My Dad liked his vacation time. He loved to travel and just get away from it all. So we would load up the Ford station wagon and head out of town each summer. We would do a variety of things. We visited my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who lived in Illinois. We made our home base at my grandparents apartment over the bakery. During the day, my Dad would take me into Chicago on the train and we would go to museums. I still love going to museums to this very day. Fortunately, my husband, children, and grandchildren like museums, too. Sometimes we went to visit relatives in Kansas where I saw more wheat and corn that I thought possible. Sometimes we camped which I also loved. One trip made a big impression on me as a youngster. It is not due to the museums or historic monuments that I remember this trip. Frankly, I do not remember everything I saw. But I remember when we lost our car.
We were in Washington, DC. I know my Dad had everything planned because he was a member of AAA and had a wonderful little trip chart of the roads to take and hotels to stay in. That is what his membership did for him. If you sat in the front seat, you got to hold the flip chart and tell him where to go. When we arrived in town, it was rush hour, of course. And the traffic was crazy. I bet we rode around that stupid circle thing six times before Dad could get in the right lane to get to our first destination. I am thinking it was the Washington Monument we were heading for. Dad finally found a place to park the car. We got out and locked up and started walking to the first place. We had a great time and then headed back to the car. It was getting later and we needed to find a place to stay and food to eat. So we got to where we left our car. It was not there. So Dad and Mom thought they were in the wrong place and so we walked and walked and could never find our car. By this time, I was getting upset. My parents were upset but for different reasons. We had already visited Cherokee North Carolina and my Indian headdress and tomahawk was in the car. I just knew it was gone.
Dad found a policeman who suggested we go to the police department and check on our missing car. So we found a taxi and the police department. Once there, we ended up talking with this policeman who let us know our car had been impounded because cars could only be parked in that place place during certain hours. Oops! My parents had not changed their watches from Georgia time. I didn’t understand everything that went on but I knew my Indian stuff was gone so I started crying. I was a silent crier. Finally the policeman saw me and felt sorry for these Georgia visitors with the crying little girl. He patted me on the back and gave my father back our car without having to pay a fine and towing charges. Hooray! My Indian stuff was safe!
My parents changed their watches, I wore my headdress everywhere we went just in case and we never visited Washington again.