I have lived in the same city or general area in East Central Florida most all of my life. 30 minutes from Daytona Beach, 30 minutes from Orlando. When I first got my drivers license, like all teenagers, I was on top of the world. I knew EVERYTHING. Except North, South, East and West. When I was 16 my cousin, (who is 362 days younger than me) and I headed for the beach. I was driving. We get on I 4 West bound. My cousin, the know it all, told me we were going the wrong way, that I4 W was going towards Orlando. (For those of you ALSO directionally challenged.. we should have gotten on I4 EAST) Remember this was before GPS or Cell phones (how did we survive?) I told her to shut up, that she was wrong and she doesn't know anything because I was the one driving and I was older.
We kept driving and soon, we started seeing signs for Wet -n- Wild. I insisted
To this day, I can not find my way out of a phone booth with directions, even though I work with the map of Florida every damn day. It's pretty sad. I have a compass in my car, but that only helps if you actually know where you are to begin with and which direction you NEED to be heading.
It seems this condition is hereditary. My daughter and her friends recently had to go to Daytona Beach for graduation rehearsal. Here is her story:
- "I open up my friend's new GPS since it was still in the box and there is no plug to plug into the lighter thing. GREAT. Luckily, we had back up and printed out directions. But wait. . .there's more.
- After we picked up my other friend and got gas, we got on the wrong exit. Of course. We wasted nearly a half an hour just to get in the right direction. Once we finally DID get on the right track, it starts to torrentially (is that a word?) downpour, because Florida has had that 'not a tropical storm' hovering over us all week. Finally it starts to let up and everything is going swell.
- Following our printed directions, we're making good time. It was until we started approaching a trillion exits that things went downhill. We missed the most critical exit and had to drive another ten miles to find another one. We were completely lost. And unlike a man, we stopped in a Walgreens to ask for directions. All we had to do was go down the road we came, make a left and we'll see the exit that takes us to where we needed to be. I bought some Reese's "just in case we have to spend the night in the truck." Lol.
- So we hit the road again. We make the left, and find the exit. The only problem is, we're in the center lane and a huge semi truck is blocking our way to get in the left lane next to us and onto the exit. We ended up missing that one too.
- Aggravated, we drive and drive and drive. . .and drive and find another exit. Now we're in the middle of nowhere on this extremely long road. We wanted to stop somewhere and ask for directions again, but there was no place good. It was a corporation district or something. Fed up, my friend decides to turn around. Just as we're about to turn, there is a small building in front of us and there were people standing outside. I read the sign as we passed it and it was Florida Power. So we pull in, park and as we're approaching the men smoking their cigarettes, they go back in the building. Another man had just arrived and I kept egging my friends on to ask him for help. They wouldn't, so, I did.We tell him our problem, and he says, "Man, you're way lost." Yeah, we know. But he was nice and told us where to go.
At 8:40, we hit the road yet again and FINALLY reach our destination. We were stuck in traffic though because the roads were completely flooded everywhere. We ended up getting there at 9:15, and our school told us "if we weren't there by 9, we are not going to be able to walk. So, we were kind of nervous getting there late. But then again, the roads were flooded and there was traffic, so they couldn't count it against us."
I couldn't help but laugh when she told me she was lost and after I read this on her blog. She thought I was laughing at her . I had to explain that I was laughing with her because this was like de-ja-vu. Only she realized they were going the wrong way BEFORE they got to Orlando. I then explained that this is something she can share for many years and get great laughs and good memories from it. I don't think she is convinced