Freddy is my co-pilot

restaurant 9When Fred and I graduated from college we got in our Toyota and took a 6 week drive around the US.  It was an epic journey.  We essentially stopped in every state except for Kansas, Hawaii and Alaska.  We stayed at Motel 6’s along the way plotting out how far we would might drive each day and making a reservation in advance.  Sometimes we would stay with friends.  Remember this was pre-Internet so we made a reservation with the hotel we were leaving for the next one coming up.  Also, no mobile phones.   Did I mention that I would hide underneath the seat so we would only have to pay for a single vs a double?

We had a notebook that we kept how much we spent each day by subtracting from the total and documenting what it was we bought.  I think we did the whole trip on $1500 in total.  We were basically eating cheese, bread, cereal and wine.

At this point we had been together a few years so I was well aware of Fred’s driving skills.  He has many assets and that is not one of them.  I believe we had already been in two accidents with him behind the wheel at this point.  So before we began our journey, either it was given to us as a gift or I had it made, we had a bumper sticker on our car that said FREDDY IS MY CO-PILOT.

Fast forward, there are GPS systems and Google Maps.  Sometimes you have to have common sense and get your nose out of the map but on this trip I am the driver.  Fred has yet to get behind the wheel.  We also have a really great GPS system.  As I have written, you have to be focused when you drive in the back roads of Europe.

vealLast night for dinner we went to a place call Le 9.  Very much peasant food which was a nice change of pace (veal dish above) It is at the top of Forcalquier where we were earlier in the day.  You can not bring the cars through the small hill town yet Google maps suggested we should.  We got caught up at the end of a street and turning around on stick is not easy.  Then we figured our way up to the restaurant in the back of the town.  After dinner we made our way back to the hotel and had to park in a new location.  We started to drive into an area that was a grassy road where people would stroll and overlook the outdoor reflecting pool.  We both flipped.  It was comical and stressful at the same time.

treeAll I could think of the entire time was….oh yeah, Freddy is my co-pilot.  Great job!  We went down to the bar at the hotel, sat outside under this magnificent tree and just laughed.

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Where’s that notebook?”Freddy is My Co-Pilot” <— CafePress that into bumper stickers.

    1. Gotham Gal

      still have it!

      1. JimHirshfield

        There must be a few blog-post-worthy entries and screenshots from it. 🙂

        1. Gotham Gal

          Mostly a spread sheet with $$ signs and entries like box of cereal.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Well, I’m glad that your skills at documenting your adventures have progressed from that to this blog.

  2. awaldstein

    My favorite post of yours.And Fred and I have at least one thing in common beside love of the Jura and an innate sense of marketing–we are both, it seems–terrible drivers!

    1. Gotham Gal


    2. JimHirshfield

      New marketing line?”Arnold is My Co-Pilot” ???

  3. pixiedust8

    All I can say is…I’m with Fred. I can’t wait for self-driving cars!

  4. Lisa Abeyta

    “Did I mention that I would hide underneath the seat so we would only have to pay for a single vs a double?” Love this.

    1. Gotham Gal

      hilarious right?

  5. Christine

    Delightful story, thanks. A happy start to the day to read it. Fortune favors the bold. And those who know their limitations and will sometimes copilot 🙂

  6. Anjuan Simmons

    This is a great example of the benefits of long lasting relationships. Each other’s strength and weaknesses are no long obsessed over, and you simply put them into play (or retire them) as the situation requires. I’m still learning this after 12 years of marriage!

  7. jsrand

    I’m impressed that you’re driving stick over there, particularly in Italy. I didn’t have that much guts and I’m too rusty with it. Between the tailgaters on the autostrades and the motorscooters who believe that they have right of way in every situation, I don’t regret that choice regardless of the gas prices.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Grew up on stick. Still prefer it.

  8. Cecelia Feld

    Are poor driving skills a VC thing? I have one in the family.

  9. William Mougayar

    That’s a great story … yeah, when things go bad, blame the co-pilot!Curious how many kms have you driven so far?

  10. pointsnfigures

    Can Fred hide under the seat?

  11. BillMcNeely

    Good to see your on the short list that can call him Freddy 🙂