Morgan and I took another road trip this weekend, this time to Portland, Oregon. His dad lives up there, so we went up for a visit, and to bring back his car, which he can no longer drive. The trip, for anyone who has never done it, is about 640 miles, and takes about ten hours. We left at 1pm on Friday, spent Saturday running around Portland (and Salem, which is about an hour south of Portland), and drove back home on Sunday.
The trip back was much more challenging than the trip up (well, it was for me) since we were driving two cars, meaning I actually had to drive. I'm not a car person; I know some people find long drives meditative, but I'm not one of them. Especially since we had somewhat heavy rain and wind for the first couple hours, followed by winding mountain roads, followed by the sheer tedium of I-5 south of Shasta. Followed, of course, by typical Bay Area traffic jams. I was trying to think about the longest drive I had previously done solo, and it was probably a round trip or two to Davis when Jill was in school. So, maybe three hours tops? This was much longer, and for most of it, I was driving the new-to-us car.
I am very grateful for the car; Morgan and I have been discussing whether or not to replace my Subaru Forester when the froglet arrives. I love it, but its a quirky car, with its own set of noises, lurches, and smells. The smells were what were making us consider getting rid of it; it has a fun habit of suddenly filling the cabin with exhaust smells, which seems not very healthy for a baby. But ultimately, we decided we couldn't afford it, so we would just hold onto it for the time being. So essentially being handed a new car is a wonderful gift.
The problem is, I think this particular car (a 2004 Chevy Impala) is kind of a Big Guy Car. Even with the seat set close enough for me to reach the pedals, I have to lean forward to adjust the volume on the stereo, and I have to actually pick my foot up off the floor to switch from the gas to the brake. Needless to say, by the time we reached home, I was a little achey. But the car will be perfect for having in town and for transporting the baby around in (much bigger backseat - there will room for the bug and Pace at the same time). And for any longer trips, Morgan prefers to drive anyway, so I am happy to surrender the keys to him.
Anyway, ten hours is a long time to contemplate the inanity of motorhome names (they should never include "lite" - seriously), the nature of bad drivers (if your Blazer is so filled up with crap that you can't see the line of cars building up behind you, you shouldn't be in the fast lane), and the ridiculousness of a vehicle so large it needs vertical blinds (we passed it three times, due to bathroom breaks). However, driving up and down SE 82nd Avenue in Portland a dozen times or so, past car dealerships galore, did expose me to this; I totally want one now. The Impala has a V6; do you think that's big enough to haul it?