This weekend we decided to take a day trip in our new car. We wanted to adventure to someplace we had never been and also to give us time to “learn” our pretty little car that I have already affectionately named, “Callie” since we bought her in California! So we wake up early, bake some Trader Joe blueberry scones and set out on our first road trip in our new “wheels”….we are both excited to learn about the navigation system which we have never had before and I tell Randy that we have got to come up with just the right name for her, (yes, “her” if it’s a girl car, then the navigation has got to be a her also)…so with great excitement we back out of the garage with the owner’s manual in my lap and a Dr Pepper in my cup holder, just knowing that this is going to be a most exciting day.
We read the manual and insert the town we are headed toward, Solvang, a dutch little community about 130 miles north of LA and already think to ourselves, that was just so easy….this Navigation thing is the best and easiest thing since disposable diapers (yes, for our kids, no, we aren’t in Depends yet)…..so we are headed out, listening to that sweet, nice little voice telling us which way to turn on which highway, when all of a sudden we decide that it would be a great idea to stop at a Starbucks to get a Mocha latte to wash down the scones, so we decide to take a side trip in Santa Barbara looking for a Starbucks. It has taken us about an 1 1/2 hrs to reach Santa Barbara, all the while throwing out names for Navi and finally deciding on Nelli Navi as that just sounded perfect…so now Nelli has been thrown for a loop in the fact that we altered out route……she keeps telling us to “make a u-turn at the next available intersection” but we don’t want to make a u turn…we want to find a Starbucks. So we decide that we can put up with her repeated instructions, after all, she did have our best interests at heart, trying to be sure we get to our destination and we had not yet learned how to turn Nelli off, so we laugh and just ignore her and stop at Starbucks and enjoy our scone and latte.
We now head north towards Solvang and yes, we allow Nelli to get us back on track and we end up at Anderson’s Pea Soup restaurant where Randy downs two huge bowls of Pea Soup….actually I am gagging just thinking about it, but that was one thing he had on his bucket list. Eating at this famous landmark which has been serving Pea soup since 1924…so we check that off our lists and head back to Solvang. We have now turned up the volumn to the CD’s we are playing to drown out Nelli as she insists that we take the next exit to our “intended destination” that I guess we are not suppose to ever change or take any side stops. Nelli is getting a little obnoxious…..
We find the center of Solvang and are just so excited to be in a town that already is showing us that apparently you are suppose to eat your way through, as it is hard to find anyone walking around that doesn’t have food in their hands…so we are excited now…we park Calli and say goodbye to Nelli for a few hours and begin to go in and out of stores that are packed with salt and pepper shakers of every shape and size……literally, every shape and size. If you are ever in need of salt and pepper shakers, Solvang is the place to go…..plus lace doilies…..I didn’t even know you could buy a lace tablecloth with a picture of your favorite animal right smack in the middle of the lace….Facinating, really, but not quite our style. So instead of buying lace doilies or salt and pepper shakers we decide to just sit awhile and people watch and snack on these cute little pastries that has raspberry sauce and powdered sugar poured over them…Yum…..well, we have now seen as many salt and pepper shakers that we would ever want to see and decide that maybe we will just head home but take a different route, maybe along Highway 1 which takes you right by the water. So we excitedly turn the car on and Randy says, “here let me edit our route home to go down Highway 1” OK, Mr. Smartie Pants, go right ahead and see if you can talk Nelli into taking us a different route…well, Mr. SP couldn’t quite figure out how to edit our original destination, which was Solvang, so for 2 hours, we listen to a now, quite obnoxious and tiresome voice telling us ever few minutes to “turn around at next available intersection.” We both would try clicking the “off” button thinking that would turn Nelli off, but no such luck….Who installed these stupid navigation systems anyhow? We don’t need her to tell us where to go…..we are hating “Nelli” by now and wishing we wouldn’t have opted for the Premium Package with the Wonderful Navigation System. We were now listening to the CD so loudly that the guys at the stop lights with the boom boxes in their low riders were giving us the thumbs up sign……We couldn’t take it anymore, even though we had eaten our fill of danish pastry and pea soup, we stopped to eat dinner just to have some peace and quiet…..Ah! the sounds of a restaurant were soothing to our ears…..but we have to go, the restaurant is closing, so we decide to make a concentrated effort…together, one for all and all for one…..we can, we must , figure out how to turn this stupid system off and let us go where we want to go without Nelli telling us otherwise…..we once again get the book out and reading it from just the over head light, (it is now 8:30 pm) we decide that we won’t leave the parking lot until we figure out how to turn this awful invention off, never again imputing a destination in….so WE finally (actually I did, but since he is paying for the car, I will give him the credit) learn how to turn that horrible little voice off……
Well,the last 30 minutes of our first day trip in our new car, was ridden in total silence……it was wonderful, no music, no Nelli Navigation trying to tell us where she thought we should be going, just the sound of the flash light turning on to look at the map to see which road we should be on….I’ve had some time to think now, it’s amazing how easy it is to think when you have quietness in the car, no smart alex Navigation screaming at you. Maybe those salt and pepper shakers would make some nice Christmas presents. We might just need to go back there to stock up on frog shakers or poodle shakers, or shakers in the shape of California or shakers in the shapes of Marilyn Monroe or Ted Kennedy……but if we do go back, we are going without Nellie, she can rest her voice and be ready for our next day trip to San Diego! Maybe by then, she will have learned her lesson that we now now how to turn her off and if she doesn’t go our way, we won’t go hers!