You know that saying, "You can't go home again"? I always thought it was a statement about the difficulty of returning to a place of strong memories when you are not the same person you were when the memories were made. But it turns out that in my case I can't go home again because I wouldn't be able to find it.
The conference I went to last weekend was held about three (four?) blocks from the house I lived in during high school. The hotel I stayed in was on my old street. Sure my street used to end only a 1/2 block from my house, but how hard could it be? It's still the same road, just extended, right?
(Um, also the road technically isn't the same name as when I lived there, but I knew it was the same street.)
Of course, my old high school is now a movie theater, the new high school is where the local polygamous house once stood, and the rarely used train tracks down the street are now a major monorail. But, all this happened while my parents still lived there, so I was okay with the changes. Or so I thought.
Silly me. I really thought I could find my way without much effort.
I got lost. I somehow ended up pretty far east in the valley and when I finally thought I was headed west on my old street, I was a mere four turns away from actually being on the right street. While aimlessly finding my way , I remembered I'd accidentally picked up travel sized mousse instead of travel sized hairspray. The local Walmart was just around the corner from my old house, so I could just stop and pick up the right stuff.
Unfortunately, the local Walmart is now a strip mall full of trendy eating places.
It took me 45 minutes to find another Walmart (Is that even possible? I thought there was a law that there must be one within 5 minutes of every spot in the USA.) I ended up at one on a street that didn't exist when I lived there. In fact it might have been in a town that didn't exist when I lived there. I later learned my problem was going the wrong way out of the parking lot. The nearest store was actually where the old sand dunes once existed.
Why didn't I think of that?
I then got lost trying to find my hometown street again so I could check into the hotel. Like 30-minutes-trying-to-get-to-the-right-road-again lost.
The next morning I woke up craving nothing more than a donut and hot chocolate. So I called my mom and asked her for the nearest Krispy Kreme. After getting lost AGAIN, I found the spot. It's now a Sweet Tomato. Turns out the nearest KK is now 45 minutes away. So I decided to go to Panera. Or would have if the closest wasn't in Colorado.
Declaring defeat and calling my mother AGAIN for directions to Albertsons (I knew where it used to be, but this town likes to move things around), I passed a Starbucks. At the old sand dunes by Walmart.
With my drink and pastry in hand, I only got lost one more time trying to get to the convention center. Oh, and once more the next day trying to get there again. Oh, and one more time trying to get to the freeway after it was over. That one took me a while to get out of.
So yes, I really can't go home again. Or maybe I'll take my GPS with me next time.