I can’t believe they did that

So I had my first experience with “driving” around Atlanta. Let me say that this is not for the faint of heart. Oh and I have decided that “no turn on red” signs irritate me. *laugh*

Now, I am not a shy driver. I took driver’s ed from a defensive driving instructor and I learned to drive on I-10 during rush hour traffic in Houston. Oh yeah! Now we rented a smaller car (Sonata) an I haven’t driven a car this small in a very long time. The last 2 cars we have owned (that I drove) are a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Dodge Grand Caravan. Even Ben’s car is a big bigger than this.

Let’s just say that this car has some ZIP! I am not used to that…at all. Not that it is a bad thing. I am cautious. In cars that I drive that aren’t mine, I give a quick test on the basics. Just simple things: brakes, gas pedal, and steering. This is especially important to check, in my opinion, if the car sits differently than your normal car. For me any sedan type car will sit differently than what I normally drive. They feel different. They handle differently.

I prefer cars where the driver sits up higher and has a full height seat. I sit totally different in a half height seat than full height seat. It is weird. I got behind the wheel today to go to visit my friend Kinsey south of here. I am not sure how Ben found this comfortable. I had to move the seat way back so I could get some extension on my leg and put my foot at the proper angle (for me) on the gas pedal. I am not 6′ tall, but I had to move the seat back probably 6″ from where Ben had it positioned. That kind of freaked me out to be honest with you. We’ll see how he responds when he gets back into it this evening to drive to dinner. *laugh* I am not going to tell him.

In my van, we don’t move the seats at all. The only change we make on the seat from him to me is the height of the seat (up and down). He likes it all the way down and I have to have it all the way up. Aside from that, the seat stays in the same spot (distance from the wheel).

Anyway, this car has a wee bit more “pick-up” than I am used to. Took a little bit to get used to that. Not that I was speeding or anything, just it doesn’t take as much mash on the pedal as I have to give my mini-van. I do have to say that it was a pleasant drive โ€“ the car itself and the roads.

Now, Atlanta traffic isn’t too much different from Houston traffic. There are crazy maniacs here like there are in Houston. Oh, and there is lots of it.

I do believe that the traffic lanes are narrower here. *scratching head* That or people simply have not learned to drive between the lines that are clearly painted on the roadways. Feeling wise, it does feel like the lanes are narrower. It is like driving through those heavy construction areas where they give you warning that lanes are narrow. Here, there is no such warning.

What really gets me is that drivers here have a clear lack of understanding of the value of using turn signals. *raised eyebrow* Come on people some indication that you are about take off my front quarter panel is truly appreciated.

Now, in all fairness, Atlanta freeways move a bit slower than Houston freeways. *shrug* There, I confess I felt like I was being held back. I mean, here I had this little zippy rental car and I couldn’t even give it a good test on how zippy it was.

The “not for the faint of heart” part comes in when I got down to where I missed a turn-off and had to turn around and go back to it. A stop sign at the side of a divided highway that’s moving at 65MPH. Yikes! Now the guy in front of me was clearly a bit shy behind the wheel. Big ole 18 wheeler doesn’t scare me even if there is one coming in both directions and I have to get across 3 lanes of traffic and past the median. I was patient, I waited. I mean, maybe there was something to his hesitation. There were 3-4 cars behind me. I didn’t hesitate. I stopped at the stop sign QUICK (but I did come to a complete stop). I squealed the tires crossing and quickly pulled right in (merged) with on coming traffic. No I didn’t feel like I was playing “Frogger” on the freeway. This was just another day on the road, different scenery.

Well I look back in my rear view mirror and a police car is crossing the road and pulling in behind me. Oooops! Well the cop is one of those psycho-maniac drivers. He zips past me and over in front of an 18-wheeler and slows down. What? Now if there is something that I will not do is pull over and SLOW DOWN in front of a semi! I mean, come one! He’s bigger, he’s heavier, he takes longer to stop…I just don’t like pulling over in front of them unless I am going to be pulling away from them. Then this same cop cuts over in front of another guy. WHAT? NO BLINKER mind you. The guy was nutso!

So, for those of you that say that there are crazy drivers in Houston, be warned that I am not one of them…OK, so maybe I am one of them…but that’s beside the point…There are crazy drivers in at Atlanta as well. The streets are strange too. It isn’t bad, mind you. I suppose once you got used to it, it wouldn’t be so bad…but they are just different.

Anyway, I had a great time with Kinsey today. It was really fun to catch up after so many years. It has been a LONG time. Her kids are adorable. I just wish we could have spent more time together.

OK, now we’re off to some wine place…we don’t drink wine (or alcohol for that matter)…for dinner. This should be fun. Then we’re off to a movie.

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