I don’t have a very good sense of direction and my granddaughter Rachel likes to tell of the time we were in a K Mart super store when she was about 7, and Grammy got mixed up and couldn’t find the way out of the store. Rachel to the rescue. Then there was the time I was at a large mall and happened to exit from a different door than I had entered. I had wandered aimlessly for what seemed like hours, trying hard not to look like a lady who couldn’t find her car. I’ve also spent time looking for my car in various parking garages, periodically pushing the lock function on the key fob, hoping I was close enough that I would hear the horn toot and give me a clue about which way to go. At some doctor’s offices they take you through a maze of hallways to that little room where you continue to wait, and by the time I’m done, I step out into the hallway without an inkling about which way to turn. I can do pretty well until there are just too many turns to keep track of, but I never give up trying to improve my sense of direction.
Knowing that I am directionally challenged, you might think that I’d be hesitant to get in my car and head for parts unknown, but you’d be wrong. I became pretty good at map reading and getting myself oriented according to what general direction I needed to travel. I’m not saying I was always successful in finding my destination, but allowing for “lost time” helped a lot. I’ve been known to travel by myself to far flung destinations like Texas and California, and actually find my way back home… eventually.
So, you can imagine how intrigued I was when I got my first Garmin and I could see endless possibilities ahead. The first time I did a test run, though, it directed me to go through Coal Hollow to get to DuBois from Kersey. You may never have heard of Coal Hollow, but trust me, it’s not on the way to DuBois. Then there was our crazy adventure in Cleveland where all the GPS would do was keep repeating “recalculating, recalculating,” because of construction and multiple roadblocks downtown. It took quite a while for me to trust the GPS lady, fondly dubbed Greta, but eventually I began to use her for all my trips, even though I still kept my maps in the car just in case.
Recently, Gary and I decided to travel to an unfamiliar part of the state to explore the Tree Tops Restaurant, a place I’d found when browsing interesting sites in our state. Even though my car has its own navigation system, it didn’t recognize the given GPS address for our destination, so we got out my old faithful Greta Garmin and successfully put in the address. The trip supposedly took just over 2 hours, but by the time we had traveled that long, carefully following her directions, we began to look at each other a bit dubiously. We were on a one lane dirt road where we couldn’t have turned around even if we had wanted to. I reasoned that this rather famous restaurant WAS in the woods, after all, but this seemed pretty remote. Greta Garmin then announced “Arriving at destination on left.” The only problem was that there was only deep, dense forest on our left! We continued a few hundred yards looking for a place to turn around, when, lo and behold, we spotted a small sign announcing “Polymath Park, Tree Tops Restaurant” on the right. What had Greta been thinking?
We parked on the road and walked down to the restaurant among the trees, arriving even a bit early for our reservation, thanks to allowing for “lost time.” Since it was early in the season, no one was dining outside yet, but with the beautiful views we had through the windows all around us, we still felt very much a part of nature. When I ordered decaf coffee, our waiter ground the beans and made the coffee in a fancy glass beaker which he brought to the table. Our lunches were beautifully presented, plentiful and delicious, and when we were finished, our waiter asked if we would like to sign up for the tour of three of Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes that were part of the Polymath complex. We’d had no idea there was a tour, so this was a pleasant surprise.
We boarded a large van and were driven along even more remote areas winding through the woods to the first of three homes. Wright’s homes are known for their harmony with the surrounding natural elements, much like his famous Falling Waters home that was built right over a waterfalls. That home was located half an hour away from where we were, and we decided we’d save that adventure for another day.
Our knowledgeable guide pointed out the many unique features of each of the three houses that we toured, and told us that they can be reserved and rented during spring, summer and early fall. These are three of only seven Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the United States that are available for rental. The idea intrigued both of us and we may have to consider that for a future experience.
We oohed and aahed over the light-filled homes with their spectacular views from every room, gorgeous native stone fireplaces, and 1950’s style décor. The day was especially warm and sunny for early spring, and we enjoyed every minute of our lunch and the unexpected tour!
In spite of my terrible sense of direction, I will continue to venture to new and interesting places as often as I can, as long as Greta Garmin and my handy-dandy maps go with me!