Monday, February 2, 2009

Directionless Mommy Travels

Believe me when I tell you it is easy to find. Kidzu, a children's play museum, in Chapel Hill is conveniently located on Franklin Street in the heart of Chapel Hill. It is REALLY easy to find. Which is why I can't believe it took me at least 5 turn-arounds, 3 check-ins with my GPS, and 2 more check-ins with Google maps on my iPhone to get there.

Of course, I wasn't entering Chapel Hill from my usual route. Instead I had decided to make a stop at NC Birth and Wellness Center to pick-up some Bummis from their fantastic natural baby boutique. (Have you been there? They carry babywearing, cloth diapering, and breastfeeding supplies galore.) So, I was heading into Chapel Hill from a different direction than I was used to.

Add to that the fact that my GPS actually had me turn left into a parking lot, turn left two more times, and wanted me to turn left a final time (yes, a complete rectangle of driving) but I refused.

Finally after 20 minutes, I manage to successfully navigate myself (ignoring the GPS) to Franklin Street.  Now onto the greatest challenge in journeying to Kidzu (or anywhere else along Franklin Street) finding a parking spot. Since I was already stressed about getting there, I opted to not parallel park. (I'm miserable at it.) I know what you're thinking... That means you will park where exactly? I parked in a parking garage a good three blocks away, that's where.

By now you are thinking that this story of my pathetic navigation skills will come to end with us arriving happily at Kidzu. Well, you're wrong. Instead, I venture out what looks to be the exit of the parking garage which opens into an alley. Thinking the alley will lead me to the street, Linus and I head out. After walking about a block's length down the alley searching for an out, I reach a deadend and am forced to turn around. Returning to the parking garage, I decide to exit the same way we entered which puts us out on Rosemary Street. Heading up Rosemary Street, I'm unsure exactly where I am in relation to Kidzu but I do know how to get to Franklin.

Standing on the corner of Franklin and Columbia, I'm faced with another directional decision and, of course, choose poorly crossing Columbia and heading down Franklin Street away from Kidzu which only moments before was a mere one shop length away. Traveling about a half a block further, I begin to suspect my mistake and complete yet another turn around. Heading back, I decide Kidzu must be on the other side of Franklin (no idea where I got that idea) and proceed to cross Franklin. Once across, the Gods above take pity on my soul as I look up and can actually see Kidzu cattycorner from where I am standing.

With a weary mind and a severe arm cramp from hauling around my 25 pound toddler, we finally arrive at Kidzu, 30 minutes later than I had planned, but are able to relax and have a good time because that is definitely what Kidzu is made for, a good time.

And, it really is easy to find. Just don't ask me for directions because I have NO idea.

An original Triangle Mamas post. Abby also blogs at My Sweet Babboo about finding her way around life with a toddler.

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