Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm Back!

Let's start off with the good news.
I got to see Bryan!!

The bad news is that it took me four hours to get to him. Even now I can't tell you what went wrong. On Saturday, I got in my car at 8:15AM and drove down the street to the McDonald's to get some breakfast. I turned around, got on what I thought was 220 South and happily zoned out as I thought about my upcoming reunion with "meus vir."

About 45 minutes into the drive, I noticed that none of the signs were counting down the miles to Danville or any other town in southern Virginia. In fact, they were talking about Richmond, which is in the eastern part of the state. Then I looked for a highway sign--and saw one for 64East and 81North. Huh?

I pulled over at an exit and checked out the 1990 U.S. Atlas that is in my car and I realized what was wrong. I WAS DRIVING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION! Yes, after an hour in the car, I figured out that I was going north instead of south. Somehow I had turned onto 220 North instead of south and that led me to the two interstates mentioned above. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to cry or scream because now I was going to be late AND Bryan wasn't going to know what was going on because, again, he doesn't have a cell phone.

Using my trusty atlas, I tried to figure out an alternate route so that I wouldn't have to back track all the way to Roanoke and then back down to Danville. I thought that I could take a smaller highway and cut across to an interstate that heads right into Danville, so I turned around and went south and took the appropriate exit.

However, I couldn't find the minuscule highway I needed to use to cut across, and, after pulling to the side of the road at least three times, I gave up and headed back to Roanoke.

My inner fury at that point is hard to describe now. I was so frustrated. I get to see my husband for maybe 26 hours and I just lost two of them to my own stupidity. For those of you with GPS crap in your cars, I don't want to hear it. I like my archaic way of traveling and even though some computer telling me how to get to Danville would have saved me all this grief, it would not have been as good a story. So blah.

To alert Bryan of my situation, I called 411 (sorry, Mom--you can send Bryan a bill) and called the motel we were staying at (and meeting at) to see if they could keep an eye out for him and give him the message that I was going to be about 2 hours late.

At noon, rather than at 10, I pulled into the Innkeeper's parking lot and encountered my husband coming out of a room with a smile on his face. He had gone into the office when he got there to get something to drink and they asked him if he drove a big red box-like car (my description of his Element) and gave him the message that I would be late. Apparently he was quite incredulous at first, "What do you mean she went the wrong way?" But they let him check in five hours early and watch some TV while he waited for his tardy wife to appear.

Thus, it was a very rested Bryan who greeted me. I was so happy to see him that I didn't even care we had lost two hours because we still had 24 to go. The Innkeeper actually turned out to be a decent hotel. It was the cheapest place we could find on hotels.com, but it was clean and they had a decent breakfast buffet this morning. Here are some pics:
The sign I had been waiting for! For FOUR HOURS!

Our snazzy room. To be fair, it had a microwave, fridge and a king-size bed (quite an improvement from the twin I've been sleeping in for the past week).

Danville itself is not very interesting. The park I had investigated and printed out maps for was really intended for mountain bikers, and since we were sans bikes, we walked for about an hour and a half and left it at that. Danville also doesn't have a Target, which was unfortunate because I needed to buy a new bike helmet because mine is missing one of its clips. In addition, Danville has the most confusing highway system I've encountered in a while. They have a mixture of four highways with various bypass and business labels and it was not a system we could master in the 12 hours we were driving around it. We made a lot of u-turns. Thus, our feeling, at the end of our stay, was that Danville sucks and we'll be trying a different town for our next meet-up. However, they have very funny signs including this one that I snapped on the way out of town:

Needless to say, I did not see this sign stop flashing on the 40mph road it was on. I love U.S. speed limit laws.



5 comments:

Lindsey said...

Ok, I just have to point out two things:
A) You sound like me. No more driving in the wrong direction for two hours.

B) You need another cell phone! Come on, its 2007, all the cool kids are doing it.

But I'm glad you enjoyed your trip.

Claire said...

Loved your story Michele. It sounds very much like the recent trip I took to Greensboro and Hickory relying on Mapquest to get me to my destinations. And don't feel alone on the cell phone thing..I'm holding out too..at least until my next road trip.
Love you! Claire

Bryan said...

1) I still don't understand how you went 2 hours in the wrong direction
2)Danville sucks!
3) I miss my freakin' wife so if you guys who respond could enlighten me on how to make her a little less motivated after Hollins, please let me know ASAP!

Love you poo.

mayo said...

"Meus Vir"- hahahahahahahahaha that is so cute! I'm glad you ended up where you were supposed to be and got to see your husband and everything.
I got lost in Clayton/Knightdale for two hours going to dinner once. lol don't feel bad. Much love!

Ms. DeCamp said...

Mayo--didn't you also get lost in an Olive Garden once? Hmmm...I'm trying to remember. :-)

Is that funny yet? Or do I need to wait a year before I joke you about it? Let me know. *smile*