We Bought a Van

>> Friday, May 29, 2015

I thought I’d give an update on our one-car household situation because I haven’t written about it in a while. We had a lot of great intentions to make it work in the long run (or at least longish), but somewhere in those negative 30 degree windchill days and brutal (I’m not being dramatic -- it was a bad year) winter snowstorms, we had to give in. My in-laws were incredibly generous to let us borrow one of their spare vehicles for a couple months while we figured out what to do next.

Truth is, we don’t need two cars most days. Certainly not during the summer with Stephen off from work. Freelancing allows me to work in my living room while Ada’s at preschool half a mile down the street (and I walk or jog her there whenever it’s over 20 degrees F and not storming). At the same time, we’ve discovered through our little experiment that going with just one car in our particular area is difficult. I could list all the reasons, but we basically live in suburbs -- not particularly pedestrian friendly ones either.

Yes, we could probably swing it with a lot of creative scheduling. Or me somehow driving Stephen to/from work (ripping Ada out of bed from sleep and nap -- ugh!). . . . but with doctor appointments, preschool five days next year, no reliable public transportation to Stephen’s job, and deep freeze almost half the year, we decided to get serious about finding a reliable other car. (I definitely have mixed feelings about this, can you tell?)

Basically, we spent months researching, saving, and examining all the options and decided yesterday on a new (to us!) Kia van . . . yes, a van. We tried a few other vehicles, but for the price, the van had the best feel and seemed to offer the most flexibility. We’ll be picking it up on Monday, and we’re going to have a blast with all that space and towing power.

We can take it camping!
We can fit lumber in it!
And haul huge pieces of furniture!
And bikes, strollers, other kid gear!
We won’t have to hunch over to fasten the car seat!

I’ll continue to walk Ada to preschool when the weather is nice. We’ll still try driving less in general to save money on gas and keep our eco footprint as small as possible. None of that has changed. But buying a van feels like this huge milestone. The kind few of us want to be proud of, but it definitely feels like a rite of passage.

After we signed, both our sets of parents puffed up and happily shared their first van-buying experiences. Strangely enough, they both had purchased vans in the exact same color. Weird! Hopefully we’ll be needing the extra space sometime in the near future. In the meantime, we’re excited for all the adventures we’ll take with a little more room to stretch our legs.

Who else out there has a van? What’s your favorite part about it?

PS: File this post under things I never thought I’d write.

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