“Hey, can you check the Google maps and get the directions for the hotel?” I asked Brian.
“The phone isn’t working. It shows five bars, but the map isn’t loading.”
“Try the browser and see if that is working.”
“That’s not working either.”
Ding! Incoming text.
“I just got a text. It says if we want data, we have to pay an extra $70/month while we’re in Canada.”
“But how are we going to find the hotel? I don’t even have the address, it’s on my email that we can’t access. I sort of remember the street name, but that’s it.”
“The problem is we don’t know where we are now. What in the hell did people do in the old days? Can’t we call the hotel?”
“I don’t even have the phone number for the hotel, and we don’t have any way to look it up. Plus, our cell phone won’t allow any calls.”
“We need a map. Stop at that mini-mart up there on the right.”
Honestly, I had my doubts they even had maps. Who uses maps anymore when you have smart phones?
But due to a snafu with our carrier, Verizon, it felt like we had gone back in time 25 years. I guess unless we forked over the $70, they weren’t going to give us any access, even a phone call. To a time when there was no internet, no cell phones. How did people get around back then?
I should know, I’m old enough to remember traveling as a kid before there was an internet. Trips were planned out well in advance. We would write down all the hotel information ahead of time, including the address and phone number. An atlas and/or giant state maps were part of supply list. My mom would pull out an atlas or big paper map and tell my dad what to do.
“Go left up here onto Highway 99. Then after about 5 or 6 miles, turn right to get on the highway.”
But we had counted on using our smart phone to get us around in this strange city. I felt completely discombobulated.
Thankfully, the gas station did have a map of the area.
“Ok, what street are we on right now? I’ve got to find where we are on the map. Ok, I see the street. I know the hotel is near the airport, maybe if I look near the airport, I’ll recognize the street name.”
Then we had an unexpected break.
For some reason, my Hilton app still showed the reservation along with the street name.
“It’s Carova!” I yelled.
“I see it, it’s up here, just south of the airport.”
“Ok, it looks like if we keep going on this road, we can get on the highway, and then take this road up to the hotel.”
Relief floods over me. We will have a bed to sleep in. For a moment, I wondered if we really would find the hotel without the assistance of technology.
But our adventures were just beginning. The next day of exploring Toronto would prove even more challenging, while going cyber-free.