“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

If I could have one perk of being a celebrity, it would be travel arrangements made for me. I detest figuring out the logistics. I mean, I’ll do my share for a trip, but I’d love a “Candace, we’ll have a car waiting for you at JFK when you arrive.”

So, I hope I didn’t give my sister, the planner, a panic attack when she dropped me at the car rental place to pick up a car to drive home, and I asked, “So, where am I going?”

I knew someday I would be forced to drive a car to New York for some reason or another. I know a lot of people who don’t think twice about it, but I don’t like driving in unfamiliar, crowded places. I’d rather walk thankyouverymuch.

I spent the last 10 days at my sister’s in Maryland. I brought a backpack and my huge suitcase with me on the train. On the way home, I added a cat named Carlos and his stuff. And a pile of stuff I picked up at Target. No way I could manage all that on Amtrak, so I rented a car. The first 3.5 hours were uneventful. The last 30 minutes were the fun part.

I gassed up on the New Jersey side before entering the Lincoln Tunnel. The tunnel spit me out in the Fashion District, just below Times Square. Oh, noes! I wanted to avoid Times Square! I knew I should have taken the GW Bridge! It’s out of the way, but I’m more familiar with it. But I kept my cool and turned onto 8th Avenue. After about a block, my hesitation turned into confidence. Silly taxi cab! You think I’m letting you in? HELL NO!

“It’s OK, Carlos,” I reassured the cat who woke up from his nap. “We’re going to be just fine. Almost home, Carlos!”

Once I got above Columbus Circle, it was easy. The drive along Central Park West was easier than most city driving I did back in Seattle. I turned down my street and considered parking in front of a hydrant to unload, but my conscious got the better of me. I turned the corner and parked in a questionable spot in front of a pizza place with a confusing sign. “No parking 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.” OK I’m good there. It’s 7:50 p.m. Another sign on the same pole said “No parking except Sundays.” It’s Monday. Finally, a third sign simply said, “No parking.” I figured it was safe.

After I unloaded and fixed up Carlos’ litterbox and put out some food and water, I drove the car back to Hertz, a mere 10 blocks from my apartment. On the walk back, I stopped at a falafel cart for a street food welcome back. This city sure is convenient.

Kelly, I appreciate the offer to drive me back, but I’m glad you didn’t have to race back to Maryland. It all worked out.


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