If you recall, I was fortunate enough to try out the Toyota Sienna and not to be outdone, the awesome folks at Honda sent me a 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite. It was pretty sweet to exchange one for the other, I have to admit ;-)! I did have to keep reminding myself the boys that we weren't keeping one and that my wonderful, paid off, 4Runner was waiting for us to come back to reality!
Again, my expectations were pretty high. Every one that I have spoken to who has purchased a mini-van recently has told me how AWESOME the Odyssey is! So I couldn't wait to check it out myself. After all, I am STILL kicking myself for not purchasing my neighbor's BRAND NEW (okay fine, not BRAND NEW, but a year old souped up) Odyssey when they decided it had been a mistake to buy a mini-van instead of an SUV to haul their new boat. And let me just say for the record - it was gorgeous! But Jeremy and I truly didn't think we needed a mini van until a few weeks after our neighbor traded theirs in, we realized that Evan was getting older and wanted to have friends come places with us. DOH! We can't have any of his friends ride with us due to limited space with booster seats.
But anyway, that was a MAJOR digression. Back to the point of this post - HA: The lovely 2011 Honda Odyssey that I got to take out on the town for the week.
After Evan did a full inspection and realized that it had ALL the necessities on his checklist - DVD player, Wii capabilities, wireless headsets and automatic doors, he was on board (literally and figuratively) with driving the Odyssey for the week ;-)!
Out of the mouth of babes: Evan did inform me that he INDEED like the Odyssey "much better because the headphones fit his head better and he could see out of the window better." Who knew? And man, a 4 year old has some stringent tests for a mini-van! Evan also enjoyed riding in the very back, for reasons I still don't know. But the cool thing was, he was able to get his seat belt fastened all by himself. Which was a FIRST! Now that we are back to riding in our 4Runner, he can't get the belt fastened. So I don't know what the difference is, but if you want your kids to learn to fasten their belts quicker - I guess you need to get yourself the Odyssey - HA! Hey, you parents out there, completely understand the relief when one of your kids becomes more self sufficient in the car. Because having two (or more) in car seats does a number on a mom! Can I get an AMEN?
You know, I now can understand why so many of my friends like the Odyssey. You totally forget you are driving a mini-van. The interior feels and looks just like you are driving a sedan. My neighbor has repeatedly told me that one of the main reasons she purchased the Honda Odyssey was that she felt closed in, secure, hugged, like a individual space ship (yeah, did I mention she has a way with words ;-)) not driving a huge van.
I also had several people stop me and ask me questions about the new Odyssey. Hey, they even got to take a peak inside and my neighbor got to sit in it ;-)! Men! But anyway, the one thing that everyone commented on was how much they liked the new "lower" profile. I even had one man, ask me what kind of Honda I was driving and when I said it was the new Odyssey he was shocked that it didn't really look like a mini-van.
Here are a few other things that stood out to me during the week:
The Odyssey has a function light on the side mirrors that tells you when there is a car in your blind spot (Blind Spot Information System (BSI)). This is an AWESOME feature. Not that I didn't turn my head to look myself, but when in doubt, there were a few times that that light came in handy. And it does give you a little bit more security having a "extra set of eyes" keeping track of that for you!
I'm not one for reading the owner's manual - those of you that know me are completely shocked right now, right? Figuring out the speaker situation was very easy! When we plugged in the Wii, after a couple of buttons pushed, the boys were happy to have the Mario over the loud speaker and not just in their headsets. Why in the world, would I want to hear such a thing? Well, when your *cough husband aka 3rd kid cough* wants to try out the Wii, but there are only 2 headsets and Carter couldn't hear what was going on, I was easily able to flip the sound from the headsets to the main speaker and Carter once again, thought he was actually playing along with Jeremy and Evan. Hey, it's the little things... The one bad thing that I didn't like was that the Wii set up was in the very back of the van, so Evan couldn't change out the games when I was driving. Not that big of a deal - maybe that's why he insisted on sitting in the very back. Not that he attempted to get out of his seat to check out the Wii setup. But no doubt, if we would have had the van long enough, he probably would have.
I did LOVE the easy folding back seats for transporting cakes in the Odyssey also. It sure was nice to place cakes in the back and not have to worry about them sliding around. I kept the left side seats down the whole week just so I could have that little cubby there to hold items that I didn't want to have in the front seat! That feature is awesome! Again, it's just the little things, right?
Jeremy and I had a date night and I think he even said, I wouldn't mind driving this around - HA! Men and their egos. But I have to agree, since it didn't feel like we were driving a mini-van, and I could get in and out of it without hiking my dress up, I guess we could pretend to still be hawt youngsters hitting the town for the evening.
Thank you Honda for your generosity! It was a GREAT week and my joints, muscles and stress levels thank you (man, it sure was nice to have the boys a little more self sufficient)!