We’re Not in Kansas Anymore … Or Are We?

“I’m so excited to visit that new vineyard!” I said to my husband yesterday as we got into the car, “Now, you do know how to get there, right?  Because if you don’t …”


He held up his hand to halt my next words, “Not to worry,” he smiled. “I know exactly where I am going.”


I smiled back at him as I fastened my seatbelt, stuffed the map into the glove compartment for safekeeping, and thought back to the time when we were first dating and went on what we later affectionately titled through clenched teeth, “The Trip from Hell.”


While driving home from Colorado, I asked my then-boyfriend, now-husband who was busy changing the radio station every two seconds as we drove through Denver (turns out, this behavior was only a prelude to what he would later do with the television remote after we were married), “Are you absolutely sure that we take the Interstate 70 interchange coming up?  Not Interstate 76?”


He sighed and made the excruciating mistake of replying, “I’d stake my life on it! Take Interstate 70 … I promise, it will take us straight through into Nebraska.”


Two hundred miles later, the Wicked Witch of the West flew past our car window on a broom.  I turned to my husband who by now looked in great fear for his life and said, “We’re not in Nebraska, are we?”


“Please don’t kill me,” he whispered.


No, it turned out we weren’t in Nebraska, but instead, in the bowels of Kansas.  We stopped at a gas station where the attendant said, “Yup” approximately forty-five separate times during one conversation.  He told us through a toothless smile, “Yup, you two definitely took the wrong way. You’re going to want to take Highway 5 to the junction and then take the gravel road sixty-five miles northeast to the big cattle lot. Turn due east and go three thousand miles on a very, bumpy road until you see the sign, “Welcome to Nebraska, Dummies.”  Yup, we definitely had the time of our lives on that trip.


Fast forward back to present time.  As my husband turned off the Interstate on to a two-lane highway, he said cheerfully, “Here we go!  I already know I take this road until I go through a little town and then I turn on a gravel road and go five miles.  The vineyard will be on our right.”


Then I made an excruciating mistake—I trusted him.


Thirty minutes later, our car skidded to a stop on the gravel road. As a huge dust cloud settled, my eyes focused on a sign.  “That sign says ‘Highway 66,’” I informed my husband. “I don’t remember seeing any Highway 66 on the map.”


“Please don’t kill me,” he whispered.


“Are we in Kansas again?” I yelled, “Because if we are …”


I pulled the map out of the glove compartment and held it out in front of us.  “Good Lord,” he yelped, “We’re cleeeaaaaaar up here!” He pointed to the middle of the map as he continued, “And we’re supposed to be waaaaaaaaaay down here!” He pointed to the bottom of the map.


I felt my blood pressure rising to a dangerous level as he threw the car in reverse and performed one of those extremely difficult “Y” turns we all learned in Driver’s Education class when we were sixteen. Our tires spun as he stomped on the accelerator and shouted over the sound of the gravel hitting the sides of our car, “We’re just going to have to go right back where we came from and then go across Highway 1 the other way.  It should only take us ninety minutes to retrace our route and get to the vineyard.”  He turned to look at me and grinned, “Isn’t this fun?”


Yup.  We were definitely having the time of our lives.


We eventually made it to the vineyard where we enjoyed a lovely dinner and a glass of wine. It really was a beautiful evening … that is until …


We turned right instead of left on our way out of the vineyard.



About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at www.wackywomanhood.com.
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