Friday, September 16, 2011

this california thing

Been here almost a day and a half. Exhausted. Don't know how Jessie does these things:

Keeps up with three busy girls--kindergarten, pre-school, naps, shopping, eating, playgroup, celebrating a birthday, oh and sleeping.

All of those seem to involve driving on freeways.

Okay, maybe not all. Like the sleeping part or the kindergarten part or some of the other parts.

But the celebrating a birthday part--definitely included driving on the freeway. By me. With Breanne and Janey.

See, we got this great idea to go shopping for Jessie's birthday yesterday afternoon. Jessie gave me simple directions--once you get out of the neighborhood, it's just a couple of turns and you're on the freeway and then it's just ten miles or so to Target. Seemed easy enough, right?

So we got on the freeway--yes, the correct freeway--and headed straight to Target where we picked out a card and party plates, napkins, and hats, candles, and gifts. Breanne picked out an awesome gold flower-shaped ring (about two inches across). Janey picked out a cool Halloween charm bracelet. Together they sniffed through several lotions until we found one they both were sure mom would like--coconut lime scented.

But for some odd reason, Target didn't have the other two necessary gifts--balloons and orange flowers. Because how can you have a birthday party without balloons, and mom loves orange flowers.

So our clerk at Target gave us great directions to the closest store that has balloons and flowers--simple directions really--get on the freeway, take the blahblah exit, go right, then left on blahblah and when you see the McDonald's and the Sizzler, you're there. At Nob Hill.

And amazingly, we followed those directions and we found Nob Hill. Where the help was so so so helpful. They blew up the balloons the girls picked out. And they had a bunch of little orange roses. Perfect, right?

So we got back in the van and headed back to the freeway. On our way home, no problem.

Okay, except for the part where I couldn't remember the name of the exit to Jessie's house. I mean, I think I would have recognized it if I'd seen it. But I didn't see it. So we kept driving. Looking for that exit with the name I didn't remember. I saw other exits that I thought I remembered. But they didn't seem quite right.

I did remember Jessie telling me that it's illegal to text or call on a cell phone while driving. Or something like that. So I was surprised to get a text from her asking if we were okay. I quickly replied yes. Then sent a quick text as I got off the freeway--Exit? Or perhaps it said Exi?t

She sent me the exit name. Not the exit I took. So I attempted to re-enter the freeway. Unfortunately, the entrance was under construction, so I bravely followed the detour signs through a part of some town I've never been in.

By now, Janey was asleep and Breanne was asking how much longer? I honestly told her I didn't know. Possibly not reassuring, but she seemed okay with it.

Eventually, we got back on the freeway and continued north.

When I reached Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, I called Jessie. Yes, while driving. Carefully even with a car full of balloons. But that's when I realized I'd totally missed the exit. Still not sure how. Something about names of other roads on the signs that must have distracted me so I missed the somewhat blah name of the correct exit.

But that whole exit/detour/get back on the freeway thing? Drive back to the correct exit during rush hour traffic, in the merging lane because I was afraid to change lanes while looking through balloons and possibly miss the exit again?

Yeh, Breanne was right, we spent the whole afternoon in the car.

It was a great birthday party though. And today we spent the afternoon at the children's museum. Good times.


Lisa B. said...

what you described is my nightmare. and why California is both wonderful! and awful. But it does sound like you're having fun, even the whole afternoon in the car.

Joey said...

GPS, GPS, GPS. I love them. "Correcting course." They do all the work for you.

I drove all around LA once on mapquests that were printed up.

I'm terrible at following spoken directions. My mind shuts off if there are more than three instructions. Not good.

So glad you are having fun.