Honest to goodness, I didn't even intend to tell you about buying out the lease on the Venza because, even though it was definitely a New Thing in 2013, it is booooring. Too much paperwork and such a headache I didn't want to tell the story.
But when I got the new license plates, well, it was a must.
The other reason it's not all that exciting, though, is that shortly after we turned the Venza lease into an ownership, something much more exciting happened: My wife got a new car.
It's a Mazda CX-5.
The great thing about the new car is we will never forget the day my wife brought it home - it was the same day our nephew was born. (I got a lot of mileage - no pun intended [ok, pun intended] - out of that fun fact.)
I didn't write about it right away because I needed some time to get a feel for the car, and to drive it a bit.
It's nothing special to drive - it's nice. I like driving new cars. The Venza is far from old and decrepit, but little things are starting to sneak in, like a little bit of a tail on the steering wheel so that there's a drift if you don't touch it. You know what I mean? It slightly drifts either left or right. Not a lot, but enough to notice. With the new car you can not touch the steering wheel and go straight all day. I like that. Also, it's the same size as my wife's old car. After three years I'm still having trouble adjusting to the longer front of the Venza, especially on turns and pulling into parking lot spaces. The Mazda is easy.
My wife, since she went from buying a car to buying a car with no lease in between, kept her old plates. So there's nothing exciting to report there. (Although I don't think I told you that I probably won't return the old plates I had. I now am in possession of five sets of license plates - my old cool one, the new old boring one, the ones on my car and my wife's car, and then a license plate with the number 7778 on it - that's my birthday. A family whose kids I taught had that license plate - and when I saw them in the parking lot once I told them that I loved the plate number. They remembered, and when they had to turn in their plates, they gave them to me. So now maybe I'll keep spare plates in my trunk and when I commit crimes and need to change the look of my car I can swap them out, The Americans - style. [Just kidding, law enforcers. Just kidding. They're in my garage.] It is legal in Massachusetts, for those wondering, to keep your plates, though you can turn them in if you'd like. You just have to cancel them on-line.)
(Also, parenthetically, maybe you're wondering what constitutes a cool license plate. The birthday example above is a good one. Repeating numbers are always good. And last week I drove behind a car with a GC8 as the last three characters. I love that - "Gary Carter 8".)
Back to the new Mazda: My kids have a lot about it they're excited about. My oldest daughter, after crying when my wife got rid of the old Rav-4, has come around, and all three love that Pandora can play on the car's sound system. So they can listen to their kid's music, and that's all they need.
One of the requirements of this car for my wife and I was that three car seats had to fit across the back seat. (The Rav couldn't fit three. Oh - that's another thing the kids like. They liked saying 'Rav, like ravioli.' They've discovered 'Mazda sounds like pasta!') So we no longer have to maneuver our schedules based on which car is bringing around which kids - it's quite freeing.
And, this is no small point - as disappointed and frustrated as we were in our Toyota company with the complications from buying out the lease, my wife loved her experience at Wellesley Mazda. If you're interested in a Mazda, let us know - she has some contact information she can give you. It was that good.