It’s been eight days since we officially dropped our daughter off at college and as a Freshman parent newbie, I have to say, there are definitely things I would do differently after seeing other kids arrive with their parents.  As our daughter was packing for school and I was busy shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Harmon and Home Goods, the pile of items we were planning to transport to Philadelphia was enormous.  So much so that we quickly realized there was no way we were going to able to fit everything into our small SUV.

But thanks to Ford, which had generously offered me the chance to try out their 2018 Ford Explorer, we managed to fit everything into their SUV.  The 7 seater white SUV which was tricked out with tons of technology and a dual sunroof, arrived the afternoon before we hit the road – giving us the chance to start putting all of our daughter’s belongings into the trunk as if it was an elaborate puzzle. What I really loved about the car was that the third row folds under electronically – expanding the size of the trunk which also opens and closes with the press of a button. We managed to fit all of her clothes which had been stuffed in huge duffel bags that we had previously used for sleep-away camp.  I had also read on the popular college parents blog Grown & Flown that I should buy large plastic Ikea bags to pack more of her things in the car so I of course bought about 6 bags and stuffed as much as I could inside.  Take a look…

Thankfully, the SUV had a back up camera so even though we couldn’t see out the back window, we were safe because we were able to see what was behind us.  I also loved that the car beeps if you are too close to a car next to you — which totally helps when you’re parking. Another favorite tech option is a light that appears on the side view mirrors which warns you not to change lanes if a car is too close to you. And if you’ve been driving too long, it will ask prompt you with a message to consider taking a break!

While I couldn’t see my family as we drove toward Philadelphia, I still managed to find some room for my legs in the comfy leather seats. One of my favorite options in the second row was the USB charger and plug that’s conveniently placed in the middle console. That came in handy when my son decided to finish his summer homework on the way back from a trip to the Hamptons later that weekend. But I digress…

 

We made it to Temple University and unloaded the SUV within 5 minutes and then my husband went to park the car so that we could load everything into the dorm and before we knew it, she was moved in.

Even though I think we moved half our house into her dorm room – which incidentally is nicer than most city apartments I’ve seen–they have a view of Philadelphia from their windows-I still found myself feverishly ordering more items that were shipped to her dorm from Amazon Prime Target, Dormify and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Lesson learned – you don’t necessarily have to take everything with you on the first day, thanks to modern technology, even if it arrives a few days later, it’s still totally fine.  Take a look at how her room looks now…it’s so awesome it was even featured on the Dormify Instagram page!

move in day done right 👌 // rg @beccadreww

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Once we drove back home, we took the Explorer for another road trip – this time a weekend visit to my parent’s house in the Hamptons and on this adventure, we brought our son and our dog Santana, who happens to love driving in the car with us. We made sure to put her dog bed on the floor and covered her seat with a blanket and she obediently took her seat and watched out the window until we arrived at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

 

From Philly to New Ro and now to Southampton. Road tripping with @Ford #FordExplorer and @santanafuentes

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Over the weekend, we managed to squeeze six of us in the car, visited a winery, hit the town of Southhampton for ice cream, shopped and before we knew we it, we were back on the road…

Since we have to turn our car back into the dealer within the next few months, I have to say, that I totally loved the Ford Explorer.  I may opt for an even smaller SUV but was so grateful to be able to take our daughter to college in one car!  Thanks so much to the team at Ford for your generosity…I am officially a Ford fan!

Disclosure:  The Ford Motor Company provided a Ford Explorer for our family to test drive for our college road trip and weekend adventure.  All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own!