Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quest for the Prius

In my two years of involvement in the Miss Virginia program, I put 40,000 miles on my car. Granted, it's an 1984 Cavalier that only had 20,000 to start with. My car became almost part of a joke- my directors were concerned about it's ability to make my frequent drive back and forth to Lynchburg, my boyfriend concerned the brakes were going to go at any moment. Whenever I have to run over to campus and take my car, he jokes "No, I don't mind riding in it, you get a free massage." Yes, the car idles at every stop.

When you drive a car like that, you just get used to it.

I haven't had air conditioning in my car since the summer of 2008. It has been brutal in the Virginia humidity. Last year, I accidentally locked my keys in my car running in the rain on my way to Miss Roanoke Valley. I had to wedge the back window down with my elbow to get in. It was terrible, and you can tell in all pictures that I had had quite a time. Any time it rains, I also have to make the decision of whether to get soaked or keep cool. Needless to say, I'm glad fall is here.

My car is so old it doesn't have any of the modern contraptions that help keep you on the road in winter, either. I slid off the road in an Ohio winter two years ago. Never again.

I've been dreaming of owning a Prius for some time. After spending so much time on the road and having to deal with fluctuating gas prices, it's important. Last semester I went to Richmond at least once a week. Yes, that's a 3.5 hour drive each way from here. Gas is important.

When my boss/advisor found out about this, he channeled his love for Subway into collecting the little Subway stamps for the Scrabble game to help me win a Prius, if possible. Honestly, if I don't get it now, I do plan to get it at the beginning of 2010. But it has turned into a great class-wide project. In one of the classes I TA, a student had taken her entire biology lab to Subway and she said "Laura, in my hand I hold 8 chances for a Prius." Will I likely win a Prius? Probably not.

But it's nice to know that other people support my quest for an eco-friendly, cute, blue Prius.


Elizabeth said...

Laura-- I LOVE my Mercury Mariner's SOOO quiet and comfortable...and when all four of us (or 5, if you count the dog) have to go to Louisiana, we put everything on the top in a zippered weatherproof cargo duffle bag type contraption, and we're GREAT! It has an electrical outlet-so the kids can play ibox all the way from Georgia!!!

Get one as soon as you can!! They're GREAT...

Miss Muddy Paws said...


I could totally see you in a Prius! I've ridden in two of them and LOVED it! I've also heard GREAT things about the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Diesel Jetta. My first car was a 1984 mercedes 190d and it reminds me of your car. So many quirks, so many things didn't work too! I had to turn on the windshield wipers to get the horn to work, turn on the hazard lights to roll down the windows, etc. Eventually my back window stopped rolling up and was covered with a trashbag. I put about 40,000 miles on the car in two years driving to and from VA for horse shows. Anyways, even with the not advanced technology on the 1984 I could drive from SC to Lynchburg and back to SC on under 3/4 of a tank - that's about 8 1/2 hours of driving! A friend with the diesel Jetta only fills up every 3-4 months... so even if Diesel goes sky high it is worth it. I think I’d prefer the Prius though!

I really wanted a hybrid, but couldn't afford one, because I needed all wheel drive (my parents are moving to northeast Vermont) and room for the dogs. The SUV hybrids get very pricey.

I’ll cross my fingers for you! Years ago Food Lion had something similar to the Subway Scrabble and McDonalds Monopoly – my dad had two of the pieces to win the $500,000 dream home on the counter in the kitchen, went to the store, got the 3rd piece, came home to put it on his sheet and revel in his win and learned my mom and grandmother had thought those game pieces were trash and thrown them away! We looked through way too much trash at the dump, but never recovered them. So, there is hope that you’ll win the Subway Prius!

I miss you!!!!