1. Well, folks, it’s happened. I’m officially Part of the Problem.
I spent the most money I’ve ever spent at once on Friday when I purchased this used-by-a-smoker Chevy Volt. It smells gross and has definitely been run on gas more than a Volt should, but whatever. The Chevy Volt options that fit my year requirement, CarFax requirements, and mileage requirements were extremely limited (as in, there were two in the entire Chicago area), so I had to take what I could get.
As I expounded upon last week, I am vehemently anti-personal vehicle, so I loathe the fact that I am now a car owner. That being said, if I had to be a car owner, I figured the least I could do to minimize my impact on the planet’s impending doom was to get as environmentally friendly of a car as I could find. I would’ve preferred to go full electric, but since next to no one around here can be bothered to install charging stations in parking garages or lots, I didn’t trust that I’d have enough charging options to successfully use an electric car. Plus, if I barely had the budget for a Chevy Volt, I certainly don’t have the budget for a Tesla, which is the only electric car I’d feel totally comfortable with from a range perspective without consistent, guaranteed access to chargers.
So a Chevy Volt it is. Volts, in case you’re unaware, are plug-in hybrids. That means you plug them in just like you would any other electric car, and they run on electricity first. Once your battery runs out of juice, it switches over to gas. While plug-in hybrids create more emissions than a full electric vehicle, they also create fewer emissions than a full internal combustion engine (i.e.: normal) vehicle. So I’m not totally saving the planet, but I’m destroying it a little less than I could be.
The general process of driving the car is the same as any other car I’ve driven, though some things have taken some getting used to. This is my first car with a digital dashboard and center console (unsurprisingly, my 2001 Chevy Prizm, whose biggest technological advance was power locks, did not include those features. Ha.), so that’s a bit different than what I’ve had in the past. It is also super, SUPER weird to turn the car on in electric mode and hear absolutely nothing. I knew electric cars were quiet, but it wasn’t until I turned the Volt on to test drive it and wondered if it was actually on that I realized just how quiet they are. Another pro for electric vehicles! Less environmental pollution AND less noise pollution!
As an aside, when looking for this car, I couldn’t believe how many were listed on Carvana – not from a volume perspective, but more from a, “How are people comfortable using Carvana?!” perspective. I’m not comfortable buying pants online, because I don’t know that they’ll fit and don’t want to deal with the hassle of returning them. I cannot FATHOM buying a CAR online and hoping it works. Nooooo thank you.
2. After buying the car, I obviously deserved a treat.
So, my thoughts. If you’re a caramel person, you would LOVE a stroopwafel McFlurry. It was super, duper caramely. I liked having stroopwafels mixed in from a nostalgia perspective (or as nostalgic as one can be over something they experienced like two months ago), but having had fresh-off-the-griddle stroopwafels in the Netherlands, I have to say that warm stroopwafels are a billion times better than cold stroopwafels, and obviously stroopwafels in McFlurries are cold. That’s not to say that cold stroopwafels are bad – just that they’re better warm. Of course, you still get the ooey gooey caramel effect from all the caramel in the McFlurry, so it evens out.
3. While we’re on the topic of desserts, I must tell you about a place I visited two weekends ago: Relo’s Board Game and Dessert Cafe.
I have a friend who’s really into board games, so a few of us got together and went to Relo’s to check it out. I was immediately furious at the injustice over a place like this opening in the city mere months before I move, because it was AWESOME. I’m not that into board games, but I had a total blast! Obviously I was primarily in it for the dessert (which was out of control), but their board game selection was bonkers. They have an entire library sorted by game type (high strategy, low strategy, card games, etc.), and I bet there were well over 100 games to pick from. On top of that, if you’re someone who HATES reading game directions and would much rather have someone explain how to play to you (*raises hand*), the staff will explain the directions of any game to you if you want! It was amazing!!
I’ve been to Guthrie’s Tavern in Wrigleyville a couple of times (a board game bar), but this was a million times better. Desserts instead of alcohol (Relo’s is BYOB if you do want to drink), bright lighting so you can actually see what you’re doing, a HUGE facility with plenty of space, organized game storage: if you want to play board games, I definitely recommend Relo’s over Guthrie’s. There is a $5 charge to play games, but it’s certainly worth it.