I recently loaded my wife and son into the Quest and headed up to San Luis Obispo for a weekend getaway. One of my favorite places, SLO is a quaint college town that's nestled in the scenic mountains of Central California, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. Speaking of the big blue, we stopped at Pismo Beach on the way up for an afternoon play date on the sand. Unbeknownst to me, you're actually able to drive onto Pismo Beach (for a nominal fee of around $9), so I decided, why the heck not? I paid the money and proceeded to park the Quest about 100 feet from the tide. (Yes, it was low tide.) After a half hour of running around and getting soaked, my 2-year old, Julian, grew tired and hungry, so we decided it was the right time for lunch. I popped the Quest's power hatch, quickly lowered the third row with a couple of latch tugs, and we all hopped in and enjoyed sandwiches in the large cargo hold. Looking out at the ocean and listening to the waves crash, I thought: ah, the perks of living near the coast.

After lunch, we packed up and drove the Quest off the sand (quite effortlessly, I might add), and made our way into SLO, to the lovely Quality Inn & Suites. After a quick check-in, we put Julian down for a nap and managed to catch a few winks ourselves. Two hours later, we were up and at 'em, which meant it was time for Julian to expend some more energy. So we found a nearby park and for an hour he ran around, climbed on the jungle gym, and rolled around in the sandbox. Looking back at the Quest, which was parked all by its lonesome, appearing as if it were watching us, I wondered if it was thinking what I was thinking: Damn, this kid makes me tired.

As 5 pm rolled around, we had grown hungry again, so we stopped into Mother's Tavern for some tasty hamburgers. I'd recommend the Black & Blue burger, which melds an Angus patty with onions and blue cheese. Mighty, mighty yummy. And don't forget to add garlic fries. Heading back to the hotel, I couldn't help but let out a few garlic-infused belches. Luckily, the Quest's Plasmacluster air purifier extinguished some of the stench before it hit my wife's nostrils. I love this van!


Our Car
Service life 9 months/26,209 miles
Average fuel economy 19.3 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.01 lb/mi
Energy consumption 175 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $425.23 (3 x oil change, tire rotation, inspection; 1 x replace cabin air filter)
Normal-wear cost $720.00 (four Toyo Versado tires)