My First Jeep

"Life is all about the journey, not the destination"

My Jeep journey started on a Boy Scout camping trip to the beach. We were in a convoy ready to head out when the dad in front of me pulled over. They all got out of his Jeep, and within a minute they were back in the Jeep heading down the road, enjoying the three hour drive to the beach, topless with the fresh air in their faces.

Right then I knew…  I gotta have one of them. 

That is all I talked about for a week. I drove my family crazy --  I still do! One evening a week later, we were out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant. My youngest son was asking Siri questions on my husband’s phone. He is such a sweet little boy who always likes to make his momma happy. So, he asked Siri, "Where is the nearest Jeep dealer?" It was only a mile down the road, and after dinner we stopped by to take a look. I fell instantly in love with every Jeep Wrangler on the lot. 

The next day -- Memorial Day 2013 -- we went for a test drive. During my test drive, my concerns were about the Jeep's rough ride, and the noise due to the soft top. That is about all I knew about Jeeps. Jeeps were a brand new territory to me. 

The test drive was fantastic. The noise was not bad, and the ride was not rough. But, I have never been a connoisseur of cars or their rides. I never understood when people would talk about a car having such a smooth ride. They all seemed the same to me… it is just a vehicle of transportation to get you from point A to B. But for some strange reason this test drive in the Jeep was so different than any other test drive or any other drive in any vehicle. All other car rides were just that a car ride. 

But this was different – an exciting unknown force I felt… I've gotta get this Jeep!

I had a couple of different options -- Used or New.  I never was one to buy a new vehicle. The moment you drive the vehicle off the dealer lot your loose value. But Wranglers are different. The used Wranglers were only a couple of thousand less than the brand new ones. So, that was no-brainer – why not get a new Jeep with little mileage and no previous owner.

The next decision was two door or four door.  Immediately a two door was out. With two kids -- getting in and out of the back seat was important so that meant a four door. At the time wheel base was not even a blip on my radar.  I knew there were other Jeeps as well, like the Liberty, Patriot and Cherokee, but there was no question in my mind it had to be a Wrangler. The main reason for the purchase was the soft top. To be able to drive with the wind in my hair, and the sun on my face. Those were the reasons we were at the lot in the first place.

So, now the question became Sport, Sahara or Rubicon. Rubicon immediately was scratched from the list—Yes, I’m kicking myself about that now. But, I believe everything happens for a reason. I needed to learn and evolve, how I did, to get to where I am today. At the time the extra cost of the Rubicon was not something we felt would be worth our money. All the extra cost was related to the off road package.

I remember telling the salesman...

 "I have no interest in off roading and will never go off-roading."

Hmmmmmmm What’s that saying… "Never say Never".

So, it came down to the Sport or Sahara. What sold me was the trim package of the Sahara – the interior, the cloth stitched seats and the painted fenders. At the time I would have never ever considered cutting my fenders, and who even knew that is something people, Jeepers, do… If I only knew then what I know now – those Dana 44’s, the 4 to 1 transfer case, those four-ten gears…  All those would have been the deal sealer for the Rubicon. But, at that time I had no clue what any of that meant. Open vs locked differential was foreign to me, along with a sway bar. I would have thought maybe that was a circus apparatus.

Well, the next thing you know -- I was a proud owner of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Edition – or rather my husband was. It is not that easy for a stay at home mom who has not been in the work force for 15 years to get a loan.  

Also at that time, I had no idea the wonderful Jeep community I was joining, or how fellow Jeepers would shape my future. I would have never guessed I would be interested in off roading. Nor did I see myself as a mom blogger. 

But on a journey one small point in time can change the direction of the path you are one. I'm so thankful for those small points in time. 

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