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The Wienermobile: A Vehicle for Family Bonding

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I get to do a lot of cool things through my job such as the time my family got an all-access pass at Disneyland or when we got an exclusive tour of the National Museum of Natural History.

OK, so may we didn’t actually do these things but we recently experienced something equally as life-altering:

My family rode in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

My first encounter with this 27-foot-long hot dog on wheels was last summer when I rode “shotbun” at a blogging conference in Chicago. I stayed in touch with the publicists via Twitter and was delighted to hear it would be visiting a King Soopers near my house.

As an FYI, there are six Wienermobiles that travel the nation extolling the virtues of processed meat (and making middle-aged women’s dreams come true). At most events, the Wienermobile’s doors remain closed to prevent wear and tear but the PR reps told me if we arrived at the end of the shift, we could get a ride.

I recruited 5-year-old Hadley but she was a naysayer.

“How can we ride in a giant hot dog, Mommy?”

Screw Disneyland. The Wienermobile is where the impossible becomes a reality.

Hadley and I arrived on schedule and we were welcomed by Wiernermobile staffers Adam and Crystal. We transported Haddie’s booster seat, put on her “meatbelt,” looked up at the “bunroof” and were on our way.

“Where to?” Adam queried.
“Any chance we could drive by my house so my husband can see it? We live less than a mile away!”

He responded affirmatively and I immediately called Jamie. “YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS SO GET OUTSIDE NOWWWW.”
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We arrived a few minutes later to father and son waiting on the curb in anticipation. They were delighted when Adam offered them a ride as well. As Jamie raced to get Bode’s car seat, I peeked around hoping for even one curious neighbor to witness my metamorphosis from geek to chic.

The street was abandoned.

In the end, it didn’t matter. We cruised around, “ketch(ing)up” on all the Wienermobile news. As corny as it was, it was one of the great bonding moments in our wacky family history and a reminder that sometimes the most valuable moments are not extravagant trips to Disneyland.

But rather simple ones we can truly “relish” together.

What was the last activity when your family really bonded, big or small?

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Fabiola October 5, 2009

    I wish a was a little bee, so I could have witnessed this ride : )

    Fabiola

  • comment avatar Liz October 5, 2009

    Now that is cool! What a fun memory your family will have!

  • comment avatar Amber October 5, 2009

    I have to admit I enjoyed using the puns almost as much as the ride. 🙂

  • comment avatar Rosey Pollen October 5, 2009

    It is so good that you are not vegetarians.
    Rosey

  • comment avatar Lori October 5, 2009

    Although it was high to begin with, your street cred just grew 27 feet!

    (still snickering at “meatbelts.”)

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 5, 2009

    I think riding “Shotbun” is my favorite. 🙂

  • comment avatar Gretchen White October 5, 2009

    You are sooo funny. 🙂

  • comment avatar aubrey October 5, 2009

    how strangely fun! i totally agree that it’s the most unexpected and spontaneous things that stick in my memory of fun family outings. thanks for sharing!

  • comment avatar JoAnn October 5, 2009

    That’s awesome! Looks like you guys had a blast! We had a great time seeing it at King Sooper’s. I can imagine the joy of actually riding in it! (twice, in your case!)

    The most recent “big” bonding moment was when the three of us were walking on the beach in San Diego “picking shells” as Claire calls it. The ocean, the breeze, the sand, the sun, the carefree-ness of our vacation…it was awesome. She STILL talks about it like it was yesterday, and it was back in May!

  • comment avatar Lei October 6, 2009

    Love all your puns! LOL!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 6, 2009

    I *am*kinda punny. 🙂

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 6, 2009

    No pun intended, of course!

  • comment avatar Lauren in GA October 11, 2009

    Amber, this is right up my alley. I loved all of it…”shotbun”, “meatbelt”, “bunroof”, “ketch(ing) up”. It sounds like it was wacky and perfect and fun. I long to ride in that beauteous mobile. I hold the virtues of processed meat close to my heart…heh, heh, heh…quite literally, actually.

    I truly enjoyed your parting shot about it being an activity you can, “relish together”. You are so clever.

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