linuxspice decided to bail on us and go to Montreal with her OSO for the weekend, so "we" consisted of me, angilong, firecat and her partner, and bcholmes and hers. Ldot, bcholmes' partner did the navigation, based on a map booklet that the hotel gave us. Even though Firecat's partner A had a half-hour meeting before we left, we still had two and a half remaining hours for our dinner break, and thought that that would be sufficient to get bcholmes back to the hotel for the start of her panel.
But we left the hotel at 5:30 and promptly ran into the full force of Boston rush hour, on a Friday, no less. We crept along 128 to Route 2, and headed inward toward Cambridge, looking for Memorial Drive to turn onto. That's when the fun began. A confusing sign led me to exit in the direction of harvard Square. After a brief stop to check the map and find alternate routes, we made our way there, and promptly got turned around several times in a maze of turns and one=way streets that escaped the notice of the map that we had, finally exiting harvard Square 180 degrees off target, towards Porter Square. but I started to recognize landmarks that Amanda and I had driven past at various points, and didn't catch our error.
When 6:30 arrived and we still hadn't found Asmara, bcholmes suggested that we abort our search and eat elsewhere in the interest of getting her back in time for her panel. We found a lovely little hole-in-the-wall Greek place that seemed to be the neighborhood hot spot where all the locals ate. The food was both delicious and inexpensive, we beat the dinner crowd, and generally had a meal that made us less sorry that we'd missed out on Asmara. Sadly, I have no idea where this restaurant is, as we were hopelessly off target from where we'd thought we were.
After dinner, the fun really got started. We thought we were heading west on Mass Ave, and that a left fork onto Western Ave would take us back to Memorial. What we actually found ourselves on was Somerville Ave, heading north away from Porter Square. It all still looked familiar, but we discovered our mistake when we checked a map.
Then the hell began. At one point, we passed a sign near the Science Museum where one of our options was a right turn leading back to Memorial Drive. I was feeling cranky, and just wanted to get the hell out of Dodge, so I was trying to catch 93 north, thinking that I could cut over west somewhere. Instead, we wound up driving in circles for the next hour, literally, taking wrong exits off of rotaries, getting confused and disoriented, and generally being lost. Even the locals couldn't help us when we finally found a gas station.
Eventually, we wound up back at the Science Museum, and followed Memorial Drive back to Waltham. We got there around 8:50... just in time for BC to catch the last few minutes of her 8:00 panel. :-(