Sunday, April 2, 2017

Teen Driving: Navigating the Permit Requirements

I wrote this when our son was 15 years, 7 months old. That means he was old enough to get his learner's permit so that he can practice driving while I practice patience. And praying. I'm sure I'll do a lot of praying while he's driving. I got my learner's permit 29 years ago and I only remember how excited I was. I don't remember the process, but I don't think it was this difficult.

We live in California (which might be part of the problem), and Drivers Education is not part of the high school curriculum. I took Drivers Ed one summer and passed all of my tests with flying colors (not surprising, I was a car lover back then, too). Now kids and parents have to find an online Drivers Ed course, complete all of the lessons, pass the test, and get an official certificate to take to the DMV to take another test to get the permit. Are you as confused as I am?

Friday, March 31, 2017

2007 Audi Q7 Update: 104,000 Miles and Going Strong

As I type this, I'm keeping my fingers crossed (typing with crossed fingers is difficult, maybe I'll cross my toes). I'm not usually superstitious, but I'm sitting in the local Audi dealership while my 2007 Q7 (with 104,300 miles on it) is in the service center getting new brakes, a new brake light, a recall repair, and hopefully a good bill of health. I love my Q7 and I don't want anyone to say anything derogatory about it, especially a service tech after he looks under the hood. Those types of conversations are expensive. I do have a "Mature Audi" coupon to get 10% off this service, so there's that. I'm mature driving a mature Audi. Damn. This day is starting to get rough. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Get a Grip, Wherever You Are

In a yoga class last week, Daniel, our teacher, led us through a series of deep leg stretches. He kept saying, "Get a grip, wherever you are." On the surface, he meant to hold on to our legs, whether that was our ankles or our knees. But it meant so much more.

"Get a grip." We use this phrase to tell people to calm down, to get in touch with reality, or to get some perspective. It's not often received as a positive phrase; more often we hear it when someone is exasperated with us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Car Mama Cooks: Easy Homemade Applesauce

Car Mama-Red AppleThe weather is finally changing from hot summer to cooler autumn. Yesterday the searing hot sun drove our temperatures up to 90 degrees, today it's overcast, drizzly and the high temp will likely be around 66. I love it. Time to cook, bake, and drink hot drinks! We recently picked a ton of fresh apples, but because of the hot weather I didn't want to bake the apple cake I'm craving, so I made applesauce instead. (Two weeks later and I'm still craving a warm, gooey slice of apple cake.) 

Monday, July 21, 2014

West Coast Summer Road Trip

We're going on a road trip this summer. Two kids, two parents, and a car full of shtuff. We're driving from Marin County, California to Pt. Townsend, Washington. It'll be great. It'll be fun. I'm sure I'll lose my mind by the time we hit the Oregon border.

A house full of family and friends awaits us in Pt. Townsend. We'll have a family reunion as well as visit the free-flowing Elwha River to celebrate my late Uncle Russ and the work he did to get the two dams on the Elwha River removed. I wish he could join us. We'll drink good wine, eat fresh salmon, and laugh in his honor.

I've already made one sanity-saving decision: The dog will NOT be going with us. He's going to Grandma's house here in California. More fun for him, less dog hair and panting for me.

We're still ironing out a few details about route, stops, and number of days to drive the 830 miles. Listed below are some of the things we know we must do on our trip north.

Must Do List:
*  Visit Voodoo Donuts in Portland, OR
*  Find a good wine store before arriving in Pt. Townsend, WA (must come prepared)
*  Fish, fish, fish (the activity of fishing and the consumption of fish)
*  Explore every nook and cranny of Fort Worden State Park in Pt. Townsend
*  Remain in good spirits as much as possible

Hmmm. It appears that I need to start planning in earnest.

Please help! Here is our route map; what are some other Must Dos for us? 

Relevant Info: Our kids are 14 and 10 years old and are accustomed to staying in the car for 3-6 hours at a time. We all like good food (no Happy Meals here) and comfy beds. We can take two or three days to drive from here to there.

Our trip home will take a detour to Lake Almanor in California, and we'd like to mix up the drive a bit through Oregon. Here is the return route map that I like today. What do you think?

Our time at Lake Almanor will involve fishing, swimming, reading, eating, and drinking. I doubt I'll have any desire to get in the car and explore after so many hours of driving, but if my family does, where should they explore in Northeastern California?

Thank you, friends. I'm so overwhelmed by packing for this road trip. I think I'll grab a pint of ice cream, a good book, and go hide in my closet until we leave. (But I'll read all comments and suggestions via my phone in the dark.)

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