In Chapter Eight, Jenny takes her grandmother for a drive. Although Jenny is anxious about driving a manual car, her grandmother seems to be oblivious to Jenny's discomfort. Before long, Jenny finds herself driving into downtown San Diego.
Her grandmother first orders her to stop in front of a stucco house where her sister, Rachel, used to live. Upon further instructions from her grandmother, Jenny finds herself driving to her grandmother's old neighborhood. While there, her grandmother points out to Jenny the location of the old pharmacy and theater. Soon, they arrive at her grandmother's old house, where Jenny's mother grew up and where many family get-togethers were held. Jenny and her grandmother also drive past the stationary store that used to belong to Jenny's grandparents.
After driving past yet another landmark, her grandmother's old apartment, Jenny is instructed to stop the car at a two-story house where a whirligig is mounted on a porch wall. The whirligig is shaped like a whale with a white triangle for its spray. A black-haired woman sits on top of the spray. Jenny's grandmother points out the simple joy the whirligig has always given her. She reasons that someone built it to give joy to all who look upon the whirligig as they pass by. So, Jenny and her grandmother visit many sentimental landmarks before they stop to admire the unusual whirligig.