Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dimes Nickels and Quarters...

It has been brought to my attention that I didn’t do a sufficient job of explaining where Penny got her name. Okay, seriously, it isn’t that hard. What color is Penny? Copper. Copper…Penny…Copper…Penny. PENNYS ARE COPPER COLORED!

Additionally, we became friends with a doe on a backpacking trip last year that Craig named Penny. For some reason the name carried over as being a cute name for a car.

Well, I haven’t made ANY progress on the curtains; as we went snowboarding in Sun Valley last weekend and then we bought a cat (see my blog for additional details). Speaking of our trip to Sun Valley—Penny was a super star. She maxed out at 76 MPH. This was the fastest we’ve ever driven her. So what if it we were going downhill with a tailwind—it still counts!

The curtain fabric will at least be unfolded and measured before Monday! (Somehow saying that on the internet for the world to hear makes it seem like more of a possibility!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Purists vs. Functionalists

Most VW enthusiasts know that there are two schools of thought when fixing/repairing your VW. Craig and I fortunately subscribe to the same school of thought; therefore avoiding the arguments that would inevitably ensue if we had opposite VW beliefs. We are functionalists, which means that when we make repairs, replacements or updates to our VWs we don’t care whether the new carpet matches the original carpet. Actually functionalists often prefer that the new carpet doesn’t match the old carpet. We want it to be the most fun, functional, and fresh carpet around which also means that we will never be able to sell one of our VWs with a $20,000 price tag advertising it as “fully refurbished with original parts”. No, ours would only sell as “fun and funky—totally customized beyond recognition”.
My point in sharing with you our views on VW customization is that I’m about to fill you in on our current Vanagon project.


Oh, damn, I gave it away. Yes, last night we went out and bought new fabric for replacement curtains.
We finally decided on a dark green microfiber that has a various colored stripes stitched through it at random. It is #1 really cute and #2 entirely opaque—which means I don’t have to line the curtains—making my job of sewing the curtains SO much easier. Yea! I don’t have pictures of the fabric yet, but they will be coming next week. My goal is to get these babies done before mid March so we can go camping!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

About our Girls...

First, a brief history of our VWs.
Tranny is a 1964 Samba. Craig bought her in high school, sold her when he went to college and regretted the sale for 7 years when one day his dad got a new job. Irrelevant to my story—you say? I think not. It just so happened that Craig’s dad’s new secretary pulled up to work in Tranny herself. Finally, after much coercion, the secretary (sorry I don’t know your name) sold Tranny to Craig. Yea! Craig was whole once more. You may ask—why do you call her Tranny? Well, Tranny is fickle. She has a thing for transmission problems…transmission replacements…and transmission leaks. We’ve given her two new transmissions in the last two years. (I should point out that we got royally screwed on the first one, so it hardly counts and is not Tranny’s fault. Shortly thereafter we got a new mechanic and HE ROCKS!)
Last summer we took Tranny camping—I’ll point out here that Tranny is not a Westy, a Riviera, a Campmobile or a camper of any sort. We were on our way to a backpacking site and decided to spend the night at a hot springs, so rather than breaking out the tent, we stayed in Tranny. It was awesome, but by about midnight the kinks in our necks and cramps in our legs started to sink in. By about 2AM we were coming up with plans to build a platform that we could put in Tranny that would allow us a comfortable night’s sleep. By 4 AM we had a cot system with mattress planned out and then by 7 AM we had decided to get a camper.
Enter Penny: We looked, and looked and looked on ebay, samba.com, craigslist for a camper. At first my heart was set on a bay window, but finally decided that it might be nice to have a vehicle that was happy traveling over 50mph. So, we decided a Vanagon would do the trick. We finally found Penny on the internet and decided that she was the one after discovering that our mechanic was the one who had rebuilt Penny’s engine two years prior. So, we flew to Park City and drove Penny home. Penny’s a little hottie. We didn’t realize this when we bought her, but her engine had been severely overheated. The result was that we got to buy her a new engine and our third transmission. (No, I don’t need your advice about how you should always take a car to your mechanic before you buy it. Yes, it is good advice—no, I’m not smart enough to take it!) Anyway, we love Penny and she is very happy at 65 mph.
We love having two buses in our garage. Sometimes we just stand at the door and stare at them. Our kids love them too. They have their own names for them: Big Red and Little Brown…the ironic part of these names being that Penny is much, much bigger than Tranny. If anyone out there is thinking about getting a camper—yes, they do fit in the garage. Craig and I measured our garage prior to getting Penny and determined that—no, she will not fit. We got her home and very nervously drove her right in. Home sweet home.