the adventure

Last Saturday, Bear wanted to have an adventure.

“Get up,” he said, gesturing at me where I was lying on the couch, crying as I watched the fifth episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I started watching it for the first time last week—I’m always late to everything cultural). “We’re going to have an adventure.”

“What?” I said. “But Alex is finally showing a soft side! I think he has feelings! And this woman is about to die! What will happen to her kids?”

“Fine,” he said, “But we are going to go for a drive.”

“A drive?” We definitely don’t have a car.

He seemed to be thinking on his feet: “We’re renting a zipcar. We’re going to explore Brooklyn.”

“Oh, cool. But don’t we have to be somewhere in an hour and a half?”

“Doesn’t matter. We’re going to explore Brooklyn for an hour.”

He found a zipcar nearby. Near enough by. I threw on boots and  sweatshirt. Off we went.

After ending up on the wrong side of a major road for a while, we found the garage, and the tiny red zipcar that Bear could barely fit inside. He wanted to drive anyway, which was fine with me since I have never actually driven in the city except for that one, terrible time, in the U-Haul, in Union Square, when I nearly killed those young mothers pushing their infant children in strollers into the middle of traffic. And a bunch of scrappy NYU kids with purple hair. They almost died, too.

So Bear drove. He drove out of the parking lot. He drove up to the light. He nearly drove us onto the BQE, but then he turned at the last second, saying that he thought it was going the wrong way. We wanted to head out towards Red Hook, and beyond, towards the ocean, wherever that is.


We took a shortcut through a parking lot, and went around in a circle and ended up in the same parking lot, because of all the one way streets. We would have ended up in the parking lot a third time, but Bear went the only other way, taking the ramp to the Manhattan Bridge. There was a cop to one side and an SUV coming up fast behind us.

“Wait—” said Bear. “I have to turn off—we don’t want the bridge.”


“Go straight!” I yelled, watching the SUV gain on us.

“No, I have to turn—we have to go the other way.”

“GO!!” I screamed. “GET ON THE BRIDGE NOW!” I may have pounded the dashboard. I was saving our lives.

He got on the bridge. “Why did you yell at me? I didn’t have to go this way! Now we’re going into Manhattan!”

“I was saving our lives! You couldn’t decide, so I decided for you. I acted.” I am a woman of action.

“If you’d stopped yelling, I would’ve done the right thing. I thought maybe you knew something I didn’t.”

“I knew we were going to be crushed by an SUV. And then arrested by that cop.

“That’s not true.”

“Well, I didn’t think we needed to wait and find out.”

We were stuck in traffic on the Manhattan Bridge.

“Hey look!” I said, “There’s our building!” A little, dirty brown box. I could see our whole neighborhood from here. So cool. “Look how high up we are!”

30 minutes later, we were stuck in traffic in Chinatown.

“Look at all this cool graffiti, ” I said.



Bear said, “How the hell do I get back to the bridge?”

There was no easy answer. He did a K turn in traffic, which was pretty impressive, and went back the way we’d come. But getting back on the bridge was even more complicated. The entrance seemed to be in a totally different place than the exit. We followed signs with bicycles and stick figures on them through crowds of tourists and residents, and finally the little, narrow, insignificant ramp was in sight, when a huge bus pulled in front of it and cut us off.

Bear yelled some inappropriate words, which is very unusual for him.  Allow me to translate: “HORRIBLE STUPID MEAN BUS! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS AWFUL THING TO ME?!”

“We’re going to have to pay a $100 fine!” he said, mournful now.


“If we get the car back late. And we have ten minutes to get it back.”

“Okay, okay. We can do this. Just wait for your opening…”

The bus inched along. We blocked traffic, waiting for it. Horns honked. Everyone classically furious—unwilling to do their part in debunking stereotypes about New Yorkers. And then the bus passed and Bear zipped into the ramp lane and we were safe on the bridge! No traffic this way. We were back at the garage in five minutes.

“We have a little extra time,” Bear said. “Do you want to explore the area before we take the car back?”

“No!” I practically shrieked. “Never again. This was the worst adventure ever.”

We returned the car. We got out. I turned towards home, but Bear grabbed my hand.

“Come on!” he said. “Let’s go this way!”

“Are you serious?”

He was. The adventure wasn’t over. We walked to the first Brooklyn Shake Shack and ordered burgers. They were delicious. It snowed a little. Which seemed adventurous of the sky.

I looked at Bear and thought that he was the best person in the world to hang out with, watching the unsuspecting snow fall onto the dirty sidewalk. I made such a good choice, marrying him. Our lives, suddenly inseparable, are this fantastic adventure.

And the thing with the car and the bridge and Chinatown? Oy. At least we tried. Maybe one day we’ll actually make it to the ocean. Wherever that is.

