Got up and went to the beach first thing.  Told Amanda I should mow the lawn, but it didn’t happen.

Anna Hawkins answered the door at the Frazelles’.  She and her friend Meg Smith, whom we met at Topsail last Labor Day, were there.  We went out, they joined us later.

When we got out there Milly saw someone with a boogie board and wanted one, so I went back and looked for one at the house.  Couldn’t find one.  Later heard that the one or ones they had had broken.  AH and MS brought out a floating chair though.  It was the kind that isn’t inflatable by the feet so the water can come in and cool you.  Milly was eager to get in it and dragged it to the edge of the water then stood in it, which obviously did nothing.  I eventually got it out in the shallow water and sat in it with her, but it was a little rough and you could feel every wave under that thing, so she wasn’t feeling it.

Thought about going out surfing.  Looked fun, but Milly said she wanted me to play with her.  That was before the girls came out and distracted her.  It had settled down a good bit, but Barry said something about getting some boards, so we did.  We were out there half an hour or so and I caught a couple fun waves.

Milly got cranky when we went back in after three hours or so.  We hung out a bit then went home to put her down for a nap.

I had mentioned to Amanda that I thought we were getting to the point where we needed to have a second car again, so Amanda looked up some stuff and submitted some online information.  We got some info back today so while we were on the way to Wrightsville I called and made an appointment.  On the way back from the beach we asked Nick and Amy if they wouldn’t mind watching Milly while we went to look.

W ended up having to wake Milly up from her nap to get her moving.  Dropped her off.  Amy’s mom, Marilyn, was there for a visit.  Nick had said something about him and Amy going out, so my assumption was that they were going to leave the kids with Amy’s mom.  We got back later than expected from looking at the cars and they were still there.  I felt bad about it, but Marilyn said they hadn’t gone in part out of having things they kept doing anyway.  Still, I felt bad.

Milly had time out because she wouldn’t eat anything for dinner, despite being served macaroni & cheese, which she loves despite what she told them.  I guess she was still moody from being woken up early.

So the car.  We looked at Jeff Gordon Chevrolet’s pre-owned cars.  Despite what we were told, the 4Runner that we were initially interested in was not on that lot, plus it ended up being a grape color instead of the dark blue we thought it was.  They have a national network of dealerships from which they can get their used cars.  Even though that was the one we called about, we found a few more online that we were interested in, none of which were there, but they could get them transferred here.  Two that stood out to me were Honda Pilots that were well within our price range, though the mileage was very high on them, so I eventually became less enamored.

Our salesman was a guy named Baker Street (yup) who was a very skinny 6’10”, so I’m sure we looked like Hobbits walking along with him.  He was very nice and personable though.  They pulled a few cars for us based on what we told them: lots of room (small SUV), preferably with leather interior and a third row of seats would be peachy too.  Oh, and we also told them an absolute top monthly payment that we would not consider going over.

One was a Scion, but I ruled it out right away because it was stick.  I enjoy driving manual sometimes, but I didn’t want to have to teach Amanda, and even though (as she kept saying) the final decision was mine because it was going to primarily be my car, I want her to be comfortable driving it.  They also pulled an MDX, which was kind of nice.  It didn’t wow me though, plus the previous owner was obviously a smoker.

They pulled a couple others for us to look at, but the one that stuck out to me was a Ford Escape.  It was a 2005 and had just over 50,000 miles on it. It looked almost brand new.  The leather hardly looked like it had been sat one even.  The only obvious sign of age I saw was that the seatbelt buttons were very faded.  That was the only one we took for a ride and I liked it.  It felt like a car.

We didn’t get anything though.  Initially my thought was that if they’d had the Pilot with the lower mileage I’d have left with it, but the mileage started getting to me the more I thought about it.  Then when we got home we looked at a few more cars (knowing we had a little more budget to play with than initially thought) and saw a Chevy Equinox.  I called Baker and asked him about it, and he said that given the mileage and the year (it’s a 2007) it would have an extended warranty included with it.  Of course, that one’s not here in Wilmington either.  I really liked the Escape it had really positive reviews, but the Equinox seems a little nicer and the warranty could be worth a little extra money.  We’re just not sure if they’ll come down to our price with it.  Something to think about.

Zach Dotsey