Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Never Lost Again!

With a title like that, I could write late night infomercials!

However, this is me singing praises for a real live product or program or whatever you want to call it. I call it joy. I will never be lost again. Unless of course my phone loses service, but that is a different post for another time.

I am currently enamored of Verizon Navigator. Why the love? Well, aside from the fact that it never once led us astray in Florida 30 days ago, it has twice now saved my sorry misdirected ahem fanny. The first time, Mapquest gave me the wrong directions (I swear!!) and I drove around for about 15 minutes getting more and more lost. Rebi and her phone of wonder weren't with me, so in a fit of desperation, I pulled out my phone and started searching the Get it Now programs. Who knew my crappy little toy-looking phone even had capabilities for turn by turn navigation?

Today, it came to the rescue again. True to our "Year of Experience" theme, I cheered wildly planned carefully in order to send Rebi, Evan and Ellie on a 3 day stay in the middle of the ocean. On a ship of course, where I can't hear them fighting waging war gabbing on their phones playing nicely together. I mean really, what could be better for experience than getting a taste of sailing a real ship 100 miles away from mom?

So, today we had to have them in Long Beach by 8:30 am. Sadly, that means that to be sure we were on time, we had to leave before 6 am. It is only 78 miles, but does indeed take up to 2 and 1/2 hours to get there in rush hour. I've never been anywhere in Long Beach except the airport and had planned on using google maps to find my way to our destination, but when the packet showed up, it specifically said not to use mapquest or google maps because every year they have led people to a different location with a similar address. Of course, the enclosed directions were from a freeway I've never heard of, being as I don't drive anywhere close to LA unless it's for the chance on 3 days of freedom.

I don't suppose anyone would believe me if I tried to claim I shed tears as I put the kids on the ship, would they? Right.

So, dutifully, I examined maps and figured out a simple way to get to the freeway where the directions start, examined the area around and near the ending destination, and went to bed for a whopping 4 hours of sleep. Because Rebi is a procrastinator and didn't finish packing until after midnight. She gets it from her dad.

Have I ever mentioned in any previous posts my inability to think before the crack of noon? Or really, any time at all. But I can only post that because 3 of my kids have no access to internet and will never see that I've admitted it openly. Today was typical.

I have driven the 91 freeway at least 20 times, and had no reason to be concerned that we wouldn't make it to the 710 and our final destination with time to spare. Which is a really long way of saying, SINCE WHEN DOES THE 91 SPLIT AND BECOME THE 55 IN THE SHORT SPACE OF TIME IT TOOK ME TO SKIP 3 OR 19 SONGS ON MY iTOUCH???

SO, realizing I am suddenly on my way to Newport, and not Long Beach, and knowing that there is an imminent threat of reaching the boat just in time to watch it sail off with my $600 and 3 empty berths, and knowing that Ellie had not stopped talking for over an hour starting BEFORE THE SUN CAME UP and that I would be listening to her sobbing the entire 2 plus hours back home AND with the threat of 3 tired, disappointed and cranky children on my hands, I totally agreed to pay the $9.99 or any amount of money to get us back to the 91 and to that stupid boat.

Except Verizon didn't recognize the 91 freeway as a destination. And, although that is the only fault I find with the joy I call navigator, I do hope they remedy that little glitch. At that point, I got out the map the field trip mom had provided and started to enter the address of our final destination, only to realize it wasn't on that sheet, but on paperwork I left at home. I entered a nearby street instead and was promptly kicked off of the 55 in order to connect with the 57 South which would take me to the 22 and I would not only miss the boat, but wander downtown Long Beach for hours. No, I didn't love the navigator directions, but I had faith it would get me close enough to find my way with my map. That is, until I got on the 57 North instead. I realized my mistake about the time the navigator started intoning, "recalculating route. recalculating route. recalculating route." I'm sure I fried the internal circuitry as it attempted to figure out how to make me execute a legal U-turn on the freeway. And did I mention it was bumper to bumper with rush hour traffic? I swear, the navigator had to bite it's tongue to keep from wondering aloud how stupid I must be to 1) follow the split to the 55 rather than staying firmly on the 91 and 2) not be able to enter a freeway headed the right direction. After all, it was telling me every turn at .1 mile intervals.

But, the fairytale has a happy ending. After less than a mile on the 57 North, navigator told me to prepare to exit onto the 91 in 1.2 miles. Woo Hoo! I screwed up and ended up right back where I wanted to be! And I even managed to get on the 91 heading west and not east. I know, miraculous. This kind of crazy NEVER happens to me. I know people who lead a charmed life, but I plan for the unexpected. Self-fulfilling prophesy? Never!

Sadly, the ship then docked 2 hours late, so we got up at 5 am and fought rush hour traffic just to sit and wait for 2 more hours. If I hadn't still been kissing my phone for getting us to our destination, I might have been frustrated.

I had to try my best not to dance a jig as they walked up the gangplank, but I forced a tear out because I just can't afford one more contribution to their therapy fund. Even if they are going to need it desperately.

My apologies if this is incoherent rambling. My lack of sleep has caught up with me.


heather said...

This sounds like me trying to go to Ogden. Yes, I know this makes me look even lamer for not being able to get aorund the city only a 20 minute drive away from my house. I am directionally challenged there. My phone does not have the cool capabilities yours does however, so I called my husband in a total panic, and he was able to give me directions to get myself out of there and back home after about 30 minutes of total panic. Sad isn't it?

katzbox said...

Wow...I'm excited and fatigued!