(will it look like this, when we get there? I really hope so. source)

*   *  *

When’s the last time you had an adventure? Tried to have one? Any failed adventure stories? I want to hear them!

Unroast: Today I love the shape of my lips.

Note: It is Body Image Warrior Week! Fashion and body image blogger Sally McGraw, of Already Pretty, came up with the idea and put it together. Just in time for NEDAwareness Week, we’re taking some time to talk about why body image awareness is also important. A bunch of us are participating. You can find out more here and get involved, if you’re interested. And stay tuned for a post from one of the participating bloggers, which will be featured on ETDC tomorrow.


Kate on February 28th 2012 in marriage, new york

24 Responses to “the adventure”

  1. San D responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    one word (or technically a set of letters): GPS
    We bought a GPS that you can put in and out of the car, when we explored Ireland. It was the coolest experience knowing you are going somewhere new and not having to worry about getting there or back.

    My Garmin even knows the one way streets!

    San D

  2. Kate responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    @San D
    Ha! Yeah, well, I don’t think it’d make sense to invest in one when we don’t actually have a car. But one day….one day we will never make that mistake again :-)

  3. San D responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Well, you know, they can be used while walking has a pedestrian mode…LOL

  4. Kate responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    That’s a hilarious thought. Someone walking down the street as the mechanical voice is going, “Turn right, fourteen feet ahead. Onto– Main Street.”

  5. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    you really don’t want me to answer that do you? :)

  6. Kate responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Oh, yes, I definitely do. I bet it’s good. Maybe it was with the Slutty Goddess? ;)

  7. Krystina responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Me and my sisters like to get in the car with no destination and just drive. It’s always pretty cool where we end up. Then we always have that funny conversation on the phone when my mom calls to ask what we’re up to. “Um…we are out state currently…” Last Sunday we ended up in Harlan, Kentucky. We are big fans of the show “Justified” which takes place in Harlan. Since we are in Ky and just down the road a couple hours we ended up there. Just so you know, if you do watch “Justified” they do not shoot it in Harlan. They shoot in Califlornia. We can tell but I’m sure most people would be able to notice the difference. I love adventures. :)

  8. Kate responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    That’s awesome. It seems like cars are important for adventures.
    They always shoot everything in CA or NYC. It’s a little disappointing, except for when it’s in NYC and I recognize stuff :-)
    I remember the feeling of just driving….back when I lived in suburbia. I miss that feeling. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Melanie responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    I usually plan my road trips with an extra three hours or so so I can pull over and stop whenever I want, and veer out of the way if I know an awesome piece of architecture is near. Sometimes I wake up on a Sunday and decide to go to Reno for the day. I like day trips and adventures.

    One really bad adventure was trying to find friends in San Francisco one new year’s, and ending up in a cab at the strike of midnight. That was a bummer.

    I could write a blog just about my misadventures. I have had many. Like the time I thought someone passed a pipe with pot, and it ended up being opium. Oops!

  10. Sonja responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    In a fit of romance, my husband booked a super-cute B&B in the mountains for our anniversary weekend one year.
    Our room turned out to be really dusty (and I am REALLY, REALLY allergic to dust, like off the charts levels), and the favorite room of the owners’ cat (and we are both VERY allergic to cats). (Aside: They had assured us the cat NEVER went in there, because my husband was smart enough to ask before he booked.)
    We went to KMart and got a paint tarp and some Benadryl. While the cat sat in front of the door meowing,we put the paint tarp over the mattress to protect ourselves from the dust so I wouldn’t break out head to toe overnight. The comforter and blankets all smelled fairly dusty, so we ended up sleeping under the plushy bathrobes.
    I can’t quite remember why we didn’t just complain and leave… but now, years later, it’s actually one of those Funny Stories we tell.
    (And to be fair – we spent most of the weekend exploring the town and hiking in the mountains, so we only dealt with the Room of Allergies at night, which made it a beautiful mini-vacation anyway.)

  11. Elizabeth responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    my fiance and I thought we’d rent a B&B in upstate VT (we’re from Canada) so we booked last minute, drove across the border, and promptly got into a car accident in a tiny VT town, totaled the car, and had to leave it there and call a friend from Montreal to drive across the border in the middle of the night to pick us up, and all our gear and bikes, from a gas station truck stop. But, on the upside, we got a new car from the insurance money! And solidified a friendship, too. So, yay.

