The Best Vehicle for Your Family Road Trip
Or, A Thank You To My Husband's Truck
I still remember the first day my husband came home with his truck, a maroon Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4X4. He called me giddy and said, "look outside." So, I parted the shades and there he was riding past our window in a big red monstrous thing. I can't believe he got a truck. I can't believe he got a truck. Those were my first thoughts. And, for a while those thoughts didn't change. They just blared louder and louder.
I wish I could say my disgust was due to a form of idealism, a rage against high gas emissions. But no, it was the truck and everything I thought that truck stood for. As a Southern brown-skinned girl, I equated a truck with every backwards truck stereotype I could think of: hillbilly, country, honky tonk, ignorant, racist machine on wheels! Seriously! I didn't want to drive in one or be seen near one. There was no way I could be affiliated with...a Chevy. That truck was definitely my husband's truck.
And, for the first few months, I didn't know who I was living with because of it. My husband brought home a truck. What's he gonna buy next, a confederate flag and a box of belt buckles? Yes, my mind was really going there. This was change and I was afraid. I didn't want any part of it. No matter how many times Matt repeated, "trust me, a truck is a great family vehicle, every family needs a truck," I just couldn't hear. Each time I walked out of our townhouse and rounded the corner to the parking lot, I'd get mad all over again, seeing that truck sitting there staring back at me. It's tongue sticking out taunting, "I'm gonna win, I'm gonna win."
Finally, I took a drive in the truck. Mainly to appease my husband but truthfully to strengthen my argument of why trucks are the worst. Matt was gleaming that day and I made sure to huff and puff so he knew I was not happy. He sat in the driver's side, waiting for me, chatting about the truck's specs. After I hoisted myself up and got in, I relaxed into the seat. It was so damn comfortable. And, the space. Oh my goodness, for someone like me who loves their space and has a tendency to feel claustrophobic in small spaces, the interior felt like the living room for vehicles. It was lovely. I felt like I was riding in my very own spaceship.
Matt smiled and looked over. "Well, what d'ya think?" he asked.
I tidied my face. "It's roomy." I responded curtly.
And, that's how my hate slowly began to crumble. With each new ride, each new experience in the truck. Because seriously, how could I not fall in love? The spaciousness is what every family dreams to have on the road. I'm not just talking about the interior. With a tonneau cover for your truck bed, you have infinite storage capabilities for strollers, camping gear, beach gear, suitcases, and road trip necessities. Can you think of one vehicle that has more storage capacity that a truck bed. Nope. Exactly. Storing bulky items in the truck bed also opens up even more space inside for lounging (because yes, that's what it feels like inside the truck). For comparison, when we would take rides as a family in my Honda CR-V crossover, I felt squeezed and cramped. And, definitely didn't want to go anywhere far!
And boy, did our truck take us far. From coast to coast and back again. We saw the American landscape in this vehicle and I truly don't think any other vehicle could have done the job for us. On our way to California, we had to drive through the Rocky Mountains the day after a snowstorm. The night before Matt studied the owner's manual to prepare and we used multiple driving modes with varying degrees of traction to safely get us across and through the mountainous terrain. Along our cross country trip, our truck steered us through thunderstorms, snowstorms, and sandstorms. We drove on paved roads, gravel roads and dirt roads. Never once did I question, will our truck make it? Can our truck maneuver this turn? Is our truck capable of this off-road track?
I felt safe in this vehicle trekking across the United States. Finally I was happy to be associated with the positive truck stereotypes. Like here's a capable get-your-hands-dirty-if-needed family, don't mess with them!
Pictured Below: an assortment of pictures from our family travels with our Chevrolet Silverado
from left to right (1) Sedona, Arizona (2) New Orleans, LA (3) Santa Monica Pier (4) Rocky Mountains (5) Grand Canyon (6) San Diego, CA
Of course, one person can't drive the entirety of a cross-country trip so yes, me, brown-skinned curly-haired skeptic me, learned to drive the behemoth that was our truck. And, something very funny. I became really comfortable driving it. I enjoyed sitting so high up above most other vehicles on the road. The size gave me a great confidence driving on the highway. Most people are going to give a large truck some leeway. And, I already mentioned before, it was a comfy ride.
The turns took some getting used to and the parking is still a work in progress. A few fast food drive-thrus take a few tries (and a lot of patience). I will admit I've taken out a couple of orange cones in our neighborhood Chick-fil-A drive thru.
But, the cone causalities are minuscule to the value our truck has brought to our family. As a family in love with road trippin', we couldn't imagine a better vehicle for our #longdriveswithkids. And, would you imagine that I felt real grief for not getting to say goodbye to our truck.
See, my husband planned an elaborate surprise that involved an Airstream trailer and the suprise came with a truck upgrade with better towing capabilities. Was I thrilled to own an Airstream and have the opportunity to renovate and travel the country with our new ride. Yes! But, was I simultaneously very sad without the opportunity to say goodbye to my once nemesis and forever road companion. Absolutely.
This post is a thank you to our first truck, our Big Red. Whoever out there in the world has her, know she's a special one. Goodbye, friend! Hope to see you on the road!
How about you? What vehicle does your family use for family road trips and family travel? Leave a comment below and let me know.
If you're like I used to be and you already have trucks pegged as not for you, I would urge you to reconsider and give them a try. Go to your local Chevy dealership and just take a free test drive.
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