Well, it's finally sunk in for me. I have absolutely no vacation plans at the moment. Those of you who know me best will understand how uncomfortable that makes me. Even if it's not for another six months, I like to know that there's some escape in sight. No light at the end of the tunnel right now though... let's do something about that, shall we?
Okay people, WHERE AM I GOING NEXT?
My greatest detriment at the moment comes from the fact that I have no more vacation days left in this year. However, that resets on July 1st, so I don't have too long before I'll be able to take time off work again. So we're probably looking at something in the heart of summer.
Next hurdle? I'm still strongly considering buying a truck. This, of course, comes at no small expense. Therefore I'm going to have to contend with some restrictions to my budget for this particular trip. That's not a big deal, there are plenty of places that I can go on a budget... I'm just giving you all a heads-up that my next series of adventurous blogs are not likely to come from a place like Japan or Iceland.
Iceland... that segues nicely into my next concern. I think that if I'm going to fly anywhere I'd better make it West of here. Flying to the East seems to be fraught with the peril of having one's flight cancelled by the natural fury of Iceland. Not that I wouldn't like to go see that up close and personal...
Okay, so there's my criteria. Summer. Cheap. West. (Or within driving distance in which case I don't care what direction I go.)
Hmmm... I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the choices. I'll dwell on this some more and let you know what I come up with.
Back to the concept of buying a truck! I like to keep you all in the loop on these things, so I'll let you know where I'm at. I went out on Saturday and test drove a new Ford Ranger. I was happy with the truck, though driving something that much bigger than a Honda Civic will take some getting used to. The salesman was (of course) a smarmy prick, but since I wasn't planning on buying anything right then and there I was able to just laugh it off. I'm going to look around for other dealerships to see if I can find a salesman that I don't instinctively want to murder. Wish me luck.
I keep looking for some competition in the light truck space, but with Ford knocking about $6000 off the base price of Rangers they've really priced themselves WELL below the competition. I'm still looking to see if someone will cut me a deal, but I'm really starting to focus in on the Ranger as the clear winner. That puts me in the position of starting to narrow down exactly which trim package. The verminous little mutant who was trying to sell me one on Saturday seemed quite insistent that I go with the Sport package. This is probably due to the fact that I didn't see any non-Sport Rangers on his lot. The advantage to this is that it comes standard with the 4.0L engine (up from the standard 2.3L in the base XL trim package.) Also, Ford is offering greater discounts on it, such that a Sport with the bigger engine comes out to be almost exactly the same money as the XL with the smaller engine. That SHOULD make the decision obvious, but it doesn't. For exactly the same money I get more horsepower, but I also consume (by the standard ratings system) about 2 liters more fuel per 100km than I would in the 2.3L engine. So, with price being for all intents and purposes equal, I'm looking at a showdown between power and fuel economy. Fuel economy could save a lot of money in the long run, but I have a hard time focusing on that with Jeremy Clarkson in my head screaming "MORE POWER!"
Well, I'm afraid that this might debate will have to continue later as I'm rapidly approaching the time of day where I'm meant to be leaving for work. I hope this post finds you all well, and I'll talk to you all again next week.