Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just in case you think my travel is glamourous...

Let me be the first to dispel that notion. Today started with a cold shower. Note that I HATE cold showers, but I couldn't figure out which way to turn the knob for hot water in my sister's guest bathroom and I was the only one awake. Pathetic, I know, but I was in a hurry. I wanted to leave early enough to stop by a Dunkin Donuts on the way to my first school visit. Doubly pathetic, I know.

I got out of the house in plenty of time, but Dunkin Donuts was not to be. Knowing that I had to make a left turn eventually, I was driving on the left hand side of the many lanes of traffic on my way to the first school visit when I realized, too late, that I needed to be in the right lane to continue on the road I was on. I tried to move over, but I'm not the aggressive driver I used to be, and I didn't make it. I found myself driving over the bridge into Camden, NJ. Luckily, I don't stress out about being lost. I do stress out about being late, though, so I called the school and let them know my mistake and that I'd be running behind. Once over the bridge, I swung around to come back into Philly, along with about half of New Jersey all trying to squeeze into the same four lanes. Unfortunately, as I was nearing the toll booth, I remembered that my cash was in my jeans pocket - back at my sister's house. I navigated out of the toll lanes and started driving around Camden looking for an ATM. That experience was much like finding my quilting needle when I lost it on the couch one day this summer - akin to finding the needle in the proverbial haystack all the while with a rising sense of panic. I finally found a bodega with an ATM sign outside, got some cash, and got back in line to cross the bridge. I made it to the school half an hour late. Oh well. I'd be on time to my NEXT visit.

Wrong. The directions said that the trip to the next school would take 12 minutes. Try 31 minutes. I was late there as well. 0 for 2.

I arrived at my third school on time and had a nice chat with 3 young men who were interested in my university. I was feeling good about myself until the 4th young man showed up as I was packing up to go. I couldn't NOT take the time to talk with him, so there went my cushion of time between visit 3 and 4. I left there with not a minute to spare to get to school number 4 on time.

Did I mention yet that Philly is experiencing heavy rain today? Flood and tornado watches? Just as I was about to arrive at school number 4 on time, I was turned back by 2 men who had blocked the road with their emergency vehicles. The road was flooded. They sent me about 5 miles around to another entrance to the school, but I was late again. How embarrassing! In 8 years, I have rarely ever been late to a school visit, but today ruined my record.

I'm not doing this trip again next year. It wasn't just today. On Monday, I visited 7 schools in Wilmington, DE and got lost 4 times. I must have driven past a sign for the BLUE BALL BARN eight times on Monday. At one point, I was starting to think that it was a sign that instead of visiting schools I should find some good-timing cows to bring to the frustrated bulls that must certainly reside in that barn. (If that reference is lost on you, bless your pure heart and clean mind. If that reference offended you, I apologize, but don't you think it is better that I was silly giddy instead of succumbing to road rage?)

So, after visit 4, I began the trip back to my sister's house, a 30 mile trip that took nearly 2 hours, during which my monthly cycle began. Lovely. I came in the house, put on my pajamas and picked up my nephew for some baby therapy. I would be perfectly happy never getting back into a car in Philadelphia ever again. Of course, I have to go out later tonight to give a presentation. Ugh!

The whole week hasn't been me driving around lost. My nephew is super cute and such a happy baby. Doesn't he look good on me?

This was us yesterday. I came home from the school visits and found my sister in tears. We were supposed to be going out for a nice dinner and she had been trying on clothes trying to find something that fit to wear out. Those of you who have given birth understand her tears. It hasn't even been 4 months, and my poor misguided sister thought she'd be able to get back into her pre-pregnancy 2s and 4s. I packed her and the baby into my rental car and we went to Macy's to go shopping for clothes that fit. After giving her a crash course in styles and fabrics that compliment her more mature, voluptuous figure, I could virtually see her spirits lifting as we took advantage of a huge sale to get nearly a whole new wardrobe for her. By the time we dressed for a (very late) dinner, her smile was a real one. She's one hot mama, isn't she?

The whole happy family (that's the top of Dorian's head peeking out of the wrap on my sister. He slept through dinner. I tell you, he is ONE GOOD BABY!)

After two school visits tomorrow, I head back home. I'm looking forward to the quiet, leisurely pace of life in Lexington, VA and to hanging out with my three guys. And I am determined to spend some time with my sewing machine before I leave for Mexico next Wednesday. At least in Latin America I have a driver and don't have to navigate the roads on my own!