It is unfashionable to say so, but there is really nothing to beat a big American car. The Crone this weekend picked up a Ford Expedition, courtesy of Budget rentals, and drove it to Kings Dominion near Richmond to deliver Gretel and a group of her friends to the rollercoasters and water park. Truth to tell, she had been dreading the expedition in the Expedition–between the teens, the torrential rain that has beset the Eastern seaboard for what seems like weeks, and the terrors of ’95’, there seemed a high probability of the Crone losing her tenuous grip on sanity while trying to protect life and limb on the interstate and Anaconda , and the last vestiges of high school virginity at the hotel. But fear not gentle readers: The trip has been a dream, much of it due to the high performance of the much maligned Ford. The weather this morning was bright and breezy and the kids were on similarly good form. The supersized SUV proved a very smooth ride, and a mere 2 hours after pick-up the group was enjoying a hearty breakfast in Denny’s at the Best Western closest to the theme park. The Crone had risked a couple of reversals, numerous left turns and even the occasional change in musical direction (“can we have 95.5 on?), all without incident. While the Crone is too much of a fraidy to ride the rollercoasters, she did like the new heights offered by the Ford Giant as it ate up the miles, and even took it for a little tour of the Virginia junk shops once the 10th grade graduates were safely aboard the shuttle bus and on their way to a straight twelve hours of hanging loose, largely upside down.
Between the gas guzzling and the bail-out, it doesn’t do to be in love with a big car in today’s America but the Crone confesses that she will be sad to hand back the keys to seven seater and will be even more sorry to be rattling home in the Blarneymobile, a car that now seems more suited to a librarian than to a Queen of the Road.