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Carol Perkins: A trip to Austin frustrates GPS and driver

Veteran many battles with Guy's GPS, now chronicles the most violent one of her life. So bad, in fact, that this is the first of a two part account from the battlefield.
Talk to Carol Perkins 10am-12pmNoonCT, Tues 1 Dec 2015 on The "Susan & Carol, Unscripted" show, live. FM 99.1 radio
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Reason Hallmark Classic movies are happy

By Carol Perkins

Over the years I have had my battles with Guy's GPS, but none quite so violent as the one I just waged last week. My flight to Austin (to visit Jon and his family) left at nine Thursday night from Nashville. Normally, I would not leave that late but the only other nonstop flight left too early in the morning. I've done the "change planes" routine and that is not for the slow or the weak. Lately, I have been both.

I arrived in Austin around 11:30 PM and had a rental car waiting. Having my own transportation is a must because Beth and Jon usually have three places to be at the same time (three children) and I don't like being at the mercy of another driver. When I rented the car, I chose an economy one because it was less expensive and I didn't really mind having a small car-so I thought. However, the last time I drove one this size was at least five cars ago. Hyundai Accents were not meant for my weak knees and limited agility. Honestly, it was one of the smallest cars in the row of SUV's and sedans.

After plugging the GPS in the outlet, I entered the address and headed out of the parking structure. I thought I knew my way around, but the entire car rental area was new, and so was the ramp onto the main highway. Therefore, I made a wrong turn, found the next exit and turned around. By then it was approaching midnight.

Many of the highways in Austin have two names. Locals know both but when the GPS told me to turn on a certain highway but the sign ahead gave another name, I was confused. The GPS kept "recalculating" until I was ten miles past where I should have been. I pulled off in a well-lit liquor store parking lot (bars over the windows), reprogrammed the GPS, and headed back down Hwy. 183. This time it took me to the Domain, which is a shopping center. By then the GPS and I were at war because it was late, I was lost, and "he" was not cooperating.

I finally jerked the plug out of the cigarette lighter and programmed my phone. The navigation on my phone pulls down my battery, which was already edging in on death. I turned back around and entered the ramp for Hwy. 183 once again and took the next exit, which put me in the area of the hotel (Jon's "inn" is full and the kids like to stay in the hotel with me.)

As I dragged my luggage to the door, a young lady happily greeted me. "You look frustrated." If she only knew!

"Well, you're my last one. Now I can lock the door." I was just grateful she hadn't locked it before I arrived. I was so unnerved that I made a pot of coffee and finally fell to sleep around three in the morning. The rest of the story to follow next week.

This story was posted on 2015-11-25 10:07:05
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