Daughter gets an education

Well, we’ve hit the road, moved on, and I’m sitting in a new location just south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  We found ourselves a pretty little spot with lovely views and a quaint little pond; perfect for a two night stay.Glenwood Springs

As I sit outside in my chair watching the clouds roll over, I reflect on my first couple of weeks as homeless a full-timer.  So far, there hasn’t been much down time, which I know will change in the coming weeks.  Mind you, I am not complaining.

Once the house closed, we took a two-hour drive north to the town of Golden, located just west of Denver, Colorado.  I love this small town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  We spent a week in this area last year and I immediately fell in love.  What’s not to love about a town that installs a cross walk specifically for deer and elk?


A cross walk for wildlife

Last year we played tourist and took the scenic drive up to visit Buffalo Bill’s Grave and Museum.  Click here to read about it.  It was a pretty drive complete with Paragliders.  Last year the skies were dotted with several Paragliders throughout the day…..fascinating.  During this visit, we didn’t see any possibly due to the extreme heat.


Al and I enjoyed strolling Golden’s downtown more than once.  Coors Brewery sits in the background and is available for brewery tours.  Been there, done that…..pass.  However, we won’t pass on the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market.  We knew we wanted to return for some fresh veggies, flowers, and lunch at one of the unique food trucks.  Daughter joined us at the Farmers Market, which made it even more special.  Al, Ashton, and I each ordered food from different vendors and had fun sampling each other’s tasty morsels.GoldenIf I didn’t have this itch to move on, I could easily make Golden, Colorado home.  The new light rail transit system also makes it very convenient to attend a Rockies Game or enjoy some night life in Denver’s LoDo District and not worry about parking a car.  Oh yes, attending my first ever professional sporting event; a Rockies Game, was a memorable experience.  What a great way to start off this new RV adventure.


GoldenSo let’s recap the first couple of weeks of our new chapter:  Rockies Game, Farmer’s Market, Denver’s LoDo District, Red Rocks Park, Mt. Evans, exploring Golden, meeting new full-timers at the campground, checking out Cherry Creek State Park, visiting daughter at work and having lunch with her and a co-worker, shopping with daughter, dinner with daughter and roomy, test driving some new cars with daughter, researching our next location, more time with daughter……. daughter the best part about our stay in Golden.

Red RocksI had so much fun spending time with our daughter, aside from our memorable Mt. Evans day was the day we went car shopping.  Since I didn’t take photos of the car shopping experience, I’ll intersperse random photos taken this week.

Ashton is still driving the VW Passat we gave her when she was 16.  It’s at a stage where it needs a lot more attention and repair than a young gal wants to deal with.  Later this year, she’d like to buy another car….new or gently used, but she is unsure of what kind of vehicle she’d like other than something with good gas mileage.  Ashton and I have always enjoyed shopping together.  Thus, we decide to go car shopping and try on a few….kind of like shoe shopping.  Our little excursion turned into an interesting experience for Ashton; one she was glad her mother accompanied her on.Red Rocks  The abridged version: 

Our first stop was a Honda dealership with a “no haggle” style.  The salesman was experienced, nice, and very informative.  The prices were clearly marked and not negotiable…..just like buying a pair of shoes.  Ashton couldn’t figure out why Al and I have told her not to buy a car without one of us along to help.  This stop turned into a pleasant experience for her.

Side note; I’ve spent most of my working years in a “commission” based compensation scenario.  As we visited the dealerships, my first comment was, “We just want a quick test drive and an idea on pricing.  We will NOT be buying today and will not take up too much of your time.”  I am always sure to take AND keep business cards for future referral.  I respect folks who work on commission….. time is money.Red Rocks

Next stop was a Chevrolet dealership.  They were advertising “Employee pricing”.  We’re on the car lot looking at some vehicles when a young salesman approaches Ashton and me.  He proceeds to inform us how lucky we are because it’s the 4th of July weekend, and they are having a special sale; offering the public the very same prices and break that employees get.  “Ah, yes…this will be fun”, I ponder!   We take a vehicle for a test drive.  As we return to the lot, Ashton barely gets the car in park when the salesman attempts to go in for “the close”.  “Is this the one?  Red RocksLet’s see what kind of deal I can get you on it”, he comments.  We go inside and sit at the desk. The young kid tries to get us ‘on paper’.  He wants us to make an offer.  I very politely say, “Since this is employee pricing, tell me the price”.  Now in my book, this should be pretty cut and dry, but of course it’s not.  He wants us to make an offer…… Ah, the proverbial “first pencil”.  Ashton sits next to me totally perplexed….. this is so NOT like buying a pair of shoes. 

