In the end, I wasn’t really sad to see our Volkswagen Routan go. And I didn’t really even get to say goodbye, because when Ryan left to go to the Dodge dealership Thursday night, we both thought he was just going to look, and maybe formulate a plan that we would put into action on Friday or Saturday. But he came home with a new van instead, and I realized that I would never lay eyes on that VW again.
Other than the issues we’ve had with it in the last year or so, and the horrid customer service we received from our local VW dealer, as well as the corporate office, in the last week, it wasn’t a bad van. And we made some good memories in it. Unlike my usual “top five” lists, today I’m going with my three favorite Volkswagen memories:
- Bringing Chickadee home–We had already had the van for over two years at that point, but my first really special memory of it is the day we brought Chickadee home from the hospital in March 2012. We’d brought babies home in different vehicles four times before, but it never gets old, and it was so exciting, from the moment I installed the car seat in anticipation of her birth. And nothing is like the experience of leaving the hospital with a tiny baby, getting all settled in the car, and heading on the journey toward home. We were even rewarded with what looked like an early smile!
- Cake hunting–In 2014, we drove all over the St. Louis metro area (and beyond!), determined to hunt down all 250+ fiberglass birthday cakes celebrating the 250th birthday of the city. I was skeptical when Ryan suggested we attempt to find them all, but it soon turned into a whole family obsession, and in the end, we were successful…and made it to some other fun STL250 events in the process. I only wish we had kept track of how many miles we drove during our big search!
- Our first family vacation–July 2015 marked the first time we really took a family vacation, as well as the first time any of us (other than Ryan), saw the ocean. That drive wasn’t without peril (we had to have our brakes replaced in Charleston, SC, after a harrowing drive through the Appalachian mountains, and the air conditioning quit on us, as well), and I was so relieved when we finally made it home, but we made a lot of fun family memories during the course of that week.
Of course, there have been so many other memories that we made in that old van. Trips into St. Louis to visit favorite places like Ted Drewes, Forest Park, Seamus McDaniel’s, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Countless school field trips, including an extended day trip to Louisville, KY, to tour the Louisville Slugger factory and museum. Countless trips to church and the grocery store and Target. Special memories, daily life stuff…that old van saw it all. So, even with the trouble we had with it, I will miss it…but I also can’t wait to see what kind of new memories we make in our new van (spoiler alert: I imagine some of our children will learn to drive it eventually!)!