3.26.2007

2007 Odyssey. One baby, a Four Year Old, Three Adults and an Eight Hour Road Trip.

This morning our oldest staggered into our room at 7:30am and asked "How did it get to be morning so quickly?" How indeed.

This weekend we hooked up with our old friend, Jen (and her delicious minivan) and embarked on an 8 hour trek to celebrate our friend Jill's 40th and her PhD graduation. Old friends descended on St. Louis from Michigan, California, Oregon, North Carolina, Tennessee, fricking everywhere, just so we could be there for her and although I feel like the walking dead today, it was well worth it. I think I'm still hungover though. And yes. there is nothing that says "responsible adult" better than getting trashed on Saturday night because you've got a babysitter at the hotel, godamnit, and who has time to eat anyway with all these old friends to catch up with??! Yes. yesterday's looooong journey back with an infant and a bored 4 year old in the back of the van--it was delightful. And completely self-inflicted, so I could not even play the sympathy vote. We rolled back into town at 10pm. Exhausted.

And let me tell anyone who turns up their nose at the minivan concept has not travelled for 8 hours in the beauteousness that is a Honda Odyssey. I've never been shy about declaring my love and wont for a minivan (we're a Toyota Matrix family right now) but this was the clincher. I could wander up and down between the two boys imparting pacifiers, new DVDs, and corporeal punishment at my complete leisure. Aside from reconnecting with old friends and the balmy 75 degree weather, that fricking minivan was the highlight of my trip. Serious. And actually, I was pretty lucky in my delicate state yesterday, as my boys were both rather angelic for the whole trip. (Well, apart from Friday night at the hotel, when Big Boy reenacted The Exorcist for us by hurling all over the room. Poor wee thing). I attribute this exemplary behaviour completely to the van experience. No doubt about it. That and the "Spare Adult." We decided as a group that the Spare Adult was something that no family should do without. I'd even consider going Mormon--at least for vacations.

(p.s. this was meant to be a deep and meaningful post about the value of long-term friendship, and blah blah blah, but I am too knackered. For now I will mark this experience by fetishizing the minivan. For now.)

(p.p.s. I am hopping on a plane for The Conference this Thursday to meet old and new friends. At this very moment, the very thought makes me want to curl up in the fetal position. But I put that down to the rotgut and bad living. If I am quiet or absent from your place for a while, just picture me feverishly pulling together a powerpoint slideshow with lots of animation and sound effects;-)

25 comments:

Mimi said...

It seems perfectly reasonable to be thrown over for AV. ;-) Good luck!

And what an exciting weekend! The drinking always seems like a good idea, until I have a hangover and Miss Baby does not. But I suppose in a minivan I might simply put her in the farthest back seat, non?

We're a Toyota Echo family. Whatever we need, anyone can reach. Teehee.

slouching mom said...

Hah! We went car shopping this weekend. I refuse to do the minivan thing, no matter how comfortable. It's the look of it. To me it says, "I've given up, and everything is now about the children." (Which it is, but still.)

We looked at the Subaru Forester and the Toyota Rav. The Forester seems to be in the offing...

Have a great time conferencing!

Mimi said...

pursuant to your comment chez moi ... new wave party at my house! and you're invited! be sure to wear your hair in an asymmetrical style, and your eyeliner halfway out to your temples. we'll get drunk and I'll tell you all about the gary numan concert i went to :-)

mamatulip said...

I felt like my soul had been crushed when we bought our van. It was just so...BIG. And automatic. And boxy. And...a van.

Good goddamn, do I love that fucking van. I wish it were standard, but beggars can't be choosers. I could sleep in that van if I wanted to, probably more comfortably than I do in my own bed sometimes.

Anyway, yeah, I hear ya. My van's no Odyessy, but it's pretty fuckin' cool.

Sarah said...

My IL's are moving 9 hours north to the middle of no where. Literally, middle of no where. 9 hrs one way ...we will be attempting this disaster this summer with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. My husband is morally opposed to the mini van, but mainly because he feels like a big geeky dad who has given up any attempt at 'cool dude'.

What you have described and what I have experienced gives me a not so nice feeling of mini van lust...which thus makes me feel like I have given up any attempt at fighting my future life as a soccer mom. 9 hours one way...that will bring any person to their knees begging for a hot ass mini van with all the bells and whistles.

toyfoto said...

