Wednesday, September 30, 2009

San Francisco Weekend

Last weekend Ang and I met down in San Francisco for a fun sisters weekend. We were able to stay with a friend who happened to be out of town, so we really lucked out for a place to stay. Not only was the apartment perfect for what we needed, but it was also in the super exclusive neighborhood of Pacific Heights and had 180 degree views of the city.

On Thursday morning we met at the airport and found our way to the apartment. Dropped off our bags and headed out. The weather was cold and rainy - I was worried it was going to be cold despite the weather reports. We ended up walking around, shopping, and then planning the remainder of the weekend at a coffee shop later that evening.

We decided to play tourist for the weekend and book a bunch of tours. First we did the Local Taste of the City Tour. Originally we signed up for the Chinatown dim sum tour but ended up doing the North Beach tour which is the Italian district of San Francisco. It was a great tour and well worth our time. Then we had booked the Alcatraz cell tour. During this tour, we took the ferry to Alcatraz and then had a guided audio tour through the prison cells. Again, this was a really cool tour and lucky for us Friday and Saturday turned out to be both beautiful and warm.

On Saturday we took a 5 hour long city tour that left from the ferry building which also happens to have a wonderful farmer's market on Saturday mornings. It was cool to walk around the Farmer's Market before our City Tour. During the city tour, we even got to go inside one of the painted ladies (queue Full house theme song now). The tour ended in Sausalito where we had lunch, watched football, then took the ferry back to S.F.

All in all it was a great weekend and sometimes it's fun to do a bunch of off beat tourist things to see the city in a different way. I can't wait for the next sisters weekend!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Trek Triathlon in Seattle

Trek Woman's Triathlon in Seattle. Last Triathlon of the season. The season that was supposed to consist of only one! The person who told me that sprint tris are addicting was totally right. What a summer!

The days are shorter, that was obvious this morning. We got up at 5:45 am and it was still dark. By the time I got to the transition area to rack my bike, the sun was just starting to come out. It was so cold, but at the end the sun was bright and it was a beautiful day. It was so much fun to cheer on all the friends that I trained with this summer. My bike and swim time were the best that I've had so I'm proud of the way I finished. There are also more pictures here on Flickr.
After the race Rob took me to Lottie's for stuffed French Toast and Mimosas!
Next Up: Pearl Jam tomorrow night!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Want a deal on wheels? 60th Anniversary Edition '01 Jeep Cherokee, only $2000!

Need a great deal on a dependable, reliable small SUV? Don't want to pay full price? Don't mind surface scratches and small dents?

(Looks un-damaged, doesn't it?)

How does $2000 sound?

Full disclosure: I bought this 60th Anniversary Edition Cherokee off-lease from a Jeep employee in 2002. It has been my baby and extremely well taken care of for the last 9 years. However, on 25 August, our house was burglarized. The Jeep is not driven daily, so it was in my locked garage. The jerks found my spare car keys and stole it, ramming it through my garage door, which left many surface scratches & small dents. It was recovered by the police after being missing ~3 weeks, found parked on a residential street. Aside from the exterior, the vehicle is as solid as the day before it was stolen. I had my shop go through it entirely, and all mechanical, engine, powertrain, chassis, frame, etc etc etc was verified intact. Just a lot of small body damage spots.

Multiple estimates confirm the body repairs are approximately $7200. Few parts need replacement, so most cost is in labor. Damaged front fiberglass grille shroud, rear liftgate, and rear bumper are probably the largest $$$ items. Additionally, there are small spots and scrapes all over the exterior. You don't even notice this unless you were standing next to the car.

The Kelly Blue Book value (prior to theft damage) is approximately equal to the cost to repair, so my insurance company plans to process it as a total loss claim next week. They give me the option to buy the car back from them (amount TBD, but I'm estimating $2000) since I know it's otherwise in solid shape and they know how much I loved this car. The only drawbacks are it would be issued a salvage title, and all repairs would be up to me (you) at that point. Either that, or my insurance company will sell it at their own salvage yard or auto auction.

I'm planning on buying another used utility vehicle, but I also thought about just buying this Jeep back and not repairing it. Since it is perfectly drivable and in great mechanical shape, I could use it guilt-free for some serious 4x4 off-road excursions, not worrying about those tree scratches and rocker-panel scrapes while crawling through the woods. But, since I only have a 1-car garage, it doesn't make practical sense for me to carry the insurance, registration, etc costs for a "toy" vehicle.

Official Vehicle Information:
VIN: 1J4FF48S81L624449
4.0L L6 MPI

Additional details:
60th Anniversary Edition (custom 17" alum alloy wheels, emblems, fancy floor mats)
Deep tint rear privacy glass
105k miles
All power options (windows, door locks, side mirrors, rear wiper)
Towing package (heavy duty transmission cooling, Mopar 2" receiver hitch & wiring)
Lots of tread remaining on Goodyear Wrangler GS-A all-terrain tires, full size spare
A/C recently serviced
3 free oil changes remaining (Lithia Jeep in Renton, WA)
CD/tape/AM-FM factory radio

The roof rack was slightly damaged (left rear cleat doesn't fully clamp down) but still seems usable.

Aside from theft, vehicle has a spotless Carfax Vehicle History Report. Email me and I'll send to you.

LET ME KNOW ASAP if you are interested. Otherwise I will hand the key and title over to my insurance company for salvage processing next week.

Below are a few more pictures. I have to zoom in very close to see the damage on camera!

Fall is Here

This Saturday was supposed to start off with a nice bike ride across I-90 in preparation of my last triathlon of the season. Instead... fall has begun and I'm sitting here watching College Game Day and watching it rain - Bummer.

It's been slow on our blog lately and that's simply because we've had a lot going on. Last weekend Rob and I competed in a Triathlon / Duathlon in Vancouver, WA. It was by far the hardest Triathlon I have ever competed in. The hills were crazy. Rob was amazing as always and set a record pace of 27 minutes for his first 5K. Luckily the rental car we had had satellite radio so we could listen to the Michigan Game. What a day!

Then we found our stolen Jeep about 2 miles from our house with some body damage. It doesn't look like a lot of damage, but the insurance company is going to total the car. Which means we have to buy a new/used car. That's not something that we had planned to do.Lastly, I finished some fun knitting projects. Our friends Dave & Tami just had a little Michigan fan named Drew. I knitted him a navy blue sweater and some Michigan Legwarmers. Then I had an extra skein of Malabrigo Chunky, so I made this cabled hat for myself.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day Fun

We visited my parents over labor day this year. We were really fancy and flew right into Escanaba airport. Easy pick up for mom and dad. The strange thing is that the plan had to stop in Iron Mountain first which made it only a 20 minute flight from IM to ESC. Weird!

My parents took us to one of their fav restaurants and one I hadn't been to since prom, The Stone House. Then on Friday, Ang drove to Gladstone and we went out for a fish fry (my all time favorite thing to do in the UP). On Saturday, my mom organized a really fun golf scramble and party afterward at the camp. Sunday, we had a corn hole competition and went four wheeling. That is... until I blew the engine up on dad's four-wheeler! Monday, we flew back home. Before we knew it the weekend was over and we had a ton of fun! Thanks Mom and Dad for hosting us. :) Below are some fun pictures from the weekend.