1. A song sung by Petula Clark
2. which is included in a Reader's Digest songbook which belongs to my mother
3. which I learned to play on the piano
4. I even memorized it and can still play it
5. and it's a place where I ALWAYS get lost.

Always. Even when I have the Tele-Nav app on my phone guiding me.

I had to drive the kids to Meta-Con on the second day we went (on the first day, I convinced Jim that he had to drive us even though he wasn't attending. Jim is remarkably easy to convince to drive me anywhere). I know I tend to get lost downtown so I made sure I had the Tele-Nav on. Jim even pulled up the route on google maps and showed me where to go. When he drove, he went a different route so I couldn't use memory of Saturday's drive to help me (plus, I wasn't paying attention).

I was doing just fine on the drive until I was 500 feet from the parking ramp. I could see it! The problem was I saw it too late and I missed the turn. 

And got lost.

After driving around for 10 minutes, I finally found where we were supposed to be. Tele-Nav was not helpful because the signal was not strong enough and refreshing the route was taking too long. Plus I was too busy making sure I didn't hit buses, bikes, pedestrians, fire hydrants, curbs, other cars, lightposts, buildings, dogs, banners, benches, or too many air molecules to look at my phone. Also I was trying not to go down one-way streets the wrong way. It would really help if Minneapolis was  better about street planning, like organizing streets into a grid pattern, rather than have roads curve off to the left and in the process get a new street name (how did I wind up on 16th and then 1st? I swear there are space-jumping portals involved in the Minneapolis street system). It would also help to make getting back to the freeway by using THE SAME ROUTE as leaving it. But NO, they have to put the road coming off the freeway in a totally different universe than the one getting to it.

I also got lost coming out of the parking garage at the end of the day. Two options: turn right for downtown, turn left for not downtown. I wanted to get to the freeway, which was in my mind "not downtown" so I chose left. Wrong. And I messed up Tele-Nav again, because I had GPS mode off, so it was not getting my location, and I was too busy being lost to turn it on right away. Instead of driving what Jim had assured me was just a few blocks to the ramp for 35W South, I ended up going miles and miles through a residential area until I hit 31st Ave, which fortunately connected to 35W.

I hate driving downtown.


Jenni said…
So when you're alone and life is making you lonely, you literally cannot go downtown. You'd never get there!! And the noise and the hurry doesn't actually help, I know!!
TaterBean said…
The key to driving downtown is to not be stressed about driving downtown.
Jen said…
Wow, doesn't sound like a fun adventure at all! I never minded driving through downtown (we've lived near many of them), but I have to say Mpls is the most confusing. My friend Annemarie used to work at MN Planning where they Designed all the roads and such. They actually had her convinced that adding more lanes to the highways wouldn't help alleviate traffic at all, and that only mass transit was the answer. After that I began to understand why it was confusing to drive around MN and why there was always horrid traffics because MN Planning is obviously run by a bunch of brainless schmucks.
Dennis said…
Downtown St. Paul is even worse. Why can't cities be laid out like SLC? 1300 South 400 West means you are 13 blocks south of downtown and 4 blocks west. Simple.