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GoldenGateBridge
“What the heck just happened?”

I thought as I lay on the floor, partially wet and tangled up in the hotel shower curtain.

“OMG, I just fell in the bathroom!  The room where most household accidents happen!  The room where many an untimely, not to mention undignified, death has occurred!”  My mind was racing as I gingerly checked my appendages for breaks and blood.  A couple of nasty bruises were already forming on my arm and foot, but other than that, I seemed to have beaten the Grim Reaper at his cheap shot on my life.  ‘Cuz, I did almost die, you know.  

And, that’s how my day in the Bay Area began.  The sad part is – that was the good part of the day.  Things went rapidly downhill from there.

We were trying to make our way to San Rafael from Bakersfield on this cold, rainy day up north, and things were going okay (considering the fact that I had just escaped Death’s clutches and all) – until it came time to choose which bridge we needed to cross to get from Oakland to San Rafael.  I’m not really all that crazy about going over bridges in the first place (I have a real fear of tsunamis – I know, I need therapy).  And, given the fact that it was very windy (leading to choppy, scary seas) and raining, I’m surprised I didn’t just pull the car over and weep uncontrollably.  But, having cheated death, I was feeling lucky (my first mistake).  And, listening to Helen Reddy’s, “I Am Woman,” on the radio (I always get into trouble when I listen to that song), I thought I could suck it up and cross the bridge I had come to.

That was my second mistake.  I lost count of how many mistakes I made after that, but suffice it to say it involved me: (1) heading toward the Oakland Bay Bridge instead of the Richmond Bridge; (2) realizing my mistake and trying to correct it by getting into the far right lane; (3) thinking I could get off this highway to h-e-double-toothpicks and just turn around; (4) having a very cranky motorcycle policeman stop me and point out, somewhat curtly I might add, that I was in the bus lane (“I don’t know WHY you DID THAT!!” he yelled at me.  “I don’t know either, sir,” I said lamely, my eyes welling with tears).

But, the “fun” didn’t end there.  I then had to cross over a row of those white partition thingies (that apparently separate the people who know how to drive in the Bay Area from those of us who don’t) to get to a toll booth, so I could pay for the privilege of crossing over a bridge I didn’t want to be on in the first place.  Then, icing on the cake, I was in downtown San Francisco.  Driving.  In the rain.  I have nightmares about having to drive in places like downtown San Francisco.  And, here I was passing Fremont, Van Ness, and when my husband (the navigator) told me to turn left on Lombard Street, I was almost paralyzed with fright.  

“Isn’t that the most crooked street in the world,” I said in a high-pitched, panicky voice.  “Only if you turn right,” he said, trying to calm my hysteria.  

But, it wasn’t over yet.  I still had one more bridge to cross.  Granted, it was the Golden Gate Bridge, but I was unimpressed.  It was a bridge.  The seas were choppy.  And, it was foggy and rainy.  My husband said my knuckles were a little on the white side.

But, we made it (Thank you, Jesus!).  Needless to say, I’m not in any hurry to go back up to the Bay Area, even if it is one of the most beautiful spots in the world.  I won’t worry about it too much, though.  I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it.

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Tags: Enrichment, Featured Story

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