Vacation! Florida! Sunshine! It's almost within my grasp. I'm flying out this weekend for a lovely week without snow or ice or -30 temps. They tell me that that kind of world actually exists - I can hardly wait! And a chance to see my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, beloved all. We're talking bliss.
So a week or so ago, I got an email from my daughter. Turns out we live practically on top of a microbrewery that has crazy award-winning beer. Beer that is completely unavailable in Florida. Could I be talked into a quest for said beer?
Well, hey, quest is my middle name. The brewery is in Greensboro Bend - a place I've never been to before. Naturally, I asked Madman about the town, knowing he knew how to get there, as I pulled up Google maps.
"How are you planning to go?" he asked.
I studied my options for a moment. There were three ways to get there. None of them good. There's no direct route. One way, I have to go way south and cut north; another involves going way north and cutting south. The most direct way goes up and over Stannard Mountain, which I have driven once in high summer and would never ever ever attempt in winter. Not without a dogsled and enough provisions to last till June.
"Well, which way am I least likely to get lost?"
Laugh if you will, but this is always a consideration when I go somewhere for the first time. Or even the second or third time. I have no sense of direction. None. Zero. If it's possible to have a negative sense of direction, that would be me. I have memorized routes to the places I go, and if I deviate AT ALL from the route, I end up lost. As in miles-from-home-and-all-the-signs-are-in-a-foreign-language lost. Because once I'm lost, any attempt to correct just makes it worse. (Like the time I was in Portsmouth, NH, and wanted to just cross the highway from one shopping center to another. I ended up lost somewhere in Maine. I'm serious. All I wanted to do was cross the road.)
After much discussion, I printed off my directions, and Wednesday after work, I set out. And even though I think I was on squirrel trails for part of the journey, I did not get lost. And I only almost missed one turn. (The roads around Greensboro are very confusing. There are a lot of "Y" intersections (both upper and lower case) and all the road names change at each intersection. Some roads are only a mile long, and only exist to connect one "Y" to another.)
So, against all odds, I actually found the brewery, purchased beer, and found my way home again. Without ending up in Canada. Or Oz.
Florida, here I come.
Luckily the plane doesn't require me to navigate...