Now, I don’t know about you, but anytime anyone says “you can’t miss it,” when giving me directions, is when I start to get nervous … because it’s those directions that invariably get me lost. It’s like some kind of a jinx. The landmarks that one person notices just may not be important enough to another person to even make it onto their radar. We used to joke about it when we lived in Wyoming; people would always give us directions like “It’s easy – just turn at the second street after the big steakhouse.” Well, we are both vegetarians, so we’d just never have made note of the location of the steakhouse, it would not be relevant to us … and we’d get lost.
Sometimes, though, even when the landmark is relevant, it can be trouble. We had been invited to a Superbowl party last night, and the host’s directions included this statement that sent my antennae up: “Just after you make the turn onto my street, you’ll see our house on the left,” he said. “You can’t miss it, there’s a boat I’m working on in the driveway.” Well, I thought to myself, based on my track record, I probably can miss it. But it’s a boat, so I thought that maybe my chances of spotting it and making everything come out okay are better-than-average – at least compared to the likelihood of me registering a steakhouse. So we’re following the fairly straightforward map he sketched for us, and we turn onto his street in a residential area just a couple of miles from the marina. I’m looking for a little dinghy-size or Boston Whaler-size fishing skiff on a trailer in a driveway. Instead, just past the corner … There was a boat in the driveway and it was HUGE! The simple 1-story house was dwarfed by a beautiful classic 38-foot full-size, ocean-capable sailboat up on jackstands dominating the driveway, and half a pallet of exotic hardwood. I’m so used to the sight of boats on jackstands in the industrial scale of a marina that I forget how large it really is – our size cruising sailboat can be 10 or 12 feet high on stands, and 35-45 feet long. Our host was right! I literally couldn’t miss it!
(Oh, and for the record, we were particularly invested in the outcome rooting for either team, although I love hard-fought close games, which this one definitely was. More than anything, we found the party a fun excuse to hang out with other boaters. And hang out we did, chatting about boats and cruising dreams and plans and adventures until we totally lost track of the time and finally got to bed at 1:30 this morning!)