Monday, July 6, 2015

True Vacation Adventures: Directions

So... we're on vacation. We have gone down to Salado, TX, which is both very quiet and very far removed from the Metroplex, with my parents, my aunt, and my brother and his family. A couple of our oldest friends -- basically another brother and sister-in-law, and the genetics of the matter be damned -- have driven up from Austin to join us. We have made it all the way to Saturday night, which was supposed to culminate with dinner at a Mexican restaurant a few miles up the highway. After that, my brother and his family would be heading back to Dallas/Fort Worth, while my family and my parents would return to the inn for one more night. Our friends would be heading directly back to Austin.

I am driving the van, following my mother (in a Toyota Camry, if you're interested) to the restaurant. Or at least I was, until my mother suddenly changes from the middle lane to the right lane and immediately takes an exit. The only possible way I could follow this would be to drive through a truck, which happens to be driving innocently along in the lane between me and the exit. So we go up to the next exit, u-turn, and come back... whereupon we attempt to follow the directions that my father has provided (just, y'know, in case of such an eventuality).

The restaurant we're looking for is supposed to be off the main square in Belton. Since we've cut across the road we were originally supposed to take -- or at least the one we were told we were supposed to take -- but we aren't sure which way to go on it, we call my brother (who is already at the restaurant). With his guidance, we choose our course and promptly find ourselves passing out of Belton entirely, in the general direction of either Temple or Killeen. Clearly, despite everything, this is not the right direction.

We turn around. The less said about that, the better.

Fifteen minutes later, after having passed the point where we first got onto this road, we reach the town square of Belton. From there, we are able to locate the restaurant without too much further difficulty -- it helps that my brother was able to actually provide the name of the place. I might have been edging towards a homicidal, axe-wielding dementia by this point... but a few drinks and a really good meal help calm me down, and the populace remains un-rampaged.

So, with dinner over, we go our separate ways. My brother and his wife and child all pile into their vehicle and head back. My parents and my aunt prepare to return to the inn, and -- since the Beautiful Woman and I have stopped to talk to our friends a bit longer -- they take Firstborn with them. Before they depart, my father comes back over to us to offer new, updated directions for how to get back... to make up for abject failure of the original directions. I smile, nod, and commit the new route to memory.

Twenty minutes later, after we've finally pried ourselves away from our friends and are walking Secondborn towards the van, the Beautiful Woman's cell phone rings. It's my dad, calling to offer a new update to the new, updated directions that he'd given us. We listen carefully, get in the van, and promptly ignore everything we were told and punch our destination into the GPS instead. This provides us with a quick and easy drive back to the inn where we're staying.

At this point, we swing by my parents' room to pick up Firstborn... only nobody answers the door. My parents' car is not in the parking lot. My wife calls them, and -- sure enough -- we learn that we have, in fact beaten them back to the inn. Those updated directions that my father called to give us as we were leaving the Mexican restaurant? Yeah, he was giving those to us while they were lost.

I... I just... I do not have the words for this.



  1. GPS FTW. And this is why, in the days before GPS, you made bloody sure your maps were up to date.

  2. I've instituted a new rule for family vacations: we don't go anywhere unless I have a name and a street address for our destination.

    I swear, some days there is not enough rum in the world...


Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!