Kids in the Car

We asked our readers to share their best or worst car stories for a chance to win an iPod shuffle. After deliberating over the great entries we received, here are the winners.

Beware the AAA Monster

My dad taught my two siblings and me to raise our arms and make a down-pulling motion when passing semi-trucks to ask them to honk at us. This was long ago when truckers’ horns were operated with a cord on their cab’s ceiling. We thought this was wonderful, and I’ve taught my granddaughter to do it as we pass truckers on I44 East. Most truckers still respond to the motion and give us a big loud honk. She was enthralled when she was 6 that she could make truckers honk at us and still loves to do it at age 8.

My dad also led us in songfests while on long road trips and played a scary game when we passed a AAA sign. He told us that AAA stood for “ALWAYS ATTACKS AUTOMOBILES” and that we had to hang on hard to something (no seatbelts in those days) while he gripped the wheel and fought the invisible monster that was trying to grab our car. He would swerve the car, honk, groan, yell and act as if he was making heroic efforts to control the car and save us all from the AAA monster! We adored this and helped by yelling, too. We always looked back through the rear window to see if there was any sign at all of the invisible monster as we drove away safely, once again, until the next AAA sign and a new attack.
Janet Godwin Curth

Lesson Learned

Last October my husband and I loaded up our two boys, then 4 and 5, and headed from Tulsa to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a little fall break.

Realizing it was the height of flu season, I wanted to prepare for the worst, so I packed a bag with towels and extra clothes and added it to the heap of stuff in the back of the car. But neither of our boys had been sick in months…what could possibly go wrong?

I’ll tell you what: Highway 270 East to Hot Springs. I believe it is the wind-iest (with a long “i”) two-lane highway without a breakdown lane in the entire U.S. highway system. But I didn’t realize that until we traveled it post-dinner at Red Lobster at 9:00 p.m. That didn’t agree with my 5-year-old’s tummy, and he, without warning, let us know it by throwing up in the back seat.

Panic set in throughout the car, but I stayed calm. After all, I was prepared. My husband opened the trunk and put two tires on the side of the road as I jumped out and went for the bag.

I dug for five agonizing minutes. No bag.

In the meantime, my valiant husband did what he could with baby wipes and Kleenexes…and a stray beach towel he found in the car.

And my poor carsick son endured it all without complaining, bless him.

So my lesson to moms everywhere: If you pack a bag of supplies, make sure you put it in a place where you can actually find it — not at the bottom of a pile of luggage.
Christine Rury

Where There’s Snow…

My family and I went on a trip to Mt. Hood. The scenery on the way there was stunning, and I stared out the window savoring all the amazing sights. Huge emerald colored trees towered over us, and the sky was as blue as robin eggs. Deer roamed the forest, watching our car. When I rolled down the window, I could smell Mother Nature’s sweet breath. When we got there, the majestic mountain loomed over us like a great beast. My family and I climbed up the mountain where there was snow. Where there is snow, there are snow fights.
Caron Song

Their Tongues Are Blue

My family and I drove to Yellowstone National Park. We saw Old Faithful. The hot water and steam spewed out and went high into the air. The paint pots were bubbling with hot gray mud. The smell in the air was like rotten eggs. We saw many Bald Eagles on Snake River. A big gray wolf crossed the road in front of us and disappeared into the early morning fog. As we were driving down the road, there was this big Bison holding up traffic and it stuck its tongue out at me. Did you know their tongues are blue?
Hannah Strickland

Categories: Family Travel, Travel