Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Tale of our Minivan

It all started when I noticed that Ryan was spending hours online looking at minivans.  My husband is not exactly one to take tons of initiative in researching things, particularly something as matronly as a minivan, so I knew that he must be seriously tired of squeezing his skinny bum between the kids' carseats on road trips.  (See photo here.)

Recognizing that this was my chance to get the car of my dreams, I jumped in and helped with the research.  We recruited the advice of knowledgable friends who have sold used cars, we checked the listings every day, we contacted people and haggled prices...lots of invested time, lots of back-and-forth...and then, one night, we saw it come up on Craigslist: a beautiful 2012 Honda Odyssey in Bountiful, Utah--with an amazing price and all the features we wanted!  Bingo!

The next morning, I called the seller, asked for more details, and told him I would be on the road in an hour.  I dropped my kids at a friend's house, rented a car, and headed to Utah.  It was all rather a whirlwind, and while I was making the long drive, I thought, "This van better be as good as it looks online!"

Well, it was.  It is.  It's amazing.  And now it's ours!  Never has a man been happier to own a minivan!

Of course nothing can be as easy as seeing a listing, getting in your car the next morning, and driving to get a perfect and perfectly priced minivan.  Oh no, not in Rachel Nielson's world.

It's possible that as I was driving the minivan home, in the death-stretch between Snowville, UT and Burley, ID, I ran out of gas on the highway, at 10:30 pm, in the pitch black nothingness, in the middle of nowhere.

Who does that???

I called roadside assistance, and they contacted a service station in Snowville, and a friendly old man came and brought me some gas.  He asked me how many miles the van gets to the gallon, and I said, "Um, well, I'm not really sure.  I literally bought it two hours ago."

Hahahahaha!  I am a ridiculous human being!!!!  But in my defense, I wasn't expecting to buy a car with an empty gas tank, and I didn't know that the "gas empty" meter or whatever it's called would be a TINY little light on the bottom right of the dashboard.  Sheesh!  (Okay, and I'm a moron.  I will freely admit that, but COME ON.)

To make the story even better, two days after getting our new beauty home, an old lady backed into me at the post office and dented the driver door.  Ding #1 taken care of!  I guess that's why it's best to buy cars used--particularly when you're Rachel Nielson.

The good news is, we love it.  So much room, so easy to drive, so many convenient features.  Noah was so excited about it when we first got it that he literally told everyone about his "new minivan with magic doors that open by themselves!"  He also woke his baby sister up that first morning by climbing into her crib and whispering, "Sister, sister!  Wake up!  I have to show you our new minivan!"  Normally I would freak out about him waking the baby, but when I heard him over the monitor telling her about the van, how could I be mad?  We were all just giddy about the new addition to our family.  You'd think we had won a Porsche by how we were acting.

So we are a minivan family now and couldn't be happier about it.  Best purchase we've made in our ten years of marriage--and with some stories to tell about it as well.


  1. I LOVE minivans...sadly, we are outgrowing them and will be driving something gigantic soon. I don't know why there is a stigma against minivans, they are the greatest. Congrats on the new addition.

  2. Oh, my goodness!! Thank goodness for roadside service! That sounds scary.
    I love our minivan. They get such a bad rap. Congrats on yours!!

  3. I am hoping to downsize to a minivan someday. :) Mark and I had a great vacation at the cabin with Sally and Gordon.

  4. Love this post! Thank goodness for roadside assistance. It's too bad they didn't mention how little gas there was left.

  5. I know that stretch all too well! I also dream of a mini van but I must admit I'm afraid of the damage I will cause a bigger car. Love this post!

  6. It's certainly nice to know that someone has helped you get gas for your van when you ran out of it in a highway. I think that's a perfect compliment to what is essentially a great van you have scored. Just make sure it continues to remain in good shape, as gas service shouldn't be a problem, wherever you may go or be with that fine vehicle. Thanks for sharing that! Take care always!

    Abraham Yates @ Apache Oil Company

  7. I sold my parents' suburban for them when Kevin and I were first married. I lowered the price a bit more than should have, but I felt better about it when I realized the gas tank was empty. Kind of like raising the price $100!
    On the other hand, I'm sorry you ran out of gas....

  8. Congratulations for owning a new minivan, Rachel! I'm sure the whole family would enjoy going on road trips with it. Having a big car is very comfortable, specially when you plan to go on long drives, and when you have a big family. I'm glad that you're all happy with it. Have a great day! :)

    Diana Hayes @ Baldwin Subaru


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