It was the last day of a three-day conference in Phoenix. The final sessions ran at least thirty minutes over and I was in desperate need of a real meal; the snacks that had held me over until dinner during the past two days were finally unappealing. I met up with my team mates and we headed to our minivan. It would be a ten minute ride back to our hotel where we’d have a working dinner together.
As my teammates and I were driving along Central Blvd, Karen said, “Huh. It looks like people are getting ready for a parade.” Sure enough, we noticed the sidewalks were lined with people setting up their folding chairs.
“It might be a car show,” I suggest. “Look at all the cars in the lots behind them.” Old cars, sports cars, classic cars had their doors open, hoods up.
Traffic slowed down. “What do you want to do for dinner?” Terri asked.
“Let’s order take-out from Fez again,” Katie suggested.
Then we noticed an old car in front of us. And an old car behind us. In fact, there were old cars all around our light blue Chevy minivan.
“I think we are in the parade!” I exclaimed and slapped Karen’s knee. The five of us women laughed and practiced our princess waves.
Finally we made it to our hotel room, freshened up and called Fez for take-out. We decided on take-out to avoid the $5 delivery fee and decided to drive there because Katie was ordering ice cream for dessert. Walking would have felt fantastic after sitting in the convention center all day, but it would have certainly melted the ice cream in the 80+ degrees outside.
Terri and I ventured out to find Fez. We relied on her phone’s GPS to get us there. We were both exhausted, overwhelmed and very hungry. Immediately, we realized we had turned the wrong way out of the parking garage. That was our first U-turn. Once we got to the main street, Fez was only 0.2 miles away and not too hard to find.
After picking up the dinner and driving a few minutes, Terri said, “I think we missed our turn.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “it feels like we’ve gone too far.” But I’m holding the phone with the directions on it and it is telling me to continue on.
“When do we turn?” Terri asked.
“Left on Osborn,” I said. And then we notice the traffic. “Maybe it just feels like we’ve gone too far because we’re going so slowly.”
“Oh no! We’re in the parade again!” Terri said. She grabbed her cell phone to reset the GPS directions. Surely it wasn’t giving us accurate directions. “Yup, we’ve gone too far,” she confirms. She handed the phone back to me. I can see that we went ONE MILE too far. There’s a classic car in front of us, an old sports car behind us and people on the sidewalk waving to us. One car in the next lane has its doors open and they angle way up like wings.
We finally made a U-turn but remained at 5 mph in the parade loop. By the time we got back to the hotel, we’d been gone for 35 minutes! Thirty five minutes for what should have been a 0.4-mile trip.
The ice cream was melted. We should have just walked!
Red car photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7552532@N07/4194457898/">ATOMIC Hot Links</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>