Monday, August 20, 2012

My Fave Car-Related Memories (Monday Listicles #11)

It's Monday...time for another listicles...this one is all about cars. In 10 best car-related memories. #1 was easy...

1. Every 16 year olds dream: I grew up around cars, spending most of my childhood at a race track.  So it was no surprise that as my 16th birthday all I could think about was getting my license and getting a car. On the morning of my birthday my dad took me to breakfast and then told me we were going to stop by to visit my grandparents.  And there…sitting in their driveway…was a red Honda CRX with a crisp white bow on the top! I loved that car from the moment I set eyes on it.  My mum drove it home and we parked it in the garage until I got my license.  I remember sitting in the garage for hours just listening to the radio dreaming about the day I could finally take it for a spin. Sadly I failed my first drivers test (that playground speed limit sign was TOTALLY covered by a tree!) so it wasn’t until 3 months after my birthday that I finally got to hit the road in my little red car. 
Vehicle: Honda CRX

2. The Long Arm of the Law: I don’t want to say that I was a cocky driver…a better term would be self-assured.  So after 6 months of not breaking a single traffic law (or at least getting caught) it was only natural that I would be signing my own praises to a group of friends.  “Can you believe I have never gotten a speeding ticket?” I asked them. “With my lead foot you’d think I would have at least got a warning!”  Well…I wasn’t laughing later that evening when the red and blue lights started flashing behind me.  And it wasn’t a warning he gave me.  Bye-bye clean driving record…at least I hadn’t been in an accident!
Vehicle: Honda CRX

3. Totally NOT my fault: Fast forward a few months after getting my first ticket. I’m driving alone…headed downtown for dinner. My mind occupied with thoughts of my first road trip in a couple of weeks…I can’t wait to get out on the open highway.  I can see a car turning left from my lane ahead so I signal and start to move over to the right.  At the same time another car from the curb lane is trying to come over…I’m concentrating so closely on not hitting that guy I don’t notice that the light has now turned yellow and the car in front of me has stopped.  CRASH! I look up and all I can see is the red paint of my hood…that can’t be good.  My poor beloved CRX was very nearly totaled...just $200 separated it from being a write off to being covered for repairs. 
Vehicle: Honda CRX

Portlandia: When I was (almost) 17 my dad, brother, very preggo sis in law and BFF drove down to Portland for the IndyCar race.  This was supposed to have been my first big road trip with Sara – but since I had crashed my car just 2 weeks before we were forced to ride along in the minivan with the rest of the crew. Also tagging along were 2 friends of my dad’s.  They were brothers – the youngest was 24 – and I instantly had a major crush on him.  We had some amazing memories on that trip including “Squirrel in Toilet” which really deserves a post of its own.  But there are 2 car related memories that stand out for me…
Vehicle: Dodge Caravan (‘cause that’s how I roll…)

ours actually had the white hubcaps too.  sexy.
4. Look…it’s an Olympian: We took a video recorder on this trip and recorded way too much.  One of my fave moments is a really stupid one….please remember I was only (almost) 17.  We had stopped in Olympia, WA for lunch and I had decided to record our exit from the Pizza Hut for posterity.  So I’m rolling tape as we all climb back into the van.  I’m the last one in and am sitting precariously on a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper with the sliding door open as the van starts to move.  So there I am teetering on the pop cans…video camera in hand…trying to close the door as we are moving away.  The last shot on the tape is of one of the locals…walking across the lot…and I shout (as the door finally closes) “Look…it’s an Olympian!” Trust me…it was funny at the time.

5. First Contact: So after a few days together at the race track, in the minivan and at our rental house I was certain that I was in LOVE with Dave.  We flirted incessantly – much to the annoyance of all of our fellow vacationers I’m sure.  But there was something there between us.  Of course it was destined to fail given that I was 16 and he was 24…but for those few magical days that didn’t matter.  On our 3rd night we were returning home from dinner and Dave and I were finally sitting next to each other in the back seat of the van.  And slowly…he moved his hand over and held mine.  So help me I can still remember the feeling of that first touch…it was electric.  Neither of us said anything…just held hands until we arrived back home and snuck off into the back room to make out. 

