I have a sassy little Toyota Solara that I absolutely adore. I wanted this car as soon as Toyota came out with them and waited until June of 2006 to get one. It's an '07 model so it was hot off the assembly line with single-digit miles when we signed the paperwork and drove it home. I love this car and I don't want to give it up but it's like this. We've had a good 4 year run together. We've gone a lot of places, seen a lot of faces, and the ol' girl now has nearly 70,000 miles on her.
More importantly, Theo is at the tail end of needing to be hauled around in his infant carrier for a couple of reasons. 1: He's big enough to sit in a high chair now (and will be sitting up independently enough for a shopping cart very soon). 2: It weighs somewhere close to one ton with him in it.
Soo, that means I no longer will be able to just reach into the backseat and click to release the entire infant carrier from the base. I will have to crawl into the backseat, sit in the middle, unfasten him, get him out, hold him, stand up, lean over, and try my best to get myself and him out without bumping anyone's head on the doorframe on the way. That's a bad scene. I can already see my foot getting stuck on the seat belt or the floor mat and go flying face first out the car door onto the pavement with baby in tow. Now we're talking about a safety hazard, people!
A not-so-random sidenote is that 3 weeks ago some jerk backed into my car while we were at Theo's 6 month doctor's appointment. Naturally, they forgot to leave a note with their contact information or insurance information. There are some pretty deep scratches on my bumper around the driver side headlight). I got an estimate and it's going to cost $540-something to repair the damage, which means nothing except that it's more than my $300 deductible.
So one night last week, we went by the Toyota dealership because I'd seen a couple of cars on their used lot that I wanted to look at. I also wanted a straight answer from a salesman (is that an oxymoron?) about whether it would be worth it to get my car fixed. You KNOW they can get it fixed cheaper than I can. While we were there (he said not to bother getting it fixed, by the way), I was looking at the crossover SUVs and wasn't in love with any of them. He mentioned a minivan and I immediately turned up my nose.
Then he showed me one. Then I drove a Toyota Sienna. It really does feel like driving a car. It didn't feel like driving a boat and I loved having so much interior space. The sliding doors are great for tight parking spots and friends/kids/kids' friends that fling doors open with reckless abandon. I picture myself having no trouble at all unloading little children from the wide doors and up-high captain's seats. That would be nice.
Saturday we drove by a Nissan used lot to see if they had any Muranos, because I think they are cute and I had not had the chance to get inside of one yet to check out the space. I test drove a black one with dark gray leather interior. Oh, this baby fit like a glove. It was comfy, it felt cool, and I felt good driving it. I felt happy and proud.
Wish me luck!