Angela Youngblood never thought she would drive a minivan. And never in her wildest busy-mom-gotta-get-four-kids-ready dreams did she think she would be behind the wheel of a full-size van.
You know the type. They kind of look like a box and can be easily mistaken for the "bus" that transports the students — or the senior citizens — around town.
The van was handed down to the Youngblood family from her husband Tim's parents a few years ago. For awhile, it worked for her lifestyle: transporting four kids under age 10 to football practices, school events, playdates and the grocery store.
And Angela admits it helps fulfill a fantasy.
"When I was little I used to love Charlie's Angels and they used to go undercover and in one episode they were truck drivers," said the Rochester mom and writer of the hilariously candid Jumping With My Fingers Crossed blog.
"I always had that in the back of my head. So every once in a while, when I'm in my van, I feel pretty cool."
But the van has seen better days. One of the seatbelts isn't working. The last time she filled up with gas, it cost more than $100. And speaking of gas, she has to guess when she needs some, because the gauge isn't working.
It's time for something new.
New series: Patch Drives
Starting today and continuing over the next few months, Angela is on a mission to find her new ride.
In a new series we're calling Patch Drives, Angela will let Patch readers be her co-pilots as she visits local dealerships, takes new vehicles for test drives and tells us what works. She'll rate their maneuverability in the carpool dropoff line, the ease of getting kids in and out, and, of course, the "cool" factor.
You can learn more about Angela's mission in this video that she produced.
But first, she needs your help.
The van is all that Angela and her family have known, so she needs a place to start. Her kids were – let's be honest – not a whole lot of help in their suggestions: One said he wants his mama to drive a monster truck. Another suggested a Ferrari.
Angela wants to hear from you: What should she test drive? Keep in mind, hers is a family of six, so she'll need something that accommodates that extra row. Tell us, in the comments, about a vehicle she might like to try.
She'll take your suggestions and put them into a list, which we'll have readers vote on next week. After that, the real fun begins: Angela will compile a list of vehicles to drive based on your suggestions and tell you what she really thinks.
We're looking forward to riding along on her shopping journey.
Patch Drives is ; the cars Angela choose to test will be at her discretion and not affiiated with any advertising relationships.