Exactly five years ago today I bought my Honda CR-V. Dan took this photo the next day in the Catalina Express parking lot as we were preparing to take the boat over to Catalina Island for a weekend camping trip. (Our photos from that trip to Two Harbors were amazing, by the way.) While I was excited to have a new car that day, especially after what I went through to get it, I was really missing my old Dodge Neon. But Krypton (his name was derived from the fact that he was green and that Krypton is a noble gas, like Neon – very nerdy, I know) was halfway through his eleventh year and not getting any younger. I had just spent $1500 to replace the head gasket (to stop an oil leak that was causing the engine to smoke) and a few other parts, but as soon as I drove away from the Dodge dealer I discovered that the struts had been broken while other things were being “fixed.” I couldn’t drive over about 50 mph without the car shaking so hard that I thought it was going to fall apart! I was angry, but the dealer quoted me $1000 to fix the struts because they told me that I couldn’t prove that I hadn’t caused the damage myself. But since according to Kelly Blue Book prices poor little Krypton wasn’t really worth too much at that point, I decided that it was just time to buy a new car. It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted a Honda CR-V LX model with 4WD (something that Dan and I could drive up to the mountains, and something that was more of a “family” car than my Neon), but actually purchasing one turned out to be more difficult. Since it was late in the year and they were eager to unload their 2005 models, I got good online quotes from four local dealers, so I called each one to find out which colors they had in stock. Honda World told me that they had exactly what I was looking for so Dan and I went there one evening after work to check it out. What a strange experience that was. When we got there, the member of the online sales team who I had communicated with wasn’t there and the salesman who greeted us told me that they had sold the car I wanted earlier that day. Bummer. They did, however, conveniently have the more expensive EX model which I really wasn’t interested in at all. Honda World did everything they could to sell it to me, and it would have been a great deal if I had any desire to buy it, but in the end Dan and I left empty handed. They next day, however, I got a call from the online sales department to apologize for the mix-up and to let me know that they did indeed have the CR-V model I wanted in stock. I was a little ticked off at Honda World at this point, but the opportunity to purchase the car I wanted for a great price was too good to pass up. So after work that day I drove my Neon for the last time down to Honda World where I bought my CR-V. His name is Raz because of the letters on his license plate. The name isn’t as creative as my Neon’s was, but Krypton just had more personality. My CR-V been a great car over the past five years (my only complaint is that the sensors on the trunk are flaky and I’ve had to have them realigned four times), but I have to admit that even to this day I still miss my old Neon. Maybe everyone feels that way about their first car. Driving away from it the day I bought my CR-V was difficult, no matter how many scratches it had or how much pain had chipped off around the edges. I drove that car in high school and college. I drove Dan to lunch in that car on the day he asked me out on our first date. That car practically defined me for a decade and I will always remember it fondly. But what car did I drive down to San Diego to get married three years ago? It was Raz, and those were some of the best days of my life. So here’s to making more incredible memories in my CR-V. Happy fifth birthday Raz!