Well, I have indeed entered into the world of soccer moms. After jamming ourselves into the SUV for a couple of recent roadtrips, and then after getting a taste of traveling in a minivan courtesy of Chris' mom... I took the plunge. I refer to this as my "accidental purchase" of a car.
Basically, I have been looking at minivans for a few years now... eyeing what my friends have and checking prices. I've been looking at the Sienna and the Odyssey because that's what everyone has, and recently Kathryn informed me that the Quest would earn me cool points, so I started looking at that. My dad bought a Town and Country years ago and that bad boy is still running... I guess almost 15 years now. But Chrysler has its issues currently, and the cost has been prohibitive, so I had crossed it off the list, even though their stow-n-go seats seemed awesome. And I do feel better buying American...
Then, on Monday, I was actually at the gym and Chrysler had an ad up for the 2008 model with the swivel-n-go seats. I had just been thinking how great it would be if minivans could stretch back to their "party-van" predecesors and do something like that and VOILA! So, on Tuesday morning before I went in to work, I went to look at the thing. I really wanted to see if the seats were really all that easy to swivel, or if it took a small army to do it. (That is the big drawback of Dad's minivan... taking the seats out requires super-human strength.)
Well, sure enough, the swivel part is super-easy, the van has tons of storage, and the price was better than I thought. Very comparable to competitors. So, after much pressure from the floor manager, I bought one. I didn't wake up Tuesday thinking "Today, I shall buy a minivan!" But lo and behold, that is what happened.
I do miss my VUE a bit already. She was a good car and was still running well. But now car trips will be SO much better. Of course, we don't have another one planned for several weeks (the one last weekend was cancelled due to my lovely stomach bug, which is only just now clearing up). But that's fine, since it's going to take me about two weeks to get through the manual and figure out how to set my presets on the radio.
Speaking of radio, this car came with a year of Sirius radio and TV for "free." Today, when I took the kids to school, I pulled up a kids station on the radio (commercial-free). This was a glorious thing... as I realized that I no longer have to listen to the SAME FIVE CDs over and over again. Variety makes me REALLY happy. Then, when the kids were gone, I switched over to an audio bookin the CD player. But on my way across town for a meeting later this afternoon, I discovered the station of show tunes. Yay.
Tonight, on the way back from swimming, Athena (who had just discovered the tv's in the ceiling) wanted to watch "her shows." I didn't have a DVD with me -- I'm trying not to encourage the kids to ask for tv for short trips -- but I thought that I'd give the tv a try. We get three stations... Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network. None of those are really geared to preschoolers at 7pm, but she watched a little Hannah Montana and then something on Cartoon Network that I hope wasn't too horrible.
All-in-all, I love the car. It has lots of features that make me refer to it as "the space ship," but I don't think it will take me long to master them. There is an issue with the passenger side sliding door, which I'll have them look at on Friday when I take it in for a final check. Hopefully they can also show me how to set the radio stations. Then, I'll be free to offer rides to any takers (keeping in mind that the gas mileage sucks... of course). *sigh*