Where Was Sacagawea When We Needed Her?
WE HAVE BEEN SPENDING A FEW DAYS OUT IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. It is a lovely city with a great climate. I was, however, feeling a serious lack that needed filling.
My wife, the lovely and actively involved, Dawn, and I have been attending an annual church meeting/conference. While she is working hard I am here mainly to serve as “Arm Candy.” I can handle that.
Because my function is not really needed in Meetings, Seminars, and Committee sessions I have a fair amount of time on my hands. That is when things began to go south in a figurative sense. I needed some coffee and I was a stranger in a strange land.
Google Mars told me that there were several oases of coffee nearby – one of them a scant 0.2 miles away. One of the other conference attendees said that she walked there in 9 minutes – and she uses a cane.
I stopped at the front desk of the Marriott Something Hotel and asked for directions. The young lady on duty smiled constantly as she gave me specific instruction to steer me to the 0.2 miles away Starbucks.
“Just go out of the front door here and turn left. It is about a 10 minute walk. Would you like a cup of coffee right now?”
She must have had one of those Yeti gizmos stashed behind her desk. I took a raincheck on her offer. I wanted the real thing. All I had to do was to remember to “Go out of the front door here and turn left.” I could do that. I am a college graduate.
Right after lunch I had my escape all worked out. I had my tote bag, with my Notebook, some pens, and
phone charger cable. I was planning a lengthy visit.
When I mentioned my plan over lunch one of the other Arm Candy husbands asked if he could come along. No problem, and at 1:30 PM Martin and I headed out on our 0.2 mile/9 minute pilgrimage.
After about twenty minutes we began to suspect that something was wrong, but how? We went out of the front door and turned left.
After another ten minutes I was absolutely sure that something had gone belly up. I checked with the Google Maps thingy again. It said that our 0.2 mile away Starbucks was now 0.3 miles away and it was a different Starbucks.
It was then that we broke the Traveling Man’s Sacred Vow” – we started asking people for directions. We got conflicting answers and even snarls of refusal to help us However, one young fellow gave us hope with his confident directions and off we went.
After another ten minutes we had to admit that if that helpful young man had been with Lewis and Clark we would all be speaking Apache. I was moving slower by this time. We asked a very pleasant young lady out walking her dogs for help and she told us that the Starbucks was “Just down the block next to the Panda Express Chinese Restaurant. We walked. San Diego has big blocks.
After another five minutes we saw the Starbucks! We hobbled through the door tired, hot, and thirsty. Then we met “Boom” the Barista.
“Boom” was a brand new trainee who was enthusiastic and completely lost. I ordered my usual: Iced coffee with cream, but no sweeteners. Martin wanted just a green iced tea. When our orders were ready I was presented with a “Triple Caramel Macchiato Frappuccino.” They gave Martin tea – nice piping hot black tea. After another ten minutes it got straightened out and “Boom” went on break.
We took our time sitting there sipping and trying to figure out where we were. Google Maps said that we were now only 26 feet from the Starbucks.
Coulda fooled me.
After another hour we stood up and headed for home sure of only one thing – We knew how to find the Bed, Bath, And Beyond if anybody asked.
After another fifteen minutes we could see our hotel off in the distance. I knew that we would make it.
As we got closer I saw the Starbucks that had been our initial objective. It was very close to our hotel – about a 9 minute walk.
The estimates, courtesy of Google Maps, put our excursion at about 4.5 miles. It seems that the directions given me by the desk Clerk omitted one crucial detail.
“Go out of the front door here and turn left.”
So far, so good, but she left out the following.
“And at the first intersection, turn left again. The Starbucks is at the next corner.”
After all of this wandering like Moses in the wilderness I have come to one conclusion: Nobody in San Diego can give lucid directions.