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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adventures in Crazy-Land

"So by now I don't have to tell you that D.C. roads are on crack. 
I had a friend who went to D.C. for the first time and 
got so turned around she ended up at the white house. 
She stopped the car, broke down in tears and refused to move until 
her friends came and got her. Silly non-grid, east coast roads." 
- Lindsay Edward

I don't own a GPS.  By the time we left Utah, Brandon and I had been in residence for over eight years, and so felt no need to pay $150 for something that told us things we already knew.  I had navigated my way through Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, Munich, Halstatt, Venice, London, Cairo, Salzburg, and Istanbul without the aid of anything more than my own map-reading ability and directional sense.

Recently, I started looking into one.

One Saturday night, Brandon and I headed way out into the suburbs to attend the DC temple.  I looked up various ways to arrive, and settled on the simplest route.  We made it with no problems, and headed back chatting cozily as we wound through forest lining the Potomac river.  And then we came to a bridge, but it was one bridge too soon.  I realized we had turned too soon as we went under the bridge we were supposed to be driving on.  But it was fine; I knew where we needed to be going - across the river - and the bridge was just behind us.  All we needed was a place to turn around and we'd be back on our way.

We didn't quite make it to the White House, but we passed the Kennedy Center, traveled through Rock Creek Park, passed the zoo, passed the zoo again, saw Dupont Circle, the National Mall, the Washington Monument (very handy to navigate by), the Jefferson Memorial, the cherry trees along the tidal pool, and the Pentagon on our way home.  All of which we hadn't seen on our way in.


PaulaJean said...

You didn't get lost, you just took a geographic tour! (what Carolyn and I would say whenever we got lost after taking an Urban Geography class together at BYU.)

Lindsay Edward said...

At least you got to enjoy all the fabulous scenery of D.C. I'm glad your adventure didn't include any of the sketchy parts with not-so-friendly-looking characters and a lack of street lights.

UnkaDave said...

OK, I don't very freely admit, and try to prevent your mother from telling about, our 'excursion' one time where we ended up on the opposite side of the Beltway from our desired destination. The guy at the Fotomat kiosk, when we said, "We're trying to get to the Cathedral," grinned, and said, "Oh MAN!! Y'all folks are WAY out of the WAY!!"
And I grew up there!

Janyece said...

Hahahaha! Gotta love DC! At least you didn't end up passing Arlington National Cemetery! That really would have been a bridge too far...

Jen said...

If you guys ever go to Manhattan, take a GPS. There are way too many one way streets there to get around unless you know it. Actually, I would just park as soon as possible and take a taxi. It saves frustrations in the long run. I've only ever used public transport in DC, sounds like driving is a great adventure!

Laura said...

Well, speaking of gridded west coast roads that everyone seems to love. The one time in my life that I have been truly-close-to-tears-lost was when I drove Mom home from the airport. I accidentally got off in Orem, and two hours later, found BYU. I navigated by way of the Y. (Also, when people say east is the mountains, they haven't noticed that there are mountains EVERYWHERE!)