Ease on Down the Road

Happy Monday!  Now that we’ve made it to Car week of our Planes, Trains, and Automobiles theme, I hope all of you are looking both ways and driving a little more carefully.  Lots of kiddos are heading back to school today which means instead of summertime chaos at the Gibson household, I’m back into “regularly scheduled chaos.”  And hopefully a little more regular with my Monday fox duties.

Much of my summertime chaos has been on the road.  With a family of 5, plane tickets get real pricey real quick.  So if we go anywhere, it’s time to load up the ol’ Honda Odyssey.  This is actually our second Odyssey.  Our first was brand new in 1999 and we bought a whole van instead of plane tickets.  Trust me, it ended up being cheaper that way.  My sister-in-law was getting married two months after baby #2 was due and hubby and I were in the wedding party.  I needed someone to watch the kids while we did bridesmaid and groomsman duties, so we were going to invite one of my sisters to be the bring-along nanny.  Now I don’t know if you realize how much stuff you have to take on a trip for one small person, but we had two under two years old.  That’s a lot of crap to haul on a plane, not to mention the actual children themselves.  So our logic was, “Hey, we’d have to rent a car once we’re up there.  What if we bought a van and then we can bring BOTH of my sisters to help with the kids?  The only extra expense if we drive would be food.  Oh, and we can still go to Jen and Erick’s wedding too.”  Two kids, two helper sisters, two weddings and a new van.  Really, that sounds like it sounds like a new comedy for NBC.  And let me tell you, I hated the idea of becoming a minivan driver, BUT I fell in love with it on that trip.  Plenty of room for 6 people and their luggage and small people stuff.  I’m telling you, Honda ought to pay me for this free advertising.

Fast forward 9 years and almost 200,000 miles later, we were looking to get a new car.  I was being seduced by those crossovers.  I was digging the Mazda CX-9.  It looked sexier than a minivan and I was tired of the “soccer mom” digs.  (For the record, I was a soccer mom for ONE year.  One year.  That’s it.  I should not be dealing with that moniker anymore.  Besides, all the soccer moms crossed over to the crossovers.)  If you ever want to compare vehicles without hovering salespeople, go to an auto show.  Smartest thing we ever did when it comes to cars (aside from putting oil and gas it them on a regular basis.)  We bounced back and forth between the CX-9 and the Acura MD-X.  The Acura was more than we wanted to spend, but it really felt so much nicer than the Mazda.  Then hubby says, “Let’s just go check out the minivans just for kicks.”

You know that moment in the first Harry Potter movie when he’s trying out the wands in Ollivander’s?  And then he gets his hand on the right one?  (Because the wand chooses the wizard.)  Well, when I sat in the new Odyssey, I had the Harry Potter moment.  I think I even looked around to see if there were glittering, swirling lights because I knew I was meant to own another minivan.  Navigation system?  Check.  Plenty of seating for a family of 5 and a couple of visiting grandparents?  Check.  DVD player for the kids’ entertainment?  Oh baby!  That van is now four years old and we’ve already put over 110,000 miles on it.  It has been to Arizona, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida and points in between.  My kids have their standard DVDs that they like to watch on these road trips.  Galaxy Quest is a huge favorite.  This summer claims at least 4000 miles on it and I’m sure there will be plenty more to come in the following years.

So what happened to the old Odyssey?  I can proudly say we still visit it.  My mother needed a new vehicle much more than we needed a piddly trade-in allowance.  And that’s a good thing because I’m such a sentimental sap when it comes to giving up stuff loaded with memories.  And believe me, a good quality vehicle like my Odyssey can hold a LOT of memories.

Happy Monday and safe travels…even if you’re only easing on down the road to the grocery store!


About Micki Gibson

Young Adult fiction writer
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7 Responses to Ease on Down the Road

  1. tonettejoyce says:

    By Grabthar’s Hammer. that IS an ad! I have put off going the minivan route yet,a l though with all the grandkids,I could use it; plus,we carry a lot of stuff, backpacks, etc…( there are always lots of books in my car). That sounds like a peaceful vehicle, Micki, not “By the Sons of WARVAN!”
    I evny allof your travels.I’m glad you had a great summer.
    I am something of a soccer grandma right now…we have to see how it plays out,I don’t think the lad is cut out to be a jock.As far as I am concerned “Never give up, never surrender” doesn’t apply to team sports.
    Galaxy Quest AND Harry Potter… I love the ‘Olivander Shop’ moment!
    I’m going to get out of here before Guy gets killed.


    • Micki Gibson says:

      But maybe Guy is just the plucky comic relief. 🙂 Of course I’ve got a soft spot for Sigourney Weaver playing Gwen DeMarco playing Lt. Tawny Madison. “I had one job. It’s stupid. But I’m gonna do it.” Repeating the computer – gotta love it!


  2. jeff7salter says:

    Galaxy Quest is a great movie & now I want to see it again.
    Enjoyed your column today, Micki. But you ddin’t say who does all the driving. You or hubby?
    I’m not a good passenger … too boring. And, unlike some folks, I cannot read in a moving vehicle.
    I love the way this Odyssey “selected” you. If the car makers could replicate that process, they wouldn’t even need to advertise on TV.


    • Micki Gibson says:

      This summer I did most of the driving since hubby wasn’t with me on several of the trips. Sometimes we split it half and half, but often he’ll do most of it. There was the one trip to Colorado from when we lived in Texas and snow was involved. I DON’T drive in snow. I don’t like snow skiing. I like to play in snow but I do not DEAL with snow which is why it’s a good thing I’ve spent most of my life in the south.


  3. I admire the heck out of you with all that driving you do. I hate to drive. a lot.


    • AND oh, yeah, meant to add- Galaxy Quest is a great choice, but I bet, somehow, you knew I’d say that!


      • Micki Gibson says:

        Yes, I knew you’d say that, and no, I didn’t throw it in because I knew you’d like it. We all really love that movie. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. The kids love to imitate Guy and go, “Ohhhhh! That’s not right!” Galaxy Quest has the potential to be one of those movies I quote as easily as “Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part 1” and “Steel Magnolias”. It just needs to watched a few more times. It’ll get there, I’m sure.


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