Bryanna and the City

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Teaching an old dog new tricks...wait, did i just compare myself to a dog?

"I don't understand this disengage and engage. Can you please use my terms?" I whined, frustrated with my inability to master this seemingly simple task.

"Okay. What are your terms?" responded Sean.

"When I need to push the clutch down, say down and when I need to let it go, say release."

"What happened to 'up'? "

"I changed my mind."

This Saturday Sean and are going on a road trip to Napa Valley. We're planning on taking the coastal route, spending a couple nights in Oregon and the rest of the week sipping back copious amounts of wine and noshing on crackers and cheese. We may fit in a day trip to San Francisco, but, by that time, we'll probably be sick of driving. We're also trying to keep the details of the trip flexible.

One detail that isn't flexible, unfortunately, is my having to learn how to drive standard before Saturday. I've had my driver's license for almost six years now, and I've never felt the need to learn standard. I've wanted to learn. It's just been one of those things that I've never made time for (one out of many). However, with the almost 40 hours of driving in one week that we'll be doing, the time to learn has come.

I'll admit, I started off poorly. I froze under the pressure after stalling. I made Sean get out and take the driver's seat when another car pulled up behind us. However, with a little patience from Sean and deep breathing on my part, after 20 minutes I was doing figure-eights in an empty gravel lot. I was even able to start the car on a hill and shift into second.

Next Thursday I'm taking my skills to real roads to master the 3rd, 4th and 5th gears. My advice: stay off the roads!

P.S. Any Napa tips / recommendations?