15 Things to Love About Minivans: Part One

It's Not The Destination, But The Adventure That Counts

15 Things to Love About Minivans: Part One

15 Things to Love About Minivans: Part One

An hour before we were set to leave for our family vacation I nearly POISONED my husband and myself. Yes that’s right, apparently I’m some kind of black widow. It turns out we had an adverse reaction to a vitamin. The result was a bright red flush from head to toe. It wasn’t serious, but boy was my face red — from the initial panic, the reaction itself, and from overall embarrassment.

At least our red complexions matched our new ride. We had a swanky red Dodge Grand Caravan to test drive on our family road trip. This helped to smooth over our rather bumpy start. I only wish I had thought to take a photo of us with our glowing faces. That definitely would have gotten all kinds of pins. Luckily through the magic of Photoshop, I think I was able to ‘realistically’ recreate it for you. 

We are already proud key-carrying minivan owners, but our van is a base model. No bells or whistles. Just a horn. This Grand Caravan, however, was fully loaded with every convenience you can think of…including all the latest tech. Be still my nerdy heart.

With a three-hour trek ahead, we buckled in and hit the road (once the flushing had subsided a little. Seriously, who else does this stuff happen to?). Our destination was a resort in Ontario Cottage Country called Clevelands House. Our excited seven-year-old said she couldn’t wait to meet “Cleveland” and sleep over at his house…so it was only a matter of time before the “are we there yets?” began.

The thing is, they never came. The kids were so immersed in the journey, they didn’t focus on the destination. This made for a peaceful (and productive) ride for all. 

Over the next three posts, I’m going to share some of the positive aspects and happy moments that go along with packing the family into a minivan. I hope you'll come along for the ride.

1. Head room

My husband claims he doesn't have an abnormally large head and that it's an illusion resulting from his fluffy hair. Whatever. The fact is that his head hits the ceiling in his sedan. This is why his maxi-head benefits from the ample space in a minivan. I would say the same about legroom and I wanted to post a picture of his thighs, but he wouldn't let me. Party pooper.

2. Enjoying the bird's eye view

This might sound like we rode on top of the minivan looking down, but I assure you we were all safely inside the vehicle. My son is an avid birder and he brought along his bird encyclopedia to identify the birds we spotted along the way. The Grand Caravan has extra large windows and even windows in the second row that can be rolled down, perfect for birding, or so I'm told. Once spotted, he would tell us facts about the bird and play its call for us on the iPhone. Yes, the Thornburys are birdbrains.

3. Support

To be fair, since I poked fun at my dear husband I should admit that my family makes fun of the portable back support seat I use in our van. I'm a senior citizen. I panicked when I realized I didn't bring it with us on our trip. I was pleasantly surprised however to find that my back didn't hurt at all after a full day of driving. This either means A) my core is rock solid and I've cured myself by doing absolutely nothing or B) the lumbar support in this van is excellent. Wouldn't it be awesome if the answer were A?

4. Back it up

If you've ever seen me attempt to park or God forbid, reverse, you'll understand why I fell in love with the ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera in this van. I actually drove slowly down our street backwards to test it out. I felt like a "stunt driver." Well, except I was doing under 5 mph. Also, Rear cross-Path Detection is activated when the van is in reverse. So if an object like a child, bike or, dog approaches from either side an audible alarm will sound. I'm a safe driver, but an extra set of "eyes" is a bonus

5. Pack Rat

I admit it, I bring a lot of stuff with me when I travel. Books and magazines and water bottles and notebooks and gum and snacks and too many other things too numerous to mention. Seems I'm a travel hoarder — soon to be made into a reality show. Having all kinds of compartments and holders and netted sections helps keep everything organized and tidy. We travel hoarders appreciate that

In my next post I share more positive perks of travelling by minivan including what NOT to listen to on satellite radio with kids present.

Back to school chaos, car pool etiquette, what to love about minivans...
Find these stories and more on YMC's ‘Tales From the Minivan’ page.