In the Pasadena Sheraton last Sunday, my phone rang for a visit in Irvine. Pasadena is twenty miles from home, Irvine fifty miles. I would miss supper by several hours, but the month before Christmas is slow, so I was pleased at another visit.
I often drive to Irvine but not from Pasadena, so I consulted Siri from my I-Phone. She directed me toward the nearest freeway but told me to turn off as I reached it. That didn’t seem right, but disobeying Siri is usually a bad idea. A drive through city streets to the Long Beach Freeway saved several miles but probably not much time.
I settled down for the trip before realizing with a shock that she was directing me toward the Santa Ana freeway. No one takes the Santa Ana freeway. It’s always jammed. Sure enough, as soon as I drove on, traffic slowed to a crawl.
I arrived after 1½ hours to face another irritation. The address, 2120 Waterbury, wasn’t a street address but suite 2120 at the Waterbury Apartments. Siri found the complex but getting to 2120 among the buildings was my job.
It was night. The guest was a traveler and unfamiliar with the area. There was no parking except in locked underground garages, so I couldn’t wander far from my car. Also (and I’m not making this up) it was raining. In the end, she came out and searched the streets until we encountered each other. The visit, as usual, was the easy part.
Leaving, I drove to the San Diego freeway, the sensible, if not the shortest, route from my house to Irvine. To my dismay, traffic was crawling. Weekends are usually OK, but I should have remembered that this was the Sunday before Christmas.