Thanks for the sweet ride, GMC!

Now that I’ve been home for 2 weeks, I have finally recovered from my family vacation. Because we live on the West Coast and our families live Out East, every time we cross the Mississippi, it turns into a full-on Family Vacation, capital letters required.

Three thumbs way up

This year, we managed to sync up my plans to go to the BlogHer conference in New York City with my mom, step-dad, sister-in-law, sister, brother, nephew, and niece so that we could visit all kinds of people at once. We augmented our already ambitious cross-country flight with a monster road trip.

Big shout-out to GMC for providing the wheels (and car seats!) for this adventure.

We flew from SFO to JFK on my favorite airline, Virgin America. It was smooth (well, all but the gogo wifi, which was patchy and made me grumpy!). The awesome dude who coordinates such things with bloggers made sure that the GMC Terrain was waiting for us at a mysterious off-airport lot (with cool elevators for the cars!) and we were good to go.

Alec and I stuffed it full of luggage and explored some of the neato features of the sound system before rolling away. We hit the road with the passenger-as-copilot monitoring the iPhone maps and headed for dinner in the Bronx. Apparently, that was our first mistake.

Upon getting into the Terrain after dinner, our GPS seemed confused. Rather than shooting us Up North through New England, she was now suggesting we go Down South through New Jersey. Uh oh. We seemed to be on an invisible boundary between totally different routes. Every time our car faced one way, we’d get one set of directions; and when we turned around, we’d get the opposite directions.

Mom, he's touching me

Ultimately, we headed towards Jersey and didn’t make it too far out of The City before finding a hotel for the night.

In the morning, we packed up our gear into the (ample) trunk and headed off for the real road-tripping. We made pretty good time including a few rest stops (for wrestling and running) and a few meals.

Wrestling Stop

While we were in the Adirondacks, the Terrain served us well for beach excursions, hikes, rainy days, runs to the town dump (sorry GM!), and it even carried the bike and cheering section (us) for Alec’s victorious triathlon with my family.

Ready for the beach

After a week of Vacation, I took the train back down to NYC for BlogHer while Alec stayed up with the kids and MY parents at the lake. I wish I could get him to tell more of that story. He is a super hero.

I really liked driving the Terrain. It certainly helps that it’s about 5 years newer than my current car. For a big crossover vehicle, it handled well. It felt like I was driving a car (except for one or two minor complaints)

What I liked:

  • Rear view camera: it was very handy to see the little things (like people, curbs, and vehicles!); I did some practice reverse-parking and found it a little trippy
  • USB port: LOVED being able to easily charge and listen to our iPhones
  • Bluetooth wired through the car speakers: when it worked, it was awesome. Seems to support up to 3 phones, but when we tried to test it by calling each other (within the car, mind you), the car got confused.
  • Steering wheel controls: access to the music system and phone answering without reaching too far. Good thinking, smart car design-y people.
  • XM Radio: in the mountains, there are very few regular radio stations. Thank you XM!
  • Good MPG (better than my Subaru) and high safety ratings

What I didn’t like:

  • Wide turn radius: it seemed impossible to make tight corners. Maybe this perception was exacerbated by us being lost so many times.
  • The brake pedal: it was too high. I had to wonder if my petite friend Whitney would have been able to drive stop this car at all.

Bottom Line: All in all it was a great car to drive for our trip. Do I think every trip I make to the East Coast should involve a multi-day drive-a-thon? Not so much.