Timehop tells me that 4 years ago today, we bought our van.
Timehop also tells me that I smell nice (thanks?) and that it was wacky tacky day at Lorelai's daycare on this day last year, which is totally beside the point, but cute nonetheless. :)
Anyway, in honor of our "van-iversary" today, I figured I would profess my undying love for our Honda Odyssey.
I'm not one of those anti-van people at all--I fully embrace my mom-ness and if that meant buying a van, so be it. Although it's not like I was dying to run out and get one the minute the pregnancy test came back positive 10 years ago with Aidan. :) When I was pregnant with Lorelai, we knew we needed something bigger than our Civic so we started shopping for an upgrade. We did look at other SUV options, but this van was by far the most practical solution to us, because:
>>> Power sliding doors. Perfect for full mom hands, kid hands, tight parking spaces, and our tiny garage. No banging the wall or other cars trying to get in/out. (The power liftgate is really nice, too!)
>>> Walk-through middle aisle to the 3rd row. With 3 kids, we knew we'd have one that would have to sit in the back, and you don't have to move the seat (tough if you have car seats installed) to access the 3rd row, like with many SUVs.
>>> Lower to the ground so little kids can get themselves in and out of the van more easily.
>>>Great trunk space. Much more (so much deeper) than the Chevy Traverse we looked at.
>>>Removable second row middle seat, so we could fit 3 across if we had to fold the back bench down for more storage space.
>>> Fold-down center console. When it pouring rain out, I can get in the back to buckle Lorelai, then walk through to my seat without leaving the van. Something I would have never thought I needed when we were considering vehicles, but so handy! You can do the same from the passenger seat when driving but that's illegal, so...:)
>>> A DVD player wasn't the biggest priority for us, but we did want to get a model with because it's a nice perk for longer trips (we don't put on movies for trips around town).
And it just so happens that the only EX model they had on the lot was one with a navigation package, which I believe added in the bluetooth and integrated rearview camera. They gave us a deal on that model so they could get it off the lot without having to search (and wait due to limited availability...and potentially lose our sale) for an exact matching vehicle with just the DVD.
Let me tell you, I could not be happier with our accidental bluetooth and backup camera. I use the backup camera to park perfectly in the garage each time, and I will never buy another vehicle that doesn't have bluetooth. It's a huge convenience/safety feature that I can use my phone hands-free.
The navigation has been nice on occasion, but you have to pay to update your maps, so we just use our iPhones or Adam's garmin now if we need directions, for the most part.
Bottom line: I love our van. I will sing its praises to anyone. And even though it may not be the coolest vehicle out there, it's pretty great anyway. Although ours is the older model 2010 which isn't nearly as fancy as the newer ones with iPod integration and coolers. But our van will be paid off in a year, so I'm certainly not looking to get a newer model yet to the tune of more car payments! :)
Our next vehicle will definitely be an upgrade of the Civic. Adam has had enough of always having to drive the "crappy" car and how can I blame him, since the Odyssey is so nice? Ha!