Friday, June 20, 2008

Introducing the newest member of the adventure family

After nearly 4 months of searching for a suitable adventure van, we finally settled on one last weekend. I have to admit, nothing will compare to the original, first adventure van but this one will definitely see some fun times! We haven't put a bed or storage on the inside yet so I only took pictures of the outside. It's a 2003 Toyota Hiace with 54,000 miles on it -- an INFANT for a Toyota. It was previously owned by a family-owned formwork (concrete) company. It was really dirty and smelly on the inside but we've been putting some serious elbow grease into it hoping to get it clean and smelling nice. We took out the seats and the floor covering and found enough raisins and candy to feed a small orphanage -- ick.

My first drive with the van was extremely nerve racking. Not only was it the first time I had ever driven on the "wrong" side of the street, but I had to shift gears with my left hand. I've only driven it 3 times so far and it still scares the hell out of me. It will certainly be a miracle if there are no dents or scrapes on the van by the time we're ready to sell it. I now have an even greater appreciation for the feat Scott conquered in Bali when we rented a hooptie SUV and drove to our hotel 2 hours from the airport.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getz and the Queen

Scott and I broke down this past rainy weekend and rented a car. It was a 3-day weekend due to the "Queen's Birthday" and the train lines near us were closed for maintenance. You may ask, like I did, what "Queen"? Yes, the Australians have a public holiday dedicated to Queen Elizabeth of England!? Seems kind of weird to me, but I'm not complaining because we finally got to surf! We rented a Hyundai Getz and managed to fit mountain bikes and surfboards (not on the same day) into the little roller skate of a car. I felt much safer sitting behind Scott in the back of the car anyway! Even with one of the most economical cars made, it still cost $46 in gas for the weekend. I guess it's not hard to reach that amount at ~$7.50/gallon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Biking Horror

I couldn't get the following image out of my head during our bike commute this morning. It is horrible to imagine what a car can do to a person (or people) on a bike. In summary, a drunk man ran into a group of racing bicyclists sending them flying into the air and killing a 37 year old man. On the right side of the car, you can see a bike (sans biker) seemingly hovering in the air while on the left side, you can see a helmet (!!!) and a water bottle presumably separated from person and bike on impact. If you want the full story, you can read about it here.