(2005 Toyota Camry LE)
Isn't it funny how ideas form and work their way through your head until they seem reasonable? Here's the idea and this is how it went.
My lifelong friend Barry mentioned to me that his mother, in her late 80's is moving to an assistance home at the end of this month and that she has to take the driver's license test again and surely will not pass it, therefore she has finally agreed to give up her car, a 2005 Toyota Camry. I listened and gave my opinion and we hung up, but only after Barry asked me what it was worth, as he was considering buying it. He didn't have a lot of information on it, so I had a difficult time giving my considered value. A few days went by and Barry called me again Tuesday morning and told me his brother, who lives in Chicago took it to Car-max and got a price of what they would pay for this car and it was $12,000 and that the car only has 7200 miles on it. Yes, you read that right. Almost 5 years old and 7200 miles, total. The wheels in my head started turning and I thought it was a pretty good value at that price. The more I thought about it, the more I thought I could resell that car for about $15,000, but the cost of getting the car here would make it prohibitive.
I think that's when Linda said, sounds like it would be a good road trip for us... The wheels started really turning then and without telling anyone, I started researching transport charges to ship a car from Chicago to Phoenix. After about 5 calls the time difference got in my way and I never did get a cost figure, but I knew it would be over $1000. For that kind of money, we could make a little mini-vacation out of the jaunt.
Finally, I made some more calls and arranged to buy the car from Barry's brother Len. Now I confirmed with Linda that she was indeed interested in this getaway and it was "all systems go!"
I shopped around on the Internet for prices and it turned out that if we could wait 2 weeks, the airline prices just about drop to 1/2, but Linda has to work that week, so that takes us up to the 29th of October, but she'll miss Halloween and her grandchildren.... So we moved it back to the 15th of October, or one week from today and in doing so, once again doubled the price of airfare. So be it. It's just how life is sometimes. I was online about to move the mouse to click "purchase", when I felt something tugging on my left ear...(It's already longer than I wanted it).
I looked over to the left and there stood a little angel with his legs crossed and just leaning there. With a great deal of surprise, I looked at him and asked, what? With a tsk, tsk, tsk, he looked over at me and told me who he was. He introduced himself as the American Express Angel. He said Dummy, you've been paying for this Rewards program for past several years and never cashed in on the benefits. Why don't you call my boss and see what he can do for you? With a puff of smoke, he was gone. (Humph) I called American Express and told them about the Angel, but their menu didn't allow for it, so a guy named Raymond had to do. He told me that I had plenty of points to fly to Chicago, one way, with a guest for FREE! Holy Moley!
So what started out a telephone conversation developed into a 4000 mile round trip. Plus I get to meet Barry's kid brother who was 15 the last time I saw him. He's 61 now, how do you suppose he got soooo old?