Driving, love renewed

Driving, love renewed

We hopped off the plane in San Francisco after a 16-hour flight and having slept only an hour on the plane, no thanks to the hyperactive woman sitting beside me who kept moving about and disturbing my sleep.

So on with the drive after a quick pastry lunch before leaving the airport…

driving

Long distance driving, for someone like me who otherwise avoids road trips like the plague, is easy and relatively safe. No contending with the kind of crazies I’m used to. No potholed highways, no speeding trucks on the fast lane, no tail gaters, no lane cutters. My love for driving is renewed.

With Raine as my navigator, we headed out. Midway through, zombied and jetlagged, we pulled up at a Walmart parking lot to catch some zzz’s and make a bathroom run. And then we were off again, arriving at Steev’s apartment just in time to rush back out for dinner at Chili’s and a quick grocery run. Of course, I was thrilled to see Steev again. My poor son who has been starved his mama’s cooking for far too long.

Hey, lady texter

Hey, lady texter

So I came darned near to running down a woman with my minivan in a parking lot. She’s lucky I was inching along like a snail past another minivan parked in front of the mall entrance. I was focused on the tight squeeze.

She’s lucky too my girls yelled out when they spied her stepping out from the front of that minivan just as I was passing. I mean, let’s face it, this person was short and inconspicuous, not exactly David Beckham, if you know what I mean.

So that was my excuse. She, well, she had no excuse! Her head was down, and her eyes were glued to her cellphone, and she was texting like her life depended on it!! There was no way she could’ve seen me coming!

walkandtext (image credit: morningjoe.com)

I jammed on the brakes at the same exact moment she lifted her head from her phone for all of one nanosecond, yup, just long enough to cast me an icy cold glare. Not a moment to lose, she instantly went back to texting. I glared back at her in disgust. I could’ve sworn I saw a neon sign popping out on top of her head with the words “YOUR fault, NOT mine!”

Dumb just got dumber and driving just got more fun 🙄 .

Kiss me gently

The gas station was busy as usual. There will always be the selfish folks sitting in their cars texting, having a drink of water, checking their makeup and taking their pokey time, long after they’re done filling up, completely oblivious to the number of cars waiting to get in.

There was an older woman who had happily parked her tiny car at one of the pumps, locked it and strolled off. I saw her walking away. After the guy in front of her drove off, I had to reverse into his spot, having been displaced by all that moving back and forth to make room for other folks to get in front and back of me.

Anyhoo, I backed into the spot in front of the woman’s car, got out and went round the back of my minivan to get to the pump on the other side.

Whoa, guess what?

I couldn’t get through. There was not an inch of space between her car and mine. I had backed my car right into hers! My back bumper was right up against her front bumper. Our bumpers were just touching. No jolts, no dents, no scratches, no marks, nothing. Amazing! Whoa, how did I even do that?!!

From the corner of my eye, I spied her strolling back from across the other side of the road. Heck, no time to stand there and admire my awesome parking skills, not even time to take a picture of my Hollywood stuntsmanship (or is it stuntspersonship now? 😆 ). I jumped back in my car and eased it forward. No reason for her to see what didn’t happen. And definitely no reason to give her a heart attack!

If I have to turn around one more time

Some days are crazier than others around here. And yesterday was one of the crazier ones. I was running late sending Raine to college. She had a 10:00am class but by the time I pulled up at the college gate, it was 10 past. She gave me a hasty peck, jumped out of the car and I drove off.

A couple of corners later, I get a call from Raine in a high-pitched voice “Mom, turn around, class is cancelled!!” Now tell me, which kid isn’t excited about a class being cancelled? Sometimes I think they pray for a class to be cancelled 😆 .

That’s not the end of this story though. There was still her 4:00pm class. Ten minutes into our journey, it started to pour like nothing you have ever seen. I mean, we get huge, torrential downpours here all the time but this was like the heavens were intent on emptying every drop of water up there.

Combine that with ghastly gusts of high wind, lightning dissecting the gloomy skies and a flooded highway… and you have one heck of a storm!

Fre-eaky!!

What’s up with the weather these days? Now I’ve driven in a combination of dense fog and heavy rain along the coast of California, but nothing like this! I had my headlights and wipers on max and I still couldn’t see!

My biggest worry though was less about the storm and more about our brilliant drivers. You’d think the first thing folks would do is turn on their headlights so others can see them. No! You’d think they would stop speeding and switching lanes. No!

