My parent’s minivan that I am driving cross-continent over the course of eight months, now aptly dubbed The Soccer Odyssey (credit to my friend Trent in Columbus for the idea!) received a tune-up from the good folks at Honda last week when I rolled into Houston.

After clocking more than 15,000 miles over the first four months of the tour, the complimentary service was greatly appreciated, as was the honest assessment of the van.

Out-of-state tags can make travellers look like easy marks for dishonest mechanics. Earlier in the tour when I took the van for routine oil changes in Rhode Island and Michigan, I was mistaken for a sucker and told a list of imaginary issues that would take hundreds of dollars to fix. (Nice try, jerks.)

So, to Jeremy H. and the folks at Honda that generously offered to help, as well as Robert and John at Big Star Honda in Houston, a sincere thank you.