Travels with Children

The adventures I embark upon with my four young children.

At the Car Wash

You’ll probably think I’m grasping at straws on this one, but while we were in North Dakota we had a great time at the car wash.

Really, we’ve had the car washed before, in the stay-in-your-car-while-you’re-blasted-with-water sense. The only reaction I get from the kids now on that one is the 2-year-old saying, “Really really LOUD” as she covers her ears.

But this one’s different. This is a great car wash. I actually make a point of working it into our North Dakota trips if possible, preferably when the luggage is not in the vehicle. I actually clean the inside of the car (relatively speaking) before I go to this car wash.

When we arrived, there were five cars ahead of us. At any other car wash, I’d drive right past and not even consider waiting. But, like I said, this one’s special. I love this car wash.

After waiting almost 30 minutes, it was finally our turn. I had to decide if I wanted the basic wash ($10), midrange washes, or the super-duper wash for $20, which includes a 48-hour rain guarantee (and some extra potions applied to the vehicle and wheels and an air freshener in my choice of scents).

Since I only do this once or twice a year, I splurged and went whole hog on the wash, and not because there was rain in the forecast. The extra $10 was worth it because they would clean all the mats and vacuum all the way to the back. (Apparently for the basic wash, they would have vacuumed part of it for me, but we had a Cap’n Crunch incident in the trunk area a few weeks ago and this was an easy way to destroy the evidence so the back-end vacuuming was essential for me.)

Here’s the fun part: After choosing our wash, we all got out of the car. While I paid for the wash, and the kids opened their complimentary Safe-T Pops, car wash workers cleaned my mats and vacuumed the car. Apparently they vacuumed for quite a while, because four other cars from the other lane came through before ours did. Oops. Guess I got my money’s worth.

Then the car goes on auto-pilot through the wash area while its owners wait in the adjacent hallway, complete with benches and viewing windows. The kids thought it was great to watch our car being washed without us being in it. Really, it’s quite exciting.

At the end, after they hand-dried it and washed the windows inside and out, we jumped in, got everyone buckeld into their carseats, and drove away in our shiny, clean, vanilla-scented mini-van, off on another adventure.

I suppose you’d like to know where you can get in on this fun. It’s at the Valley Dairy Car Wash on the corner of South Washington and 36th Ave. S in Grand Forks, ND. There are other Valley Dairies in town, some with regular car washes, but this is the good one.


1 Comment»

  Debbie wrote @

I always think it is funny that some of our best travel moments happen when we’re doing things that really aren’t all that exotic.

Half of the battle is getting everyone out of the house and out of our normal routine & open to new experiences.


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