An Outback for the Outback and The Easy Way to Buy a Car

It snowed that night and the next and the next. Christmas at the condo was cozy, our immediate family—daughters and grand baby opened presents around the tiny tabletop tree. Dale gave me a down bathrobe, one you might wear in Antarctica, but hey, he’d lived in the mountain cabin for the last month and knew firsthand how cold it got. Meghan gave us a framed painting of our old house—the one we still technically owned, as final documents were held up by the holidays. I cried when I saw the image. We owned a wonderful home in the Central Coast, and yet here we were moving to a great unknown, with lots of work ahead.

That afternoon we spent with extended family—aunts, uncles, cousins—together at my brother’s.  I reminded myself this was the reason for the move, to be close to family—all of them, all 30 plus of them as the family keeps growing. We collapsed on the bed later that night, and I instructed Jade the cat to let us sleep, like a cat follows any instructions.  We eventually fell asleep to the continual banging of cabinets as she explored the condo.

The day after Christmas, Dale and I made a date with the computer to find a backcountry vehicle, since our two old cars weren’t built for snow or ice. A friend suggested we buy through Costco, and it was the best decision ever. We narrowed our choices; test drove a Subaru or two to be certain, and settled on an Outback. Best part of ordering through Costco is you pre-select your vehicle (by doing your homework first), and then shop online. No dickering, no wheeling or dealing. The price is fixed. Costco tells you which local dealer has the vehicle, preps it, and draws up the paperwork. The entire transaction is complete in less than 15 minutes.

While we waited for our forest green Outback to be detailed, we picked up a perfect read in the waiting room, Coast to Canyons, a collection of hikes in San Diego County, detailing flora and fauna of assorted trails, including maps and directions. The book was one more thing we ordered before we left the dealer.

We could finally drive home to our house on the hill, blanketed under a foot of snow.new Outback for the outback

I stayed at the condo one more night, while Dale negotiated the traffic. Only 35 miles from the condo, but over 75 minutes of driving time—mostly sitting in traffic, as San Diegans streamed to the mountains in search of snow, something other than sand.

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