Thursday, May 5, 2011

we enjoy the ride in a chevy traverse...

there is nothing i like more when the kids have a break from school than to visit family. i hate that our kids' time with extended family is so limited because of distance.

if there is one thing i do not look forward to every time we travel it is the amount of time we have to spend in the car.

thankfully this was not the case for this year's spring break, thanks to chevrolet. as part of their "our town, our heroes" program, we were given the use of the traverse for the week.

the traverse has many features that make it truly a delight to drive. our eight-hour trip to tennessee gave us the opportunity to take advantage of just about all of them.

this crossover vehicle is great because it has more style than a minivan, but it is still able to seat 7 or 8 people depending on the model. the kids felt like they had more leg and head room than they do in the van. everyone was seated very comfortably for the trip.

when we left early on monday morning, we were surprised to discover snow on the ground. i quickly turned on the heaters that are built right into the seats to stay warm with my shorts on. i appreciated how quickly the traverse heated up in back as well. our van takes a lot longer to heat up, which means i have to listen to a lot more complaining usually!

as we made our way south, the outside temperature rose. soon i was ready to change the setting for our seats' temperature to "cool." i don't like to have cold air blasting in my face, but i don't like to feel hot. i was able to set the temperature of my seat to a nice temperature that cooled me off without making me feel cold.

bill and i also appreciated being able to set different temperatures for ourselves since he is usually hot when i am cold and he is cold when i am hot. we each regulated the temperature exactly how we like it, and even set a third temperature for the kids in back.

one way to cut the tedium when traveling on a long trip is to watch a movie. in the past we have struggled with how to enable everyone to see the movie screen from wherever they are sitting. with the installed dvd player, everyone could clearly see the screen. wireless headphones enabled everyone to hear the movie even when lilianna started fussing.

when the movie was done we enjoyed listening to the wide variety of stations on the satellite radio. when the kids complained, i plugged my ipod right into the sound system so they could pick what they wanted to listen to. i was glad not to have to pack our full selection of cds and audiobooks. i had everyone's favorites readily on hand when temper tantrums started brewing.

we were well on our way when we realized that we forgot to bring our gps with us. rather than panicking, we just pushed the onstar button and asked to for directions to be sent to our vehicle. the operators were so nice and very helpful. within mere minutes, step-by-step directions were sent directly to our vehicle.

the gas tank for this vehicle must be very large because we didn't need to stop for gas nearly as often as we do with our van. this helped us make excellent time on our trip.

once we arrived in tennessee, it wasn't long before the driveway was swarming with our kids and their 6 cousins. thanks to the rear view camera on the back of the traverse, we never had to worry about who was behind us when we were backing up. we had a clear view of the entire rear of the vehicle displayed on our rear view mirror whenever we were in reverse.

as much as we love the traverse and would love to own one ourselves some day, it is unfortunately impractical for our family of six. in spite of the fact that it boasts more cargo room than other vehicles in its class, there is no way we could pack enough for more than a few days into the back cargo space. i packed very minimally for this trip, and bill still needed to finagle our items very carefully to get them all to fit. for the trips we take at christmas with all our winter gear and presents, we would need to come up with alternative storage outside of the vehicle.

other highlights of the vehicle include wifi and an outlet for times when one needs to get work done in the car. the traverse's computer provides an amazing amount of information, including exactly how many miles are left based on the amount of gas in your tank (except when you are about to run out; then it just tells you you are "low"). the side view mirrors each have an additional "blind spot" mirror that enables you to see much more clearly what is around you. tate's favorite part was that the middle window rolls down all the way. he hates not being able to roll down his window in the van!

overall we loved our time with the traverse. tate is still hoping someone will decided to give us one to keep. anyone want to help us out with that?

if you know someone in the midwest that you feel is deserving of a new vehicle (besides us, of course!), check out the driving the midwest website for details about the "our town, our heroes" program.  every two weeks, chevrolet chooses someone to receive a new vehicle in gratitude for the heroic actions in the community.

i received the use of a chevrolet traverse for our spring break trip without any obligations or qualifications.  in gratitude, i chose to write this post.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions are purely my own.

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