Are you confused? Let me explain what I'm talking about. Our Vespa.
Back in 2007, 3 years after living as a 1 car family we made the decision to purchase a new set of wheels. Since we didn't really have a need for a new car, but we did sometimes need a secondary mode of transportation, a scooter was the logical choice. We shopped around and fell in love with the ever classic Vespa. Sure, it was the most expensive option, but it was also the best investment. Yes, I was scared at first. Scared to be on the road with big scary cars. Scared to ride it by myself, but soon became comfortable with it and was zipping all over town, loving life. Even when we went to live in Guatemala, the scooter still was loved, this time by our friend Brian who took very good care of her (I used to call her Midnight Rider).
Fast forward a couple of years to Charlotte. Like I mentioned a couple of posts ago, this city has race car fever. That in combination with not knowing my way around with my GPS glued to my nose meant that our beloved scooter wasn't getting much use. So last spring, determined to put her to good use, we devised a plan to take at least 1 night a week around the uptown area - exploring the city and spending time together having fun (not working on the house), just like old times. Our first night out we hit the First Friday Art Walk in NoDa. It was fun....you know, fun for here. Since our house doesn't have a garage and our outside basement entrance has some seriously steep stairs we agreed to triple lock it to a tree at the end of our driveway.
Things were going fine and our little neighbor Layne was loving sitting on it and taking it for a "ride" each afternoon. But then one day I came home from work and found our scooter facing the opposite direction. I just figured that Ben had taken it out for a spin, but that notion turned out to be negative. Scratched up from top to bottom, it was obvious that our poor scooter had been dropped and dragged through the gravel.
Further inspection proved to us that it has been tampered with, so Ben moved it to the back yard and we took a closer look. It wasn't good. Whoever messed with it damaged it bad enough that it would start.
Some investigation led us to the Charlotte Vespa shop, but after several frustrating phone calls with the morons that work there and we decided that their lax attitude toward helping us proved to us that we didn't really want those kind of people working on our scooter anyway. So we turned to the only other place we knew, The Charlotte Scooter Shop, just up the street from our house. They don't sell Vespas, but they were kind enough to help diagnose our issues over a period of time (like a month). Unfortunately the outcome was grim.
The frame was cracked....in multiple places. They told us they would be able to weld it back together but we weren't big fans of that idea. One of the reasons we purchased a Vespa to begin with was as an investment, but if even if we had this cracked frame fixed it's value had already been compromised, no longer making it a good investment. Replacing the frame was our next option, but that turned out to be more costly that purchasing a new scooter. The truth was really sad - it was time to talk to the insurance company about totaling our faithful friend. And now here we sit today, no scooter in our driveway, waiting for our check to arrive.
And now for even sadder news. We will not be replacing Midnight Rider. We really wish the circumstances were different, but the truth is that here in Charlotte we just can't justify spending the money on something that is just going to sit (unsafely) in our driveway. So instead we'll just talk the money and run.....straight to the bank.......to help pay off some of the debt we've accrued with the renovation of our home. There's nothing fun about that.
And for the record, we parked that Vespa on Colfax Avenue (one of the diciest streets in Denver) for a couple of years and never had one single incident. Reason #6, Charlotte won't be our forever home.