Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Road

Between Angel’s Camp and Farmington there is a stretch of road that must have been the  Mr.ToadsWildRideinspiration for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I have driven that road a lot lately, going to my new endocrinologist’s office. On the way home today I had an epiphany and made the connection. No where else but Disneyland is there such a road.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is exhausting. As is his road.  Most of it is a long ribbon of hills that go sharply up and down. The crew who originally paved the road did not bother to grade or otherwise engineer said road. So.., when you drive on it you feel like an ant going across a piece of ribbon hard candy. Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up Down. Sometimes there is a row of small hills close together, these are often in between really big-ass hills.

Picture yourself on a roller-coaster. You know that part where the cars are pulled up and up to the very (horribly high) top? You can’t see what the track is like on the other side, so you are blindly going to plummet down, and you know that there will be a sharp turn very soon, but until you go over the hump and can see the tracks you have no clue what direction the turn takes.

This section of highway 4 is just like that. Over and Over again. Until you come to the wacky part of the ride where the road is flat and curves for no apparent reason. The road does not have to go around trees, or bypass homes. It just randomly turns and continues on. An aerial view would be interesting.

If the road isn’t wild enough for you, it’s because I have not told you about the whoop-tee-do section yet. This part is a calm and deceivingly peaceful, 65-miles per hour stretch, laced with 30-mile an hour curves. If you weren’t already car-sick, you are now. They say the driver doesn’t get car-sick – Ha!  Yours truly was feeling pretty nauseous there, until we got closer to Angel’s Camp.

Anyway, if you happen to be traveling up to the Big Trees, or Murphys area, I dare you to take Highway 4 East from Farmington.


Those of you who decide to accept this mission (or already completed it) – Please send me your ‘take’ on the experience. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

photo credit: Loren Javier via photopin cc

Driving Mister Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy

I no longer have pity for Morgan Freeman. At least he was not married to Miss Daisy. AND – he got paid to drive her butt around.

I, however, am married to Mister Daisy (a.k.a. Hubby). Who does not thank me for driving him around, let alone pay me. I don’t want to rant about hubby too much. He is not a happy man with only 1/4 of his vision, and I get that.

So, I’m just going to explain (in a non-ranting way) how our lives are going these days.

Mr. Daisy hates me driving him around. He wants to do all the driving himself, but he is not allowed to since his eye surgery.

He doesn’t trust my driving ability. He hates staying awake on long trips because he wants to navigate me. Sure, I get lost and turned around sometimes, but I think this is what they call “the blind leading the blind”. It’s amazing we get anywhere.

The longer our drive, the “snippier” he gets. My TMJ is flaring up from the stress of keeping my mouth shut and trying not to cry. I don’t handle snippy very well.

My lack of depth-perception alarms Mr. Daisy greatly. He says I’m “running off the road”.  I say he’s not used to being on the right-side of the car. I know from personal experience that things look a lot scarier from there. He swears he feels tires leaving the road.

I don’t argue anymore. I just say “whoops!” and hope it pisses him off.


All Grown Up (Sort of)

When did I first feel grown up?

When I traveled for the first time on official business.

Airplane Landing

I contacted one of our government contractors in St. Louis. I ordered products (digitized maps) from them and had a hard a time figuring out which ones we needed. My agenda was to tour their operations and give them comments about the trouble I had with ordering the correct maps. We needed them to make a product catalog that made sense.

So, I arranged a meeting to tour their operations and provide feedback.  My host  asked me to talk to his employees about how our team used the products they made. I told them I would be happy to. Yikes!  Now I had to write a presentation. Things were getting a bit complicated.

I scheduled the trip to coincide with my St. Louis cousin’s wedding. My dad  called this kind of thing – a “double-dookie”.  He would have been so proud.  This also saved my boss the hotel and parking costs by staying at my BFF’s place.

The day I flew into St. Louis I made my BFF and her son ride with me into the city and back. I knew I would be less nervous tomorrow if I practiced today.  The trial run went well and we made it home in time for supper.

After a sleepless night, I gulped coffee, triple checked my briefcase and asked BFF to pray for me – and off I went. I left early because I figured there would be massive commuter traffic, like in San Francisco. There wasn’t. So I’m an hour early.

I think I caused a bit of a panic for my host, but he was gracious and welcoming in spite of my early arrival. The agenda for the day was to meet with operations and see the catalog and graphics they were working on. Then lunch. My presentation would be the grand finale. Great.

I am the kind of person who prefers to “get things over with”.  Especially things that are freaking causing me stress. I had 1/2 a salad for lunch because my stomach was full of butterflies.

The conference room was packed.

Everyone in operations wanted to hear my presentation. They were even excited about it. Later, I found out that I was the first person to visit and show them how we incorporated their digitized maps into our computer software.

I could not believe how well my presentation went. Afterwards it felt like a press conference with all the questions the audience asked. I knew the answers to most of them. Some I promised to get back to once I returned home and asked the computer scientists.

I ended up having fun. In fact, I even started to feel like a savvy business woman. My confidence and ego swelled like my ankles on a hot day. I thought I was so awesome.

Until I got totally lost on the way home 😉