A few weeks ago, the folks at our local Toyota dealer reached out to me to ask if I was interested in driving around in one of their brand new Toyota Siennas for a week and in seeing the amazing Ballet West performance of The Little Mermaid at the Capitol Theater downtown.
I admit that I JUMPED at the chance. Our minivan is getting a bit up there in years now, and I’ve been looking for a new one that would fit our entire family and let us drive around in comfort. So I agreed to test it out and see what was what. I headed down to Mark Miller Toyota to pick up my new ride while the kids were in school. As soon as I arrived, the staff there couldn’t do enough to help me out. They took a ton of time to show me how to get the most out of the Toyota Sienna, and it just blew me away how many bells and whistles this car had. I was in love just from the first moment.
As a mom of three (soon to be four) kiddos, there were so many features that I adored. First off, the side doors and trunk could be opened with the key fob! That meant no more rooting around in my purse looking for my keys so I can open the door for the kids. I could just click a button and they opened automatically! This is such a great feature. So often, we get stuck with armsful of groceries in the rain, trying to get into the car, and the Sienna made that a thing of the past! It was glorious!
I actually told my kids that mommy used magic to open the doors, which they totally believed because they think mama has super powers.
The inside of the car was so spacious and inviting, and it was WAY more comfy than we are used to. The satnav is amazing, and the sound system was perfect for our music-loving family.
There was SO much room in the trunk, as well. Not only was it bigger than a normal minivan/SUV, but the guy who showed me the car explained that there was no spare tire in there taking up room! The Sienna has tires that are MADE to withstand punctures and can keep going even if they are badly injured. Another safety feature this mom was super into!
I loved driving the kids to and from school all week, as well as running all of our errands. My husband was REALLY into it, as well, which is crazy since he has had no desire to upgrade our van to a more modern one. But this Toyota was just the thing to make him change his mind.
I’ll be honest – we were seriously considering making a permanent change, and I was going to speak with the dealership about buying it. The only thing that stopped us was that the day before we had to give the car back, our furnace and air conditioning unit died, and we had to pay $16K to get it all replaced! After that setback, I knew we’d have to put off getting a new vehicle for a while. But believe me when I say that we are going to be headed there when the time comes!
One of the best parts of this whole deal, though, was that I got to take my son, Dexter, as my date to the ballet. He was so excited. He is only six, so he didn’t have much knowledge about what the ballet even was or what it might entail. He also didn’t know anything about The Little Mermaid (despite seeing the Disney version a couple of years ago). It wouldn’t have helped anyway, since this was the Hans Christian Anderson version, which is quite a lot different from Disney!
We both got dolled up for our date. He picked out his own outfit and impressed me by combing his hair into a cute style. His little bow tie was adorable! We drove to the theater in our comfy car and met up with another group of local blogging mamas. It was pretty apparent that we were a little different from the rest since the other ladies had brought their daughters. I was the only one there with my son. But he didn’t care. He was so happy. They provided him with a little gift bag filled with candy and toys, and we got drinks and snacks from the concession stand.
I was a little worried how he’d behave, as six year old boys aren’t known for being huge fans of the theater, but he absolutely loved it. I was so proud of how well he did. The only worry he had at all was when we came back from the restroom to find that our seats had been moved. Someone from the group had needed extra seats, apparently, so we were moved down a couple of places, and he was very concerned that we were in the wrong place. Once I explained that it was okay, he was satisfied and was able to sit back and enjoy the show.
The dancers did a phenomenal job, and the show was beautifully performed. Afterward, we were invited to a meet and greet with some of the cast, where we were able to get our photos taken. Dexter was convinced that THEY were wanting a photo with HIM. So he was looking pretty proud of himself. It was insanely cute. We also got a group photo with all the other bloggers participating (Mom Crush Monday, Utah Valley Moms and Dooce). I didn’t really get a chance to talk to anyone, though Heather introduced herself and her darling little girls. It was pretty sweet to see moms engaging with their little ones in such a fun way, though.
Ballet West, The Little Mermaid. Costume Designer, David Heuvel
We had a truly wonderful time, and I was honestly sad to have to give back our Sienna. But we made some really fun memories over that week, and Dexter hasn’t stopped talking about the ballet since we got home. I think we’re going to have to try and see some more shows!
A HUGE thank you to Mark Miller Toyota, Ballet West and all those who made our week so much fun. We won’t soon forget it!