Wokay, that’s it!! I didn’t need any more reasons to turn around and head back home. Forget trying to get to class. Let’s just get off the roads.

Oops, I did it again!

I’ve done it again. Made another boo-boo. I dropped Raine off at her early morning class and took the wrong way home. Don’t ask me how I can get lost on a route that I’m on every single day of the week. Don’t even ask 😳 !

But yeah, it happens. I’m not sure if it’s ever happened to you, but if it has, I’d love to hear about it. It would make me feel a whole lot better 😆 .

Point is, if I didn’t do silly things like this, where would I even find the occasion to laugh at myself, right? Laughing at other people when bad things happen to them is unacceptable. But laughing at yourself, now that’s different and it’s good for your psyche even.

But I digress. Back to how I turned up a blind ramp onto the highway and there was this oil truck doing some stunts and everyone was swerving to avoid it. With all this confusion going on, I somehow ended up on the wrong lane.

Fine, I was a little distracted and it was only when I made the turn that I noticed the scenery wasn’t quite familiar. Apparently I wasn’t alone though. Seems like the car in front of me made the same boo-boo! What a laugh!

The red post

The red post

The traffic jam this morning was exceptionally horrendous. Aren’t they always? Yes but not nearly as bad unless some vehicle has broken down in the middle of the road and needs rv repair pronto. My usually short commute took me a full half hour.

This is the Chinese New Year rush, folks! There’s less than a week and counting before we enter the Year of the Dragon.

I guess I have it easy. Folks rush out to buy new clothes. We don’t. No big deal, we’re shopping practically all year and our last shipment from Macy’s and Forever21 arrived over Christmas.

Folks decorate their homes with lots of red. We don’t. Being a karma believer, I am less than inclined to believe that putting up red ornaments, red lanterns and lucky plants, and eating food with lucky names is going to change anything. If that’s all it takes to attract wealth, we’d be a worldful of raving billionaires, right? 🙄 Oh well, to each his own.

Folks rush back to their hometowns. We stay put. There’s no way we’re making a road trip during the holiday season. We’re just happy to own the roads when everyone and their cat leaves the city.

I do, however, buy mandarin oranges which we love to eat, and some cookies for the odd guests who show up. Lesson learnt: I don’t buy a lot of cookies because they end up sitting there for months afterwards. I bought 4 crates of mandarin oranges this year, and that’s it, I’m done.

Yeah, I know, we’re different and we’re boring. But that’s just us!

Sunday morning adventure

Sunday morning adventure

Okay, so I’ve finally signed Steev up for driving school. He’s 18+ and definitely old enough to drive and it would neat to have a backup driver to chauffeur my girls around 😉 .

Yesterday he went to take his written test after attending a full day of driving theory the previous Sunday. The driving school has a van service to ferry them to the test center. We didn’t know which test center he’d been assigned to but apparently it’s somewhere out in the boonies.

Me being the worrywart decided to go check the place out myself so I could pick Steev up if he finished early. If he would’ve taken the van, he would’ve had to wait for everyone to finish their tests which might’ve taken the whole day.

We had to be at the pickup point at 9:30am. We were already running late but I had to stop by the gas station. Steev jumped out, stuck my credit card into the gas pump and it threw back an error, yikes! I backed up to the gas pump behind and Steev started over, and again it spat out my credit card. OMG, we wer e going to be late. So I said forget the gas, let’s go.

We got to the pickup point just in the nick of time and that’s when they told us the van would only be leaving at 10am. Dangit! All that rush for nothing. So I left Steev there to wait and we went hunting for the nearest gas station.

Back at the pickup point, the van driver agreed that I could follow him to the test center. So Steev rode with me and I had Raine along as well to note the directions to the place so I could find my way back there later.

As I expected, following the van would not be easy. I was pretty sure the guy would speed all the way there since it was a Sunday, no traffic jams. And I was right. He flew down the highway with me chugging along at my usual turtle speed 😛 .

And there was Steev in the back seat going, Mom, maybe you should step on it a little, we’re going to lose him. And so started my high speed chase like one of those ‘follow that car’ scenes we’ve seen all too often in movies.

Much as I’d like to say I drove like Paul Walker in Fast and Furious, I was doing way below speed limit. Hey, I’m not in the habit of speeding with kids in my car, okay? So I was left wa-aay behind! The van driver didn’t care, he just raced on and me, chug-a-chug-chug, hahaha! To cut a long story short, we made it there in one piece, Steev passed the test and this tailing a van to the boonies is not something I’d care to repeat 😯 .

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