Yeah, minivan. My husband refused to go there, but we needed something for dogs, kid, luggage, sanity. So we got an Element. Not quite the same, as it only seats four, but still pretty good.

Pendullum said...

Don't hate me...
But we are...
Are you ready for this???
We are ...
We are carless...
We have found no need for it...
And we have set ourselves free..
Only rent one in a blue moon...Literally...we rented our last car three months ago for a weekend...

Oh, The Joys said...

I have minivan envy.

Elizabeth said...

I got an English lesson reading this post. You wrote "corporeal" punishment, which I thought was wrong, and that you meant "Corporal" punishment. Then I looked both words up, and they both mean "of the body", so I suppose either would be correct. Thanks for giving my brain a little workout there, Joy!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I swore I'd never own a minivan (right after I swore I'd never have kids); but now we have a Nissan Quest and I LOVE it---I love being able to crawl inside it on a cold day and buckle the three kiddos up without standing out in the cold. We even have sun roofs all over the top of the car! I also like having two out of three in the 'way back' when they start singing at the top of their lungs.

Mary G said...

I had a Honda van and loved it -- so did Elder Daughter when her kid was very tiny -- we did trips to see the great grands and we could just pull off the road and she could nurse in comfort. Oh, for Slouchingmum -- Forester is a great car.
I now have a Jeep and if I did not have one I could not navigate our roads at this time of year.
How did I get into rating cars -- sorry.
Looking forward to the good friends post.

Mad Hatter said...

I HAVE GOT to get me a spare adult. I hear it is the latest rage.

ozma said...

Yay for you and your friend staying so close all this time. This is not easy for academics with all the moving around and whatnot.

Car and I were recently totaled. Depending on our poverty level, minivan may be our destiny.

Minivan!

I never thought I'd go there. Like my recent plan to move to Slumville in spite of the horrific schools and my ridicule of friends who live in Goodschoolville because of its white-i-tude I am coming to see that the suburbs could be my destiny.

Oops. I'm off topic. There's a Honda odyssey website:

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=d00d03c80e68666d0f6999c5ff383762&forumid=52

ozma said...

Doh! I meant something dorkier than a website. A FANSITE.

www.odyclub.com

I don't know why I found this so funny.

Good luck at the conference!

Her Bad Mother said...

I would love a minivan. A black one. With racing stripes.

And, WOO HOO Kentucky!

Will you be weirded out if I smother you with big slobbery kisses when I get there?

sweatpantsmom said...

Minivans rock. And I don't care how geeky I sound saying it.

The room! The skylights front to back (we have a Quest)! The DVD player (which I turned up my nose at, at first.) My husband and I can actually have a conversation on long car trips, now.

flutter said...

oh have a wonderful time

Tere said...

I'm not ready for a minivan and am still vehemently opposed to one. A small SUV (Forester, Xterra) is the most anyone can hope from me.

But, my sister is on her second Odyssey (Honda, not like Ulysses) and absolutely loves it. LOVES IT. It's like a perfect, compact traveling home.

BlogWhore said...

i'm so jealous.

p.s. i've got a new url.

MamaLee said...

LOL

I had a Honda Odyssey for 2 years - it was AWESOME! the only reason why we sold it and bought a Toyota Sienna was because it came in all-wheel drive, and the Honda didn't (we have to have 4 wheel drive where we live).

Yay Minivans!

Jenny said...

I try to convince myself that my Saturn SUV is a minivan but deep down I know the truth.

Sigh.

Gunfighter said...

Glad you had a good time, Joy.

In our house we, too, know the glory of the minivan. We don't have one, but we certainly take one of vacation every year.

Gunfighter

Virtualsprite said...

Oh, I totally agree with your fetishizing of the minivan. I want one so bad!!!

And here I swore I'd never be that soccer mom... oops.

Life As I Know It said...

I know, I know, everyone who says they'd never drive a minivan, loves them once they have kids.

But seriously, I will not become one of those. I will not. I will not. I will not.

Nice post too.

Mrs. Davis said...

I got a 2007 Odyssey a few months ago and it is DA BOMB! Seriously, it's like a giant womb -- I can see why moms love minivans.