Thursday, February 27, 2014

Check Out My Sweet Ride

 Check out that sweet, sweet van.

Sure I can haul the whole sports team.  No problem.

Most of you who know me in real life, you will know that I have been obsessed interested in getting a van for our family for a while now.  With the arrival of Baby #7 in May, we will officially outgrow our Expedition.  If we ever again want the luxury of both parents listening to the simultaneous whining, fighting, and crying of all our children at the same time, we need a vehicle that was big enough to hold us all.

We found the behemoth in Chicago.  While I was content with pretty much any used 15 passenger van, my husband was on a quest to find a "cool" one.  I realize, Dear Reader, that many people profess that "cool" and "passenger van" cannot be accurately used in one sentence.  But I think that those people are wrong.  Actually, I think they are secretly jealous of the coolness possibilities of being able to haul everyone and everything they own at the same time. 

Let's face it.  Some of the coolest people ever have had big vehicles -  Mr. T, Llyod Christmas from Dumb and Dumber, the Partridge Family, whatever character Dom Deluise played in Cannonball Run, and Fred (who is obviously way cooler than Shaggy) to name a few.

Lethal Coolness Exhibit A

Furry Coolness Exhibit B

Giant Singing Family Coolness Exhibit C
Pretending to Save Your Life Coolness Exhibit D

Groovy, Neck Scarf Coolness Exhibit E

Anyway, the van specifics.  Its a 2011 GMC Savanah conversion van.  And shockingly enough, it was a church van.  First - the most unexpected discovery once we arrived in Chicago and saw the van for the first time:

Limo-style party lights.

Let that sink in for a moment.  This church van was retrofitted with party lights.  Did I mention that this van had come from a church in New Jersey?

I'd love to hear that discussion going on at my church.  "I think the Lord wants us to put in some of those sparkly party lights in the church van.  That will give us one sweet ride." Said no Minnesota Lutheran church committee ever.

When I first saw the lights I thought, "Those are so tacky.  I hate them."  Then, after about 5 miles into the test drive I thought, "Those are so tacky.  I love them.  I want them.  I must have them."  I am not sure if I have some hidden Jersey girl in me or maybe it was God talking.  Or maybe I am willing to overlook poor taste for a good joke.

No kids.  You may NOT take the van for prom.

Don't think this van is exactly what I wanted, though.  There is one feature that I am not pleased about.  It comes wired with a TV/DVD player.  Many of you loyal readers were subject to my anti-tv-in-vehicles rant blog post a while back.  I will not bore you with it again. 

I do not intend to turn that stupid TV on for any car trip less than six hours.  I think Ben will cave after two or three hours.

Another notable feature of our new palace on wheels is the that we have kidnapper style handy built-in window shades.  This will help because it will deter anyone who was even considering parking next to the scary white van in the parking lot.  As if we could actually fit into a normal sized parking space.

Ooh.  Creepy.

The only thing scarier than a big white van with curtains is a big white van with curtains and no license plate.  I'm looking forward to getting that on the vehicle.

It feels like our life has graduated into a new level of crazy with the purchase of this passenger van.  Actually, the crazy thing is how joyful I feel about it.  If you had asked me a decade ago if I would be happily carting a truck full of kids around I would have laughed.  But I am so blessed.  I have so many kids to love that I need a super-sized vehicle to haul them around.  Life is good.

And if you are nice to me, maybe I'll let you ride in my sweet, sweet van.  But only in a non felonious way, with your parent's permission.


Molly said...

I think you should consider renting it out to well behaved high school kids for prom!

Jessim said...

What an awesome van! Our 90s conversion van (seats 7, but for a family of 4) had shades like that, so I'd never think of them as kidnapper style :)

I think 3 hours is a good number for the TV (long enough drive for a movie). I'm always baffled when I see kids watching TV going to the supermarket. Really? You can't make it 10 minutes? (Disclosure- said conversion van had a Nintendo in it. We thought it was SO cool. But that 3 hour limit was enforced.)

Jess said...

It's horrible that I am a little jealous. What a pain it's been to put our family of 7 and a Great Dane in our Dodge Sport Caravan and travel! Some day I aspire to a 12 passenger. Until then, we'll squeeze into our van. At least we don't have a car payment...

Jennifer said...

I've been following you since you were on a panel at CHSFS and our son is from the same city as yours. I've wanted to comment a number of times, but it has taken the cool party lights in your van to finally tip me over. Congrats! I normally detest vans, but you sold me on yours!

Kirsten Jill Robbins said...

This. Is. Awesome. I am now singing the Partridge Family theme song and reliving my crush on David Cassidy.