Happy Thanksgiving

Lynne Kiesling

Yesterday the KP Spouse and I drove the 11 hours home from Thanksgiving at his mother’s in Maryland. 11 hours each way (I drove out a week early for the Southern Economic Association meetings) is a small price to pay for avoiding the rudeness, indignity, invasiveness, and civil liberties violations associated with air travel in the U.S. I used to be a 50K+/year flyer, and in 2011 I committed to flying as little as possible. I have succeeded; I had one international flight in July and will have one flight to Hawaii in December for a vacation that I promised to the KP Spouse.

One reason why driving has been so enjoyable during my airline/TSA boycott has been the new car we got in March:

It’s a 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman, 4 door, 4 cylinder 186 hp turbo engine, front wheel drive, and it’s an incredibly fun car to drive! It’s also the cutest car I’ve ever owned, and is well designed to carry all of the gear for two avid athletes. It’s got a more muscular look than the 2-door Mini, but is still a Mini through and through, except for the BMW engineering on the inside (and the BMW X1 chassis that is the basis for the body). This is definitely a performance vehicle, with a stiff ride and an efficient but larger engine, so we made the tradeoff of slightly worse fuel economy (25.9 mpg so far) relative to our old Honda Civic. So far we’ve had no mechanical difficulties whatsoever with the car, and really, really love it.

I am thankful for the creativity and innovation that led to a car that gives me so much joy while enabling me to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my beloved husband and in-laws without having to endure the invasiveness and indignity of the TSA.