As you can see by following the blue line near the top of the map, the route from my house to hers is fairly uncomplicated. That's the way I always go there. It's the way I intended to go on Saturday. But you see that lone green dot about a half inch east of my house? That's where things went wrong.
There's a busy intersection under that green dot. All I needed to do there was make a left-turn, go a short distance under the interstate, then turn right. The traffic light was red (of course, it was). The heaviest traffic there runs north and south, so the east-west red light is an extra-long one. That was okay; I'd allowed plenty of time and didn't mind waiting. Also, in the half mile I'd traveled from home, I'd become interested in an NPR interview with journalist Jason Leopold, so I was being entertained. In fact, I became so totally engrossed in the interview that my mind wasn't on my driving when the light changed. I made the left turn, but instead of crossing under the interstate, I turned right onto the entrance ramp. I was halfway up there--next exit five miles--before I snapped out of the interview and comprehended what I'd done. Thank goodness I came to my senses before I had to merge.
So. The red line on the map marks the route I actually traveled to the birthday party. Where the red line crosses over the blue one on the right-hand side of the map, I was looking for a street name. There was no street name. There was an unfamiliar Louisiana highway number instead. There was only a highway number where the red line turns eastward again, too, but that one I knew, and seeing it meant I'd gone too far north. I followed that road until I could turn right again. Headed south, I overshot the road I wanted for a second time, turned around in someone's driveway, and finally--finally!--figured out how to get where I wanted to go.
Don't you hate when that happens?