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Your Destination Is On The Right. . .Some Flying My Be Required

May 16, 2018

I don’t think the Google assist lady likes baseball. . .and I’m sure she’s never been to Pittsburgh.

I made it to the baseball game. It was a three hour drive through a massive thunderstorm and the last half mile was the most challenging.

I’m in Columbus for a couple of days on business. Columbus is not that far from Pittsburgh. Well, it’s a couple of hundred miles, and it’s two states away. (You have to go through a narrow stretch of West Virginia.)

But, maybe it’s living in Utah, but a couple hundred miles just doesn’t seem that long. Sure, you have to make sure you’ve used the restroom before you leave and you should settle in for a lot of sitting, but if it’s important, three hours isn’t too terrible.

There are several Major League Baseball stadiums within driving distance of Columbus. If by driving distance you mean three hours or less. The Tigers and the Reds are currently on the road. But, the Pirates are at PNC Park this week playing the Chicago White Sox.

The game started at 7:05, my flight landed in Columbus at 3:00. My coworker landed a few minutes earlier. We knew that we would have time to get to the game. But, it was raining in Columbus. And it was raining all over the upper mid-west. And it looked like it was raining in Pittsburgh.

If you are about to make a three hour road trip, you kind of want to make sure that the game isn’t going to be rained out. The weather app, which had earlier put the chance of rain in Pittsburgh at 80% showed a 50% and didn’t call for rain during game time.

We decided to chance it. We checked into our hotels and headed East out of Columbus. This isn’t the first business trip I’ve been on with this coworker but it was the first road trip. He picked me up at my hotel,

Do you want to take my car?

No, get in, I’ll drive.

I could tell immediately this trip was getting off to a great start. He didn’t even let me use my phone to give directions.

As we headed toward East Ohio the rain got harder. And then it got harder still. Through the rain streaked windshield we saw flashes of lightening and heard the distant role of thunder.

I anxiously continued to check the weather app, which continued to show clearing skies over Pittsburgh. The Google Assist lady continued to give us directions. Somewhere around the West Virginia state line, the Google Lady told us there was a twelve minute delay ahead and she recommended we take an 80 mile detour.

So, off we went through the backroads of Ohio and then West Virginia and finally Pennsylvania. We made good time considering the rain. As we got closer to Pittsburgh, the skies started to clear. As we came out of the tunner, we saw the river stretched out in front of us. And no rain.

There’s a stadium.

It seems kind of empty.

Yeah, you don’t think they would have cancelled it?

Oh. . .

What? Look to the right. THAT is PNC Park, the baseball stadium. That other one is Heinz Field, the football stadium.

We laughed as the Google Lady directed us to exit the freeway. And that’s when it got a little weird.

My coworker was navigating. Well, his phone was. And I’m pretty sure she had no idea where she was going. We circled the stadium like a hawk eyeing a tasty meal, but just not able to reach it. We soon found ourselves headed across the river and back through the tunnel. That was definitely not the right direction.

We circled around and made anothe run at it. We once again found ourselves coming out of the tunnel and headed across the river. The stadium lights bright against the fading evening light. The Google Lady continued to give us directions which continued to fail to get us to the stadium.

We found ourselves once again headed up the ramp toward the bridge and that stupid tunnel. In a final bit of useless advice the Google Lady offered,

In 500 feet your destination will be on the right.

We just started laughing. It’s true the stadium was to our right.

We could even catch a glimpse of the outfield grass. But, to get to it, we’d have to stop in the middle of the road and pretty much fly, like a home run ball in reverse, across the outfield wall.

We went across the river, but turned off before the tunnel this time.

Let’s ignore her. Once you get across the river just head for the stadium and we’ll look for a parking.

With the river to our right and the stadium somewhere in front of us, it was a simple process to wind our way close enough to find parking. We walked the two blocks to PNC Park and looked for the walk up ticket window.

It was only the fourth inning. Still a lot of baseball left.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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