We vowed and we shook hands to agree not to buy a car this year. We would remain a one car family since our SUV got stolen last November. But alas, the Northern VA suburbs are not friendly territory to the alternative transportation inclined. We did manage to stay one-car from 2005-2009; until #2 was born. But with the second child came a second location for daycare and no way to get there by bus and still make it to work at a reasonable hour. Plus who takes an infant on a bus? Well, I would be that person :) if there was daycare off the bus route.
So we bought car number #2 after she was born, and an SUV at that (I think they are hideous unless covered in dirt, stomping through the dessert). But we got one for the cargo space, with the good intentions of taking trips out to the beach for camping. Luckily it got stolen.
Since then we have been living through the snow storm and cold winter by the grace of my aunt who loaned us one of her SUVs. People in this area have lots of cars.
I guess that you could say that I am all about consolidation. That's why I was hoping that we could consolidate our vehicle needs back into one car and make do. So I offered to bike to work, which is about 5 miles away. Well, Mari was not happy about that idea and thinks that it is way too dangerous and cold. My response: "I used to bike 5 miles up a mountain to get to my internship in college! I like the challenge." But, that was during a West-Coast summer, and there were bike lanes.
Mariano's work is much closer, only a mile away, and there are sidewalks. He has walked to work on many occasions back when we were one-car-family. But, now-a-days there are 6-foot snow banks on the road and no sidewalks!
Since my aunt needed her car back, we went to the bike shop on Friday to get Mari a bicycle. He found a cool looking shinny green one. I was secretly hoping that would be the end of the car search.
But no. He wanted a car too. And now I tread lightly on pushing my anti-car ideology on him (they are expensive, depreciating assets that are bad for the environment).
A while ago I said something stupid like, "you come from Brazil and so many people there live without cars. The need for cars is a product of America's consumerist culture, egotistical spirit, and disregard for the environment, and I through that you would be better than that coming from a different world view."
To which he heard, "oh so because I come from a third world country I don't deserve to have a car then."
So now I try to be careful not to let my minimalistic tendencies spoil his American dream.
We got a pretty cool car: a Ford Freestyle. It is a station wagon with three rows of seats and all wheel drive. So it has the space of a large SUV, but gets much better gas mileage. It also tears though the snow without any problem. We scored a luxury model. It has a DVD player in it to keep the kids occupied on long trips, and a Navi system from 2006 that is completely clueless and got me lost in SE DC on the way home from the dealership.
So I hope this is the end all to our car needs until we move to a farm and get us a pick-up truck!