Driving to Fresno

Hey Dad,

Well I will tell you one thing. I have been travelling now for 3 months, and in that time i have not been so worked up, so agitated and annoyed as I have today. I want to revoke my statement of travelling with people is better! Right now my family are lucky they made it here and are not stranded on the side of the road! 

We got up nice and leisurely this morning and packed everything up. We got picked up and driven to the car rental place. I had already been warned that the car I had hired was a ‘Ford Mustang or similar’. There was not one hire company that would guarantee me a mustang. Knowing I would not want to be leaving in any other car I was prepared to wait for one if it came to it, and therefore wanted to be at the car hire place as early as possible. 

As we arrived, the queue was pretty long. I jumped in the queue before a monorail ton of people got out and tried to join. We got to the counter and had to go through all the standard stuff, he was a little concerned I was driving to new York. 

Well anyway, we made our way to the garage to collect the car. They had one mustang. One. I pretty much jumped on it. Gun metal grey anyway no pretty much brand new! Happy bunny! 

Now let the fun begin….

1st challenge, getting the luggage in the car. I had pre warned mum and Jon to pack light. They didn’t do too badly. The boot however was still not big enough for everything. The boot slopes towards the back, making it impossible to slide a case to the back of the boot. Apparently my case was the problem. Ever heard the phrase too many cooks? Well yeah, I gave up trying to help. 

So as Jon is playing with the puzzle of luggage, I decide to start trying to set up the car. First problem, everything is lit up with blue! Jon finished loading the car and they both went to find a bathroom while I finish sorting out the car. By the time they have got back I have only just worked out how to change all the blue. Well they get in the car and instantly start complaining. “We need to go” “we have been here ages” “stop playing with the damn lights and let’s move”. I can’t see in blue lights, funnily enough to me that was pretty important.  

Well by this time I am annoyed, so we set off. Mirrors are not sorted; seats not right, no idea about the controls, and I have not even looked at how to work the roof. We also have no idea where we are going. 

With in two minutes I have two back seat drivers! By the first corner they are gasping at how close I am to a wall. We get to the gate for final check out, and I need my driver licence again. This is in my purse in the boot…. fortunately I manage to pull out my back pack and find my purse. As I am sorting out the paper work I ask Jon to stuff my bag back into the boot. This was met with am chorus of grumbles.

The barrier opens and we set off. It was a sharp turn right, then left. Apparently my bonnet was ‘inches’ from a wall. If a truck can get around this corner, the mustang can. 

We get out the car park and my blood is already getting hot. It then dawns on mum and Jon we don’t know where we are going. We knew we needed to buy a sat nav; and we needed to direct ourselves to a shop to find one. The only thing we had was an app on my phone that worked offline. It also does not update very fast. By the first junction I am in the wrong Lane. I have Jon shouting to go right, but being in the wrong Lane in a car with the mirrors not set and traffic moving, that was not going to happen. I have mum saying to just go to the main road, thanks mum like I didn’t think of that! We follow signs to a freeway, but we have no direction which way we are even facing; let alone where the road was heading. Again I am suddenly in the wrong Lane. Jon’s direction skills were useless! In fairness to him the app he was following was very slow. 

I was now very frustrated. Frustrated for being rushed, for being told how to drive, for not having had time to make a plan, and for having two back seat drivers! 

I was being told how to drive and told I was doing it wrong by someone who had never driven a left hand drive car or on the wring side of the road; and by someone who doesn’t leave our home town. Don’t tell me how to do something when you have no clue what you are doing! 

We eventually find a store. No sat navs. I am now pretty miserable, and wondering if I can get away with driving off! I leave mum and Jon in the shop to cary on sorting out the car. I finally get my mirrors sorted and adjust some settings, at least now I can drive a little easier! I even worked out how to sort out the roof. Mum and Jon came out agenda again I am getting it in the neck for ‘faffing’. We get told of another shop so attempt to drive there, again with no real clue of where we are going. 

Still with my crows squaking that I am too far to the right, I attempt to drive to the shop. Yes to them I may be too far over, but I am in the drivers seat. This car feels like it is 10 meters wide. I am as far on the left as I can be, and I can now see the lines on the right hand out of my wing mirror. If I can see the lines, I must be in the damn lane! 

We find the electrical shop and they sell sat navs! Hooray. One sat nav purchased. 

By this time, it is gone 1pm. The plan had been to drive the scenic route to Fresno, but we were out of time for that. We agreed to just drive to Fresno. I sent up the sat nav and we set off. The sat nav read it would take about two and a half hours. I wondered if the three of us would make it.

I spent the next two hours getting more and more annoyed. Fuse had blown by now. Mum had been told to stop being a back seat drivers and Jon was almost booted out completely. First time in three months I think I would have actually preferred to be alone! Don’t get me wrong dad; you know I love them dearly, but if they keep telling me how to drive I will be making them get their own car and drive themselves. 

So I am driving along a freeway, and now I am having it being taken out of me for driving too slowly. I am driving the speed limit. I am in am new car on a road I have not been on before. I am also well aware a tourist in a mustang is far more likely to be pulled over then a local. I am so wound up by now I can not contain it. Mum is actually complaining I seem to be being over taken and Jon is screaming that there is no one around I will not get pulled over. He seems to be forgetting I am driving for three months and can’t afford to risk my licence and I can’t afford a fine! 

I get so frustrated, I put my foot down. And I keep it down. I passed 7o, 80, 90, 100, 110….. I now have mum screaming in the back to slow down, funny; she wanted me to drive faster earlier. 

So I slowed down back to a reasonable speed. Jon is still trying to prove his point. Mum now was finally quiet. 

We got to Fresno, and I have never been so happy to get out of a car. Then to top it off the first thing they tell the rest of the family is how bad my driving is. Even you have told me I am a solid driver. If I was too close to anything I would have hit something! I got us there safely, in one piece with no problems, but apparently that was not even good enough!

We got in, had a quick shower and headed out for dinner. The topic of my driving is bought up again. Now I am not holding back, I went mental. Esme’s friends are even looking at me concerned, I think they realised when I said I was prepared to leave them behind I was not joking. 

So we are now at the house, and everyone has crashed out. 

I will tell you now dad, if I have a repeat of today I will be driving to Vegas alone and meeting mum and Jon there. 

Rant over. 

Night dad x


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