What began as a day filled with the promise of catching up and all around fun ultimately became one heck of an adventure! Why? Because Carleen was in the driver's seat!

Back in early April, I wrote about how my fourth grade BFF, Peggy, had found me after thirty years of no contact. Reconnecting with her was exciting and when she told me that she would be returning to California for a week in May, we planned a get together with Diana, the BFF who joined us in sixth grade. Today was that meeting.

Since we would be in cities some 30-40 miles apart from one another, I suggested that we meet at a Brazilian BBQ restaurant that I know of in a city that, while close to Diana, would be a fairly equal distance for Peggy and me. Wanting to make things as easy for Peggy as possible because she had just traveled from Europe to the US, Diana found the same restaurant in the city where Peggy would be staying. It was a date. We planned to meet at 1:00 PM for lunch today.

I am terrible at driving to unfamiliar locations and always end up lost in some podunk place miles away from where I ought to be, so I mapped out the directions ahead of time and sent them to my iPhone. I left home with plenty of time to fill the car with gas and still arrive on time. Lucky for me, the first part of the journey was the same route I take to get to the university. No problem so far.

The trip soon turned into a comedy of errors, however. With four freeway changes between me and my destination, I should have known that an adventure was in the making as soon as I got behind the wheel. I managed the first freeway change without incident. Yeah me! But a short distance later, an accident caused traffic to be diverted to the two left lanes only and without me realizing it, I missed the off ramp to the next freeway. Oblivious, I drove merrily along scouting for the freeway and making mental notes to be sure that come fire season, I am as far away from this part of the county as possible because the drought has made it a virtual tinderbox. Before I knew it, I was in Fontana, some 30 miles away from where I needed to be and nowhere near the freeway I needed to catch!

To see how far out of the way I had gone, look at the map below. I am located at the bottom of the map, at POINT A. I needed to get to POINT B, labeled PEGGY. I ended up at the point on the right side of the map where the green box is located at the top. Once I realized that I was going in the wrong direction, I got off the freeway, called Diana and left her a message , then got back on the freeway headed in the right direction this time.

Going back in the right direction was no problem, and I managed to follow the route all the way to the point of getting off the freeway on the correct exit. But from this point forward, things got downright ugly! I traveled up and down the right street but couldn't find the next one -- the street that would take me to the restaurant. When I finally did find it, I ended up at the backside of some mall, driving through the parking lot. At this point, I was nearly an hour late!

Diana finally heard my message. She and Peggy had been waiting patiently at the restaurant. Peggy knew where I was and went outside so that I could see where to turn. Well, I saw Peggy alright -- even honked at and waved to her -- but missed the turn for the entrance to the restaurant. Here we go again, back to driving in circles! Finally, a little more than one hour late, I pulled into the parking lot.

My life, I tell you, never has a dull moment!
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4 Responses
  1. Anya Says:

    Hi Carleen

    What a lovely story,
    its nice to reed (@^.^@)

    Have a nice weekend!!

  2. Carleen Says:

    Thanks, Anya! I hope to write about our actual visit for my next post, but I have to finish grading student essays first.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  3. I have the exact same problem with driving and directions. I empathize.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    How frustrating. But I had to laugh because I've done the same thing. Oh the stories I could tell about getting lost! Good luck on the essays!!

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