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!