Lessons learned after spending two-and-a-half days with my dad and stepmom in San Francisco:
1.) If you're uncomfortable spending a mere 3 hours with your family during the holidays, you might want to reconsider spending TWO AND HALF STRAIGHT DAYS with them. Just sayin'.
2.) If you get talked into driving along the 49-mile Scenic Drive with your family while they visit you in San Francisco, you might want reconsider your plans. Strike that. You might want to run screaming into the Bay and drown yourself immediately. Reference Lesson Learned Number One and realize that being with family in small, enclosed places like rental cars is NOT SMART.
3.) Index cards of Topics to Avoid are helpful to bring along during long car trips with parents, including: "Why I'm Not Married Yet"; "How I Got To Be Such A Liberal, Feminist Democrat"; "The Gays;" "The Denver Broncos"; "What Exactly 'Public Relations' Is"; and "Where All of My Money Goes."
4.) Whatever you do, resist the urge to open the rental car door and tumble out onto the highway while the car is moving in a frantic attempt to escape the never-ending bickering over city traffic, narrow streets, the cost/scarcity of decent parking in San Francisco, and the lackluster map directions for the 49-mile Scenic Drive. Instead, channel your inner 13-year-old teenage girl and stare vacantly out the window for the remainder of the trip.
5.) Recognize that you're not a 13-year-old girl and HELL YES you will have a second glass of wine at dinner because, after all, your parents are paying for that dinner.
6.) Remember that Family Is Forever.