Sunday, August 9, 2009

Autobahn in the Summer

Being married to a German, I find that we travel between three continents (Asia, North America and Europe) at least every year or two. This summer we spent almost a month in Germany visiting family. This is only my second trip during the summer, so I learned a few things about German summers.

1. Summer weather is drastic....cold/rainy or hot. And that this weather can change back and forth within a 48 hour period.

2. Not all German cars have AC; only those that are made more recently do. The car that we had for the summer was older.

3. The famous German Autobahn may not live up to its fame during the high peak holiday travel season.

The last discovery, I did know from my previous trips. But, this particular road trip will be to me forever remembered as, "Bonding in Old Blue".

"Old Blue": 1994 Blue Opel Stationwagon. Driver's side window broken (can't be rolled down). Sun-roof. No AC. No radio. This might sound like a complaint, but it's not. Just stating facts...we loved "Old Blue" or "The Beast". He gave us independence and bonding time.

3 hour bonding time.

3 hours of hot German summer weather.

3 hours of no radio. (No hand held video games or portable DVD player, either)

3 hours with 3 children in the back seat. (fyi: ages 7, 5, 4)

Almost 3 hours too long.

It made me stop and think about the road trips my parents took with me to visit my sister who lived 3 hours away. Granted they only had 1 child to deal with and I didn't have to sit in a car seat or be buckled in. I stretched out in the backseat or on the floor when my other siblings were with us. I didn't have a DS, or other hand held video game. I had books.

That was 19--, (I'm not giving away my age!)
Back to 2009.

What DID we do?

Sang songs, listened to my wonderful husband tell a story about a dog (this was a asked for another story on the return trip home), and what every tired, sweaty, heat exhausted parent does...

bribe with ice-cream!

It worked. Got there and back.

even with the vapors rolling into our car from a convoy of semi-trucks..

even without the AC

even without a radio/video games/portable DVD player

even with 3 children

Do I recommend this?
Would I do it again?
Hmm, NO WAY (unless I had to, that is!)

Kids with "Old Blue" on one of our many day trips!