Chaos Attraction

Not Driving To San Luis

2012-08-06, 8:55 p.m.

So I spent the weekend at Anna's wedding in San Luis Obispo. Paid for my own (albeit rather crappy) hotel room and everything.

It's been awhile since I brought up how I was going to handle this situation--drive alone or take Mom with me. I tried to get local friends to go with me, but no dice. That would have been the best solution, but....yeah.

It seemed to me that the options boiled down to:

Go alone: On the one hand, SUPER driving practice and navigation, and if I managed to get myself there and back alone, I could be really proud of myself for acting like an actual adult.

On the other hand: I've never done a long drive alone before, I've never gone this far alone before, and the part where I was planning on going between I-5 (so as to avoid going through all the "_80's" in the Bay Area that confuse me) and then switching highways to go to Casa de Fruta and then over to 101 looked confusing. (Indeed, it freaking was, and I can tell you now that GPS flat out sends you to the wrong location.) And since I wasn't going to have time to rent a car before Friday morning, I'd have to pick up the car and then immediately hit the freeway...without any practice whatsoever. If they gave me some other car that had something freaky about it, like a hand brake, this could also be disastrous. This worried me. In short, it seemed pretty logical that I might have a freaking out crying fit/something going wrong if I did this alone right now.

Bring Mom: On the one hand, someone who knows what's she's doing would be along to babysit my ass if I ran into trouble. I wouldn't have to rent a strange car because we could use hers, which I have at least driven before. It's cheaper.

On the other hand: Mom goes crazy when I drive.

A few days before the trip, I elected to take her along. I am not sure if this was a good idea or not. Actually, come to think of it, both options in this case were really bad and the wrong decision. Just like the options of "don't drive vs. learn from my parents," really.

While Mom had a blast of a time, the whole idea of me driving for ANY part of the trip to get some more long distance practice in just went to hell immediately. She started in on nitpicking me so hard. She freaked out at how I adjusted the mirrors, because she didn't like it. She didn't like how I tried to set the seating automatically and started screaming when I pushed the buttons. She didn't like how I put my foot on the pedal. And she really freaked that I lowered the seat. I'm four inches taller than her, dammit, I cannot have the seat up so high that I dislocate my driving knee!. Anyway, after an assault of that shit while I was just sitting in the parking lot, I was at the point of tears after attempting to drive a few blocks down E Street. I pulled over and gave up driving for the entire trip. The woman just has to be IN CONTROL and she can't stand it when I drive, period.

We had a looooong talk about this coming home and she apologized for her bad behavior, but...really, she only gets worse the more I try to drive with her, and I shouldn't do it, even if my options are her or no driving.

Other than that...we went to Casa de Fruta, which was fun. Here's the photo album of weirdness. I saw a lot of cheesy wine souvenirs. I did wine tasting, since it wasn't like I was driving. I bought some mead wine. I bought a lot of exotic fudge. I got a Crazy Cat Lady game. It's a fun food detour site. And also has a couple of peahens roaming free. Spent three hours there.

And after that, we went to some gallery in Carmel that Mom buys paintings from, where we heard plenty of dirt about the late Thomas Kincade because the gallery owner knew him. He used to be a humble and nice fellow who painted stuff like Yosemite rather than twee houses, but in later years, he was drunk driving and acquired a "gold digger" girlfriend. Fun times. We also watched Mom's painting artist do a live demonstration of painting, which was actually really interesting to watch. Unfortunately, we were there for 2 hours, plus we had to eat, so...we didn't get to the motel until 11:20 p.m. Ugh. Wouldn't have been that late had I gone alone.

And that's all for day one. More to come.

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