A week or so ago we Nesbitts headed off for vacation in the great state of Texas, specifically Fort Worth. We are typically a Branson, MO, vacation family or, if we're feeling really adventurous, Eureka Springs, AR. So this trip to Texas was a HUGE step for us. We are truly the definition of country bumpkins: we don't like traffic, tall buildings, lots of cars or, as a general rule, people. We tend to drive slow and courteously and we use our turn signals because well, that's why they're there - to be used. We don't have neighbors within sight of our house except in the winter when the leaves are off the trees. In the summer, we are isolated in our little redneck haven and we like it that way. Our house even sits 1/10th of a mile off the road so we don't hear traffic and rarely see it - but then again, why would anyone drive down our potholed, dusty, rutted road anyway?
But we have two sets of friends in the Forth Worth area of Texas who we hadn't seen in what seemed like ages. We decided that instead of sitting in miles and miles of stand still traffic on "the strip" in Branson we'd instead take off on a road trip of epic (to us) proportions.
Last year we had attempted a trip to Texas, but one of the kiddos got super sick right before time to go and the trip was nixed. Before that ill-fated trip, though, we bought a Garmin GPS unit for the car. We immediately fell into a mad, deeply passionate affair with our British-accented friend and gave her the name "Eleanor Biggsby". She was nice at first. She took us to Oklahoma City, Yukon, Springfield, MO, and several other relatively close cities with no problem. We really liked her and considered her a part of the family. That is, until she apparently decided over the course of the past year that we are unintelligent country mice who don't deserve to go hang with the city mice. However, she kept her opinion a secret until we were in the midst of Forth Worth traffic. It was at this time she decided to stage a mutiny, a coup, an outright rebellion of the utmost order.
Case in point: The friends we stayed with live in a housing edition in Forth Worth, but are fairly close to Saginaw and Lake Worth. Abby and I needed to go to Walmart one evening for Caladryl to doctor our gigantic Texas-sized mosquito bites, so we grabbed our purses and headed to the van. I searched for "Walmart" on the Garmin and it said there was one 5.9 miles from where we were. I hit "Go" and followed the directions. Abby and I chatted as I drove, not paying much attention to anything more than the crazy Texans who I guess all bought cars without turn signals. I turned where Eleanor Biggsby told us to turn and kept on driving. As we drove and drove and drove we eventually stopped our conversation long enough to realize we had gone way further than 5.9 miles. Not once had Eleanor haughtily said, "Recalculating" so I knew I hadn't taken a wrong turn. We kept on driving, the sun started getting lower in the sky and I, being somewhat of a dingbat, didn't think to turn around and head back the way we came. I mean, we really needed that Caladryl for our itchy skeeter bites.
Turns out we made a 32 mile trip to Walmart. What should have taken us 15 minutes took nearly two hours. Now, I wasn't really upset about it. I had enjoyed the conversation with Abby and not only did we get our Caladryl, but some awesome blue nail polish to boot.
Apparently the claim that there was a Walmart within 5.9 miles of us was wrong to begin with - since the closest Walmart was 3.3 miles. (Yes, Mr. Nesbitt clocked it with the van's odometer.) Eleanor Biggsby is currently grounded and has been pouting since we got home from Texas. But before you judge us, I should probably tell you that she tried to get us home from the Texas border on dirt roads via a waterway in Nebraska that is only visible when Mercury is in retrograde. Had we listened to her we might've ended up in Canada. Or worse yet, back in Texas, where no one uses turn signals, they all say "rOWte" instead of "rOOte" and where no one can hear you scream.
Man, I love Oklahoma.