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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Deal – No Deal

Have you ever wanted to buy a car that doesn’t exist? This has been a regular theme throughout my life, longing for a sports car/jet helicopter that could soar above gridlock with a certain panache, or a Smart Car that could zip in and out of limited urban parking. Yet now I find myself requiring a vehicle approximating a lurching, lumbering mammoth of a schoolbus.

How exciting.

Our family is expanding yet again. What with the kids, the dogs, the adults, and the mountain of peanut butter sandwiches and carrot stick snacks, we need more space. Benedetto is checking into vans and extended SUVs, wincing over the former, resigning himself to the latter.

Personally, I’m thinking stretch limo. If we’re going down the slippery slide of “large family vehicles”, we might as well do it in style, right?

The problem in finding a suitable new or used car is not so much the number of cup-holders (or lack thereof, troublesome though that may be), it’s the fact that larger vehicles are a contradiction in terms. If they seat seven or eight passengers, they will have the storage capacity of one briefcase. If they have space for several suitcases, they will seat four persons, max.

We need both.

And no, I am not about to figure out how I might heave a 50- or 100-pound storage bin up on top of the vehicle rooftop. I can barely lift some items into the trunk, much less higher than my hands can possibly reach. What, do these roof roadsters carry a small step-ladder with them?

Not to mention bridges and aerodynamics. Probably the first overpass we underpass would be straight out of a National Lampoon vacation saga as the on-top cargo trunk rips off into oblivion. No, thanks.

With a bigger brood, I would imagine we’ll be making some considerable investments in warehouse food shopping. It’s the only way to save a shekel on filet mignon, Moroccan clementines, or miniature assorted cheesecakes. Ten pounds of butter and fifty pounds of Jasmin rice, hold the Balsamic vinegar, go for the bite-sized baklava. Where would I put these super-sized staples of life, if there is no appreciable cargo space?


Now that we’ve narrowed down our transportation options to two or three potential vehicles, Benedetto is sharpening his “Let’s Make a Deal” bargaining banter. Amazingly enough, few auto dealers feel prone to make deals in these dark days of economic angst.

“It’s becoming apparent why so many car dealerships are going down the tubes,” he comments after hanging up the phone with yet another one. “They don’t want to sell cars, and their ads are all a pack of lies.” And if this is coming from Mr. Positive Mental Attitude, I can only imagine what’s happening with the car-buying public-at-large.

At least we will take comfort in the fact that bicycles are a healthy and green alternative. No auto emissions, no car insurance, no monthly payments, no gas-guzzlers.

No destinations further than one mile from home.

Soon you may see all of us heading down the highway like that, Misha and Grisha in Toto-like baskets. Oh, Auntie Em!

It’s time to call some friends in the industry.



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