Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Off to Hawaii

We are parked at the house of a friend near Chandler, Arizona. As is our custom when staying with friends, and when we are away from Odyssey for several days, we are not posting a map link.

Our friends here have generously offered not only to let us park the bus on their property, but also to watch over our pets. Opal will likely stay with them, as she has already made her peace with the other three dogs in the house. They'll look in on the cats and the fish every day, and keep an eye on the bus.

Sunday evening we piled onto Chip and hauled ourselves out to a remote residential neighborhood in south Chandler to look at another Yamaha Vino scooter. The owner is actually elsewhere, on deployment with the US military, but he left the scooter and its title in care of some friends, with a signed POA for the bike. This bike also had a few scratches, in this case from, apparently, a failed attempt to steal it, but they were less obtrusive then the damage to the one we looked at in Tucson. More importantly, the title paperwork was in proper order. It was also almost exactly the same color as the Metropolitan (blue), so it already matched Louise's gear -- the one in Tucson was burgundy.

The test ride was a bit disappointing -- the machine felt sluggish compared to the previous specimen -- until I realized the tires were extremely low, from having sat untended-to for quite some time. The battery was also toast for the same reason. But Louise really liked it, and the seller accepted our offer on it -- $400 under his asking price, but $200 more than the offer we made in Tucson. She rode it to the nearest gas station, put air in the tires and fresh premium fuel in the tank, and we rode back to Wild Horse Pass, stopping for dinner at a local joint we passed on the way -- Keegan's.

Having thus acquired a third scooter, with no room for more than two aboard Odyssey, I spent a good deal of yesterday getting the Metropolitan ready to sell. The big project was the damaged side panel from my parking lot mishap, which I needed to replace, and I did that project inside the scooter bay, for protection from the harsh wind and occasional showers. The gymnastics necessary to accomplish that have had me sore all day today. We also emptied out all Louise's personal items, assembled all the original documentation and accessories, and gave the scoot a thorough cleaning and polishing.

In the course of all this, I had resigned myself to having to sell the bike on eBay, with a firm close date of next Wednesday and a firm pick-up date of Thursday, in order to be rid of it before we need to be heading out of town. This morning, however, I made a few phone calls, and we found a dealer who would take it on consignment -- ironically, just a few blocks from where we originally bought it, exactly two years ago today.

That shop, unfortunately, was 30 miles from Wild Horse Pass. No way we could ride the little Metro that far, so we locked up the Kymco in the casino parking lot, loaded Louise's new and old scooters into the bus side-by-side, and drove the 30 miles to the north end of Phoenix. Between having to get titles notarized and everything else in order, we were at the dealer well over an hour, and then it was 30 miles right back to the casino to pick up Chip. The $20 or so and two hours we spent on the round trip was well worth it -- we're back to a manageable two scooters, and the Metro can sit in a showroom for however long it takes to get a serious buyer -- much better than rushing the deal on eBay.

We spent the latter part of the day at a laundromat in Chandler, getting our laundry done pre-trip. I also ran a few errands, including stocking up on pet food, that needed to get done before we left.

This will likely be our last blog post until we return. I'm not bringing a computer to Hawaii -- the Hilton wants too much for Internet access. I will have the BlackBerry, though, so we can keep up with email, and we will both be tweeting periodically through the week, so you can keep up with us on Twitter until we get back.

Our plan from here is still to head to San Diego for TrawlerFest, although I am still coming up empty on overnight parking options while we are there. So far, the resort itself and the association that has taken over the old NTC have both turned us down, and the harbor police chief has not answered my emails. We may have to resort to driving up there a couple days early and knocking on doors.


  1. The Hilton CHARGES for internet??

  2. Hope you have a good time in Hawaii.

    I recently saw this comic strip and thought of you guys.

  3. @Bannod: Yes, indeed. $15 per day. Most resort hotels charge a-la-carte for almost everything. Hilton, in general, charges for access at its Hilton brand, although, ironically, some of its budget brands such as Hampton include access for free.

    @Blackeagle: We had a great time, thanks. Funny comic, too.


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