A trip to NAIAS

Finally some pictures from the north america international auto show, which was only oh a month ago.

My parents and Allie came up for the weekend to go with us.

Allie took a bunch of pictures too, so check hers out on her blog.  I tried to pick some different pictures to show than she did.

My mom in a porsche.

Both of them in a porsche now.

A part from the UofM solar car.

One of the few concept cars at the auto show.  It's basically a tiny two seater with the base being segway type wheels.

the electricity tank!

Trunk in the front.

Two extra seats in the trunk.  This Tesla car was battery powered and the battery formed the flat base of the car.  It was pretty freaking sweet.

My facebook updates have been more than a bit wonky lately, so if you missed them, here are my last couple of posts:

Getting a Driver's License at NAIAS

Well I've gone and done it; I'm now an official resident of Michigan.  Over the last few months I've had so many chances to go to the Secretary of State's office and get my license, but everyone I've ever talked to had horrible things to say about the experience, so naturally I procrastinated as long as possible.

The only motivation I had for getting my license was the upcoming election.  I already missed the elections in November because I never arranged to get a mail in ballot for ohio and I didn't want to miss another chance.

If it weren't for our recent trip to the North America International Auto Show (pictures coming soon!) I probably would have put it off even longer.  While we were walking down the main hallway outside the show room I saw the Secretary of State's booth and stopped in to see what it would take to get my license.  I didn't have any of the necessary documentation to do it so it looked like a bust initially, but then they said they would be open weekdays until 8pm, including MLK day!  The guys working the booth even told me it was the only SOS branch that would be open on the holiday.

It worked out well to drive back the next day after work since the cobo center is only about 5 miles from work.  Getting my license was so quick and easy.  There was NO line to wait in!  The hardest part of the whole ordeal was trying to drive out of downtown Detroit during prime rush hour.  I swear I drove the same circle of blocks three or four times before I finally figured out how to get on the highway.  I even had the gps with me, making it even more blush worthy.

Now after five months, I'm officially a voting Michigan resident.

Go Ohio State?


It's been several weeks since we transitioned from a one car to a two car family and my main reaction has been one of an overwhelming sense of freedom.

Even though I went a year without driving in Saudi Arabia, anything we needed to get to on campus was a short walk, bike ride, or bus trip away.  I could hop on my bike and get to class in just a few minutes.

A dinner out or a movie was a nice walk (in the winter) but after Steve started his new job here in August all of my trips had to fit in after work or on the weekends.  There were a few times I debated walking, but really nothing is close enough to walk to in a few minutes though we are surrounded by a lot of great shopping options.

Now with my own car (Wellington by the way) I can go anywhere, anytime regardless of anybody's schedule.

pure freedom

New (to us) Car

Well I honestly thought it was going to be a bit longer before we'd get to write about buying a new (to us) car.  We knew when we got home finding a car was going to be a priority especially after Steve got a job quickly; so we did what was natural, we procrastinated.  About two weeks ago we finally decided to get serious and try and find something so we could return the car we're currently borrowing.

We started with the local papers and some car websites like autotrader.com and even checked out craigslist in hopes of finding a good deal.  I hoped we would be able to skip the dealership because it sounded quite intimidating and like any new thing, a bit scary, but after viewing four or five cars from private sellers that weren't up to the quality we wanted I gave in and decided to give it a go at a nearby dealership.  And by nearby, I'm really quite serious; the dealership was right beside our apartment complex.  That's not saying too much because we seem to live right in middle of a the dealership district with no less than eight nearby.

Last Wednesday we browsed the dealership websites near us and found a Focus that would be worth perusing.  Thursday we went to the dealership to do a test drive and see if it was worth buying.  In the end it was much easier and less stressful than I thought it was going to be, and after a few rounds of negotiation we settled on a price that Steve and I both felt comfortable with.  After all the work of finding and buying a car, we still couldn't take it home because we needed to line up car insurance first.

Our new car sitting in our parking lot!

Friday morning I spent a big chunk of time talking to insurance agents trying to find car insurance that wasn't going to break the bank.  It turns out that having an insurance policy in the previous six months makes it much more affordable to get new insurance.  At this point, I thought we were a bit screwed but after some digging, it turns out my parents never took me off their policy, so in the end we did have proof of prior insurance.  This is one of the few times I'm completely grateful about slacking off on updating policies.

To top it off, we're getting a discount on our rental insurance also because we decided to stick with the same company for both policies.

Now I can officially add buying insurance and a car to the list of things that no longer seem quite as scary as they did before, and will hopefully be less stressful when we need to buy a second car.

Life Update

I was hoping to have an awesome post about our recent trip to Illinois, but instead I'm up to my eyeballs dealing with insurance and cashier's checks because we bought a new (to us) car last night!

It's exciting and a relief to be done car hunting, but I know that we'll have to do it again soon to get a second vehicle once I get a job.

Tune in Monday for more exciting blog action!

Saudi Car Show

Like in the US, when men amass a large amount of wealth they have a strong desire to turn that into a classic car or even a whole car collection.  Sometimes they even buy one (or thirty) for their 21 year old son.  Apparently among young Saudis this is becoming more common and some how it's not surprising given the general culture of materialism here in Saudi Arabia.

A few weeks ago, we somehow ended up having a little car show on campus thanks to the Yacht Club.  I wish I knew where the cars came from, but they all had Saudi license plates, so they must have been semi locally owned.

They were pretty cool cars, so I thought they were worthy of sharing.

I liked the color of this Mercedes.  Color was basically how I picked my favorites.  Any of the technical or antique details were lost on me.


This lime green Mercedes was just adorable.  The green hubcaps were a nice touch too.

As a safety precaution they had a fire extinguisher for every single car.  Every one.  Most of them were sitting right behind the car, but these three were lined up on the stone pavers.  It was probably the highest density of fire extinguishers on campus!

I wish the window had been rolled down further.  The inside of this car was really cool.

Steve really liked this old El Camino.

The car show was at the marina in the evening so all of the boats were docked in the harbor.

All of the plates were from Saudi Arabia, which have both Arabic numbers and letters on them as well as their English counterpart.  Reading license plates was what helped me learn to read the Arabic numbers.  Also on the sign for this car, they accidentally called it a Tornado instead of a Toronado, but that's close enough right?

I really liked the headlights on this car. They looked like eyes ogling at everyone.

A 1962 Ford Thunderbird

This 1936 Auburn Salon Phaeton is a car from a company that didn't last beyond 1936, but it sure does look cool. I loved this metal tubing on the side of the car.