By Jacinda Boneau
Some of my best childhood memories were Sunday drives, parade routes and Thursday nights at the local A&W, which was classic car night. My stepfather had long dreamed of owning a 1954 Chevy, and so when one came along—cherry red, of course—he didn’t hesitate. By not waiting until an empty nest left room for pampering antique cars, he was inviting me and my three siblings to share in the enjoyment of a stunning automobile that turned heads and started conversations.
When Chevrolet invited me to borrow a car for a week, I immediately thought of those memories and wanted to share an exciting car experience with my own family. I cannot lie, the idea of stepping out of a minivan and behind the wheel of a Camaro SS convertible also thrilled me and my husband. I was most excited about the wind in my hair; he was most excited about the power under the hood.
Since it was just an average week, I wanted to make sure we took advantage and enjoyed the Camaro as much as possible. Of course, carpool pickups and soccer practice were thrills in a sleek sports car, but I also planned a special date with each member of my family and then a special date just for me.
For my youngest, Gordon, we hit the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and took advantage of the open air to spot the planes as they took off and landed.
My “middlest,” Quinn, is an animal lover so our date was a cruise along our town’s country roads, stopping to say hello to the horses, buffalo, cows and a duck or two. She owned the backseat with giant sunglasses and a huge smile.
In an atypical move, my oldest, Clare, invited her younger sister along on her date to enjoy some frosty drinks delivered via car-hop. Then we hit the farmer’s market to shop for fall garden flowers and to sample the season’s fresh produce. Us three girls had an amazing Sunday together while the boys watched some football.
But enough about the kids. It was time to surprise my husband at work with a picnic lunch. I even let him drive to test out that powerful Camaro SS engine. It felt like a mini-vacation to cruise down the road together with the top down on a gorgeous autumn afternoon.
As for my time alone, I hit the tennis court. Funny that my team suggested it was my turn to drive to our away match that weekend—they’ve never asked me to drive when I have the “mom car.” Later, the boys joined in the fun and met me for lunch at the club. It’s really fun to hear people’s stories about Chevys. Seems like everyone has a great memory they want to share. After chatting with a crew of golfers, I was late to get home to return the Camaro. I think they were worried that I’d skipped town.
One week later, from the back seat of our 7-seater, my 2-year-old asked, “Man came and took red car? Where red car mom?” I guess the Camaro left a strong impression. I don’t think we’ll be waiting until our youngest is off to college to get back in a Camaro. It’s the least we can do, eh hem, for the children. We’re making memories here!
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Jacinda Boneau is the co-founder of Pretty Prudent, a design and lifestyle site that provides inspiration and instruction to help anyone create beautiful things, food and experiences for their friends, family and home. Jacinda is also a Dallas morning television contributor, editor at Babble Home and BRANDWEEK Marketer of the Next Generation, as well as co-author of the upcoming DIY decor and lifestyle book, Pretty Prudent Home (Abrams, 2014).