6. Livin’ on a Prayer:  Once I was finally on the road I never wanted to get off it.  I loved driving my little CRX…it was an awesome feeling. My most frequent passenger was my best friend Sara.  One of our fave things to do was get on the highway where we could get up to over 100 km/h, open the windows all the way and sing along to Aerosmith. The highlight was always turning up the volume so loud on the drum solo of Livin’ on a Prayer so that the entire car shook. It’s been almost 20 years since we did that and Sara emailed me just the other day to say the song came on and she immediately flashed back to that time. Memories!
Vehicle: Honda CRX

7. Canucks Fever: The spring following my 16th birthday my beloved Canucks made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals and I have many vivid memories of that run that were spent in my car. Including one where Sara and I sat silently in my car after we lost game 7.  We had watched the loss on the ‘jumbotron’ at the Pacific Coliseum with thousands of fans and following the heartbreak of losing we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. “We could head downtown…” Sara suggested. “there’s probably something going on there.” We considered it but in the end decided to head home and try to sleep off the pain.  Later we watched the Stanley Cup Riot unfold on TV and thanked our lucky stars we decided not to head downtown.  Such a sad night.
Vehicle: Honda CRX

8. Grad Night: I didn’t have a date for grad night.  My boyfriend of a few weeks (I call him hubby now! J) already had a date and since he had paid for a portion of the limo already thought it would be bad form to back out.  I’m still slightly annoyed at that decision but figure I’ll get over it one day.  So Sara and I decided to make the best of it and go with each other.  And rather than a limo we had ourselves a brand new, fresh off the line, newly redesigned, Ford Mustang convertible…in jet black. I felt so incredibly cool behind the wheel of that car. Driving a stick shift in heels was a little interesting…but I managed to leave the transmission in workable order.
Vehicle: Ford Mustang Convertible baby!

9. Welcome Home Baby:  I had pictured this moment in my mind so many times.  I even remember telling Hubby when we bought the car that this is the vehicle that would bring our first baby home.  Talk about high expectations for a 15 minute drive! On the day we were finally able to take her home (17 days after her birth) we got the car seat installation double checked and then I climbed into the back with her.  She was so small we had to put rolled up receiving blankets on either side to prop her up.  Hubby drove the speed limit the entire way and I couldn’t stop looking at her sleeping face.
Vehicle:  Ford Escape

10. Welcome Home Baby #2: After building up the expectations to the nth degree for first baby…bringing our 2nd daughter home was a lot more low key.  For one thing there was no car seat inspection this time…we were old pros.  For another…I sat in the front seat and let M entertain her little sister on the way home.  And finally…little T cried the entire way home…a marked difference from her older sister who had slept peacefully.  Second children really have a way of making sure they are noticed! J
Vehicle:  Ford Focus

That really is just the tip of the iceberg too…I could probably do my top 20 list…maybe even up to 30. I can’t believe some of my amazing road trips to Jasper, Kelowna, Whistler, Tofino and Seattle didn’t even make this list!

Thanks Stasha for another great writing prompt…always a great way to start the week.


  1. What a wonderful twist to this weeks prompt. The story of Dave gave me goose bums. Also even if you ever get over hubs not canceling the limo, never let him know :)

  2. I love love love the list! We have some similar type memories with cars, right down to the rolling blankets to prop up the teeny baby. And oh, I remember the day the Canucks lost, it was right around the time I graduated. Thanks for sharing that, I really enjoyed reading it.

  3. Looks like you have a lot of wonderful experiences with your cars. I’m a late bloomer and I only started to like driving when I was 26 years old. Anyway, your list of memories with car inspired me to drive more and have fun with my car. Thanks!