Yes its true. I am now the driver of a mini van. I fought it for years, I refused, and in fact for years before having kids would poke fun at the "mini van mom". No cool points if you drive a mini van. But about a month ago I surrendered. The lease on our sporty Pathfinder came up and it was time to make the switch. With kids a dog and 2 triathletes in the house having 2 cars really wasn't an option. We need something with room and function for all that goes with kids dogs and triathletes. I swear with age comes practicality. I wanted something with better gas mileage, room for all the stuff and no huge car payments, yet I didn't want to drive a gigantic tank like a Tahoe or Suburban. So I said ok to the idea of a mini van knowing I would be the one driving it.
On the first trip with all 4 of us in it the kids are going crazy because they think its the coolest car ever, and Adam and I are looking at each other shaking our heads because we can't believe we are now cruising around in a Nissan Quest. The first few trips around town I sort of drove with my head ducked down in case I saw someone I knew, or pulled a baseball cap on tight with sunglasses. I felt like if I were seen by someone I knew they might put their hand over their mouth and point at me laughing!
But after a few trips in the white moon mobile (this thing has a front windshield like the front of the space shuttle), I realized driving it isn't so bad. When going over a rough bump, it is nice and smooth, and my coffee doesn't go bouncing and spilling all out of my cup everywhere. It is a nice smooth ride, not like off road mountain climbing around town. The kids can get in and out of their seats and buckle their seat belts easier than in the big SUV, and this alone is a huge plus when you're hands are full, and you're in a hurry. The kids' seats in our van has the captain chairs....great for two siblings sitting next to each other as there is more space between them!
Of course the benefits of a mini van for a triathlete are numerous. Number one. The bike. There is so much room in the back you can roll that thing right in. In fact my bike is small enough, you don't even have to take the front wheel off. Plenty of room for both bikes, plus a few people to road trip to races. Plus.....you don't have to lift the bike 12 feet off the ground just to get it in. There is plenty of room for gear bags, swim bags, shoes etc. I could even stretch out before a race, take a nap if needed.
So it might not be the coolest or sportiest, it is very functional. That seems to be the theme of my life right now finding ease and functionality to everything. I did manage to find one of my SURF DIVA stickers from my surfing lessons to stick on the back window to added some coolness to it :)