I’m not sporting this gray hair for fashion.  It’s called experience and this ain’t my first rodeo (I kind of feel sorry for the kid).  Here goes…. “If this is employee pricing than you should know what the MSRP is and deduct the employee discount and voila – my price.  What seems to be the problem?”  “I’ll need to check with my manager”, he says as he leaves his desk.  I bend toward Ashton and say, “Now the desk guy will come over and try to work us.  He’ll tell us he wants us to be happy and will give us the best price he can”.  He’s our friend, ya know!  Yep, that’s exactly the next turn of events.  So now HE tries to get us to make the first move, “What kind of payment are you comfortable with? Did you like the color?  What about the features?” blah, blah, blah…..

As the desk guy finally pauses, Ashton looks at me and says, “Mom, I don’t understand…. what’s going on?  They said Employee pricing.  Don’t they know the price of the car?”  I respond, “Ashton, you have a Business-Marketing degree.  This is called ‘Marketing’.  Ashton’s eyes light up, “Oh, I get it.  The Employee pricing ad is bullshit to get us to come in the door”.   I respond to her while looking at the two guys, the young salesman and the desk dude, “That’s right honey.  It’s their job to get us to make the first move so they can bump us above that figure and push us to the limit.  They want us to get emotional about the purchase and get as much out of us as possible.  AND the advertised sales are usually bullshit to instill a sense of urgency”.  Ashton looks at me, then at the guys.  The guys have no rebuttal.  I think they were a little taken aback by the conversation.  Ashton’s final comment, “Mom, I don’t think I like doing business this way….this sucks.”  With a huge smile on my face, I say, “No, problem.  Let’s go.  You boys have a great day”.  On that note, we got up and left leaving the two sales guys with their mouths open.  And to think, they thought they were the ones going to have fun with these two chicky-poos.

Red Rocks

Ah, ladies….aren’t you going to buy a car???

When we got into Ashton’s car, she started laughing and said, “Did you see the look on those guys faces?  They were still wondering what the heck just happened.  And, mom…..I won’t ever buy a car without you or dad next to me.” 

I totally understand the guys were just doing their job and need to make a living.  However, this was not a pleasant car buying experience or the experience Ashton was expecting.  Fortunately for her, it was exactly what I expected.  It’s kind of the norm in car sales.  With my guidance, she hopefully won’t be taken advantage of due to ignorance when it comes time for her to purchase a new vehicle.  She now understands it’s a process and a game.  If you know the system, it can be quite fun especially for someone like myself who doesn’t get emotional over purchases like cars or houses.  It’s business.  If the numbers work fine, if they don’t…. next.Red Rocks

She still isn’t sure what kind of vehicle she’d like, but now she has the confidence to walk onto a car lot and test drive a few more cars…..after all, you can’t just buy the first pair of shoes – you have to test drive a few.  Of course, there was a lot more explaining / teaching on purchasing a car and the negotiation process as well as the ‘backend’…..another way for the dealerships to make money once they get you in the finance department…. a lot of information.  It was an overwhelming day for Ashton, one that called for Mexican food and Margaritas in the end.Glenwood Springs

Ok I’m back to me sitting outside looking at the ducks on the pond.  Yes, indeed a pretty little spot.  As I reviewed all the things we accomplished in a short amount of time, I realized it’s been a fun filled, eventful start to our journey.  Hmm, this afternoon I think we’ll run into Aspen.  It’s been 25 years since our last visit to this well-known ski town in Colorado.  I wonder, “Will I be every bit in awe as I was all those years ago…. a flatlander from Illinois?”  I guess we’ll find out!

