Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Getting drunk with the in-laws

We had a grand ole' time with the in-laws this weekend and managed lots of new adventures. One of my favorites was a guided tour through a local winery the Chateau Ste Michelle. What I liked about it was not that we saw how their white wine is made (which was pretty cool) but that they took us by the hand and taught us about wine without any pretentiousness. We learned about the regions of Washington where grapes are grown, why they grow well here, how the different varieties are fermented to make wine, how they determine fermentation length and oak aging (my oh my those oak barrels are expensive) and how to correctly taste wine. We picked up some cool wine lingo and came out of the tour feeling like newly minted wine experts.

After the wine tasting we headed downtown to the fancy restaurant 94 Stewart to celebrate my Father in-Law's birthday (he turned 29, again). We were feeling very fancy so we ordered not one but TWO bottles of wine and subsequently shared all our newly learned lingo with anyone who would listen, which was mostly each other. I liked 94 Stewart a lot too, again because of something very abstract: it was fancy and upscale without being pretentious and our waiter was sincerely nice and helpful. And the food was very good too.

Another neat thing we did this weekend was officially initiate some car-shopping. The Studly Hubby and I, having low standards and all, have never been on the market for a car. So we needed his parents support and encouragement for that first test drive. What you are probably wondering is what exactly we are in the market for. Well, let me tell you what I want first.

A Lime-Green Volkswagon Beetle (convertible), much like this one:
Isn't that a cool car?

Well it isn't very practical. We don't have a garage or any off-street parking to speak of, we live in a high-theft, high-accident neighborhood (our car has been hit twice this year), and we don't even drive very much.

So we're going for a more practical (a.k.a. more boring) type of car, like perhaps a used Honda or Toyota. My favorite car in the whole wide world, the apple red 1989 Toyota Camry, unfortunately is getting hard to come by (especially the kind we would want - one with no rust, low miles, and a warranty). So we'll see what else we can find.

Meanwhile, the manager at that first dealership fed us some lines to remember. He looked over our car to determine what the trade-in value is, and declared it a "ticking time-bomb." Then when we hedged on the cars we test drove (the Kia had no power, the Jetta was nice but overpriced), he said, "what can I do to get you excited enough to buy a car today?" We laughed hysterically, which I don't think was the answer he was looking for.

And we're off to our next adventure.


arial said...

I think car shopping is horrible. Just reading about it made me uncomfortable. The one thing I hated most when we went shopping was the salesman always asking, "what monthly payment can you afford?" Like that was what we were going to base the price of the car we would buy on.

Next time they ask, "what will make you buy today?" You can say you'll take the Jetta for $100.

In other news, there is a Chipotle downtown now, it openned a few weeks ago.

Peggy said...

Sounds like you had a great time with the in-laws!

Happy car shopping.

susan said...

I've hated car shopping ever since my first time when the salesman insulted me because I didn't want a red car.

Is Studly Husband still at MS? Use the Prime Card! You just decide what you want and don't have to bother with those pesky salesmen!

Uncle KT said...

When I got my car I did A LOT of research on line. I could quote the MSRP of everything that I was interested in and knew everything about everything and didn't bother to go to the dealer until I had stuff narrowed down to 2 different cars. Then I just walked in and didn't mess around--that was a great experience--when the dealer gave me a line of BS I called him on it and moved on. Plus he got the message right away that I was going to buy what I wanted not what he wanted to sell to me.

uncle bruce said...

At the winery, did they tell you for a real wine tasting you're supposed to spit the stuff out, so you don't get too sloshed to evaluate the next 5 wines?

That's what would kill it for me. I prefer the way you did it at your department get-together, where you actually drank a little. It spoils the marketing research -- oops, I mean the science -- but at least you get to enjoy the stuff.

Newt said...

We LOVE our subaru. We got a really good used one and it has been fabulous. My friend had a Kia and it was a nightmare from day one. It was incredible the problems she had with the car. In less than a year it got a new engine, transmission, breaks, and tires. I'm not making it up.