Monday, July 4, 2011

For Love of a Minivan

Friday afternoon was spent packing for our annual Sheboygan Wisconsin family vacation. Every year my family heads north for a beach front condo on Lake Michigan. We load up our cars with anything and everything we could possibly need for some fun filled family time.

We drive a minivan. To be more specific, I am a Honda Odyssey minivan momma. I love my minivan. Stow and go seating cannot be beat. Having automatic sliding side doors at the push of a button is fabulous when you are carrying an infant car seat and trying to wrangle a toddler in a parking lot. Not to mention the plethora of room once inside the vehicle. When traveling with children you simply cannot go wrong driving a minivan. Even though I am a minivan momma, I am young and hip. We call our minivan the swagger wagon. If you have not seen the Toyota Sienna “Swagger Wagon” commercial, check it out! It is hysterical.

I was particularly impressed with my minivan when packing for this vacation. We fit a large suitcase, a medium suitcase, golf clubs, a golf disc bag, a stroller, an activity swing, a bouncer seat, a cooler, a beach bag, a toy bag, a diaper bag, and several bags of food. Oh, and a toddler, a baby, a husband, and myself. There was even room left over for me to sit in the backseat to feed the baby when he got fussy.

We have owned this minivan for one year. We bought it just days before the annual Sheboygan family vacation last year. I don’t think that I have ever been happier with any other vehicle I have ever owned as I am with my Honda Odyssey. Funnily enough, the sales people at a couple of the different dealerships we went to tried to steer us towards the SUV crossovers.

Apparently owning a minivan means that you have to relinquish your “I’m a young hip parent” card. Every time we told the sales people that we were interested in a minivan we received looks of shock and awe. We were told that there were great new SUV’s out there as well as some newer crossover models. We were jokingly informed that we did not have to drive the old person vehicle in order to have a roomier ride. My husband and I kindly informed each and every one of the car dealers that we were not overly concerned with whether people viewed us as super cool and ultra modern. We needed a vehicle that would grow with our family and that had room for baby gear.

I look at other mothers lifting their toddlers up into their SUV’s and am thankful that we didn’t care about being the young hip parents. My poor back wouldn’t be able to take lifting my 37+ pound toddler in and out of the back seat. I would be sore from crawling over the seat to buckle the kids in!

To those parents out there that drive their SUV’s and crossovers, I am impressed with your coolness. I am also impressed with your ability to pack sparingly. I do not possess this ability. When we roll out we bring everything but the kitchen sink with us.

Thank you Honda for making such an awesome vehicle for me. I know that when you created and designed this minivan you were thinking, “What else can we do to this vehicle to make it easier on moms? More specifically, what can we add to this vehicle for Laura Andry to make her life easier?” My response is simple. Nothing. You nailed it.

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