Left! Left! Your OTHER left!

As promised in my previous post, here’s a little more info on what was happening in Charleston.

Saturday was my brother’s birthday and my cousin Anna got married (no, not to him, smarty – ha ha).

We spent the morning trying to get all the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandbabies, and grand-daddies, fed, washed, clothed and out the door of the hotel. The process started around 8:30am. We finally got into our cars around noon to head out toward Charleston Harbor to the maritime museum. We wanted to take a tour of the “world famous” U.S.S. Yorktown aircraft carrier docked there. There was also a submarine – the USS Clamagore. But we had to get there first.

Apparently, when you have 2 carloads of relatives following you to an unfamiliar destination, you should not at the very last possible moment exit off the freeway from the middle lane. Nobody told me. And so, the adventure began.

(Let me just pause here a moment and say, “Hallelujah” for cell phones.)

I would first like to place the blame squarely on my brother’s shoulders. Brett REALLY needs to work on his navigational skills. In my mind, there are really only 2 qualities you need in a navigator:

1) An ability to interpret directions and a map; and
2) A firm, confident, resounding voice to give the most straightforward directions possible, as in “turn left at the light” or “take the next exit.”

I supposed there is one more qualification and that is to let the driver know IN ADVANCE what she is supposed to do. “You were supposed to turn left back there” really isn’t all that helpful after the fact.

Since I’m on my soapbox about the navigator seat, I’ll continue by saying that after the driver (or pilot), the navigator seat (like the exit row on an airplane) is very important. Sitting in it requires a certain amount of recognition on the part of the passenger as to the inherent responsibilities that comes with sitting there. There are too many would be navigators that do not take this job seriously enough!

Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to blame all of our road traveling crisis on my brother the navigator, I have to take the bulk of the blame on myself for getting half of the McDaniel family lost on the way to see the Yorktown. But, see, in my own defense, I was VOLUNTEERED for the position as “Head Car” and I tried to express that I didn’t really know where the ship was. In fact, I literally stumbled apon the aircraft carrier (a fact that may, perhaps, give you a little insight on my sense of direction). I was turning around thinking I had gone way too far and pracitcally drove up the boat ramp doing so.

Of course, at this point, the 2 carloads of aunts, uncles, and cousins following me were completely lost because, after not being able to follow me off the exit, they took the following exit trying to get back to where I was. I, however, was turning around as, after veering across 2 lanes of traffic endangering my life and those of my passengers, I was informed rather unsuredly by my navigator that he didn’t think it was the correct exit anymore. Big boo.

By this time, I’d totally forgotten that I was leading a bunch of folks until the cell-phone tree started up. If ever a family plan was needed, this was the time as every McDaniel with mobile was on it calling me or the car in front of them or leaving a voice message because I was on the phone with someone in one of the other cars.

As you guessed, we finally got them there and scuttled on board the Yorktown and the Clamagore and you can see pictures of us (as well as from the Plantation wedding that followed in the evening) below:

Brett, mom and myself stopping in on our friend Jack (red shirt) on the way to Charleston:
On the big boat:
“I do.”^2:
A blessed event:

3 Responses to “Left! Left! Your OTHER left!”

  1. Carrie Howell Says:

    I vote that next time you ride as navigator as I still maintain you are a FABULOUS director. If you can steer me through Aignon, I’ll take you as my navigator anytime. Maybe Brett needs lessons in Turn left??? 101. I’m glad you got there. I honestly think that down IN GA, the road signs are purposely tricky. Why is that? To separate those of us without direction from those with?

  2. JoyLuck Says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I think my brother intends to have words with me over my post, but I’m stickin’ by my guns on this one!

    Road signs aren’t great, I’ll admit that. Why that is – well, does anyone really know? Maybe it’s an attempt to force those of us without a sense of direction to learn. Perhaps it’s not an evil plan hatched by ? The MAN? to kill us, but instead to make us stronger.

  3. Sylvana Says:

    That was a hilarious post. I really don’t like having a terrible navigator. I usually try to figure out where it is I need to go before I drive. Or, if worse comes to worse, I have developed the ability to read a map and drive at the same time.

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