While my in-laws were on vacation in sunny Florida, my mother-in-law entrusted her car to me. Which was a surprise considering I totaled the last car they let me borrow. Sure it's been just over 10yrs since I ran the red light and sunk their purple Chrysler PT Cruiser into a truck across the intersection but that doesn't mean I wasn't reluctant to borrow one of their vehicles again. When she said I could use her red Mini Countryman, I was going to pawn it off on my husband and then drive his SUV in the mean time. But he had no intentions of downsizing. My next plan was to leave the car at her house and borrow it sparsely... we live in the center of town and only have one private parking spot, being cheap I wasn't going to pay the city to park the car for over 2 weeks in the public lot. Then just before their vacation new renters moved in next door, renters with a parking spot and no car. They were kind enough to let us borrow their spot, and before I knew it the little red car was at my disposal. Of course I made sure to visit all of the places too far to walk to, we did plenty of shopping over the course of their vacation. I always told myself if I had a car I would still walk, it's healthy and good for the environment. But when normal activities arose, ones we always walk to, we ended up in the car. I think my daughter was happier with the car than me, I can imagine sitting in the stroller for extended periods could be quite boring. I would ask which one she wanted to take and she always voted for the car over the stroller. It took a while to get used to the Mini, even though I took driving lessons in one, it's a lot different than my husbands Hyundai. It feels wide on the road and has a narrow windshield, and the pick-up well, let's just cross our fingers that I didn't rake in too many tickets. By the end of their trip we were zipping around easily though, I doubt I would buy one in the future but it turned out to be quite fun to drive. My mother-in-laws car was impeccably clean when we first borrowed it, but after a couple weeks parked under a pine tree losing its fall leaves, a dog that leapt into a muddy canal to chase ducks, and the general messiness of a 3yr old, I had a lot of work to do before I returned it. I don't remember the last time I cleaned a car like that. When I used to live in Florida I owned a red Chevrolet Cavalier and I didn't mind cleaning it, mostly because it involved a bathing suit and getting a tan. But cleaning a car in cold weather is much different, thankfully there are drive through car washes! The day I was to return the car I grew nervous, I had managed to drive it the entire time without damaging it and all I wanted to do was get it returned to her driveway in one piece. Then her sister called asking for a ride, this meant not just a trip one town over to return the Mini, but now I also needed to swing by an additional town to pick up my husbands aunt. This meant an additional half hour of risk, luckily it went smoothly and I returned the car clean and in one-piece. I don't know if I'll have the nerve to borrow it in the future, but I did enjoy the time I had bopping around town to town in it!
The included photo is close to what her car looks like, I meant to get a shot of me driving it but that didn't happen.