I used to think I was a seasoned traveler and quite able to get around on my own. I had driven from Indiana to Memphis and back many times. I hopped in my car and drove the 1500+ miles from Utah to Indiana or Kentucky repeatedly. I bundled an infant and a toddler into a minivan and took off on the supposedly 7 hour trip from Michigan to Kentucky and back again. Hell, I even manage to make it to Virginia from Utah and Indiana.
The thing I keep forgetting is that all of those are pretty much straight shots. If I have to make many turns or I miss a single one of those turns I am a lost cause.
It all started back in my daughter’s gymnastics days once we had to travel. I once was an hour late to a team dinner because I made a wrong turn and couldn’t find a place to turn around. When we finally got ahold of the other parents at the pizza joint they were astounded I was so far off course. They patiently helped to navigate me back to the area and then I spent another 15-30 minutes trying to find a parking spot. We were in San Diego and it was Rock Star’s very first out of state meet and therefore her very first team dinner. I felt awful!
But hey! I’m a world seasoned traveler, right? That was just a silly mishap. Oh no! Then there was the time I ended up going to Phoenix by way of Las Vegas (from Salt Lake City, mind you) because my GPS signal was lost in St. George and I couldn’t find the highway I was supposed to take. That was the same trip where we got a flat tire shortly after crossing into Arizona. We waited for an hour at Wal-Mart to get it repaired and after an hour they still didn’t even have us in the shop. I was supposed to pick my mom up from the airport at 10 pm because she was flying in for the meet so I couldn’t dilly dally. I drove probably 300 miles on a little donut tire, definitely breaking the suggested 55 mph limit. The last exit I needed to take was closed so I had to keep driving on the freeway. My son made the mistake of asking me when we were going to get there and I clearly remember replying in a slightly hysterical voice, “I don’t know, Picasso; I’m beginning to think we are never going to get there!”
Driving home my mom wanted to stop at the Grand Canyon but I somehow missed it. I missed a huge gigantic hole in the ground! How can a person do that?
Then we had my latest fiasco when I couldn’t find the Air BnB and I was practically hyperventilating and swearing I would never stay anyplace that didn’t have a large neon sign that beckoned me.
I bring this up because today (yesterday?) we were en route to Cleveland for a cheer competition. All seemed to be going well (it is a straight shot so I had that going for me) until we tried to find our hotel. I assigned Rock Star the job of navigator. We inadvertently went to the Holiday Inn instead of the Holiday Inn Express. Both are on the same street. That was a 15 minute mistake. Then the GPS took us to the wrong place. We had to call to get directions and even then we messed it up. I drove up and down a street with potholes the size of the Grand Canyon at least twice. Those holes I could find. Each and every freaking time!
Thankfully we found the hotel. I ended up paying $26 for valet parking because I just could not deal with trying to find a garage and having to pay anyway after everything else I had endured.
Did I mention I thought she was competing on Sunday instead of Saturday? Because she told me she was competing on Sunday. So I found out around 3 pm that I’m going to have to make a good four hour drive after work.
Here’s the fun part though. It has been snowing for a good 12 hours where I live. The roads are horrible. We are being told to stay home unless we absolutely need to be out. Apparently, we needed to be out and cheering because we headed out around 7 pm, in the cold, wet snow. Thankfully the toll road wasn’t too bad. I was doing at least 45 mph, sometimes up to 60, and once we got closer to Ohio it dried up and I could go 70.
Anyway we’re here. Our hotel is actually an old bank that has been converted into a hotel. The rooms are gorgeous with hardwood floors and tall ceilings. The elevators are tiny but elegant. We’re going to check out the breakfast area tomorrow. Then checking out and heading over to the convention center to compete. After awards I believe the plan is to head on back home.
Let’s hope the trip back is a little smoother!