Summer Hometown Tourists: Adventures on Bolton Road

Our Summer Hometown Tourist adventures are sailing right along, except with a few mishaps here and there. This week, we were supposed to go to a Civil War tour, but...I got lost. Read all about my misadventures and our long exploration of Bolton Road - and get a few good laughs - in this blog post!
Ah, Robert Burns, I know what you meant by "The best laid schemes!" On Saturday, my son and I were supposed to venture 15 minutes north of Atlanta, to the Marietta Square, to take a civil war walking tour. It turned into a tour of Bolton Road instead.

Now, before I begin with the account of our journey, let me say that I know this will make me seem, um, not smart. And technologically backwards. And--not smart.

Yes, I have a smart phone. No, I did not know how to utilize the google maps app. My husband has since taught me. To make matters worse, our first destination was my parents' house (the one I was raised in) to meet my aunt for the tour.

I had to explain to everyone that I got lost on the way to a place I've been a million times. The place I lived for so many years. "You did not get lost on the way to your parents' house." my husband said in disbelief. I'm afraid I did.

I have never had an overly keen sense of direction. I have been lost on countless occasions. I actually used to kind of enjoy it back when gas was only $0.89 a gallon. I like to drive aimlessly and see new things.

But I hadn't done something like that in years, and my son had never seen this side of me.

"I don't think you know where you are," he kept saying from the back seat.

I turned a 45 minute drive into a two and a half hour expedition. We have all kinds of tourist attractions planned this summer, and you can read about last week's tour of Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery HERE. But this week, I'm afraid you'll have to settle for...

Our Summer Hometown Tourist adventures are sailing right along, except with a few mishaps here and there. This week, we were supposed to go to a Civil War tour, but...I got lost. Read all about my misadventures and our long exploration of Bolton Road - and get a few good laughs - in this blog post!ADVENTURES ON BOLTON ROAD!

If you are not familiar with Bolton Road, it is part of a "no return access" exit off of I-285 (the Atlanta Bypass that circles the perimeter of the city). I chose 285 to save time. Going straight through Atlanta on a Saturday with events going on can be a traffic nightmare.

So, we were cruising along at the speed limit on 285, without a care in the world, when one exit down from my parent's exit, traffic stopped. It didn't just slow--it abruptly halted. Roadwork.
Our Summer Hometown Tourist adventures are sailing right along, except with a few mishaps here and there. This week, we were supposed to go to a Civil War tour, but...I got lost. Read all about my misadventures and our long exploration of Bolton Road - and get a few good laughs - in this blog post!

I made the executive decision to go ahead and exit at Bolton Road. I remembered from my youthful days of misdirection that Bolton Road intersects with the very road I was aiming for--South Cobb Drive. So we drove, and drove...and drove. No South Cobb Drive.

Finally, I saw a Marietta Drive. Ah--I was aiming for Marietta, so I hung a left, drove for a bit, when the road dead-ended. Oops.

So, I pulled over and locked my doors (among the lovely sights I was able to show my son were a gentleman passed out on the steps of a liquor store, dilapidated buildings, and an exchange of a small package on the street for cash). I used my smart phone (the one with the google maps app) to call my dad.

He knows the area well. Not because he partakes in the area's colorful activities, but because he was raised in Atlanta.

"What you want to do is..." he said, and then he began to sound eerily like an adult on Charlie Brown. 

"All right," I said. "Just get me to South Cobb Drive."

He explained to me that South Cobb Drive has a different name on that end of town--Jesse-something-or-another-Parkway.

Light bulb! I remembered crossing over Jesse-something-or-another-Parkway. I would simply go back the way I came and hang a--left? I thought he said--onto Jesse-something-or-another-Parkway.

So we drove back up Bolton Road. And drove. And drove. No Jesse-something-or-another-Parkway, but I was seeing some fabulously unkempt cemeteries that I hadn't remembered seeing before. I looked at a street sign. Not Bolton Road.

So I turned around and went back the way I came. Ah, a fork in the road I had missed. Back on Bolton Road, up to Jesse-something-or-another-Parkway, and a left. 

We drove for a while, and nothing looked familiar. I saw a street sign, and it didn't read Jesse-something-or-another-Parkway or South Cobb Drive. Uh-Oh.

Back on the phone with Dad. More Charlie Brown Adult Speak, and finally, "Just turn around. You're on the right road. You just went the wrong way."

But there was a lot of traffic heading in the opposite direction--and you've probably figured out how I feel about traffic. 

"Dad!" I said. "There's I-20!" 

I know I-20.

"Go west," he said, "and exit Fulton Industrial Boulevard. Head toward Mableton, and you'll hit Floyd Road."

Perfect! I know Floyd Road.

So, I did as instructed, but when I exited, no sign saying "This Way to Mableton." Eeny, meeny, miny, moe--Right it is.

But that was wrong, so I turned back around, fell into a couple of more mishaps, including passing Bolton Road two more times, when I finally saw the sign, "This Way To Mableton." So I turned right onto Fulton Industrial Boulevard, again, but from the opposite direction.


I drove, and drove, and drove, when I saw a street sign, and Fulton Industrial Boulevard had become--Bolton Road. 


I hit Jesse-something-or-another-Parkway, turned the correct way this time. In no time at all, it became South Cobb Drive, and I was in familiar territory.

My son--a bit wiser about his mother's limitations
We missed our civil war tour, but I am now very familiar with the Bolton Road area in Atlanta, and I learned that my son has a fair amount of patience, but he has (understandably) lost faith in his mother's sense of direction.

Next week, I will be writing about our trip to the Coke Museum, which we should make, as I now know how to use google maps.

Have you had a similar experience? If so, let me know in the comments. If not, and you think I'm a complete idiot, pretend like the comments do not exist.




Thanks to RebeccaB Designs for the fantastic designs on this page, and Jewel Pastor and KGFonts for the fonts!

4 comments

  1. Leah, I am laughing so hard I have tears! You can drop my husband off in the middle of nowhere, a place he has never been before and he can navigate his way home. Me, I'd drive around in circles and end up in the next state. I'd have gotten lost, too!

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  2. Thanks for your empathy! People with maps in their heads don't understand the directionally challenged--We should start a support group!

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  3. I cried real tears reading this. I'm glad you guys came out safe and that this story was shared for the edification of others. Lollllllll

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  4. Yes, Jherine, thank you--it is a cautionary tale. :)

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