Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rice-A-Roni, Tour buses, and a GPS

I made it through 44 hours in San Francisco without getting lost. Of course, I didn't leave a 2 block radius without my friends for that time.
I watched a tour bus full of old people go by the window today, ooh-ing and ahh-ing. I realized they were having a better time than I was and were getting much more exposure to the city.
So today, adventurous little Courtney decided to discover the city the best way she knows how--strapping on the running shoes and taking off.

This was a poor decision for 2 main reasons:
1: Entire bottom of pinky toe is missing the first few layers of skin due to wearing heels all weekend and then ripping a blister Sunday morning after running.
2: I am severely directionally challenged. Half of the phone calls made to my parents over the past 5 years have been asking my mom to google map me and tell me where to go, or asking my dad, the human GPS where I am. He gets frustrated because I don't know which direction is North, South, East, or West.
(of course, if he had upgraded my car, i might have a compass to help me. Or at least visor mirrors so I can look cute when I stop for directions).

So I take off. After I ran about 2 miles, I knew I should have turned around. I could always run around the block if I wanted to go longer. But no, I (as usual) convince myself that I "know where I am going." How hard can it be right?

First, I get stuck in a hotel district where the road only goes one way and no side streets cut through. By this time, I finally realize I am completely lost, but if I turn around, it's going to take forever to get back. So I march on. Another bad choice. When I finally find a side street, it is a hill comparable to Mt Everest. Oh my. I lug my ass up the hill googling my location as I go.
Thank God I didn't try to run with just my iPod.

I made the dyslexic mistake of typing in the right numbers but in the wrong order. This resulted in my directions taking me to the street I needed but on the other side of town. Of course I went pretty far in the wrong direction before I realized this.

I knew the 24 hour fitness was right by my friends' apartment so I google that and type it into maps. Ok, success, let's go! It's 1.5 miles away, that's not bad! I finally see the gym. It doesn't look right.
Probably because I chose the wrong one. Apparently I thought Van Ness sounded good for a street name. I'm beginning to wonder if I was dropped as a child.

I finally get the right address and type it in. It's 2.2 miles away, and my toe is throbbing. I think about hailing a cab, but decide I am far too prideful to look like I am
a) lost
b) unable to walk 2 miles

So I limp along, half running because I just want to get home and eat lunch, half walking because it is a warm 75 degrees here and every direction seems to be uphill.
It's all coming together now! When grandpa walked 2 miles uphill to school each day, he must have been near the bay!

Manically re-routing my location and directions every 30 seconds, combined with my iPod and running app are quickly depleting my phone battery. 20% battery life warning comes on. I dismiss.
10% battery life comes on....
I start to run again.
No way in hell I can stay lost. And all hope will be gone if my phone dies.

The smart thing to do would be to turn off the apps. But I'm a full believer that nothing will every really die on me.
Probably explains why I ran out of gas on the tollway bridge (no shoulder) because I ignored my gas light for 3 days. AAA was very kind to send out the man in the neon yellow suit to siphon gas into my car while I cringed in embarrassment.

Now, some of you are thinking, so what? You're lost in a beautiful city? enjoy it.
Um yeah. I did enjoy it, but there was still a gnawing anxiety in the back of my throat.
Despite the fact that I am working remotely this week and only reachable via phone and email (both of which I had), I feel like I am missing something.
Like someone is going to call and say "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Send a photo of yourself in front of your computer NOW. OR ELSE!"
It stems from an IT staffing/sales job I had that liked to turn its workers into slaves and reprimand us for even getting up to pee.
And really, what would someone say? How dare you get lost!!
Me thinks not.

To prove I did enjoy the scenery, please see my pics from the top of the long, steep, unbelievably tiring hills I had to climb.

 Actually, I think these 2 locations are pretty close to each other, although the pictures were taken 45 minutes apart due to running in circles like a chicken with my head cut off.

Anyway, I finally see the sandwich shop I picked up lunch from yesterday. Glory glory hallelujah! I'm home!
But also starving.  I head over to the little grocery store to grab something quick.
I had another minor panic attack in the check out line when I thought my BO was responsible for the horrible stench lingering in the air.
Luckily, the homeless man behind me slammed his 40 on the conveyor belt and I realized, it was indeed him.

Dude, keep your distance.
Just trying to by some Rice-a-Roni here.
After my long journey, I surely deserve a treat!

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