Lining up for free drinks: The Spirit Mistress, Kristin, the cute waiter, and me!

I drove to California last Wednesday to attend the BlogHerBET Women’s Entrepreneur Conference in Santa Clara, and to see my friend Kristin. Because I needed an adventure, and apparently driving 1200 miles in four days, through snow, sleet, and hurricane-like wind and rain makes me feel alive.

I was especially proud that I managed not to die, despite crazy Bay Area commuters insisting that it is, indeed acceptable to pass on the right at 85 miles per hour during rush hour, when flash-flooding rain keeps visibility to about one car length. And everyone’s just one car length a way. They drive a lot of small cars here, for the record.

The San Francisco Chronicle took this picture. I was too busy driving. But you get the general idea, right?

Also, there was a near miss involving a truck towing a big sailboat over a windy mountain pass between Oregon and California. He decided to shoot the 30 foot gap between me and the 6 cars in front of me, on his left, and a three-trailer Semi truck in the right lane, ahead of him. As we were going up hill. I slammed on my breaks so fast, I didn’t even have time to flip him off.

This is not the actual boat, but one just like it. Again, I was too busy staying alive to take pictures, people!

[Photo courtesy of My ConstructionPhotos/ I think construction workers are better drivers than the party boy jerk who almost killed me. ]

Thank god all my neurofeedback therapy has taught me to remain calm and carry on after stressful incidents. I’m so Zen, I’m like a fighter pilot now. Or maybe Kelly McGillis.

Okay, I might not fly the jet, but I’m sure I’d look good in the uniform.

So anyway, let’s talk about Day #1 of my adventure down to BlogHer.

At 7:00 a.m. last Wednesday, I packed up my orange suitcases with way too many clothes and shoes, asked my husband to put on a fresh round of Duct Tape (I prefer the Gorilla Tape brand for cars) over the leaky sunroof on my trusty Volvo, borrowed Jane, the Tom Tom GPS lady from his car, kissed the children goodbye, and took off.

Jane confused me a little, because I didn’t trust her (we have a history) but I managed to arrive safely at Kristin’s house by about 5:30 p.m.

Kristin saw me coming from half a mile away.

I met Kristin 20 years ago when I was a nanny in Atherton and she was a student who cut hair on the side. She gave me a good cut and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s now a fancy manager at Apple doing stuff I really don’t understand, and I’m, uh…sort of in a, um “career transition.”

Kristin looks exactly the same. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she was a network news anchor who as occasional “work” done to keep her looking about 15 years younger than she is.

Thanks to her uncanny ability to use her company issued iPhone (she called me when she saw me wandering aimlessly up and down her street) we finally found each other. After prolonged hugs in the street, I lugged my suitcases up three flights of stairs to her adorable apartment, where we gabbed non-stop until we had to eat.

Am I boring you yet? We’re getting to the Scotch, I promise.

We walked down the block to a lovely restaurant called Sidebar, where Meryl, the self-proclaimed Spirit Mistress was giving a tasting of the most wonderful Scotch, but I can’t find her card, so I can’t remember the name. And it has nothing to do with how many tastes I had, so back off. If she reads this post, she can tell us the brand in the comments.

The food was amazing, too. Our cute waiter, Mike, let us split several things because we were in a tasting mood. And he brought us some free drinks, too.

[I was going to insert a funny picture of Kristin smiling a super big post-Scotch tasting smile here, but I wasn’t sure she’d want her boss to see her looking so, uh, relaxed. Actually, she didn’t drink much, for the record.]

Then, as we were leaving, we met a delightful man outside, who had just enjoyed several rounds of tasting, I think. He made us guess what he did for a living. That’s always a fun game.

He insisted he could get Kristin a better return. She may or may not call him. I’m sure she’ll keep us posted.

Then we walked back to her apartment, talked about clothes and shoes, and then promptly fell asleep, to keep the perfectness of the good dinner and conversation from slipping away too soon.

We woke up too early, and I carted those orange suitcases all the way back down three flights of stairs. Not all charming apartments have elevators, apparently.

Tomorrow: my day at Apple and how Kristin convinced the corporate chef to make her famous avocado toast, which is now on the menu.