A Night at The Olive Garden

I hadn’t driven a car for almost 2 whole months ’til yesterday. Yesterday I made my Vancouver driving debut, and I drove out to Langley, which is a good hour’s drive east of Vancouver, more if you get stuck in traffic. I was a little leery of driving out to Langley for Molly’s birthday party at The Olive Garden (mmm…), as we left at 5:00 (prime rush hour time), I hadn’t driven a car in 2 months, I’d never driven in Vancouver before, and I was scared that I’d hit someone with Heather’s very nice Mazda Protégé. But as soon as I got behind the wheel, all was well. I’ve never driven a car with so much pick-up. But anything has more pick-up than my little Buddy who’s in the garage in Rosthern (Buddy is the name of my maroon Mercury Sable with the ripped fenders which are not my fault!). I miss Buddy. He was a good car…

Anyways, the traffic actually wasn’t that bad going out to Langley once we got in the HOV lane. What the heck is an HOV lane? you ask. HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle. Any vehicle with 2 or more passengers can use this lane, and as in rush hour most of the cars only have 1 passenger in them because they’re people trying to commute to either Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Delta, Abbotsford, Surrey, New Westminster, or Langley (I’m getting pretty good with the geography out here, aren’t I?), being in the HOV lane is a good thing. So much so that Heather keeps commenting on how happy she is that I’m here so that we CAN use the HOV lane. It’s my function in life. If I don’t find a job, I might just hire myself out to drivers who want an extra person in their vehicle so they can get in the HOV lane. Anyhow, the trip went well, minus a few sharp lane changes (my depth perception needs to improve).

The Olive Garden. We had a good time. Molly, who is friends with my cousin Heidi, and her family, some work colleagues (teachers from her school), Heidi, Heather and I attended the birthday celebration. Heather and I bought Molly helium balloons which we promptly tied to her chair at the restaurant so all would know it was her birthday. I was introduced to Melanie, who sings, but on top of her regular day job, who proceeded to harass me the entire evening. I, unfortunately, couldn’t really come up with any killer quips, but I made her laugh a few times. But Melanie got her “just desserts” when our waitress spilled a glass all over her…and me. I was at the head of the table, and Melanie was to my left. Because of the mishap, which our waitress felt so badly about (I felt more badly for her!), Melanie and I both got free dessert. But we couldn’t get the desserts we wanted because they were “out” of them. Their supplies truck didn’t come in this week, and the nearest Olive Garden is in Bellingham, Washington, and they don’t borrow supplies from them because that means crossing the border and things being inspected and yadda yadda yadda yadda. So, I settled for Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake. A very good choice in hindsight, I’d say. I’d gladly go back to the Olive Garden and have water spilled all over me again.

This has nothing to do with the above story, but I must rant again. I want those Greenpeace and Amnesty International people to LEAVE ME ALONE!!!! Almost everyday I’m bombarded by them, no matter how hard I try to ignore them and hide under my umbrella (I’m short you know – it kind of works…). All they want is my credit card number so that I’ll give them money. I’m not giving it to them! Whoa, I just saw a black squirrel. Have you ever seen one? Anyways, I would listen to Amnesty International and Greenpeace if they didn’t pester me every day! I want sound environmental policies, and equality for all, too. And I know that I live in Vancouver, the “green city”, where tree-huggers and granola-crunchers abound, but LEAVE ME ALONE!

That felt good. And I’ll feel even better once I find a new route to school…

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