July 17th, 2011
A few months ago, my husband Chris and I realized that it was time to get a new car. His reason being that our old car was out of warranty, my reason being that it was cheaper than paying someone to vacuum out the five metric tons of cracker crumbs in the backseat. So, we did what anyone would do when buying a new car: we flew to Sweden.
Some of you may have heard of Volvo’s European Delivery program before, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s kind of unbelievable. (Note: I know that sounds advertise-y, but Volvo didn’t ask me to write this post about them because, let’s face it, nobody ever asks me to write a post about them.)
The way it works is you go to your local dealership, pick out the new car you want (any model or price counts), then ask for the EDP. This automatically saves you some percentage off the sale price (it varies, but we saved 12%) and includes two round-trip tickets from wherever you are to the beautiful city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Once there, they put you up at the nicest hotel in town, then a Volvo limo takes you to the huge Volvo factory where you sign some papers, take a factory tour and eat a nice Swedish meatball lunch. Then finally, the huge garage doors open and your brand new car rolls out ready for you to claim.
Here’s Chris with our new baby:
Five miles on the odometer and not a single freaking crumb. My kids will not be allowed to touch it.
Once you take possession, you’re free to do whatever you want with the car. Some people put it on the ferry to Germany, then drive around Europe. Some (like us this time) just drive it for few hours then turn it back in. No matter what you do, Volvo will ship it back to the US at no charge (but a 4-6 week delivery time) when you’re ready to let them have it.
We also did this new car adventure four years ago, but that time we drove up the Swedish coastline to the breathtaking Norwegian fjords. (Since I’m 3/4 Norwegian, I thought I was entitled to free beer and lutefisk, but no dice. Those Vikings can be totally mean when you call them “Thor the Bore.”)
Anyway, here’s me four years ago with our Volvo in Norway:
I’m a lot thinner now. That was after a week of meatball eating.
And here’s the view out our hotel window in Norway:
It looks just like Texas. If Texas had mountains and water and no jet skis.
There were many, many things I loved about our trip, not the least of which was that 100% of the Swedes thought I was a local and spoke to me in Swedish. It was amazing to be around so many blondes—I felt like I was either at a family reunion or the Playboy mansion. (Also, the way you say hello in Sweden is “Hej,” pronounced “Hey.” Very similar to the Texan “Heyyy, gurrrl.” I felt completely at home.) I’ll be sure to write more this week about the countries we went to after Sweden and some of the amusing things we saw, like 5,000 Scandinavian Metallica fans and a one-armed German lady selling thongs, so stay tuned.
But all in all, we loved our experience with Sweden, with Volvo and with all of the wonderful people we met along the way. It was an amazing trip and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Maybe in four more years when the crumbs are back.
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