his name was marvin

I sold my Miata yesterday. That was the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time. I bought my Miata 7 years ago. It was my graduation gift to myself for having slogged through 5 years of getting an engineering degree. I traded in my plasticky Saturn for a 1997 Mazda Miata M-edition. It was a beautiful dark green with a multi-colored fleck in the paint that just shined in the sun. It had a tan top with tan interior, leather seats. It was an awesome car for someone who was still adjusting to not being a student anymore and who actually had a steady full-time job.

The car started off with 49,000 miles from a previous owner who had also owned the car for the other 7 years of its life. Last night, when I signed the title over to the new owners, the mileage was 114,900. The car had been well loved over the 7 years that I had owned it. Sean and I drove off as a new couple in that car. It drove countless miles along back roads in both Alabama and Arizona in the constant search for the newest fun road to drive. We went on drive outs with the Rocket City Miata Club. It spent countless hours being raced around cones in autocrossing. We replaced the clutch and flywheel in that car (our first clutch that we ever replaced!). We learned a lot of our car know-how on that car.

Somewhere along the way, my Miata earned a name. I called him Marvin the Miata (Marvin the Martian was green with a tan Roman-ish top to him). It stuck pretty quickly and I always referred to him as Marvin after that.

Unfortunately, along the way, Marvin quit being a really good daily driver. When I was in Alabama and only drove 3 miles to work it wasn’t a bit deal. When I moved to Arizona and had a 40 mile commute each way, it became a bigger deal. I finally bought the Fit to become my new daily driver but I was insistent on keeping Marvin around so that I still had a sporty car to drive on occasion. Then, Sean needed the Fit for his daily driver and I got the Mini Cooper S. It’s kind of hard to justify keeping a Miata around when you’ve got another sporty car again. We haven’t autocrossed in a while due to Sean’s rather busy school schedule. Marvin just sat in our garage for the most part and for a car to just sit in a garage is a travesty to me. Cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed.

So, late last week Sean posted an ad on Craigslist for the car. We got a response pretty quickly from a family that was looking for a small 2-seater that didn’t have a lot of power but was still fun to drive. It was primarily for the husband, but their 16 year old would be able to drive it every once in a while. It’s nice because with only two seats, teenagers can’t get into too much trouble with it. Last night, we met at a bank. Money was exchanged, a bill of sale was signed and the title was signed over to the new owners. It was so simple. You’d think for something that you love as much as that car that it would be harder, but that’s not always the way it is. So now I don’t own a Miata anymore. I have finally passed him along to a new family that will hopefully love him in time as much as I did.

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uk trip pics

At the end of May, beginning of June, Sean and I took a trip with Misty and Stephen to the United Kingdom. We spent several days in London and then proceeded to drive as much of the country as possible, getting as far north as Edinburgh, Scotland and as far south as Brighton. So, here’s a quick roundup of our trip in photos. If you want to see the entire set of photos just click here. Oh, and for another perspective of the trip, here’s Misty and Stephen’s photos.

For the first few days on our trip, other than sitting on a plane and standing in line at customs, we spent the time in London. We tried to do everything from the British Museum IMG_1736.jpg
to the Tower of London DSC_2083.jpg
to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
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It was a lot to do and we knew we wouldn’t get everything in, but we certainly gave it a good try.
I even managed to get some yoga in while I was in London. DSC_2196.jpg

Next, we started to head north, going through Wakefield to visit a school that Stephen spent a semester at in college.
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We even got to cross a Haha bridge while were there.
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Hadrian’s Wall was conquered on our way up to Edinburgh.
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Castles were conquered and views were enjoyed while we were in Edinburgh.
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We even managed to visit the Castle Aaarrgghhhhhhh…. on our way back south. DSC_2417.jpg

We managed to make it to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage.
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And Stephen got to pretend to be a nutcracker.
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Cool British cars were seen at the British Motoring Museum.
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And great feats of scientific and mathematic innovation were appreciated at Bletchley Park.
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We waved goodbye to Misty and Stephen at this point and continued on to Brighton to see the Royal Pavilions.
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On our way to Bath, we had a last minute change of plans and got to see Goodwood Motoring Circuit IMG_1809.jpg

and lots of very beautiful, powerful cars. DSC_2666.jpg

Bath and its architecture were breaktakingly amazing. DSC_2725.jpg

We even managed to cram in a last minute side trip to Stonehenge DSC_2785.jpg
before finally getting on an airplane and waving goodbye to the wonderful Brits.

newest member of the family

I know I haven’t posted in a while. At some point, I’ll get around to finishing the saga post of our trip to England, but in the mean time, I’ve had a chance to clean up our newest member of the family and post some pictures. Everyone, welcome Hammond, our 2007 Mini Cooper S, to the family.

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Several months ago, Sean came to the very difficult decision that his Subaru Legacy GT was not helping his back out, so he sold it. The Miata is no longer a great daily driver, so we needed to get another car to replace the Legacy. Sean took the Fit as his daily driver and suggested that perhaps we look at a Mini Cooper as the new car since he knew I had drooled over them for several years now.

After a bit of looking around (mostly done by Sean since he actually knows how to hunt a car down online), we found what we were looking for over in Oakland, CA. Good record, good mileage and it was a beautiful color combo I couldn’t resist. A few days, many trips to several banks to work out the details of the loan, and some inquiring online, my new car was loaded onto a transport truck to be delivered to our house.

This is where it gets a bit tragic. While the transport truck driver was signing the paperwork at the dealership to take possession of my car, a driver came down the road and drove up the ramp of the truck into the back of my beautiful car. Long story short, a couple of days later, my car was delivered to me broken, but we had an insurance claim open against it already and I just had to take it in and get it fixed. Two weeks later and the day before we left for England on our vacation, I finally got my car back looking brand new and beautiful again.

Thus the reason for this taking so long to post about. Hammond has already been on a camping trip with us. We went up to the Mogollan Rim for the weekend of the 4th to avoid the heat for a couple of days. He performed quite admirably on very bumpy forest roads in the depths of Arizona and it’s amazing how much camping gear you can actually fit into the back of that car.

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I’m sure before long we’ll have more fun stories to post about the adventures with the newest member of the family.

the long road home

Sean and I made it back home to Phoenix tonight. Farmington was fun. It was an awesome experience going to an SCCA National Tour event. I’m officially hooked and can’t wait to get a chance to do another one. On an exciting note, Sean and I both managed to trophy in our respective classes. Sean ran CS (C Stock) and got second place (he was behind the leader by only .6 seconds, which is really close!). I ran CSL (C-Stock Ladies) and got first place. Mine wasn’t quite as exciting as I was only running against one other person, but my times were actually comparable with the times in CS, so that’s cool for me. Anywho, I’ll finish posting pics tomorrow and do a more thorough write up of the event. For now, I’m off to shower off the last of the grease, dirt and sunblock from my skin and get some sleep.

the road to farmington

The road to Farmington, NM (or multiple roads in our case) was long. 6 and a half hours long. Sean picked me up at work at 1pm today and we immediately hit the road, stopping for dinner along the way. As much as it was long, it was pretty as well, though, and we definitely had our amusing moments. Here’s a bit of a photo journal of our trip, with a picture of Sean and me laughing it up in the car on our grand journey.

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It’s 10pm New Mexico time, though, so it’s bed time for now. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.