November 27, 2008
Dear James 364 days from now,
Excellent job listening to your advice from last year regarding driving to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. This time you didn't leave at 1:30,and therefore didn't getstuck in gridlock for four hourswith the G35's the hack-your-leg-off clutch (althoughpart of that's easy given the lack of said G35).
Unfortunately, leaving at 7 a.m. and successfully beating traffic doesn't matter a damn bit when you forget your wallet at home! Recall how you pulled into your normal Palm Springs gas station to discover you brought everything but the one thing you actually, truly,really need! The Caravan's DTE display said 144 miles to empty and there was 140 miles back home. It was231 toyou destination ofGoodyear, Ariz. This was going to add at least 4 hours toyour journey, butyou knew it would be longer since traffic was getting worse with every passing minute.As you turned the van around andheaded back toward Los Angeles, it was like being handed down a jail sentence. If it wasn't for the Coldplay ticketsyou had that night in Phoenix, you would have said "screw it" andtried again Thanksgiving morning.
But remember to be as thankful for your father on this Thanksgiving and everyone thereafter as you were last Thanksgiving when he came throughas he always has. Remember how he called his company'soffice branch located in Ontario, Calif., and askeda colleague thereto lend his idiot son $50 for gas? That still addedthree hours to your journey, but it was better than the five to six hours it was certainly going to take with the traffic thathad indeed gottenworse.
Of course, hadyou filled the car up before leaving (asyou usuallydo),you would've realized earlier you didn't haveyour wallet, or the Caravan's 400-plus-mile range would've easily gotyou there on one tank.
So you got there in about 7.5 hours, or the exact time it took the previous year when you left at 1:30. At least you weren't in the G35 (although the Caravan is hardly princely transportation). Icouldsay, "Make sure to bring your effing wallet this year, moron!" but instead I'll just repeat the advice I should've followed this year: "Please James, avoid a similar predicament and just celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving."
I'll now go back to waiting for my licence and gas card to arrive via Fed Ex. See you next year.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 21,185 miles
April 14, 2008
How ugly is the new Dodge Grand Caravan? Turns out, it's not really that ugly at all. We have photographic proof!
We might prefer the slightly more biomorphic curves of the Honda Odyssey. But a Toyota Sienna ain't exactly a beauty...
And the Nissan Quest? Yipes! Likewise, the Kia Sedona looks less like the picturesque Arizona area for which it's named than an overweight catfish.