Monday, August 18, 2008

Tiana's Driving!

Well, it's been almost a month since Tiana got her driver's permit and I'm happy to report no serious injuries have yet occurred. She's been doing great, the only exception being one time when we were practicing backing up, she got the brake and gas pedals mixed up and I had to slam on the emergency brake before we hit a neighbor's minivan.

We started our lessons at the Fisherman's Terminal complex on a quiet Sunday evening. We went over the basics and soon enough Tiana was at the wheel, navigating through the empty parking lots, the side streets and the adjoining Burlington Northern Railroad facility.

A few days later, she was on her first real street (Commodore Way) and a few days after that she negotiated her first real traffic and her first traffic light intersection. Pretty soon we were driving through Magnolia and Discovery Park. The only trouble Tiana was having was making tight turns, but she was doing fantastic in the light traffic that Magnolia had to offer. I asked her if she wanted to try driving home by herself and before I knew it we were going down Nickerson, past SPU, over the Fremont Bridge, through the heavier traffic of Fremont proper and up 8th Ave NW, all the way to the house. It was a great experience!

Next was another trip through Magnolia, then a run down to Baskin Robbins on busy Elliott Way. Again she managed the trip home just fine. Yesterday she drove cross town to Magnuson Park, up Sand Point Way a few miles, back down Sand Point Way past the village, through Montlake to Leschi and then up Madison, across Capital Hill/Broadway, over the University Bridge, through Fremont and back home, all without the slightest problem.

Soon we'll work on changing lanes, merging, backing up and parking. When she's comfortable with those skills, we're off to the freeway. So far I'm really proud of her and pleased how responsible and careful she has been. She's able to keep up with traffic, yet senses when it's appropriate to slow down. She doesn't follow too closely but knows enough not to allow too much space for other cars to cut in front of her. She just has a good feel for the road.

Photos to come!

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