This life update is more than 2 years overdue but better late than never. Besides, I am still just as elated to write about it as I was on day one. I got my dream 430i convertible from BMW Encinitas back in June 2020!
During the height of the pandemic, the lease to my first ever BMW came up and it was time to part ways with the X5. It was a bittersweet moment as this beauty signified success to me. I still remember sobbing in front of the saleslady when I signed the papers. Who knew cars could make a person so emotional?! Since before I could drive, it had been a dream to own a BMW as soon as I made enough money to buy my own car. 2017 was one of my best and favorite years for many reasons, but this was a big one. Business was booming, and I was finally able to get a BMW.
Taken in July 2017, right after I got my first BMW
Anyways, when the X5 lease was ending, David got a Honda CR-V. He decided on this because it is affordable, reliable, and practical for his photo equipment storage needs. Originally, we were going to stick with just this car because we got accustomed to sharing one car for three years. Plus, with the pandemic in full force, the economy and everything just felt so uncertain. We were trying to cut expenses where we could and focus on saving money. But… I missed German engineering. So badly. To me, BMW is far more than just a brand name – their vehicles handle and drive like no other. That X5 sure spoilt me. It is so true that once you go Euro, you can’t go back… it’s a lifestyle!
Not me being totally extra and adding a pink bow onto my BMW convertible for a photoshoot since we didn’t get any good pictures the day I picked her up…
Why a BMW 430i Convertible?
I could not stop thinking about my next BMW. Let’s backtrack a bit; I have a little story on why my heart was set on the 430i convertible. At some point during my lease, I had to bring the car in for service. The local BMW dealership gave me a 430i convertible as a loaner car, and I instantly fell in love. Even though I only had the car for a few hours, it was enough for me to decide that it would be my next BMW. I found the hardtop mechanism intriguing, and the concept totally clever. When the top is up, the car looks like a sporty coupe!
Shopping for the Perfect BMW
Fast forward a couple of years, the manifestation came true. I shopped around for many months in search of the perfect spec until I found THE ONE. I named her Fiona (FiFi for short). FiFi is a 2017 Alpine White M sport 430i convertible with only 15k miles on the odometer when I met her. After test driving and checking out other 4 series convertibles for what felt like forever, it was refreshing to see a fully loaded one in mint condition. It has the head-up display, Bluetooth Apple Car Play, and all the bells and whistles that my X5 had. This made the transition easy for me.
Not taken on delivery day… wish I got photos of that day! But I was just so excited that I forgot. So, I went back almost a year later and got this dealership photo to remember the moment!
Delivery Day at BMW Encinitas
The delivery process worked out so seamlessly. I have very fond memories of how everything went down leading up to the day I got her. To this day, I like to think of June 27, 2020, when I need a little pick-me-up and revel in the fact that so much could have gone wrong, but everything went right. It was a great day.
Long story short, there were a few concerns that the dealership put to rest for me. One of the biggest ones was, that I was not available to go to BMW Encinitas the day I contacted them about the car. I had to reserve the car for two days later. I read people’s online reviews complaining that the dealership was notorious for selling cars before people arrived for their reservations. I was worried about this, but thankfully it never happened. Instead, the beautiful 430i convertible was waiting for me bright and early that Saturday morning, and the dealership waived a bunch of lease turn-in fees and gave me a $500 rebate for purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle. Everything went so smoothly; I felt like I was dreaming the whole time.
As David and I were driving FiFi back to Palm Springs, we were literally waiting for a hiccup to happen LOL. I will be forever thankful for Ben Regis and the staff at BMW Encinitas for making this a reality for me, and for my first amazing dealership experience. Yes, dealerships, in general, are sleazy but BMW Encinitas has never been that way during any of my visits.
For the past two Christmases, Fi and I have sent holiday cards to our new car friends. People look forward to receiving simple holiday cheer, and it makes me feel warm inside. Writing cards and sending out handwritten notes to people I love has always been one of my favorite past-times.
New Friends & Adventures
The pleasant surprises did not end with the memorable delivery day. One day shortly after I brought FiFi home, I randomly made an Instagram page to document our adventures. The reasoning behind this was that I did not want to flood my personal page with countless photos of my new baby. It was all just for fun, and more than anything, for me to look back on years to come like I have been doing with this blog. I had no expectations of this to become anything more.
Soon before I knew it though, I met some incredible people in the BMW community, learned about car modifications, and made FiFi uniquely my own. A new custom forged wheels company, Vision Forged even sponsored me! FiFi was the first car to have its wheels and today, VF is growing rapidly.
I totally did not expect to get into car mods, become a passionate “car girl,” and make a website dedicated to all things FiFi considering I didn’t even know what modifications were possible before I got her. It has been one wild and fun ride… and unexpectedly expensive. So much for saving money… haha! But oh, so worth it 😉
Two Years & Counting
We just celebrated our 2-year anniversary and I love her more than ever. Getting my dream car was easily the highlight of 2020. I know life is much more than materialistic things, but FiFi quickly proved to be more than just metal on rubber. She is a safe place for me to cry ugly and release my feelings in with no judgment. An absolute thrill to drive, she lightens my mood whenever I need the boost (pun intended). She is also fun to detail and photograph, giving me a rewarding distraction from reality when I need it most. In a particularly lonely and trying time, this car gave me an opportunity to make new friends all over the country that I connect well with.
My Dream Car Symbolizes Strength, Perseverance, and Growth
Today and every day, I am grateful that the stars aligned for Fiona and me to become the best of friends. She will always be more than just a vehicle to get around town to me. I plan to keep her for as long as I can and go through life’s ebbs and flows with her.
Unlike the X5 which symbolized success and life on the up and up, FiFi has become a symbol of strength, perseverance, and growth. Life isn’t always rainbows and roses, but that’s okay. Or at least that’s what I have been telling myself for the sake of my mental health. Every day, I have woken up to push through and create meaning even when things seem bleak. And every once in a while, life rewards me with a nice surprise like FiFi… and the lovely people, opportunities, and fun times that entered my life as a result of us uniting!
Does your car symbolize something special or have sentimental meaning to you?