Tag Archives: driving

#tbt: Moving back to California

Five years ago, Drew and I packed up most of our New York stuff, and drove back to California.

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Thank God Jared was staying in the apartment, so there was a lot of stuff we could just leave – like our bed, couches, rugs, etc.

We basically packed all night while watching Roseanne. In the morning, Joe came over to help us load up the van.

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Also thank God we casually said, “Yeah, let’s upgrade to the largest size van you have.” We needed every square inch of space.

It took us three nights to get home, driving pretty much all the time. We were also doing Atkins at the time, so we weren’t even really stopping to eat very much…I’m not sure how we passed the time. I remember at some point we started playing Lingo out loud, and for awhile we listened to Rent…

I also took a lot of pictures out the passenger side window, so there’s a lot of semi-blurry landscape with window reflections. This was pre-smartphone.

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(I’m pretty sure Drew took that picture.)

When we got to Nevada, we wanted to drive through to Reno so we could crash with Molly. But Nevada is insanely wide, and neither of us could keep our eyes open. So our final night on the road was spent in Elko, Nevada.

The next day, I drove us across the state line into California, and later Drew and I realized that whenever we’re in a car together, he may say “Do you want to drive?” to be nice, but I generally never do, and he generally always wants to. So now we don’t worry about taking turns to be nice to each other. A good lesson for our impending marriage.

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It’s been FIVE YEARS since we came back. New York is drifting further and further away from us. But it’s still an indisputable part of our lives and of our relationship. I think a reunion may be in order.

 

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, cars, Drew, Endings, Humor, Love, Memoir, Nature, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Travel

Parallel parking

I remember my dad teaching me to parallel park. The way it goes in my memory is that during one driving lesson when I was 15, he just announced that we were going to cover parallel parking so that I wasn’t one of those girls who can never do it. (He may not have actually said that, but that’s how it goes in my memory.)

I guess I took that very seriously. I have never liked anyone suggesting that I fit into the stereotype of the “female driver.” But I have taken special pride in parallel parking. I’m pretty good at it. It helps that I’m driving the same car I’ve been driving for 11 years, so I have a really stellar feel for the dimensions of the thing.

This is my parallel parking job from when I got home this evening. And yes, the spot I was parking in was a pretty good size. And honestly, this is slightly closer to the curb than I would usually shoot for. But still. This is one shot, on the first try.

Thanks, Dad!

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Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, cars, Family, Memoir, Sentiment

Whining on Board

Dear people on the internet,

Why do you take such offense against these little yellow Baby on Board stickers that hang in car windows?

I mean, I kind of get it. I used to be one of you. I assumed that the sticker was there as a way to tell me to slow down and drive more carefully around the baby. I thought that was the equivalent of a mom shushing me in a public area where I should be allowed to talk freely, just because her child was sleeping. (In both cases, I should probably just restrain myself a little better. But also in both cases, I disliked having a stern stranger tell me what to do.)

Here’s a little story: once in high school, I was driving from Lakeport over to Fort Bragg. Between Willits and Fort Bragg is a 30-mile stretch of winding road through the trees – it’s gorgeous, but it’s one lane, with a single passing lane available about 10 miles in from the coast. There are plenty of places to pull over and let someone pass you, though.

I was stuck behind a car rattling along with a Baby on Board sticker. This car would not pull over, no matter that it had been nearly 20 miles, which was unbearable to me, a teenager in a 2-door car with a stick shift. Finally we approached the passing lane, which incidentally was on an uphill stretch, and as I moved over to pass…the jalopy sped up! I barely made it past them, and then I continued on my way…at which point that car tailgated me for the remaining 10 miles of the trip.

I reached the coast and pulled into the parking lot of a grocery store…where the jalopy pulled up behind me, parking me in, and an irate woman got out and began yelling at me about “almost running her off the road” and how she had “a baby in the backseat.” All I could do was stand there in shock (I have never been good at confrontation) – but what I wanted to snap back was that she had plenty of chances to let me pass, she didn’t have to speed up while I was passing her, and she certainly didn’t have to speed up in order to follow me the rest of the way.

So. She was crazy, and should not have behaved that way. Because of her I am now totally paranoid about being followed and trapped in a parking lot, and I always have a contingency plan if I think someone is tailing me.

But, here’s what I started out to say. I realized something, many years later.

The Baby on Board sticker is not there to tell you what to do: it’s just to alert you, the other driver, that the car with the baby is likely to drive slower, more cautiously, and to view yellow lights as “stop now” signals rather than “go very fast.” So if you need to adjust for that, then feel free. I’ll be here, in the right hand lane, signaling carefully and going the speed limit.

Hope this helps, whiny people on the internet!

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Filed under "Other people", cars, Children, Memoir, Nature, Not awesome