Life is a Highway.

Ain’t she cute?

Guys, I love my car.  Ever since I saw Herbie Goes Bananas, all I wanted was a VW Bug.  Rightfully so, my parents had some safety concerns about the engine position, but over a decade of dedicated love for the love bug truly paid off when Volkswagen rebooted its classic little lemon.

Imagine my MIND-BLOWING delight when this Beetle* showed up on my 16th birthday, complete with plastic daisies in the dashboard vase.  [Yes, I know I’m terribly spoiled, and I tried to repay my parents for their generosity by avoiding even the least speck of rebellion.]

I love the crap out of this car.  It is the Velveteen Rabbit of cars.  I took my senior picture with this car.  She drove my friends and me to tennis practice, our ponytails tangled by the wind racing in through the open sunroof.  She was always there for me, even when I blew out a speaker by listening to The Killers a little too enthusiastically.

She was egged twice, once in high school and once in college, but she shrugged it off and looked as cheerful as ever.  My mom once asked me, on a weekend home from New York, if I might want to think about getting a “big girl car.”  I blinked at her a couple of times, as if to say, “what these words mean, pretty lady?”  This was the only automotive dream I’d dreamed for myself since age three.

And now, the sad day has arrived.  It’s time to set this butterfly free in favor of all-wheel drive for my upcoming snowshoe trips in the Rockies.

Even though I’ll be saying goodbye to an important symbol of my youth, it’s been really fun to pick out a new car.  I like looking at the kayak attachments for a Subaru Forester, and debating the safety rating of the Chevy Equinox and the look of the new Honda CR-V.

The problem is, I have a bit of a “champagne taste on a beer budget” situation.

I want this:

Home, home on the Range [Rover]

But I want it to cost as much as this:

Lightweight; light on your wallet.

After much research and help from my cousin, one of the whizzes at Indy Honda, I decided on a sky blue 2009 CR-V!  It’s sporty yet refined, powerful but not a gas guzzler, and roomy without being oversized.  Photos to come!

*That image is not my actual car, but they’re definitely cousins.

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