Traveling With Kids – San Diego – Navigation

The Ride of Death

san diego mapOk, it’s time.

Time for the oldest to take a crack at navigation.

He’s terrified.

He fears we’ll get lost, run out of gas, that I’ll get mad, that he’ll not be able to understand the map, that he’ll have to think fast and act fast.

See, the boys have been unholy terrors in the car. If I put live scorpions down their pants, they would have been less beserko-nutso. They can come back, complaining of being tired, unable to walk another step, wanting only to rest, and they get in the car and whammo, goofy-giggling-fighting silly-buggers.

It’s as amazing as it is annoying.

Especially when I’m trying to drive in heavy traffic and the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world is trying to navigate in an unfamiliar city (with roads that sometimes aren’t signed and a gps that says we’re in the ocean every so often.)

I want to say that I’ve been all zen and understanding, but there have been times I’m a millimeter from pulling the car over, tossing them out, and driving away.

So we thought this would be a good exercise for the oldest.

He’d get an idea of what it was like to be the navigator.

Destination: Denny’s.

4 blocks away.

Pretty much a straight line.

One highway to go on.

One exit to take.

I’m ready.

I know we could get lost.

Badly, badly lost.

But it’s all good.

I don’t get angry at being lost on vacation. I only get stressed if we have to make it to a certain place at a certain time, but today, we don’t have that problem.

galantSo, we get in the car, he takes the phone. Tries to talk to his way out of it.

But no way, man.

No way.

I start down the driveway towards the road.

He’s not sure which way to turn.

I hear panic in his voice.

Then he figures it out. Right!

We go right.

The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world asks, “Now where does Joe turn?

What? I dunno. What? Turn?

There’s a road coming up. Does Joe turn?

Yes. No. Road?!?!

We’re nearly at the road. Does Joe take it?

I dunno! Ah! Ack! Urg.

We just passed the road. We’re heading for the highway.

Highway?!! Wait. Eeeek. We’re on a highway?!?!!?

Do you see the Denny’s?

I have to look for that too?

Me: We’re heading to LA now.

We don’t want to go there!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: No. No we don’t.

Then there’s a large popping noise and his head explodes. Brains and skull fragments everywhere.

We pull off at the next exit as we see the Denny’s sign.

We park and he staggers out of the car, ashen-faced and twitching.

“Welcome to navigation,” I say.

The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world adds, “And that was without anyone kicking your seat or screaming in your ear.”

He just blinks and stares off in the distance in horror.

The youngest one pipes up.

“Can I navigate next?”


About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Parenting, San Diego, Travel, Traveling with kids, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Traveling With Kids – San Diego – Navigation

  1. We used to love the navigation game as kids, but the way we played it the point was to get horribly lost. Thinking back, that really took the pressure off – the only wrong turn was a right turn, if you know what I mean.

  2. Karalee Greer says:

    I can relate! When we travel as mere adults even WITHOUT children my husband navigates and I drive. I don’t mind going the wrong way…

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