Some things that seem easy on the first look, can be quite frustrating if you get started.
We started hunting for our car 2 days after we arrived and got over most of the adjusting.
Hass did an incredible job in looking up cars on the internet and adding them to a list, so “all we had to do” was go from one car to another and fall in love with one of them. So far easy enough. It just doesn’t help, if half of the list got sold in-between us landing in the USA and the moment we got around to look at them. One car got even sold 2 hours before we arrived at the dealer.
What also isn’t helping, is half of the cars look like an angry beaver or dog was locked into the cars for days at end, before someone decided: Now we better sell the car. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Austin is not the best place to look for a cabriolet, so we started our hunt in Houston.
Houston is a really big city and on the first glance, it’s a whole lot of concrete and highways going criss cross and “up up away” in the sky.
I was happy Hass was the only one who is allowed to drive the rental car. I am sure when its my turn, people behind me on these high above parts of the road will curse the heck out of me. My fear of heights will certainly make me crawl over the street. Anyhow – i will worrie about that, when it is that far.
In our first day we visited about 5 car dealers and just test drove 2 cars. The last one was very promising. A silver Mazda Miata with manual and automatic – so Hass and I could be happy- and an electric roof. It drove amazing and we both fell in love with the car, until Hass got wet feet in the passengers seat. Appearently the airco started leaking, which was a bad sign and our interest in the car got washed away.
Slightly depressed and not in the best mood, we decided to quit for the day and take a Motel in town. We didnt feel like driving back and forth each time 3,5 hours and this way we could start fresh in the early hours.
At Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen we quick-stopped for our meal and Hass ordered accidentally a meal for an entire football team. He decided to give the untouched rest to one of the numerous homeless people, who was very greatfull. I really love this idea. More people should feed the poor when they are in the position to do so.
After dinner we checked into our first cheap hotel. The entrance had seen better days and the business cards on the desk had been ‘corrected’ by hand. All of them had the hotel name and a e-mail address changed. A bit dodgy, but hey…
In our Room, we got the next surprise. We haven’t been alone. Geiko the Gekko was waiting for us. At least that means, it will be bug free, we supposed.
To get the mood up a bit, we went to the big shopping center and met Cardell who is working in the Peter Lik Artgallery. He explained the phopgraphy and print proces of the products and gave us some nice advice on places to visit along our road trip destinations. (Thanks mate!)
We ended the day with a storm on the local 24 hour pharmacy to get toothbrushes etc and some snacks and wine to relax in the hotel. I had my first Twinky and Ding Dong. I did like the Twinky but the DingDong was to much for me 😛
Though I slept bad, Hass knew a way to cheer me up. Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen was the place to get breakfast and decent coffee.
By now we had narrowed our hunt down to two cars, though we checked out some more by the road side. One was quite fun. A Ram-Van, which triggered all the right road trip feelings in us, but was very run down and unpractical. The ‘bed’ was not even big enough for me. So Hass had to choose between a cheaper model of the Miata from ’99 or the modern one with electric Hard Top. I didn’t like the ’99 version because it was british racing green, but luckily Hass didn’t like it coz it handled as most old cars; everything is a bit loose and wobbly. If you are not used to that, it’s quite uncomfortable driving.
In the end, we ended up buying the car, we looked and test drove first that day.