Non-stop. Every morning they were there when I woke up, every meal we ate together and every evening theirs were the last voices I heard before I fell asleep.
Depending on the day people either hear this and think : That woman is so lucky to have that amount of time together with her family," or "That woman is insane." Either way, I get it.
I've had both of those thoughts at various moments too.
I'm a soloist by nature. While I am completely functional in a room full of people, I'm completely fine if I've only got myself for company.
And so it's probably no surprise that when the chance comes to take a solo roadtrip my gut response is a "hell yeah."
Last weekend I did just that.
I was testing out the Chevy Orlando.
I drove the "Velvet Red" family vehicle around the city for a few days and then threw a bag in the back and set out for Ottawa. I was speaking at the Social Capital Media Conference there and that meant 5 hours of time with just me and my Chevy. When I wasn't in the vehicle I was either learning from leaders like Martin Waxman and more or lounging in my deluxe digs at the Ottawa Marriott hotel.
But mostly, I was in the car.
When it's just you and the car you need to make friends quickly.
I named him Orlando, made it clear that I preferred when he stayed within the
speed limit,thanked him for holding my can of coke and set off.
What I liked:
* I filled up in Toronto (about $50) and didn't need to do it again until it was time to come home. (Chevrolet says that this car has the best highway fuel efficiency of any seven-seater)
* The car has pick up but it's surprisingly quiet. I liked that I could listen to my Sirius XM Sattelite radio Oprah musings without having to battle engine noise (don't judge!;))
* I wasn't smitten with the boxy exterior, but inside it meant a roomy ride without feeling too wide or unwieldy.
* OnStar on board means you can't get lost and you've got someone with you even when you're driving solo, if you need them
* Split fold-down seating in both the second and third rows means even hockey sticks could come along for a ride easily.You could easily become the most favoured mom on the block for car-pool! (ok, pros and cons there...)
* The Steering wheel offers up Bluetooth hands-free connectivity which means, if I wanted to, I could answer and end calls safely through the steering controls . There's also volume control and radio station control right there at your fingertips.
What I'd change:
* The up front storage compartment under the radio is so well hidden I didn't find it until the ride home.
That's where the usb plug is
(a plus) but when the compartment is open I can't operate the volume dials on
the radio well. There is a volume control on the steering wheel that helps.
* The driver's seat wasn't totally comfortable. Granted I was on my tush for 5 hours at a time but I think it would be worth upgrading to a leather package for added comfort.
* The trunk space is tiny unless the third row seating is down. I think this is a great car for a family of four who occasionally has to pick up other kids or carry a lot of stuff rather than a family of 7.
Overall, the car held up well.
And after a weekend away, I was even better.
What is it about being out on an open highway and behind the wheel that brings you closer to who you are?
Just the facts:
Car: 2012 Chevrolet Orlando
Fuel Efficiency: 174 hp 2.4L ECOTEC 4-cylinder engine
MSRP:Starts at $19,945