As some of you have guessed from a few oblique statements I've recently inserted into posts and comments, I have a long-distance relationship going with a wonderful, talented, and handsome man in the Bay Area. Suffice to say, this has deepened far beyond our greatest expectations, and both of us believe that the other "is the one". When I aired the possibility of working remotely with my boss yesterday, she not only was supportive of the idea, she stated frankly that it would be one of the best career moves I could make internally.
So....in summary..... North Dallas Thirty will be moving to San Francisco.
Because of tax and other issues, this will not be an immediate move. However, there are several things related to this move that will need to take place, and one of them is that North Dallas Thirty's beloved Ford F-150 extended cab pickup has to be put out to pasture (and if any of you have seen San Francisco's parking, you know exactly why). The pre-Memorial Day sales, in which auto manufacturers are trying to make sure they have no selection left for the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and "God, get them off the lot, the new ones are here!" sales, are taking place now -- and with NDT's beau coming to visit this weekend, we can make sure the vehicle "fits".
In the proud tradition of Blog Ally Boi from Troy, I would like to submit to you, loyal readers, the cars that have churned up in my search through auto lots, along with what I perceive as their pros and cons and ask your opinions on which would be most suitable for a Texan moving to the narrow streets, shoebox slots, and hills of SFO. Please feel free to add any to the list that may come to mind.
Saab 9-2x Aero
Pros: All-wheel drive, punchy 227-hp, 210 lb-ft torque turbo engine, massive available discount (try $10k, when all is said and done), basically the world-class Subaru WRX in fine Swedish leather
Cons: Basically the world-class Subaru WRX with a premium of $4k for fine Swedish leather, requires premium fuel
Pontiac Vibe GT
Pros: Versatile, roomy (for a subcompact), very fuel-efficient, 170-hp engine, decent discount, a Toyota Matrix with a Celica engine under a Pontiac skin and built in California
Cons: 170 hp is at redline and nowhere else, requires premium fuel, and my God, did no dealer on earth order one of these with leather AND the sunroof?
Mazda Mazda3 SP3
Pros: Nimble, fast, fuel-efficient, 160-hp engine with matching torque, shares platform DNA with the critically-acclaimed Volvo S40 and European Ford Focus
Cons: Discount? Are you kidding? These things are actually SELLING!
Ford Focus ZX4 ST
Pros: Nimble, fast, fuel-efficient, same torquey engine as the Mazda3, inherited suspension and handling equipment from the late and lamented Focus SVT, discounted
Cons: Does NOT share platform DNA with the critically-acclaimed Volvo S40/European Ford Focus, and am I really going to pay $20k for something that looks like it came off the rental lot at SFO?
Pros: Convertible top, rides high above the world, goes (and can fit) anywhere, a blast to drive, CHEAP to insure, serious "butch factor"
Cons: Rides like a buckboard, same fuel economy as NDT's current F-150, makes highway driving in crosswinds an adventure, gives two choices -- keep top on, or never park anywhere you can't see it again
Thanks in advance for all of your help!
UPDATE: 11 PM, Tuesday, 10 May: After further consultation, I am adding one more car to the list for consideration.
Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring Convertible
Pros: CONVERTIBLE, reasonably fast and sporty, really seats four people, definite cool car, discount
Cons: Even WITH discount, still the most expensive -- and the vague impression that it screams, "Barbie car"!