Thursday, February 23, 2012

Out with the old...

Chad and I both agree that, unlike several people we know, we are SO not defined by our vehicles. When we were married, Chad had a '91 Dodge Dakota (that truck introduced me to the term "4-banger" and its A/C cut out when driving uphill). I was driving an '88 Ford Thunderbird (its A/C didn't work at all... uh, A/C is very important when you live in the desert). I bought that T-bird out of a tiny used lot in Washington from a guy named Bart for $800. And it almost lasted me a year. Then there was the used Kia Sephia; we bought one with a stick shift to save money, and I hated it.

Then...we bought a new truck. A quad cab. With power windows. AND A/C that worked all the time. Compared to our previous vehicles, it was heaven. It has always run great, and has been a wonderfully reliable vehicle. It has taken us on road trips to Disneyland, on our big camping trip to Yosemite with our dog Ruby in the back, it moved us to Arizona... lots of memories.
(Yosemite trip, April 2005)

But the minivan bug has been plaguing me for a while. Did I ever think I would be desperately wishing for a minivan? Um, no.

But that was before I was worn down by the hassle of squeezing three kids into the back of a midsize truck. Before I realized that there was no place to store all our junk on road trips except out in the exposed bed. Before I yearned for doors that would magically open with the push of a button, so my crazy 4-year-old could already be safe in the back seat while I buckle in the baby, rather than running around the parking lot (because standing still "right next to me, Mason" is impossible).

Yep, it's tight. And, let's face it, the gas mileage with that truck's V-8 engine is not great.

So I've been shopping for a while. And thanks to the tax return we just got, as well as Chad's recent promotion (Officer III) and concurrent raise, we were well equipped to take the plunge.

We said a tearful goodbye (on Chad's end...he was crying on the inside) to our beloved '04 Dakota .

And said a giddy hello (on my end) to our 2012 Grand Caravan. Thank you Chad, for surrendering your truck for my convenience and comfort.

It is everything I hoped it would be. Quiet, smooth ride, considerably more gadgets than our truck, and oh, the magical sliding doors. Seriously awesome. 

And though I may be sinning by invoking this quote in reference to a minivan:

"I love driving it. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."
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