Cars, Travel Travails, Elmo, and Cookies

#1 – Today I drove a car in New Zealand for the first time in, oh, 2 years.  Big day.  And you know what?  The most difficult part by far was getting the car out of our carpark (parking garage).  It did not in any way, shape, or form help that there was a giant Porsche SUV hogging all the room parked next to me and directly in front of the exit.  Made my maneuvers quite interesting.  Halfway through the experience I said, “That’s it!  I’m calling Erin and telling her that we can’t make it.  I can’t get out of my own carpark!”  This was followed by, “Oh crap – I can’t get back in to my own carpark.  Shoot!  I have to go through with it!”  Yes, it’s true – I can’t figure out how to get out of the carpark!  I have a license, but apparently that means nothing.

If you’re wondering why I was worried about getting out of the car park, then just take a look:

It’s very narrow.  This is what happens when you convert the basement of a century-old building into a double level car park.  Those black marks on the sides?  Those aren’t for decoration.

The rest of the drive was fine.  Gorgeous, actually.  I love driving along Tamaki and seeing the harbour to my left and greenery to my right.  I had a little mantra that I kept repeating to myself at various points in the journey: “I drive on the left, I drive on the left, I drive on the left…”

PS – Big thanks to N and D for letting us borrow your car while you’re away!

#2 – Here’s a random photo of Joe:

Joe, meet Elmo.  Elmo, meet Joe.

Elmo is visiting us from the toy library.  Joe wasn’t sure what to think of him at first.  Then he decided that they would be friends 🙂

#3 – I may not be getting that tablet or lens after all, at least not from the US.  As of now, there’s a greater than 50% chance that Chris will not be able to travel because of visa/passport issues.  The British embassy in Wellington requires all of our passports for roughly 15 days in order to process our visas for our trip to the UK in October.  Of course, before we can send them our passports we need one more little piece of paper… that we’ve been waiting for for the last 6 weeks.  There’s no worry about not going to the UK, but there’s a very real concern that Chris won’t be able to make his trip to the US due to his passport not being in his possession.  We’re praying that everything comes through and I’m trying not to worry too much or nag Chris or start second-guessing the way he’s handled things.  Strengths and weaknesses, strengths and weaknesses… he and I both have them and sometimes my strengths become weaknesses (like my ability to organize and plan turning into neurotic worrying about stuff not being done soon enough).

#4 – I made wholewheat dark and white chocolate chip cookies today.  I didn’t intend to use wholewheat.  I also didn’t intend to use white chocolate chips.  I did intend to follow this recipe to a “T”, but as per usual I started mixing stuff and thought, “Hmm… what if I….”  The next thing I knew I’d replaced par of the regular flour with wholewheat flour, messed around with the sugars, and made some changes to the amount of butter.  The white chocolate chips were not a voluntary substitution.  I didn’t even know that I had them in my pantry but, upon realizing that there wasn’t enough dark chocolate, I started to panic.  I scrounged through every basket looking for either some more dark chocolate chips or even raisins, but I all I could find were white chocolate chips.  I’m not a fan of white chocolate, but desperate times (such as running out of dark chocolate chips while in the midst of making chocolate chip cookies) call for desperate measures.

They turned out pretty well, thankfully.  In my rush to get them in the oven, I made a mistake and misread the recipe.  I thought it only yielded 1 dozen.  Since I was making them for a friend, I decided to double the batch so that we could have some, too.  Yeah, turns out the original recipe made 2 dozen, not 1 dozen, and I ended up with 55 cookies.  And they weren’t little cookies.  I ended up wishing I’d stuck with the original (which would have meant not having to use white chocolate!  Argh – I just realized that!) and not doubled it.  Oh well.

That’s all I’ve got.  Happy Friday!

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3 thoughts on “Cars, Travel Travails, Elmo, and Cookies

  1. I find it hard enough to get in and out of their with my car sometimes! can’t imagine how Brooke & Travis do it with their van/people mover. Good on you for persevering with it though 🙂

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