I thought my 5 hour walk down Table Mountain in South Africa was one of the greatest feats of my life. Truly, it was an amazing experience fraught with anticipation, anxiety, fear, determination and adrenaline. I’ve just had my second life-altering experience.
Let me just fill in a few back-story details because I do believe lack of sleep exacerbates every other emotion. I woke up at 5:50am – God only knows why? And then I couldn’t fall back to sleep…I knew I had to get up around 7am to make sure the girls got up, brushed their teeth and got dressed and fed. Well sometime around 6:45am I heard screams! I also heard heavy footsteps above me so I didn’t jump up. Regardless, the idea of a 10 minute doze was out of the question. Turns out Finley decided to lock Francesca in the room. Of course, she screamed, poor thing!
I’m up and not in a good mood at all, tolerance level way below normal so any long-winded whiney discussion about hair bows or outfits was going to be cut short. Finally with everyone fed and ready to roll, we left for school drop-offs and Belle came with me. First bit of drama was that usually on Fridays, Finley wears her dress uniform and we see lots of girls going into school wearing dresses (and you know how much Finley likes to dress up) and Belle is saying “uh oh” because she thinks we made a mistake. NOT – Finley already had a dress-up day this week when she went to the museum. Dropped Frankie off, no problem.
I’m off to Starbucks to get coffee for Chiara and me. God, do I need caffeine! Note: Since I’ve been here I’ve had to up my intake – It’s no longer Grandé Americano with a light splash of steamed brevi – NO, it’ Venti now! I turn to the GPS so Siri my new best friend can direct me to Starbucks but Siri is silent! Yesterday Chiara turned off the voice prompts and I can’t figure out to get them back on. Ok, so I’ll try to follow the map which might require taking glasses on and off which is never a good thing when you’re driving. I look to punch in the Starbucks location which Tom had programmed for me and that’s gone too! Yikes! Belle assures (as best she can in a language I don’t understand) that there is no problemo. Really?
Belle is directing me where to turn and when to go straight and I mention to her that this is not the way Tom and I went to Starbucks. Again, no problemo. She says in English, “Atlantic Avenue”. OH NO! I know Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. It is the main commercial thoroughfare. Yes there is a Starbucks there BUT where do you think I can park the car? Again, no problemo. I look at Belle and with hand gestures and some Spanglish I inform her that of course it’s no problem for Belle, Belle is NOT driving! Sure enough we get there and she points to a parking space and I shudder no. I head for a parking lot that I know is down the street and I don’t mind walking and remember that Chiara parked there once. However, I see the sign as I pull in that clearly states this a RESERVED ONLY parking lot and ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOWED. Naturally, being half-German, I turn around and leave, I’m not parking there.
We are now headed back to the Starbucks we passed and sure enough, there is a parking spot just near the store. It’s a PARALLEL PARKING spot! “Si, si, ” Belle points to the spot. Are you f________g kidding me? I’m not going to park there!!!! Apparently I am 😦 – I have no choice but to bite the bullet so to speak. This is a horror; there is a car in front of and behind the spot. 17 ‘ long 7’ wide and sitting up a mile high on the opposite side of the car from the curb. I try to back in and end up parallel but about 4′ from the curb. I see in the rear view mirror that the car behind me is going to pull out. I just sit there. He just sits there. He is waiting for me to pull out, I’m waiting for him to pull out. I look in my rear-view mirror and he’s staring at me. Finally, he pulls out and stops alongside to give me a dirty look. I don’t care, I’m so happy he moved; Now I gingerly move the car backwards trying to trust the electronic back-up guide and not my instinct which is to look over my shoulder. Actually you have to both but the latter is so hard to do considering the car has 3 rows of seats! I’m pretty sure I’ve backed in close enough to the curb and not hit the tree so I pull forward and stop. BREATHE, I’m exhausted and literally a bit shaky. Starbucks here I come, I need the caffeine to calm me down, the parking was enough of an adrenaline boost!
I don’t think it was my imagination but there were a couple of men sitting at table outside of Starbucks and they all looked at me when I walked past them and into the store. No, NOT that kind of look; more like why is this lady driving a car she can’t park and why is someone this old driving a Tahoe??