Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our friend, Alice

I've got no more pictures of our trip to share with you, but I have to share a few stories with you. When I've talked about this trip, I only told you that my sister Cheri and I went. I neglected to tell you about Alice. Yes - Alice came too. We thought she was our friend, but by the time we came home we weren't so sure. Alice spent a lot of time talking to us in the car, and sometimes we talked back. Who is Alice? Alice is what we named the GPS.

The first day of our trip was quite uneventful. Alice was on her best behavior, faithfully telling us to turn left, stay on the same path, etc. The first sign of trouble came that night as we looked for our hotel. We were in Pittsburgh and we gave the address to Alice. She started us toward the hotel, but then we ran into a closed road. Usually when you go off track, the GPS will redirect you. This time, even when we drove a distance away, she kept bringing us back to the same closed road. There weren't detour signs to follow and it was getting darker. We ended up in a part of town that didn't look to great, but finally made it to the hotel. We gave Alice a break that night because we figured the closed road wasn't her fault.
The next day she took us on a detour of her own. She had us turn down a road that we wondered about, but we followed her instructions. We found ourselves in a campground. As we followed the instructions she led us through the campground and back out, like it was her plan all along.
After this, other strange things started to happen. We would be driving, Alice would tell us to turn. Immediately upon turning we would hear that familiar chime, followed by Alice saying "recalculating route". We would end up turning around and starting again.
Alice really acted up on our last day. We had checked the time of our drive home using her the night before. It was supposed to be about 11 1/2 hours. We were out of our hotel by 6:15. Imagine our surprise when Alice told us we wouldn't be home until 8:30 pm. Considering Alice's recent behavior, we were wondering where she was taking us!
You may wonder, as my husband did "why didn't you look at the map?" Well - it was in the trunk, in my suitcase! Not smart, I know.
So - we were at Alice's mercy. We started home, taking very short breaks along the way. We would gain a little time, only to lose it in construction, or a rain storm.
When we got near Lansing Michigan, Alice was telling us it would be another 3 hours. We knew at that point that it should be more like 1 1/2 hours. As we got closer to home, we saw that Alice was going to have us drive past our exit, go to Grand Haven Michigan, and then come back to Allendale. We gave her a lesson on that one, and showed her the quick route to get home!
Our drive home still took us about 13 1/2 hours which included our stops. Who knows what crazy route Alice took us on?
We decided that Alice is getting older and perhaps she has developed some dementia. We may not take her along next time!
* I have to tell you that we spent a lot of time laughing! What else can you do?


Unknown said...

To funny Maribeth, we have one of those too but haven't named her, but she has also taken us on wild goose chases.

Angel said...

I don't have a GPS but have heard other stories like this. It sounds so funny but I know if I was the one listening to her I might not be laughing!! I do love how you named her and I am afraid you might be right about the dementia!!

Love and Blessings

Andrea said...

i don't have a gps unless you count my hubby who gives me endless directions..

Connie said...

We don't have a Alice either. We don't travel far so we know how to get home again. ha ha

Terra said...

Is Alice losing her marbles? She sounds like she needs a tune up and you need to keep a recent map handy.
Glad it worked out ok eventually.

Kayren said...

Maybe she doesn't like her name. Give her a more youthful name like Jenna or Emma or whatever is popular now. Maybe she'll be good then.

We don't have a plain GPS device. If we need one we just use the one in my Blackberry, but it's more to figure out where we are and roughly how far we have to go, or else to get more detailed street maps of downtowns in smaller areas that aren't on the regular atlas (since they just show the big cities).

My mom and stepdad had one. It took us a little weird because we tried it for fun to see what direction it would take us when we went to Wal-Mart, since we already knew the way. My husband hates the things.

Mike Golch said...

sounds like Alice was invaded by gremlins.

Jenny said...

I think Alice needs a long vacation ... wearing a muzzle! And as for me ... for my court reporting travels I think I'll keep on using MapQuest! It's only let me down a few times (knock on wood).

Unknown said...

Maybe Alice needs her batteries replaced? Shame on her for leading you all around and wasting so much gas.

(My sister's does the same thing...gets her lost every time.)

Justabeachkat said...

Bree and Jay gave me a Garmin and I love it. So far, so good. I haven't named mine though.

Maybe Alice needs an update. LOL


Hootin Anni said...

For'd ONLY be a map. I've heard so many odd things and wrong ways and longer routes coming from a GPS. This reminds me of Alice...Alice in Wonderland...wondering just where Alice will take you next.

Grand Haven? That is where my MIL was born and raised.

Anni's Thursday Post. Do come join me if you can.

Kim said...

hahahaha Probably need to put that map back in the glove box! :D

Sorry, but it IS funny in a warped kind of way. My sister told me the story of their GPS taking them through a weirdly deserted town in the Nevada desert one time -- really creepy experience that had them totally off the road they needed to be on, just to go through that ghost town (which didn't look old, just completely abandoned).

My daughter just had to replace her GPS that we bought her for Christmas 2 years ago, after he started acting up (hers is a he -- she named him William Nigel, and now GPS #2 is William Nigel the 2nd -- lol).

Anonymous said...
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Just Mom said...

I think Alice was just trying to get to Wonderland. ;-D

I'm glad I'm not the only one who names their gadgets. :-D

btw ... It looks as if the comment spammer who attacks me got you, too. Sorry.

Aspiemom said...

That's very funny!

Brooke said...

bad alice!!!

you might be able to fix her by going online and getting an update.

Unknown said...

Love the Alice stories, our GPS has tried to get us to do some crazy things too, often in the middle of San Francisco. I go on instinct in San Francisco and most often, I am right and GPS is wrong. Now to name my GPS... =)

Heart2Heart said...


We thankfully have not had that problem. Does yours have a setting that provides shortest distance or quickest route?

We had to change ours when it did much the same thing as yours when it went with shortest distance which unfortunately did not factor in traffic patterns and thus the need for making the time traveled doubled.

At least you arrived home!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

septembermom said...

I think Alice and my husband would be battling! LOL. Glad that you had a safe, happy trip.

Sandra said...

That's too funny. I don't have a GPS, but I think my husband needs one LOL

Pat said...

I think Alice was enjoying your company and just wanted to extend her time with you two!
I'm still the map reader on our trips, but I think I may wind up in the trunk if I gave directions like Alice!

Linda said...

Alice, Alice, Alice! I think she might have some competition with a real map next time!

Glad you had a good trip Mari!

Anonymous said...

Our new van has a navigation system and my son named her Lola. So far Lola has not taken us on a wild goose chase but I am cautious!!! I have become kind of addicted to Lola!!

Jean said...

Tooooo funny! GPS's are both friend and enemy at times, for sure!!

I totally loved all your PA pictures. Funny how one seldom takes the time to visit such places when living nearby them. I learned a lot from you, hahaha!

Unknown said...

13 and a half hours. Oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH! Thank goodness you have Alice : )