On that note, I’ll leave you with a few more images of Mt. Evans……


39 thoughts on “Daughter gets an education

  1. I loved this! I have yet to buy a car myself. Just like your daughter, I still have the car my parents gave me when I was 19. I’m ready for a new car very soon, but have been putting it off. The salesmen are just intimidating, and I can be rude when to salesmen. I certainly know not to go alone – I’ll be bringing my boyfriend with me.

    • Yah, buying a car can be a pain and you’re wise to take someone along. Good luck….my daughter still hasn’t figured out what kind of car she’d like – and oh, one that will fit her budget!

  2. I dislike car buying, I like car driving, but to get a car you have to buy one. It would be nice if buying a car was like buying a pair of shoes – even if it is an expensive pair. I am glad you were along.

    • The kids educations continue even after college. Car buying would be a lot more fun if it were more like buying a pair of shoes. Enjoy your lake time 🙂

  3. What a great way not to buy a car! Love your style, Ingrid. If we ever, ever, ever have to buy another car/truck (of course we will) I’ll study your patter first! Glad you are enjoying your travels and taking the time to share them with us.

  4. I went to test drive my car at a dealership and got the same run-around, except they were trying to get me on the price of my trade-in. The scenario was the same, and he was hemming and hawing over $1000. I was honest with the dealer and said, “if you can meet me here, it’s a deal. He bluffed and said it wouldn’t work. I had done my research, and I knew what my car was worth. So the next day I contacted a broker, and he gave me the exactly what I wanted. That same afternoon, the dealer called me back telling me the great news. Too late, buddy! I even got to tell him that I was honest with him and gave him a chance, but that I went with a broker. They even tried to get me to buy it with them instead for the same deal. Right… like my loyalty would ever lie with them now! I loved working with that broker. He now has a loyal customer, and I call him up whenever I need car advice! They are Centennial Leasing, btw. I can give you my contact name if you want. Everyone I know uses him! 😉

  5. Yes…life lessons are always good for our kids….Glad you and Al are slowing down a bit…I think it’s hard to get into that groove, realizing you have no reason to rush anymore…Savor every moment touring this great and beautiful country..and…KEEP A JOURNAL BESIDES THIS BLOG!! Just sayin…You are a great writer…maybe a novel someday?

  6. A definite lesson we all need to teach the kids…buying a car is never really a fun thing unless you know you are going there to haggle… and never to purchase if you don’t know you’ve won… many a time I’ve end with the “Cut the crap…” statement and started to walk out… when the chase after you, you’re on a winning streak knowing now we’re getting down to business and the role playing is over…
    I love the idea of your moving on down the road, yet from your post I’m not getting that feeling that you’ve settled into the fact that one can stop and stay for as long as you want… I know you live in a big country and it is possible that you will not see everything in your life time… there just seems to be a feeling of urgency to move on, not that its bad…it is Linda and my intentions to do exactly what you are doing.. sell the house, buy a Motor Home and hit the road, stop where we want and move when we tire of the area… is that not your intention as well.?? We have identified so many places we want to visit, and worry we might be hasty trying to see all too quickly… and our country is small compared to yours… we worry we might run out of things to see before we’ve been on the road for long…

    • I’m with you Rob, we are actually slowing down. We plan to spend the entire month of August in Grand Junction exploring the surrounding area. We like the idea of meandering and not rushing.
      Love it when the sales guys chase after us…..done that a few times and we end up happy with the deal and the vehicle. Can’t be afraid to haggle. I guess car buying is the same in South Africa.
      Hoping you and Linda can get out and start exploring soon. Have you thought about starting small?….a small little trailer that you go out for a few weeks then back? That’s how we started; tent, then truck camper, then 5th wheel. We tested the water first before diving in. Happy trails 🙂

