The Van Diaries: Part One

December 4, 2007


As regular readers are aware, I was recently selected to receive a 2008 Dodge Caravan (with every bell and whistle known to man) to drive for one week as part of a word-of-mouth marketing program. Lucky me! No strings! All I have to do is yap about it! Which isn’t hard because it was amazing. I think my kids will be hopped up for the next month just thinking about it. There’ll be a crazy cute youtube video at the end of these posts, too, so stay tuned. 😉

Day One

The van was delivered in the early afternoon…

…just in time to pick up DD7 at school. Sweet! Michael gave me the crash course in how to use the 3896740697 features while I feared DD4 would JUMP OUT OF HER SKIN while bouncing around in the back of the van. Picked up an extra kid from school and thoroughly appreciated not having to realign car seats and squish three seats across in the back seat of my very tiny sedan. Woo!

Needless to say, the kids were totally taken with the van. They didn’t really appreciate how cranky it made me (tech learning curve) but that part really only lasted until day two.

Day Two

So, we made a deal: for the week, no TV at home, but they could watch all they wanted in the van. I didn’t quite have it all together to the point where I could figure out the satellite TV and get a show going first thing in the morning, before coffee and all. So they had to suffer the 45-second drive to school (I know, I know, I am a complete wuss, but again, the time — the coffee — I just can’t get it together in time to walk) without TV. Poor kids. /sarcasm

Midway through the morning DD4 and I took off for an errand that would require highway driving — a little over an hour round trip. Now that’s when the TV comes in handy. And the wireless headphones. She watched Dora’s World Adventure like a sweet little zombie while I surfed the Sirius channels. Ask Martha? On the radio? Who knew!

Around two I got a phone call…

school dad: so, DD can’t stop talking about your van.
me: yeah, it’s pretty impressive…
school dad: so, can you pick up my kids from school today?

Heh. No problem. I loved having all the extra room…the more the merrier! I kept trying to come up with some huge purchase that I could stuff in the back. After years of driving tiny sedans, to have the room to haul Big Stuff was like a dream come true. I wanted to get a load of compost and peat moss to store in the garage for next summer…but alas, it was all gone. Hrmph.

This was the afternoon that the kids begged me to turn the seats around and put the table in so they could color while I drove them around. LOL…

Day Three

Fridays are big driving days for me. Drop older kid off, go get coffee. Drop younger kid off, go run errands. Pick one up, go home. Run more errands, pick up the other. Friday morning was a highlight because it was the first quality time I had alone in the van, which meant GOOD, LOUD MUSIC. And I must say the sound system is excellent.

I had a bit of irritation with connecting my iPod…it required a cable that I didn’t have. You can connect it with a USB cable, but only to transfer files, not to listen to music. And you can only transfer files when the van isn’t moving. But I digress…Friday morning I stopped at the Radio Shack and got the correct cable so YAY, I could listen to whatever I wanted! Loud!

On Friday night we decided to go looking at Christmas lights, because we (my BFF and I) thought it would be much more fun in the van vs. all of us — 2 adults, 3 kids — stuffed in one of our tiny sedans. The kids are just as loud either way, but the heated seats really took the edge off for us this trip. Not many lights were up either, but no one seemed to care very much. We had cocoa, we had Candy Cane Joe-Joes, we were riding in the kick-ass van, listening to “God Rest Ye merry Gentlemen” by the Barenaked Ladies. What’s not to love about that?

to be continued….



  1. Love your tale! Sounds like an amazing ride!

  2. How cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. wow- this could almost make me want a minivan- sounds like a blast!

  4. Dammit, Julie. I had totally shelved my minivan dreams in favor of something small and fuel efficient. Now I have the Caravan lust….

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