Sunday, March 14, 2010


Our family loves the road trip. We perfected it driving across Ireland, seeing nearly every nook and cranny save Waterford. No reason, we just never got there. I am the navigator, food fixer, kid soother, dj, etc. and Mon Mari is the driver. He drinks diet Coke, listens to music, stays awake and keeps us safe with his calm and steady driving. My role as navigator has gotten us around traffic jams via back roads and given us many ooohhs and aaahhhs through gorgeous scenery.
Therefore I was devastated when he suggested we get a sat nav.His argument was that we could really use the help driving across England and then France.
‘How could you?’ I said. ‘A sat nav is a usurper of my navigational duties.’ It was akin to him getting a little on the side…quite an exaggeration yes, but I have a point to make here. So when it came down to it, he bought one, gave it a woman’s voice and I pouted in the passenger’s seat. ‘Fine, you don’t need my help then. Go ahead. Let her help you.'
On our first trip under her guidance we couldn’t find the hotel in Wexford. She didn’t realize, as I did, that we couldn’t cut through a funeral procession on a one-way street to get to the front entrance at reception. I sat silently, vindicated. He soothed my ego by telling me that he didn’t want to rely entirely on the sat nav for directions, he still needed my input and would I please stop pouting/smugly smiling and help him after all.
It wasn’t until the England (landbridge) portion of our trip that she really came in handy and I began to feel a kindred respect for her. We needed somewhere to eat before the overnight ferry. We put in find a restaurant nearby and she kindly directed us to Toby’s Carvery. Rather than driving around in circles looking for something we could both agree on or worse, giving in all together and going through a drive-thru McDonald’s where ‘the lady talks to you through the speaker’, we had a big, warm meal and everyone was happy.
It was after this and her help in finding our way through Normandy in the snow that we thought she should have a name, become one of our road trip family. We settled on ‘Nancy’ and so it is. Nancy helps us find gas stations, sports shops, IKEA (not that they’re hard to spot), and most importantly the location properties our agent offers as potential homes here.
The kids say, ‘Nancy said to turn right!’, or ‘Nancy is getting mad at you’ and ‘Why aren’t you listening to Nancy?’
However, the other day I saw a sign for a chateau and thought I’d check it out. Nancy didn’t know what I was doing and started giving me warnings. ‘Oh, come on Nancy. We’re just having a big of an adventure.’ And to this Ma Fille, swelling my heart with love and pride, gave me the distinction of navigator extraordinaire, ‘It’s ok Nancy, Mommy’s just an adventurer!’

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