Titanium, AWD, 2L diesel - turbo.
Cute family affair.
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It's called an Escape, which is perfect for what we are doing - escaping the bruising grip of the city, heading for the Bay of Islands. The Escape is in "Ruby Red" - and it occurs to me how it would make a flattering lipstick shade. We do stand out, clad in red titanium. Which is also good because it's raining for much of our journey and I like that we are highly visible in the grey. Red is also the fastest car colour. Five people fit perfectly, plus we have all our stuff for a week - bags, groceries, wine, fishing rods and beachtowels - ha - beachtowels - oh the optimism.
To get through the pain, and distract us from the fact we were making slow progress on the Northern motorway at 3.30pm on a Friday, we played "would you rather ... " (example: "Would you rather find true love or win the lottery?" which leads to all sorts of cynical conjecture about how if you have lots of money you can probably buy true love. And so on.) By the time we finally make it to the tunnel, the traffic clears and then the rain comes down. The sensory window wipers kick in to high speed, we sync the iPhone, cue music. A round trip from Auckland to Paihia, Kaikohe, then to Whangarei - in fairly steady traffic - took one tank of gas. One tank. Diesel, to be specific. Which is important to remember when at the gas station.
So an escape in an Escape is a zingy but economical way to go, especially when you haven't won the lottery, but have almost certainly found true love.