This past Monday was bittersweet. I feel like I said goodbye to a close friend, that I will never see again. Everyone remembers their very first brand new car. My Dad bought me my very first brand new car as a graduation present when I graduated from Florida State in April of 2007. Even though I had driven two previous cars in college, this one was mine. It was my junior year when my Dad surprised me with a car. But it certainly was NOT what I was expecting…it was a 2003 Kia Sedona Mini-van! Even though it wasn’t the coolest thing as a college student, it definitely had its perks! It soon became the vehicle that got all of my drunk friends home. It was reliable until it decided to stop working half way during my senior year when I was visiting my parent’s in South Florida. Conveniently for me, my Dad had recently gotten a new 2006 Nissan Altima, and was completely self-less and allowed me to take it back to school with me. Definitely an upgrade from the mini-van I was sporting around earlier! I loved the Altima, even though I only drove it a few months. I was still driving that around by the time graduation had come around. I had an idea I might be getting a new car, but wasn’t 100% sure. I do remember saying that I only wanted blue or silver…something my Dad must have not heard because for graduation I got a brand new 2007 Toyota Corolla LE in Red….with a gold pinstripe. I still remember my Dad telling me how he got it in FSU colors on purpose, and of course my previous color choices became a distant memory. I had gotten my first brand new car, in my alma maters colors, that I love so much.
That car held all my belongings and memories from my 4 years at FSU as I made the drive down to my new life in Tampa. That car saw me start my first day of graduate school at the University of Tampa. It drove me to cross-country practice at 6am, to my classes, then home, to the condo I had in Tampa. It drove me to Bonefish Grill, where I met my now husband, where I worked to make extra money for grad school. It got me safely to Wilson Middle School where I student taught for a semester.
Little did I know that little red corolla would become such a big part of my life. It took me to re-visit my alma mater, football games, 5k races in St. Augustine, and trips to Orlando. I took my very first dog, a boxer/lab, home in that car…shortly after I got her, she had chewed a piece of the passenger seat off. Years later, everytime I looked in the back seat and saw that small, missing piece, I always thought of her.
It was there for me when I moved to St. Petersburg, FL in November of 2008, all by myself,to have a new beginning. I packed up my things from Tampa, got an awesome 1 bedroom apartment on the water, and loved every minute of it. In January of 2009, I had gotten a real job teaching 9th and 10th grade Biology Honors, 11th grade Chem, and 12th grade Ecology. My little corolla made the 30 minute drive each way, always reminding me how dependable it was.
By the end of January, Matt had moved to Texas, and I was left sad and alone with my little red corolla. That car got me to the airport every two weeks for my flights to Austin (yes, I visited every two weeks). It was always there in the parking garage waiting for my return from the Lone Star State. The months flew by, and soon the school year ended. Matt flew to Florida to take me and my car back to Texas with him!
That car got us from Florida to Texas. It saw me off to my new job in Texas, got my 2nd dog (Bruno) home from the shelter, and witnessed a proposal from Matt (Yes, Matt proposed to me in the corolla). Later, it got me to the chapel to marry my husband. Pretty soon, it started taking me to monthly Doctors appointments in Austin. I never knew when I had first gotten that car, that it would become a huge part of my life. My graduation present took me to the delivery room of St. David’s hospital, and was our ride home with our baby in tow.
First Car Ride Home
That car saw me as a new college grad finding her independence, to a graduate student, to a new teacher, and now a new mom. The corolla was now taking me to my son’s Doctor’s appointment and playdates, something I never expected!
During this time, Matt had his Nissan Altima. Eventually we got a GMC Yukon, and kept the corolla (it was awesome on gas!). Matt, being the self-less man that he is, was the sole driver of the corolla and I became the primary driver of the Yukon. We figured with a baby it was safest for me to drive the SUV and with Matt’s 30 minute commute to work each day, the corolla would be the best fit.
Let’s just say, Matt did not love the corolla as much as I did. He certainly was a good sport as he drove my little red corolla to work each day, and left behind the black Yukon that he would have preferred to be driving. Which finally leads me to today’s post….
Monday was bittersweet because Matt bought me a brand new 2012 Chevrolet Equinox!
My new car ❤
We kept the Yukon, which Matt will now drive. I have never seen him so happy to turn the keys to the corolla over, but for me, it was quite sad. In the 5 years that I had it, it never let me down. So much has happened over the past five years, that I felt like I was closing a chapter of my life, and starting a new one. Matt was so sweet to let me have the new car and for him to drive the Yukon (which is what he wanted to drive all along). I am so thankful to have a husband who wants to do nice things for me and for our family. I can’t wait to bring Reagan home in our new car! I am excited to start a new beginning and form new memories with my new car, but I will always remember my very first brand new car.