Five kids. Man, that’s a lot. I know, believe me, I know. My oldest arrives home later today from college. There’s issues around that, but this blog post is not about Kyle’s academic probation. Instead, this is (part of) the tale about how I came to own The Millennium Falcon.
We needed a vehicle that could hold a lot of people. This was a reality for us over the last school year. Our Toyota Sienna could fit my wife and I up front, with our four small kids in the back – and that’s it. Two captain’s chairs accounted for two of the seats, and the third row bench technically had room for three, but with the booster seats there was not enough room for somebody to sit, let alone buckle up and be safe. This meant we couldn’t take all of our kids and a friend to baseball practice, or playdates would require some logistical wrangling.
Another reason for getting a new vehicle was the fact that Laura is back in class getting her teaching certificate and Masters Degree. Her classes on Saturdays are across Lake Washington, in Bellevue, and if I want to do anything with the kids while their mother is in class, well, I can’t. This has meant that all day Saturday has turned into a television marathon, which I absolutely hate.
The need was there for quite a while, and finally one day my wife said to “do it.” She had been sitting on the fence for a while, and suddenly she was “in the mood” and we had enough money to get a used van. We had been researching off and on for a while, an had noticed a couple we should be able to afford.
Thing is, these types of vehicles are not typically found through private owners. The type of van we needed is usually used by hotels or airport shuttle services, or church groups or whatever. They usually tend to hold on to these vehicles for a long time, and if they are selling it directly it is because they have worn it out quite a bit. We also wanted to get one of the more recent model years because of a variety of newer safety features that began to be implemented. So we knew we would have to go through a dealer.
Fortunately, I know how to haggle and bargain. I’m not going to say I got a great deal, but I didn’t get screwed over. That’s all irrelevant. I signed the papers and wrote a check to receive the keys to a 2009 Ford Econoline E350 12-seater passenger van with 31,000 miles on it. It’s a monster of a vehicle and you can certainly use it to smuggle a bunch of cargo, even a couple of people.
While at the dealership, Harris Ford, I checked in on Foursquare, which posted to my twitter feed. The name of the dealership where I checked in is fairly similar to the actor Harrison Ford, which prompted one of my friends to ask if “Chewbacca was there” [at the dealership]. Well, the Star Wars reference wasn’t lost on me, and I figured it was a sign the new vehicle should have the same name as the iconic one of the Star Wars films. And that’s how I got to own the Millennium Falcon.