MM(19) took the train home on Monday. Got home very late that night.
I think he's got a week and a day left of school. All his finals are on a Monday. But he will stick around and then will be in LA for a couple of weeks (joint school project). I thought he would just be couch surfing, but it turns out that the school/club will be paying for a hotel.
I looked up Southwest and the airfare was something like $90 from LA to our backyard. It's a no brainer. We booked the ticket a few days ago. I presumed the train might be the same or even a few bucks cheaper. But time is worth something too. I just looked it up out of curiosity and it's $102 for the super cheapie seats (no refunds). The train ride is 14 hours. Versus a 1 hour plane ride.
(We live right by the train and the airport, so this is all very convenient on our end.)
The project that MM(19) is working on is the tournament of roses parade. Building a rose float. As an engineering major he is working on some of the welding/building, electronics, etc.
I really wanted to go this year to see the behind the scenes. They have a big deco week where the community helps with all the final touches. But I don't think the timing works out this year. They aren't starting the decorating until after Christmas, which is my work hell week. MM(19) is skipping the parade hell week for whatever reason. But wants to go back for the day of the parade. As he started pressing us to make plans, I was just too exhausted and still unsure of the schedule. He pointed out that I could go New Years weekend and he has a point. But it also sounds like the most chaotic time to go. I wanted to see the behind the scenes. I wasn't interested in the big crowd on New Years day.
So I told him he should take someone young and up to all this. DL(17) or his girlfriend. He was able to get a free timeshare stay (through MIL).
MM(19) was just going to drive down to school to meet up with his girlfriend (who is working on campus, during the break). They will drive together those last few hours, to LA. But his school is being an extraordinary PITA with parking and all that. Probably for the best. We realized that the roundtrip train would be cheaper than gas, anyway. So might as well just do the train thing.
MM's TA job is going well. I think he is making $1,200 (net) for the quarter. He did not commit to next quarter because they wanted a commitment during the first week of the job? But he somehow got classes (without the priority registration). He is enjoying it so much, he said he will sign up again for the spring. He can TA 2x for this class.
Financial aid is supposed to sort out "by the end of the quarter." Which is... Next week? The college owes me $2,300. I am hoping that sorts out in the next week or two. I paid full price tuition *again* because I don't want to risk MM(19) having any problems with his classes. By the time I post my November update, maybe I will be able to lessen the college hit by this $2,300? Fingers crossed. I do also plan to reimburse ourselves from MM(18)'s college funds, but just depends where the stock market is. I don't want to do any of that until financial aid sorts out and I know what our actual cost is for this school year.
I had that New Years conversation with MM(19) before my car accident. I really am just not in a good mental space for driving to LA right now. I don't even know if we will have a practical vehicle for that. So I was already kind of, "You make plans, and I need more time to figure this out." Then things just got worse from there.
I mentioned briefly on my monthly update but didn't say much about it. Someone hit my car on the freeway. (They swerved to avoid hitting another car; didn't see me.) I haven't been in an accident where the other person pulled over, since the 1990s. Times have changed. Within a few hours, the other insurer had already claimed responsibility (I guess it was very "open and shut") and had booked the repairs and a car rental for me.
The damage looks relatively superficial but he did hit my back wheel and most of the side of the car is damaged. *sigh* This is not a simple back bumper hit (like any prior accident I have had). I had heard enough horror stories in recent times. From the pictures it looks so minor that I think most thought I was crazy to even stress about it. The cost to repair ended up being... $14,000! By any normal depreciation, my car would be toast. But the car is worth far more than I paid for it (today) and it sounds like the insurance will repair it. I am not holding my breath... Just crossing my fingers that they don't find anything else.
The broke person in my office thinks that I should just take the money and buy a newer vehicle. Most other people I know seem to be more of my thinking. We keep our cars for 15-20 years. The car is only 5 years old (and I *love* the car). We just invested a fair amount in much newer/nicer cars than we have ever had before. But the last thing I want to do is spend any more money on cars. It was my preference not to spend a cent on a car until the kids were done with college (another ~5 years.) I have had some extra anxiety about this in recent years with these absurd car repair costs and used car prices. Anxiety about the "completely outside my control" factor. & so, here we are.
No one was hurt. The other person's insurance is covering everything. I guess this is as good as it gets, with these things.
The first ETA we have received is that the car will be fixed around Christmas. I am mentally prepared that I won't get it back until the end of January. Delays are expected. Will see...
We had just rented a Nissan Sentra in Arizona that we had liked and got 50mpg. So I wasn't too put out by the gas rental situation. But apparently there are no small cars to rent in our city. Ugh. So we ended up with a boat, but we are lucky not to have a SUV or truck honestly. My first instinct was to be cheap and MH was just driving for his 3-mile commute. Is really the only reason we need to drive that thing. But I reconsidered (particularly when we received a more solid ETA). I realize that it's probably more financially sensible to pile miles on the rental car. I should have some extra Christmas/birthday money next month that we will just invest in car gas. Ask me again when I have to start buying gas for a boat.
For reference, my commute would have been about $6 per day (gas) in the Nissan Sentra. Maybe closer to $10 per day in the large sedan? Will see... I haven't committed to driving it all the time. & I have some days off work this month. & MH might have some days off next month. Will see how long I can stomach paying literally 10 times as much for fuel.