We Bought The Space Shuttle

We Bought The Space Shuttle

Ford Transit F150 XLT

Yup, we upgraded.  It was time to get a bigger van. and our old van was on it’s last leg so it was perfect timing.  Nancy hates it but I love it.  She said we should have gotten a suburban or something hideous like that.  I can stand up in it and not touch the roof.  There was nothing worse than trying to get into the old minivan without hitting your head on the headliner and elbowing everyone in the process.  I do miss the automatic doors and how you can lower those sliding door windows but those were more things to break and I was done fixing things that would eventually break.  And if any of you have “many” kids you know how much you gear can pile up.  I remember going on a trip for a family event and we had to bring two porta’ cribs, a double stroller, and of course our clothes.  It was not pretty.

Sayo Number Five – What I Pack

Sayo Number Five – What I Pack

So this will be our fifth baby! But that doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing.  Especially this time when we haven’t done this in quite a while.  I’d like to share with you what I’m bringing with me.

Items:

  1. Bag (Camera Backpack)
  2. Camera (Canon 6D with 24-105)
  3. Lens (50mm 1.4)
  4. Extra camera battery
  5. iPhone
  6. iPad
  7. Wall adapter for iDevices
  8. Socks
  9. T-Shirt
  10. Electric razor
  11. Toothbrush
  12. Money and some change
  13. Personal business cards
  14. Pill container with Advil and allergy pills
  15. Rosary
  16. Ring rosary

Yes, I am very digital. Having a baby, in my experience, and as the dad, is a waiting game and a “social” experience.  We’ll try not to overshare but we give no guarantees. And pictures (photographer rant incoming)!  I don’t know about you but getting good pictures of the whole experience is key!  I look at those pictures time and time again. Smartphones today take great pictures but are lousy in low light so you get blurry pictures or the flash going off blinding everyone involved!   Video is even worse in low light.  So I’m coming prepared.  Another thing that’s important?  A shave. My kids hate stubble, “Owy! Your face hurt me daddy!” A

Our 2009 VW Routan Review

Our 2009 VW Routan Review

I really like it.  We had a 2005 Nissan Xterra so I will be making most of my comparisons to our old SUV.

The Drive
It’s smooth. It goes from one gear to another very smoothly. It doesn’t roar to life and accelerate in an explosive way like our old Xterra but that’s not why we bought it for. I keep seeing reviews putting down it’s 197 hp but if you want more horsepower and performance then buy a car! I recently took it to San Francisco for the first time and it performed quite well. I didn’t once in frustration say “Come on go!” going up Van Ness. There’s a “manual” mode to where you can shift up or down.  It gets a little getting used to but handy.  It’s supposedly VW tuned so the drive is a little more responsive.

Driver

  • I feel very comfortable in the drivers seat. The windshield seems so huge.
  • It took a couple days to get the seat just right because there is so much play in the seat settings.
  • The steering wheel seems so much bigger. I do like the leather wrapped steering wheel on this van as opposed to a non leather wrapped one. It feels very nice and smooth. I never thought I’d ever appreciate such a thing.
  • All the controls are in arms reach. One small feature I truly appreciated in my old Scion TC was the Auto up AND down feature of the driver’s window. The Xterra had auto down only. The Routan has up and down on the drivers and passenger side windows.
  • On the other side of the steering wheel are controls for the radio. I like this so much better because it doesn’t make you look for the buttons thus taking your eyes off the road. The Stereo is a bit far away so the buttons are very handy.
  • The stereo is not bluetooth enabled, a feature I told myself I absolutely needed, so I can’t connect my phone to it but it’s a blessing in disguise because it’s become our policy to not use the phone at all if you’re driving.

Passengers

  • Seats six passengers or three cars seats.  Can only take one car seat in the third row with room for a passenger next to the car seat.  So if you have four kids that need to be in car seats this car is not for you.
  • I like that the passenger windows go down and the rear windows will slightly wedge open too for more ventilation.
  • Cabin noise is so much better than our Xterra.  That’s also due to the fact that it has less horsepower.

Conclusion

I’m not a great car reviewer but I really do like this van.  The two things I would change if I could would have been adding the OEM entertainment system and an automatic lift gate.