Having been brought back through Kitchener the day before, I was quite confident in my ability to find my way back to the 401 from Jackie and Derek's home. I head out as the fam heads to church. I feel great, refreshed, and excited to stop and see my Aunt and Uncle on the way home. There is an essay waiting to be written in Kingston, and any procrastination I can think of is welcome at this point.
Turns out I need not purposely procrastinate. I was about to waste a total of over 2 hours, and likely a quarter tank of fuel.
Leaving Kitchener I miss a key turn, forgetting that I have to access 7/8 from a different street. When you arrive in Kitch, you take this street directly. However, if I remember correctly, upon leaving, one must use Ottawa St. Damn. I continue on, ABSOLUTELY lost in what seems to be menonite country (or amish, I've never really paid attention to the specific group in that area), dodging horses and buggies heading to church.
Eventually, I find this WalMart in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. This is GREAT for two reasons. The first, WalMart has food, and I am getting hungry and require protein (though I must admit, I went to McDs and got a BLT instead of using their huge grocery dept). Second, all WalMarts have a book/magazine section complete with MAPS. While I seriously considered just buying the damned thing, I perused it and discovered I had come almost full circle. Turns out the little two lane highway here turns into the parkway I was looking for back in K-W. YAY! I am found.
I mosey on my way, thinking the gas guage is a little low, but I likely won't have to stop until Etobicoke.
Well, I look down at the guages around Milton. BIG RED LIGHT. How long have you been on, gas light? It doesn't answer me. I pull off at Milton, fill up, check the fragile gift in the trunk is still doing well, and attempt to get back in the car. CRAP, where are my keys. Oh, there they are, in the ignition. Good thing I got the spare key cut to put in my wallet before I left. But, wait, its still in my purse, I haven't stopped and put it in my wallet, and my purse is...... of course, on the passenger seat. Locked safely in my car with the only two keys for another 325 km.
The attendant calls Randy, who comes within 5 minutes, which I think is astounding on a Sunday morning. he just got a new easy wedge, he tells me, it should only take a minute or two. Turns out I give Randy a lesson on how to use, and fix the new easy wedge (the valve in the bulb was jammed), and he only charges me $20 for "use of his tools" and gas to come out. Nice guy. I figured I was out at least a hundred bucks for a Sunday call out in that area.
I figure every mini disaster that can happen is behind me. I head to Auntie's house, really late. I don't take the hwy 427 exit off the 401, because I once made this mistake and was forced to travel north and then come back. Turns out they've since changed this particular exit, just not the sign. I could have gone south, and essentially gone "home" to the area I spent the first 8 years of my life in, and known where I was. Instead, I take the Eglinton Ave exit. I know Eglinton crosses Kipling, not too far up, so its perfect. What I don't realize is that getting off the highway, I did two loops, instead of one. So instead of facing west on Eglinton, I am facing East. (the sun is not visible, so no visual cue as to the compass directions) I turn left, thinking I am heading south. I cross Rexdale, hmmmm, I didn't think Rexdale was this far south. That's weird. Then I find Steeles. F&$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You stupid idiot, you got lost coming home for crying out loud. I turn around, call my aunt to let her know I am not plastered on the highway somewhere, cause at this point I will be 2 1/2 hours late.
I have a great visit with my aunt. My uncle comes home part way through, and we chat too. I head on my way at 2:40, about the time I planned on being near home, and get abck to Kingston around 6.
What a freakin trip!