Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Adventures in Driving Manual & Other Ramblings

My sister's first car was a little red Acura with manual transmission. Her second car also was manual transmission. My mom took the test to get her driver's license in a limited edition Volkswagen Beetle convertible (baby blue; 1970's?). It was stick shift. And my dad? Well, he learned to drive before he was sixteen.

And then there's me. I didn't learn how to drive stick until months after I had my driver's license.

Here's the whole story.

I started driver's ed about two months before I turned sixteen. It was June of 2009 and I was stuck in a classroom for a few hours a day, four days a week for four weeks - with a bunch of underclassmen. I was going to be a junior in the fall. Needless to say, I was rather annoyed by this.

Anyway, I got my temps on the twenty-fifth of June, 2009. In Wisconsin, this means that I could first take the test for my actual license on Christmas (obviously the DMV would be closed that day). I took the test on January twenty-seventh, 2010. I passed! But, since our DMV only prints cards (IDs, licenses, etc.) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I had to wait until the next day to actually get my license.

Now, unlike my sister, I did not buy a car while in high school. I'm not really sure why, but I'm glad things happened the way they did. The side story here is that my parents own an automotive business, and in addition to fixing and selling cars, they also rent cars. So I would just walk across the street after school on Fridays and borrow a rental for the weekend to get to work and religious ed, and then I would drop it off on Mondays before school. I drove quite a few Ford Tauruses that spring! haha.

(In order to recall dates and such, I've been looking through old journals from high school. I had thought that Dad started to teach me how to drive stick in April, but apparently, it was January.)

So, that winter/spring, there was a Jeep at my Dad's that was for sale. Manual transmission. What a perfect way to teach me to drive stick! Yeah, it didn't work too well. I just drove in circles so I didn't have to shift! haha. Once he did make me drive on the road, I stalled at a stop sign probably five times. It was quite embarrassing.

Scion xB {2004 Hot Lava edition} - September 2012

Sometime before June, I practiced driving manual with my mom and sister, because in mid-June, I had the 1999 Volkswagen Golf GTI. It was pretty much mine the summer of 2010, as I had something going on every day of the week. (Sunday: Mass with the parents at 10, candy store 12-6 / Monday: TumbleBugs at the Y [4:30-6?] / Tuesday: candy store 9-2, peer ministry at church 5:30-8 / Wednesday: motel 4-9 / Thursday: Tiny Trekkers at the Y 9-12 / Friday: candy store 9-1, motel 3-9 / Saturday: candy store 9-2, motel 5-9)

There was one evening I remember quite well. I was driving home from the motel, and I kept stalling out on my way home. I was crying and frustrated, and when I was trying to maneuver to park correctly in the driveway at home, I kept stalling out. I was so frustrated! But not too long later, I went months without stalling.

1999 Volkswagen GTI

When I started my senior year in September, I would drop off the GTI in the mornings, and pick it up after school. It was like having my own car, but I didn't have to pay for anything! (:

It was really great to drive stick in the snow because it seemed so much smoother (it could have been snow tires or something, who knows).

Another thing I loved about the GTI was the gas mileage. I only went to a gas station once that summer. Even though I wasn't paying for the fuel, it was still awesome!

first day of senior year - rocking Delaney Davidson & Vera Bradley // photo by my mom

I am so glad I learned how to drive manual, even though I didn't want to in the first place! Sometimes I even miss it! When I first drove the Beetle in January 2011, I was slightly confused as to what to do with my left foot! haha.

 Oh and one thing I learned while driving stick? How to steer with only my left hand - and I still do {for the most part}.

sisters! <3 - Helga & Luna {January 2011}

{Not sure why I thought the GTI should be Helga - isn't that a Swedish name?}

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