Saying Good-bye to my Partner in Crime

Almost exactly twelve years ago, I went to the Volkswagen dealer in Charlottesville, VA with my parents to “look at cars” for the second or third time. Much to my surprise, there was a 2003 silver VW Golf with my name on it! It was a manual transmission with a CD player, four doors, a sunroof, and a hatchback. All of my “requirements”. It had to stay at my parents through that school year (UVA policy) but once I got home that summer, Funshine and I were together all the time. I settled on Fnshine as the license plate/name of my car because growing up, Karebear had been a frequent nickname of mine. My favorite CareBear was Funshine, whose personality is described on as  follows:

In the original series, Funshine always looks on the sunny side of life. Happy, perky, and ready to rise with each day, he’s equally ready and willing to help others, bear or child alike. Using his tummy symbol, he can light up the darkest night or shine a beacon for all to see. However, he has a tendency to be a practical jokester, which can sometimes land him in trouble.

Beginning with the early 2000’s franchise re-launch, Funshine was given a more outgoing, athletic personality, but still retains the overall fun-loving spirit of the original. This thrill-seeking bear lives to seize each day, whether through extreme sports or games, and can’t stand being cooped up for even a moment.

See why I always liked him? Of course, Funshine wasn’t available with the VA DMV so I deleted the “u” and settled on Fnshine… which has been mistaken for “Finish Line” or “F’n Shine” over the years, lol. I just counted and in the 152,000+ miles we have traveled together, Funshine and I have been to 32 of the 50 states including two cross-country trips. One in 2012 with my friend Paige to get me to California and one this past fall with my mom (for part of it) to get me to North Carolina. Funshine has been registered in three states (VA, CA, NC) and had “FNSHINE” in both VA and NC. Of course, California being the land of fun and sun, the plate was not available.

I won’t bore y’all with too many details of my adventures in Funshine, but suffice it to say that many of my friends have had many exciting, scary, interesting, shady, and amazing trips with us. I detailed last week the current contents of my car, but I also know that over the years I have transported tons and tons of items. Funshine has taken me (and my bike!) to numerous races, driven my teammates to gymnastics meets through college, and carried my life’s most precious possessions across the country (twice). I’ve ripped the undercarriage off on an off-roading trip, popped a tire and deployed the airbags in a pothole, torn open the oil pan in the desert, blown a speaker (or two?) blasting music a bit too loud, and done my fair share of scraping curbs and such. But I have never been in an actual accident in Funshine and I have tried to take good care of my precious car!

So why this post about Funshine? Because tomorrow I plan to take it for one more drive, this time to Carmax to sell. It is old and showing its age and probably wouldn’t make it back across the country without a new timing belt, which is an expensive repair to make when I have already been thinking about getting something a little bigger and newer. I’ll buy a replacement car once I get to California, but for now I am just sad about leaving Funshine behind. Crossing from North Carolina into Virginia earlier this week felt a little like driving an elderly person back to their hometown to quietly slip away from this earth. I know that Funshine will most likely be resold and/or junked for parts… but I’m trying not to think about that. For now, I invite you to enjoy a few pictures from the last twelve years and share any favorite Funshine stories y’all might have!

Brand new car!! 2003

Brand new car!! 2003

Definitely up to no good in college - 2006

Definitely up to no good in college – 2006

Snowpocalypse - 2010

Snowpocalypse – 2010

Snowpocalypse - 2010

Snowpocalypse – 2010

Leaving to drive to Cali with Paige - 2012

Leaving to drive to Cali with Paige – 2012

Gorilla taping the undercarriage back on - 2012

Gorilla taping the undercarriage back on – 2012

Being towed to replace the oil pan - 2014

Being towed to replace the oil pan – 2014

Driving back across county, here in Utah - 2014

Driving back across county, here in Utah – 2014

Fnshine with NC plates - 2015

Fnshine with NC plates – 2015


%d bloggers like this: