So, let's start clearing out a backlog of news.
My beloved Jellybean, the green 1997 Hyundai Elantra wagon that has been passed around the family got passed around again. It didn't really make sense for me to import it with me to the US given it was starting to get a bit on the rusty side, so I needed to come up with a plan.
At first I had considered having all my crap shipped down by movers, and then renting a sports car to barrel across the US with, but there were logistical considerations with that plan that didn't really work out well, like what the hell I'd do to get around once I got to California and returned the rental car.
I also considered driving the Elantra down and having my sister fly down to pick it up (seeing as I was passing it on to her for free), but I wasn't completely thrilled with that idea either.
Finally I came on the idea of just buying myself a van. I'd be able to pack it full to the gills with all my crap, thus eliminating the need to hire movers; plus I'd be able to use it once I got down here for carting furniture and misc large items to my new apartment, since I'd be going on a bit of a buying spree so I'd have something to actually sit on. (this part has yet to happen, but the van will come in handy when the time comes)
The Mercedes(/Dodge/Freightliner) Sprinter was the first choice on my list. While it's much more expensive up-front than a Ford E-series or Chevy Express, it's got much more cargo space for a given footprint, is full standing height inside, comes standard with a sliding side door, and the diesel engine is much more efficient than the gas engines you're limited to with the lighter duty Ford/Chevys. It's really just generally a much nicer vehicle, and I like nice things.
I had a bit of a tough time tracking one down, given that the Fords and Chevys are much more popular due to their lower price, but eventually found one in Steinbach. I honestly wasn't very impressed with how the dealership treated me, so if you're ever in the market I'd suggest avoiding Steinbach Dodge, but in the end I managed to get my shiny white 2007 Dodge-branded Sprinter 2500 144 high-roof cargo, so all's well that ends well I guess.
The best part about driving a Sprinter, I think, is that when people ask me what I drive, I can just say "Well, I don't want to brag, but let's just say it's German, turbocharged two-seater".
In related news, I'm thinking of sticking this on the rear door.