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I should really preface this story by telling you about my dad’s GPS. He used to have  “Susie” – I’m not exactly sure what kind of GPS it was, but my parents named it “Susie.” Well, Susie was one road short of a map and so for Christmas last year my brother and I got dad a new GPS – “Julie.”

Julie has much fancier imaging, easier menu options, and she shows you on a street-view-style screen which lane of the interstate you should be on for driving in big cities (like St. Louis for example). Julie goes everywhere with my parents. Even to church and back (a 5-mile drive to town from their house they’ve lived in for over 30 years).

Every time they drive someplace familiar, they bring Julie along just to see which route she would have taken compared to what they have already mapped out or traveled once before. “Oh, look, Julie wants us to take that major highway instead of this gravel road shortcut.”

It turns out that no matter where we’re going and what route we’ve planned, Julie always has something else in mind.

Which brings me to my cousin’s wedding in St. Louis. Lance and I met my parents in Sioux Falls and drove to St. Louis together. We had our maps and atlases and, of course, Julie. To avoid driving through Kansas City during rush hour, we take a divided highway across the state. We turn at St. Joseph… **recalculating** **make a U-turn** **recalculating**

After a while, Julie realizes we are going to take this highway across the state so she better just cooperate.

Then. We get to St. Louis. I have already announced which exit number we need to watch for, but Julie wants us to cut through town. At dusk. Excuse me, Julie, but my family is not used to big cities and we would prefer to stay on the road with the least amount of turns.

We make it to our hotel just fine. (Somewhat. I’ll spare you the “NO! DON’T MERGE LEFT!!” and the two cop cars in front of our hotel details.)

The next day we had free to do whatever we wanted. Sortof. Our car had a different plan. Our brakes were worn out (not because of Julie, or the quality of driving with Julie, but because of inclement weather back home). On our way to the St. Louis Arch, we spotted a Midas shop and made an emergency pit stop. The arch was only a few blocks away and the repair was going to take a couple hours, so we walked.


We’re so excited we made it to St. Louis in one piece!! :-)


Mom and dad were excited, too!


Thank goodness our motel was within 2 miles of the Arch as well as the wedding festivities on Friday. I don’t know if Julie would have survived. Because we all wanted to throw Julie out the window at one point during our trip. Except for Dad. He’s always interested in which route she’d like to go.