Last weekend, I went to Los Angeles to see relatives. I was meeting my sister there. Since I flew in first, my job was to grab the rental car, return to the airport, pick up my sister and drive an hour to Calabasas. Now that sounds easy, right? Yeah, not so much.
The problem was, I was doing the driving. Me. I get lost when they close down Miller Avenue for the garlic festival and I have to use an alternate route to get to First Street. I am navigation-impaired. So let’s imagine me driving in Los Angeles.
Not a pretty picture, is it?
First, the car rental lot was so far away it took two shuttles and 20 minutes to reach it. That meant I had to navigate my way to the cell phone parking lot to wait for my sister. I put on a navigation app that uses a boy band to sing me directions. I missed my first turn. No problem, sang my boy band, just make a U-turn at the next light.
That would be easy if it had a left turn arrow and if half of Los Angeles wasn’t running the yellow light. But I managed to turn around—mainly because the alternative was to be stuck in the intersection—risking certain death. And then I missed my second turn. This brought me into the airport. I cannot tell you how scary LAX is to a person who only ventures to Morgan Hill when she wants to go to the big Target.
I finally got out of LAX, found the cell phone parking lot and missed the entrance to it. This turned out to not be a problem as my sister texted me saying her plane has landed. Yes, it has taken me an hour to find the cell phone parking lot. This does not bode well for the drive out to Calabasas.
Of course, since I had just been driving aimlessly through LAX, I should have been able to drive right over and pick Tiffany up without incident. Silly you. Haven’t you been reading this? It took me three times around the airport. Three times with the boy band singing about U-turns and airport re-entry spots. Three times with Tiffany texting me, asking where I was. Three times with me being honked at by cab drivers, limo drivers and my near-miss with a brand new Lamborghini that made me regret not getting the optional rental car insurance.
I have never been flipped the bird so many times in my entire life.
By the time I picked Tiffany up, I was a quivering mess. I had her navigate our drive to Calabasas. Sadly, the inability to navigate is apparently genetic. We made the one-hour drive in slightly less than two hours, despite the remarkable lack of traffic. It took two freeways, three U-turns and countless LA drivers honking at us. I lost count of the bird flippers.
But we lived. And at the end, when we made it back to the airport and both of us were relieved and ready to go home, I discovered something new. I had accidentally made my return flight for the following day. Because I stink at travel.