Ode to a minivan

This is definitely my first and it may be my only car review. I can count on my fingers the number of vehicles I have had the opportunity of driving. Eight in total. One was a standard transmission for about 10 minutes, so I'm not entirely sure that it counts. Two have been test-drives, so they might not count either. That brings me to five. Five cars in my seven plus years on the open road. All Hondas, Dodges, and Chevrolets. Clearly I can't call myself a car expert, but according to my research, I whole-heartedly believe that the 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport still wins my all-out affection.

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So spacious, so comfy, so ancient, so lovely. 310 000km down and it's still kicking. It's a little worn, a little blemished, and a little testy on the brakes and acceleration, but it still has life to live and love to give. I will sell it to you for $300 if you're convinced!

It might be the nostalgia talking, but I love my Leonidas. My oldest brother appointed my van with this regal name upon its 300 000th kilometre. I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps because it's old, perhaps because it's gold, but mostly because my van is a warrior. It was first a family van engaged in family plans. It then trekked on through the high school years and carried us through many parties and sporting events. It was then bestowed upon us as a time-share parting gift come university time. It is now mine for the keeping. My brother has moved on to bigger and newer trucks and here I am embracing the big gold shell that is my minivan. You can imagine I was both apprehensive and excited as I opened the door to a brand new 2013 Dodge Avenger. I was offered a smaller Ford Fiesta, but I chose the Avenger for its larger size. Larger = more space for Tundra puppy and Christmas presents.

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I chose to drive home for the holidays in a rental because however cherished Leonidas is, he is not in the best of health for long-distance travel anymore. He is resting at home and I am crossing my fingers that he is still alive come new year. It was a foreign and inviting experience to drive a vehicle other than my own. I'm so accustomed to having to push a little harder on the brakes and to feeling the steering wheel vibrate when I go over 100 km/hr that driving the 2013 felt almost effortless and I hate to say it - a little boring. My hands started to get numb after an hour of moving minuscule micrometers around the 10 and 2 position. My back and shoulders tensed up. I almost forgot my feet were underneath me. The nicest part of the drive was the satellite radio selection. I listened to 40s on 4 for most of the journey; this station plays plays the best of the best of Christmas classics. I complain about my body being sore, but I have to admit that the head rests were divine. I had a large rhinestone clip in my hair and no matter how hard I pressed my head against the cushion, I did not feel a hint of pain. I'm sad I only discovered this in the last 15 minute stretch of my voyage. All-in-all I am not knocking the Avenger. I really did like it. The front grill is a little aggressive-looking for my tastes, but the interior is quite attractive and the visibility is great. It drove like a new car should and I felt safe and secure within it. I am; however, impartial to my arguable treasure of a minivan. Apparently it has made a lasting impression on me and my behind has made an even bigger lasting impression on it. Any other seat just doesn't measure up. Yet.  

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One thought on “Ode to a minivan

  1. Bruni Gehrmann says:

    Oh Britney.
    I love your ode to a minivan.
    Having had the pleasure of being a passenger in your Leonidas many a time and enjoying the ride it was no wonder that we opted for a similar vehicle when it came time to buy a new car. well as you know we chose a Dodge Journey Crossover. I love our bench seats and that you sit so much higher than in a car for a better view of the road and other cars. Our crossover is very comfortable for longer distances. We’ve been to West Virginia with it and another time to Atlantic City, New Jersey and a hop and a skip to Orlando, Florida. By now our vehicle knows the way to your Mom’s and Dad’s place blindfolded no matter who is driving it – may it be Hans, Lionel, Grace or I – it always gets us there safe. Yes I can see that it won’t be so easy for you to ever say good bye to your mini van.

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