Ode to the Minivan

Well. WE DID IT. After nine years of driving the same car, three or four years of pining for a new kid hauler, and at least six months of fervent test driving and saving and researching and negotiating, we finally pulled the trigger. Say hello to our newest family member!

I’ll admit, driving away from the dealer with Big Blue in my rearview mirror was a tad bittersweet. I’m usually not the sentimental type, but as my husband pointed out last night, we raised three kids in that vehicle.

But over the past year, the Check Engine light has become a permanent fixture on our dash, the Tire Pressure light flickers on and off at will, and our rear windshield wiper has broken twice. The driver’s side door handle is cracked clean through (although it somehow continued to open and close the door; I have a feeling I was on borrowed time with that one.) Not to mention the times that I’ve had to drive with our temperamental sliding door ajar and the overhead lights making a fish bowl of our vehicle.

I am MORE than ready to move on and make new memories. Out with the old, in with the new, I say!

So with that, I give you…

Ode to the Minivan

Over the years, you answered to many names:
Mom Mobile, Kid Hauler, Big Blue,
and my personal favorite,
Swagger Wagon.

You were there through it all:
Nursing babies and preschool carpools,
Diaper changes and baseball games,
Road trips and mall runs,
Drive-thrus and Happy Meals,
Grocery hauls and business trips,
Silent treatments and late night chats.

On Saturday you were put out to pasture.
Be good for your next owners.
Fare thee well, my faithful friend.

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30 thoughts on “Ode to the Minivan

  1. JoLynne, What is that you bought? I’m trying to figure out what my next car will be (my kids are grown and gone except for the 17yo boy. I test-drove a Honda CRV yesterday but didn’t really like the underpowered feel of it. I like being up a little higher (as in small SUV), but I’m at a loss. Any suggestions?

    1. It’s the Volvo XC90 and we got the V8 because we wanted the power. I think the CRVs are adorable, but we needed a 3rd row. We considered the Honda Pilot but it felt too much like a truck. The Mazda CX-9 is a great choice for a 7-passenger, and if you don’t need the 3rd row, the CX-7 is worth checking out. Also, Subaru Forester and RAV4 are comparable to CRV. And Toyota Highlander is kind of in-between the small SUV and mid-size. It wasn’t big enough for our family of 5 but it does have a 3rd row.

      There, that gives you some homework! LOL

    2. Karen, also the Ford Edge and the Chevy Equinox are both great choices for a smaller crossover/SUV. A friend just got the Edge. It’s really cute.

  2. When we had our 3rd child (3 years ago) we traded our old Ford Explorer for a new one with 3rd row seating. We still are super happy with it.

    Have fun with your new car!!

  3. Congratulations! The new one’s a beauty. I envy the new car smell you’re no doubt sporting. My minivan is but four years old and already it smells a touch stale. Sigh.

    1. Well, it’s not new-new. It’s 4 years old. So it doesn’t really have the smell. 🙁 But it’s so nice and clean inside. I am going to TRY to keep it that way!

  4. We’re in the same boat: 2 very old vehicles and we’ve started test driving cars to see what will work for our family before a car dies. This weekend we test drove a Toyota Venza and I liked it. We only have one child so I don’t need a minivan or a third row but I do want a bit of extra room for when family visits or I drive carpool. I can get 3 kids in my Saturn but it’s a tight squeeze and there’s no place to put the gear. We also looked at the Highlander but it’s too big for what we need.

    1. Try the RAV4 or the CRV – I think they’re a tad smaller than the Highlander. Not sure how the Edge and the Equinox compare.

  5. Thank you for your beautiful words… It really hit home.
    Our minivan “sally” was totalled in an accident about a month ago. We were sad to see her go… I am going to print this ode and read it to the kids. I think they were more upset to see her go than we were. As a replacement, we picked a honda element, which the kids named “carlos”. We are looking forward to all the memories we will make in him…

    1. You NAME your cars!? LOL! I love it. I think we may need to find a name for this one — something other than Big Blue (or in this case, Big Grey.)

  6. Congrats! I kinda love the feeling of a new car. Almost like new, endless, possibilities! That doesn’t really make rational sense, but it works for me!

  7. I love my Honda Pilot. We are actually on our third Honda. Hubs and I both drive one. But I do have to say this one thing….I am jealous! Can you bottle that new car smell and send some to me. I swear my SUV smells like a locker room!

    1. We debated between this and the Honda Pilot until I was sick of both of them, lol. Eventually we decided that we liked the driving experience of this one better, and it didn’t look and feel as “trucky”, but we love Hondas and the space inside the Pilot is divine. My husband drives an Accord.

  8. congrats on your new wheels!! 🙂 I have a Chevy Equinox (new to me but not new) and I love it. right now we only have the 2 kids so 3rd row wasn’t a necessity.
    I hope you have fun in your new vehicle! 🙂

  9. Good choice with the XC-90! That was one of our second choices when we bought our CX-9. My mom’s currently buying a new car and has been looking at the 3rd row SUVs, but I think she’s going to go with a minivan instead.

    1. You know what? I almost went out and test drove the cx-9 the day I bought the xc90, lol. I drove one last summer, and I always admire them on the road – they are so pretty. I liked driving it, but at the time didn’t think it was big enough and kind of ruled it out. Then recently I realized that it’s probably the same as the xc90, and I thought it might be worth a second look, but I’d been driving myself CRAZY with this decision, and my husband advised me not to open another can of worms, lol. He knows me well. 😉

      1. I am absolutely in love with our CX-9. It’s actually my husband’s and I’m always glad when he goes out of town and I get to drive it. 😉 For us it was a matter of being able to afford a new CX-9 versus having to get a used XC-90. I read this entry on my blackberry yesterday and couldn’t tell whether you had gotten the mazda, the volvo or maybe the enclave. All very similar.

        Good advice from the husband though- sometimes you just have to make a decision and go with it. 😀

        1. Yep, exactly. We bought an 07 because we went with the xc90 AND b/c we chose the V8 Sport model. We could have done an 08 xc90 with the V6 or an 09 CX-9 Grand Touring for the same price. We decided to go with our hearts and get the one we LOVED, and so far I don’t regret it. But when we have to replace it in 7 years instead of 9 or 10, I might tell you differently. 😉

  10. Well, well. I’m finally getting caught up on blog reading after a busy weekend and week. Looks like you’ve been busy too! Congrats on the {beautiful!!!} new car!

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