Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oregon Coast

We finally have completed what I would call a successful “road trip” in Penny. We’ve taken here lots of places before, but nowhere more than about 350 miles. Last weekend, we actually made it to the Oregon coast, halfway down the coast, and back. Hooray! This was about 1400 miles (Craig will correct me on the exact mileage later, but he is snoring next to me with a cat on his head and would probably be annoyed if I woke him up to ask for the answer).

We had such a good time that I almost cried when we got home yesterday. We had two reasons for being happy to be home 1) we missed our cat (I mean cats--plural--yeah, we totally missed you too Couch), and 2) you can‘t pump your own gas in Oregon, which we don‘t particularly enjoy.

At the beginning of our trip, we decided to stop at every feasible, Dairy Queen that we passed and get a Dilly Bar because, well, we like doing random things. This proved to be great fun until we saw three Dairy Queens within about an hour. I swear that forth one did not exist. It was a Wendy’s, I’m sure of it.

This trip was awesome because we had NO plans. Well, we had the plan to get to the Oregon coast and we had to be home for work this morning, but other than that, NO plans. We had really good luck with lodging, three nights for $46--not bad, eh? We also learned that with premium gas, a tailwind, and a downhill stretch, Penny will go 80 mph . We also learned that when they say there is dense fog going over Meacham summit, they mean DENSE. We estimated 10 ft visibility…of course, that may have been in part due to our oh so lovely headlights which Craig swears you can’t tell whether they are on or off.

Here's the trip in pictures.

Some beach somewhere. I'm judging by the cleanliness of my hair that it was the beach at Seaside.
Campsite #1

The trip odometer rolling to 1000

Amazing fused glass in the Newport Aquariam

More fused glass. It was breathtaking. (Then again, I do really love fused glass.)

"Welcome to Oddwater--where its okay to be weird" We felt so at home!

Couldn't help myself...


Campsite #2

Craig waking up...and the new curtains.

Some beach somewhere.

Jer Bear bus.

Campsite #3

Sand dollar hunting. Unexpectedly enjoyable.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Maryn is too modest to say this, but I am quite proud of her, so here we go: The curtains are done! Yeah, I know, huh! They are so cool. Last night we put snaps (not without any snapfoo's (pun)) on the curtains and hung them up. I did one inside out, and Maryn did, too. If you plan to undertake snapping yourself, I would recommend buying the $20 tool rather than using a hammer. Now that we have the snap tool, I already have plans to put snaps on nearly everything Maryn owns. Anyway, the curtains are done and we are headed to the Oregon Coast in less than two hours. We hope to make it to Portland tonight, but maybe early tomorrow, then drive down the coast and back home by Monday night, if we come home at all! Pictures to come!- CCJ

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do I change our blog's title?

Well, for the first time since Craig and I have been together we are a one VW family. We’ve always had at least 2 VWs…sometimes three. This does present an interesting obstacle as the title of our blog at least in part suggests that we have more than one Volkswagen. I guess if that’s my biggest concern, then life is really good.

We sold Lady yesterday, which made me really sad…it may be freakish, but I think I get more attached to cars than I do to people. I had to get to the bank ASAP after selling her, not so much because I was uncomfortable having so much cash, but because I knew that paying off the credit card would make me happy. There’s nothing I love more than that $0 balance. (Okay, that’s so not true, I love lots of things more than that, but you get what I’m trying to say.)

Last weekend we were trying to decide whether we should sell Penny or not and decided that we needed to go look at some bay window campers (I mean, what helps the brainstorming juices flow more than car shopping?) We have, of course been in several of these before, but never with the specific goal of determining whether we liked Penny, or our potential bay window camper better. We went and saw a Westy that was about what we could afford. It was a ’75, and while the exterior was totally beat, the interior was really cool. We were digging the idea of getting a bay window—when it occurred to me that the ’75 we had seen was only 6 years older than our Penny. 6 years!

I always think of busses as falling into 3 categories—ancient (splitties), really old (bay windows) and practically fresh off the line (Vanagons). I forget that Penny was made during only the second year in the history of Vanagons. It had never really hit me before that Penny’s body and interior are in incredibly awesome shape for being an ’81 (I’ll do the math for you, that is 28 years old)! Add that to her freshly rebuilt engine and tranny and well, we’d be kind of dumb to sell her (I’m totally confident that I’ll have to eat those words sometime within…three years.)

We cleaned her interior and took her to the car wash, and man, she cleans up good. So now, we’ve got some work cut out for us because, yeah, she looks really good, but let’s face it, 29 years of wear have taken a toll. Our first project is debatable—either work on the engine seal or finish the curtains (yes, the ones I started like a year ago).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Car #9

Craig and I have been thinking for a while (since it got cold outside) about what it would be like to have a car that had heat. This has been our third winter without a heated car. You get used to being cold and traveling at a max speed of 65 mph, until you drive a car that is warm and goes faster than this. As I mentioned before, we borrowed my mom’s Audi while our cars were out of commission a couple of weeks ago.

The Audi was warm…and we had been looking at Subarus for a while. Last week, we made a casual visit to our local used Subaru dealer. On the way there, Craig asked me—what would have to happen in order for us to buy a car today. I more or less said that it was not possible, but when a clean, inexpensive Legacy, combined with a low pressure salesman came along, I somehow lost my conviction and, well, now we have a heated car that we think will go more than 60 mph (we haven’t tried yet), has two side-view mirrors, auto locks and windows, something which we believe to be called “hill assist”, all-wheel drive, and all of the other standard features that most people who are reading this see nothing special about, but to us are signs of high class luxury. Watch out Paris Hilton, here we come.

We are opposed to owning three cars, so now we have to answer the question: which of our VWs do we sell? I know that selling our VWs makes us invariably less cool, but reduced coolness is the price we are going to pay for warmth. (Plus, I really do like the Subaru.)

We have a few options: 1) sell the bug, 2) sell the vanagon, or 3) sell both and buy a bay window camper.
Option three makes me salivate.
Option three would also probably cost us money.

I guess we’ll just wait and see what happens—in the meantime, anyone want to buy a car?