Getting lost in Boston

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My girlfriend and I were lost in downtown Boston last week, using a lagging GPS as our guide as we squeezed a large Budget rental truck through the busy streets in the rain.

Sometimes in life, opportunities present themselves that are just too good to pass up. Believe it or not, that was one of them.

The first of these opportunities came to me the summer after my freshman year in college—a chance to drive a rental truck full of financial education material to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. A month later, I drove a truck full of similar materials to Boston University.

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What was born was a summer endeavor I looked forward to for years.

My dad works for a company called Cannon Financial Institute in Athens. Cannon holds financial seminars all over the country, and a few around the globe. People will call them for training, classes, sessions and meetings, all to develop current or future financial planners to be better at their jobs.

Every summer, there are three specific “university” sessions across the country that Cannon needs a large amount of material for. One is at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, the second at Notre Dame and the third at Boston University.

Somehow or another, my dad heard they were looking for a driver that summer in 2010 for Notre Dame and Boston. I accepted, not really sure what to expect. Both trips were a blast, and for the next few summers, I picked up every one of those three trips I could. All expenses are paid for by Cannon, so the opportunities for me turned into paid-for road trips.

For the fifth time, I took on the Boston trip last week. With my girlfriend as my co-captain, we left Athens at 7:30 a.m. last Wednesday and arrived in Boston around 2 p.m. the next day.

Everything went off without a hitch. Until we actually got in the city.

To anyone that has ever visited Bean Town, you probably know Commonwealth Avenue is one of many crucial roads in the city. It also happens to be the road I needed to travel down to park the rental truck at Boston University.

As if by some sort of cruel intervention from below, the strip of Commonwealth I needed to drive on was under construction. Detours were everywhere, with cars driving around like mad in the unfamiliar traffic patterns. I had to be extra careful, too, because the roads my GPS redirected me to travel on were the exact roads I was instructed to never drive down in rental truck. Unless I wanted to stop Boston traffic by hitting a bridge, that is.

So we pulled off the highway and spat out of an exit that put us right smack-dab in Copley Square. Mary Anna and I struggled to make sense of the labyrinth of one way streets, all while maneuvering past cars that seemed to pay no mind to the dotted lines that signified the actual lanes.

Finally, after 30-minutes of aimlessly drifting in circles, trying to find the right combination of streets that would take us underneath the road work on Commonwealth Avenue and lead us straight to the promised land of “Parked Truck”, we made it to Boston University.

Of course, the rain started to let up when we got out. Fortunately, there was a Raising Cane’s a block away, a small taste of home after our topsy-turvy trip around Boston.

Chicken fingers and French fries never tasted so good.

After I unload the truck every trip, it always feels like a massive ball and chain is unshackled from around my ankle when I turn it back in. This time was the most relieving, though.