  12. Anne responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Aww, I liked that story! My boyfriend and I often say we are “going on an adventure” to, say, find a store that hasn’t sold out of a Disney movie that was just released on Blu-ray, or buy bacon flavored tempeh, or whatever. If you get lost/accidentally go the long way while running errands, it’s annoying, but those things are welcomed during adventures! As are milkshake stops, breaks to kiss, and sidetracks to interesting-looking places.
    I have had some pretty bad adventures (one truly terrible river tubing trip comes to mind), but they all make good stories later on!

  13. BrokeElizabeth responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Aww, I love little ‘adventures’ like that, even when they don’t work out very well. I think spontaneity is always a good thing… even if the results are underwhelming :) .

  14. San D responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    oh, and more advice from the “old lady”. You can get a GPS app for your smart phone.

  15. Kate responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    @San D
    Ok, I can’t take it anymore!! People are emailing me to tell me to get a GPS! We both have GPS on our phones, but we didn’t use them until we got lost in Chinatown. And then I left the GPS out of the story, because it made a better story. But I confess! I used my phone!! :-)

  16. Anna responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    World’s lamest Adventure:
    Just picture this: my brother, feeling victorious after beating me and our friends at bowling AND poker, and finding out that the midnight guy at McDonalds does indeed know what a McGangbang is, sat alone across the couch eating all of the oreos and watching TV, then I come limping out of my room saying “I found the book I meant to lend you!”
    him: “Why are you limping?”
    Me: “I may have broken my ankle. I fell over while I was grabbing it off my bed.”
    Him: “… Shhh, Bleach is on.”
    Me: “Bleach?” *Sit on couch next to him*

    We didn’t realize it was truly broken until I woke up the next day and it was purple and HUGE.

    And that’s how you have an adventure to the emergency room =D

  17. Marie responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    My 36 hours in NYC convinced me I would never ever ever ever ever think about driving there. Which means I added about two evers after seeing it in the flesh rather than on a screen.
    My husband and I had a weird honeymoon, part of which involved us driving from Ohio to niagra falls. I had printed out mapquest directions to the falls, but not the way back, because you just follow the forward directions backward, right? Not in the East, apparently. The drive there was great, the way back was awful. The pounding of the falls had given me the worst headache I have ever had, and my poor husband would ask for directions, and I would whisper, I’m not sure, which of course frustrated him. I don’t understand why driving back east has to be so complicated. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive from Las Vegas to LA by just following road signs, but I don’t think I would go two blocks east of the mississippi without a GPS.

  18. RJ responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    May I suggest the F train? Or maybe the Q

  19. Akka responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Oh this sounds like my boyfriend and I EVERY TIME we go for a drive (or ride on his motorbike!).

    It’s become a bit of a joke between us and we call it “The Spirit of Adventure”… we almost always end up lost (the boy doesn’t like listening to my directions of course) and he likes to go ways he thinks he knows just for fun… we’ve definitely always find new ways through the city and have come across some interesting things… as long as you keep a sense of humour you get through them and not kill each other!! :)

  20. Abby responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    …I should probably be sleeping, but a chance to tell about failed adventures was too good to pass up!!

    For my 16th birthday, my sister’s present was a day out in Toronto. We finally got to go in the summer (my birthday’s in November).

    What we didn’t realize was that Toronto had been experiencing a garbage worker’s strike for the past few months. And the open-air produce markets in Kensington Market….not exactly pleasant. Then a torrential downpour began. Garbage + torrential downpour = even worse smell. And very wet clothing. Then we attempted to walk to the shoe museum. Ended up using the very confusing subway system. Never found the shoe museum.

    Finally, we just went home. I did get a gigantic cookie, though. And luckily, we were able to laugh about it the whole way home. It wasn’t the experience we were expecting, and we got frustrated throughout, but it was a memory with my sister that I enjoy looking back on. So I don’t regret the many mishaps of our trip…at all!

  21. Val responded on 29 Feb 2012 at 12:45 am #

    LOL! Pretty sure when you get to the Atlantic Ocean in New York there will not be any palm trees.

    You’re funny. love, Val

  22. Catherine responded on 29 Feb 2012 at 8:39 am #

    It’s fun reading your adventure because where I live is so car-centric. Is that a word? Well, around here it should be. I live 10 miles from a tiny southern town with no public transportation and 15 miles from my job where there is very limited bus service in that town. Sometimes NYC seems like another planet! I can relate though because my hubby and I have had disasters that still seem like fun adventures because we were together. So keep having adventures and if you want to practice driving, come to rural GA and we’ll teach you! LOL

  23. molly q responded on 17 Mar 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    it sounds like you and bear have a great relationship!

  24. Eat the Damn Cake » just when it started to feel like home we have to leave responded on 01 May 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    [...] honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think that it will have to be an adventure. Suddenly, I have to find a home to BUY, to live in for years, in a new neighborhood, and I have [...]