A friend of mine from graduate school has been visiting LA this week, so we made arrangements to meet up last night. He doesn’t have a car while he’s down here, so I had to drive to see him. We decided to meet at a bookstore in Pasadena, which is about 45 miles away from my office. I had never driven to Pasadena before, so I used Google Maps to plan my route. I printed out the directions and left for Pasadena straight after work.
Surprisingly, there wasn’t much traffic on the way there. I thought it would take over an hour, but it took me only 45 minutes. I figured I’d be really early and I could shop around the bookstore for half an hour while waiting for my friend (I love bookstores).
I followed my Google Maps directions and got off the freeway at the correct exit, but I then somehow missed the turn I was supposed to make after exiting. The street I was on was a one-way street (I hate those), so I couldn’t make a U-turn and find the right street. I had to continue driving until I saw a major street with which I could find my way back.
I have a terrible sense of direction. After making a few turns onto streets I thought would take me where I wanted to go, I was lost. I ended up somewhere in Alhambra, around 5-10 miles away from Pasadena. I don’t have a GPS, so that wasn’t an option. I would have called my dad for directions (he knows the area really well), but my cell phone was out of battery.
So what was I to do? Luckily, I had my trusty iPod touch with me! I drove around until I found a McDonald’s, since I know they have Wi-Fi. Unlike the McDonald’s near my house that has free Wi-Fi, I had to pay $2.95 to get a two-hour block of internet time, but that’s a small price to pay for finding a way out of being lost.
I typed in the address into Google Maps to get directions from where I was, and I found I was about 6 miles away from my destination. I got in my car and followed my iPod precisely, even looking at my odometer to see how many tenths of miles I was going before I was supposed to see a particular street at which to turn. In 15 minutes I had parked and was in the bookstore, making me only two minutes late.
I couldn’t believe that I got myself lost, even after I had printed out directions. I’m so glad I had my iPod with me. I would have gone crazy otherwise. Best purchase I’ve ever made!