      • We have camped caravaned and spent so many holidays in this way that we both know it’s what we want to do… Linda wants to try every coffee shop in South Africa and I want to visit everywhere…
        Our problem is we want comfort so we are looking to buy a motor home, (I will be doing a post on it soon) it has everything in it one could want, with a good turbo diesel engine that allows one to cruise along happily at speed if you so wish… but for us it has a big double bed accessible from both sides, toilet, shower, kitchen, fridge freezer, 12v/220v power, TV with self searching sat dish, dining area and small lounge… basically a good house on wheels just smaller… the big thing is cost.. we are looking at close to a R1 000 000 approx $100 000 at present exchange rate…. second hand are cheaper, but I don’t want to buy someone else’s problem vehicle so we are going new… that way we have the inside designed and built to how we want the layout…
        the biggest problem now is to stop ourselves planning too far ahead… I’m looking for the plan of first stop, from there we decide second, but that is a problem for us at present as excitement takes over..

  7. Wow…will you go with me for my next purchase 🙂 I’d rather take a beating and learned a lot from this post. What a mom you are…sweet! Bet she had a time test driving more cars and feeling in total control…what a lesson! Loved it!

    • Yep, she sure got an education that day. It’s interesting how car shopping (RV buying not much different) is so vastly different than any other kind of shopping. And usually not all that much fun. Helps to know the system and not get emotional 🙂

  8. Glad you are enjoying your full-time experience so far! I can’t wait to get up and go. Time is flying by and soon we can get this rv on the road instead of living in it in the same place. I know the end is coming, there is a light at the end of the tunnel which keeps me sane.
    Your daughter is lucky to have a savvy mom! Great job with the car experience.

    • Thanks. I didn’t realize how much the move took out of us. Thus, we’ll stay still for the month of August and do a little reorganizing in the RV.

    • It’s a beautiful state park with plenty of flat hiking and biking trails. The sites are nicely spaced and it’s an easy drive up to the airport from there. We couldn’t stay because it was the 4th of July weekend and it was booked up. I think it’ll be a great place for Mike to hang while you’re away 🙂

  9. Hans and I were just discussing this afternoon how much we appreciate the freedom of this lifestyle. You can do as much or as little as you desire, where ever you desire on this continent. So glad you’re enjoying the start to your new life!

    Metamorphosis Lisa

  10. Sounds like you are having a blast so far. Glad Ashton had mom by her side to guide her through the car-buying experience. 🙂

    • It was important for her to see the process so I could help her. I may end up going back to Denver in October to actually do a deal. We’ll see.

      So far so good on the RVing, but we need to slow it down. The events of the move are catching up ;-(

  11. I remembered all too clearly the first time I went into a car lot looking for a car. It was quite an ordeal and never fun. Glad those days are over for me. That was a good education for Ashton for sure.

  12. I love playing games with salespeople, I’ve had them follow me out into the parking lot yelling at me before, all because I refused to pay new price for used stuff. The state shut that place down a few weeks later, and I’m not one of the people that filed a complaint.

    If you and your daughter haven’t checked out a Subaru, may I suggest that you look at them before making a decision? I’ve loved both of mine, safe, reliable, all wheel drive standard, and good mileage for an AWD.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I too have recommended the Subaru to her especially for the mountain driving she likes to do…..i.e. ski slopes.
      It sure is a game buying a car. My daughter was clueless. It was actually entertaining for me to expose her to this process 🙂

  13. I love how you put those 2 car guys in place. I have begged my husband to never take me car shopping again because I seriously want to scream every single time…but he insists he needs me as the hardball wife that doesn’t seem interested. I’m never pretending though. I hate cars and feel they are a necessary evil, and just wish they all sold for the same price (I hate haggling).

    • Oh Char, I couldn’t agree more. It’s such a game. I’m always the uninterested B….. while hubby is the good guy. I felt it was important to walk daughter through this and help her understand the system. In the end it was kind of fun playing with the guys and not giving an inch. I know, I’m bad.

        • Ah….I spent so much time working in a man’s world (i.e. construction) I’m one tough cookie, but don’t look it….my advantage ha, ha!

          • I had thought that you both probably surprised the crud out of them–because you do look so dang sweet (which I know you are, but it’s nice to know you can stand up to shenanigans like that and make them speechless)

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