Monday, July 13, 2009

Sweet Ride

After months of debate, research, and tire-kicking, we finally decided on a proper stroller for the dynamic duo, now that they're starting to grow frustrated with the confines of their car seats and the limited view of the Double Snap N' Go, and the overall pathetic upkeep of the mean streets of Toronto increasingly demanding something a bit more sturdy, durable, and if need be, combat-ready.

Our first destination was "Moms To Be And More" on Bayview (guess we now qualify for the "And More" part, and yes, I am aware I've used this joke more than once), since they stock a varied selection of multiples-friendly items in their oh-so-trendy digs, and an additional discount for families with twins. Lidia had seen a particular model online that we couldn't locate. We perused the double-offerings available, and found them either 1) insanely expensive (if I'm going to pay a grand for a stroller, it had better come with nuclear batteries, an iPod dock, and an LCD TV) 2) ridiculously massive and unwieldy (I doubted most of them would fit through a standard door, and what's with the cow catcher?).

We were able to unearth from staff that the stroller we'd sought was moved to their secondary location--a nearby outlet variant, essentially--because this particular model "wasn't selling".

Thankfully, the outlet wasn't a far drive. And as promised, there it was: the "Valco Lattitude", available in several colours. Why it wasn't selling, I'm not sure, since it was a mighty fine unit. It might have had something to do with the fact that it was a few hundred bucks cheaper than the all-terrain vehicles they were trying to push on us at the original location, including a new Valco model--hence, its convenient, sudden disappearance.

Once the deed was done, it packed away neatly in the trunk, even with the Double Snap N' Go already there.

Assembly was quick and painless. The lightweight unit (only 28 pounds) folded up neatly for easy storage and offered secure fittings for the boys, sturdy wheels, and some additional (removable) coverage for the cold months. All that was left was to take it for a test run around our wretched mess of downtown core.
The Valco was a hit--with the boys, and us. It absorbed the Third World quality sidewalk craters and bumpy streetcar tracks as we'd hoped, and afforded the boys an up front view of the Magic Hour comings-and-goings of the Fashion District (and of course, a clearer view of our nattily-attired twin wonders from admiring passers-by).

We took a break for an early dinner at The Foggy Dew, and found that the Valco slid between its main doors with a minimum of fuss. Some of the wait staff who hadn't yet seen the boys got their chance to ooh-and-awe, too.

The next day, I took Carter and Nathaniel for a solo spin around Trinity Bellwoods and the 'hood. Hardly the equivalent of a boys' day out that the ol' fishin' hole, but a start. Oddly, the trash sitaution was largely bearable on the main drag but most of the sidestreets proved to be perilous dumps that I chose not to put the stroller's wheels through, in case they were to dissolve from the reeking, toxic sludge.
Doubt that's covered in the warranty...

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