Wagons – The German Sleeper Car | Expat-Mom

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Wagons – The German Sleeper Car

13 Apr Posted by in Driving | 1 comment
Wagons – The German Sleeper Car
I used to joke about how much I hated minivans and made it a point to steer clear of them on the road. My motto was, “They drive too slow and erratically because they are paying more attention to the kids in the back than what’s happening on the road.”

I used to tease a friend for trading in her 2-door Honda Prelude for a Volvo wagon after having kids, while actually desiring a minivan. (You know who you are. Wink, wink.)

Today, in America, the minivan has been replaced by SUVs making it hard to distinguish between the soccer moms and any other ordinary commuter.

But oh, how I loved my alone time driving my Acura, cranking up the music while creating my own live concert to anything from Pat Benatar’s, “Heartbreaker,” to Olivia Newton John’s, “Magic.” Pure torture for any unsuspecting passengers.

Don’t worry, this was only an alone time ritual. There was Howard Stern and Snoop Dogg in there too though.

And now that I have children, we own a little hatchback BMW and an Audi 4 wagon.

I’ll never forget the first time I drove the wagon. I was thinking, “Oh my…this can’t be happening to me. If only my Volvo friend knew. She would be rolling.”

And then I realized that instead of SUVs, the Germans have their wagons to tote around kids and IKEA purchases. “Could this be the German version of the minivan?”

Normally, I like driving our smaller car, the hatchback because it is easier to fit into parking spaces and has a sunroof; I love to crank up the tunes and drive when the weather is nice. A little reminiscent of my single days… And then a screaming baby quickly switches me back into present reality.

Today, I opted to drive the wagon instead of the hatchback… For blogging purposes, of course. I wanted to write about the hatchback vs. the wagon.

Once I was on the Autobahn, I totally remembered how fun this car is to drive. (Don’t knock the wagon until you try it.)

I remembered the day Kay and I were meeting up with some friends, which entailed a small road trip.

As we were both driving home, us in the Audi 4 and them in their BMW wagon, I thought Kay was going considerably fast (over 200kph/124mph). We were in the right lane cruising along and all of a sudden, the BMW wagon went whizzing by us in the left.

Holy crap! That’s when I saw the power of the wagon with my own two eyes… and learned that it is a bad idea to open the window to wave goodbye at such a speed (definitely not recommended).

Fun times and good memories. But now, I have a baby on board.

The biggest thrill while driving today was thinking, “Who would have thought that a wagon cornered so well?”

Between our house and Oma and Opa’s, there is a small stretch with open speed. Did I take advantage today? A little bit. But only long enough to pass a semi-truck.

So, while I enjoyed the Audi power for the day, I started thinking about how my driving habits have changed now that I am carrying precious cargo:

1.)    Speeding vs. Saftey – I don’t have to see how fast I can go and calculate the kph to mph in order to write home about it. I used to love seeing how fast I could go in the open speed spots. Now, I still like to go fast, but even when Fynn isn’t in the car, I worry about getting to and from my destination safely. And when he is in the car, I am checking to see if he is sleeping. If he is sleeping, I drive even slower so he has a longer nap time and I have a longer quiet time. Pathetic, I know.

2.)    Packing the car – When I put things into the car, I am trying to tactfully arrange everything so it is easily accessible and within reach to hand to the baby while driving or while being a passenger. And what was once an empty 4-door car is now always filled to its capacity. Not to mention, half the time I forget things for myself because I am more focused on preventing a baby-crying meltdown.

3.)    Music in the car – What used to be adult friendly tunes has now been replaced by children’s music. If Fynn starts to cry, the only thing that calms him is Donikkl’s, “Ritterfest.” (Also don’t knock it until you try it. As if children’s music weren’t crazy enough, now imagine an American Mom attempting to sing silly songs in German. The words may not be correct, but hey, at least I am in tune.)

Now that I have children of my own… I can sympathize with the screaming-children-in-the-back erratical drivers and wanting to appease them but also give my undivided attention to the road. And most importantly, I’ve learned not to judge a car by its exterior. The wagon isn’t a minivan… it’s a sleeper car.


  1. Your Volvo Friend04-18-12

    WHAT?!?!?!?! YOU have a WAGON!!! Yes, I am dying of laughter over here! I miss you, and wish we could caravan side by side in our wagons…

    Your Volvo friend

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