Small town adventure

Raine and 3 of her friends signed up for driving school over the weekend. Yes, it’s just a month since Steev got his driver’s license and now it’s Raine’s turn. The theory part is usually conducted at a center not too far away from where we live. I just assumed since Steev and all his friends had their class there that that’s where Raine and her friends were going to be at.

The driving school has a van to ferry them there which was all well and good. I was going to pick her up and take her out to lunch. We had it all planned. Except neither Raine nor I expected they were going to be transported to another driving center located in a small town more than an hour’s drive away from the city.

Her text messages started coming in at the rate of 1 per minute. Mom, they’re taking us somewhere far! Where? Dunno!! and our text messages just kept flying back and forth. From some of the names of places they were speeding by in the van, Hip2bDad and I huddled over Google Maps checking out possible locations and calling up for directions.

We weren’t exactly panicked but we were really, really concerned. True, I hadn’t thought to ask but couldn’t the driving school have informed us? Within minutes, we were heading out to look for this place “hidden in some plantations with horses and mountains nearby”. We had no idea where it was. The only thing we had to go by were the sketchy landmarks Raine was texting us.

We sped down narrow roads, winding roads and near-deserted highways like this one:

… and drove past clumps of trees and bare land with no buildings in sight. Living in the city, we’re used to seeing buildings, lots of them and the thought of our princess out there in a place with no buildings was not a comforting one!

It took us 2 hours to find the ‘shack’ tucked deep in an obscure spot off the beaten path. It’s absolutely the craziest place to house a driving center! This is the country road leading from the driving center. We could almost reach out and touch the hills and there was barely another human in sight!

We couldn’t even find a place to buy lunch for the girls We had to resort to pulling up at a gas station to grab some bread rolls, potato chips and canned drinks!! It was the best we could do under the circumstances.

After we dropped off lunch, we went home to wait. There was still a half day left to the driving course and the van was to bring them back to the city. To the parents of Raine’s 3 friends, this was not a big deal at all. The girls called home but their parents weren’t unduly alarmed. They were comfortable not knowing where their teenaged daughters had been taken.

Not us. We dropped everything and jumped in the car. We couldn’t not know! We had to see her and know where she was! It was a long day! Raine finally arrived home around 5 in the evening, safe and sound, after a 2-hour ride back in the stuffy, speeding van. She’d been away a whole day but it felt more like months. I’ve never been so relieved to see her!

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  • Lindsay

    OMGosh! I would have flipped! I am so happy that you and your hubby drove to find where they took your daughter. You shouldn’t have to ask if they are going to take your child more then an hour away in the middle of nowhere. I would think common sense would say that this was all a bit creepy. I cant believe those other parents weren’t concerned! Am so glad that your daughter knew to call you and let you know what was going on. I am horrified that they other parents could have cared less. I would have been like you and having a panic attack all at the same time!

  • Tracy

    I would have flipped too. After situations like that I wonder what it was like to be my mom and not being able to stay in contact with me with a cell phone. The worry of not knowing would be even worse.

  • mommy to chumsy

    OMG this is crazy! I would go bonkers not knowing where they took my daughter. Thank God all is well. I hope Raine is not going back to this driving school. Don’t they just let them practice driving in the housing area?