March 5, 2014

Hit the Road

The air is cold and crisp.  
 Snow is in the forecast
 What else is there to do but pack a bag
 and hit the road for a weekend trip in the happy van?
It was quite an adjustment trading in our Suburban for a 15 passenger fan.  Now that we are settled into our Filmore he's not just our friend but the vehicle to happy family moments and long journeys together.  I kind of forgot I showed you the before white van photos but I never did get around to posting the after photos.  The girls asked Allen if they could make this plain white van over into something more suited to our family's personality.  He gave them a budget and they went to work.
Their initial instinct was to embrace the van idea and try for a Filmore look.  Or even The Mystery Machine idea.  We are huge fans of the Muppets so they decided to work a little bit of the Electric Mayhem in there, too.  It took them a lot of weekends but I think it came out fabulous.  In addition to the aesthetics of this makeover,  there is a practical side.  For the first time in my life I can actually find my vehicle every time I am in a public parking lot.
We've had multiple road trips in our "Hippy Van".  The kids love to watch people as they stare and smile and point.  It is not uncommon for people to whip out their i Phones and start taking pictures.
When we were in Detroit we were in the parking lot of the Henry Ford when two little girls, not unlike Elisabeth and Carmella, starting shouting and jumping up and down across the parking lot.  "LOOK MOMMY!"  They shouted.  We couldn't help but look to see what they were so excited about.  It was our van.  Yeah, they were throwing all caution to the wind as they attempted to drag their mother across the busy parking lot to our vehicle.  
The girls said they felt like they had reached their goal where the van decorating committee was concerned because we don't just drive around running errands, we make people smile. And if, in your ordinary run of the mill life, you can make someone else smile, then life is good, don't you think?
While we were traveling over the weekend, Allen parked the van and ran into the rental office as the kids and I headed into a nearby shop.  A man stopped us smiling and excited and asked, "What is that all over your van?"  I explained about the van and how the kids had the decals made and applied them.  I told him about the custom license plates and bumper stickers that display our family passions.  He smiled and said, "They did a real good job."
I guess they must have.  As we entered the chocolate store the lady behind the counter asked if that was our van.  We said it was.  She said it made her smile to look at it.  I told her we had done our job for the day then.  She gave us a discount, "because of the happy van," she said.
As we were heading home at the end of the weekend the Realtor asked Allen if we'd had a good time.  He told her we had.  She replied, "How can you not in that van?"  Good question, indeed.


  1. I can't decide which is cuter, your van or Henry!

    Thanks for your comment on DSNM. I added this blog.