Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We're Lost. Again?

Vince and I went to an out-of-town party on Saturday, which necessitated an overnight stay. Sure, it was “only” a three hour drive – but I’m not one to drive three hours somewhere, stay for a short while and then turn around and drive three hours back home. That makes for a very long day. And I for one don’t want to be thinking about the upcoming three hour drive the entire time I’m trying to enjoy myself at a party.

The funny thing is that the very friends we were visiting travel for their business – and a three hour drive is “nuthin’” to them. They scoff at three hour drives. A three hour drive is merely a “jaunt” and they can make that kind of trip with their eyes closed.

Well, okay, so not really. Driving with one’s eyes closed could be a little dangerous.

Nevertheless, they are the sort of people who roll their eyes whenever I make any reference about how long a drive it was. What they don’t take into consideration, however, is the fact that “lost time” must frequently be built into my travel estimations.

Vince decided to take matters into his own hands this trip and he printed out Mapquest directions. He figured that might alleviate some of the stress his Navigator (me) feels whenever he says, “Do I turn left or right here?” and in a panic I cry, “I. Don’t. Know!!”

I admit it. I don’t make a very good Navigator.

In truth, I don’t really remember applying for the job – but apparently my driving also makes Vince nervous so I’m relegated to the passenger seat where the title of Navigator is automatically assigned.

I was semi-confident about this trip, however, as I used to live in the town. I hadn’t driven from downtown to my friend’s house in years, though – and it IS out in the seeming vast wilderness that is the outlying areas of the ‘Ville – but I figured I could find it all on my own.

Except Vince’s Mapquest directions were not the way I’ve ever driven. And, yes, we got lost.

Vince was a little, um, testy by the time we’d had to turn around for the third time on narrow, winding roads that were barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass side by side. So he called my friends. And, fortunately, they navigated him properly and we arrived safe and sound.

In my defense, I have to say that I’d never come from the direction we came from. I know one way – and one way only – to get there. I’m confident that I could have gotten us there without a problem. Except that my credibility by this point with Vince is totally shot – so he insisted we follow the Mapquest directions.

Oh well. I can’t really blame him. But I told him, “You watch. When we leave here, we’ll turn right. At the dead-end, we turn left. And then we turn left again onto the highway.” And that was exactly right. So sometimes it’s my own fault for not being more self-confident when it comes to directions.

Despite being a little frazzled by the time we arrived at the party, our moods quickly changed and we ended up having a lot of fun. We drank some adult beverages and greeted old friends and met some new ones. We watched the kids as they ran and played in the Bressler playground (pony rides, trampoline, jungle jim and inflatable bouncy thing). And we were even serenaded on the accordion. And the food. Sheesh. It was a veritable Italian feast – lasagna, gnocchi, meatballs, pasta and stuffed things like mushrooms and peppers.

We also went on a scary hayride. Not because it was spooky, but because we were driving on actual roads. There were no streetlights and our wagon was not lit. So we held our drinks in one hand – and our cell phones up in the air with the other in hopes that any drivers would see the lights from our cell phones before they plowed into the back end of the wagon and dropped us all like bowling pins.

Happily, we didn’t have any mishaps – unless you count the time we all almost landed in a ditch and the one time we all had to get out so our driver could get the wagon up a hill.

So, as usual, it was a great time. And we’re looking forward to Fall Fest 2011. But I’m thinking we should probably start saving our pennies and purchase one of those GPS Navigational things. Unless they - like my cell phone - read "No Service" when you're out in the sticks and you really need the assistance.

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