Where was I supposed to go again?
"Left on El Camino and Right on Murphy. I can do that. But wait. After that I have to make another left, then a right, then a left back onto Murphy. That doesn't make any sense. Why can't I just keep going straight on Murphy?"
You'd think I'd know where I was going, wouldn't you? I've lived in the Bay Area for seven years now. And not only that, but in those seven years I've been on this stretch of El Camino (a pretty major road around here) probably once a week, if not twice or more. I've driven past the "Downtown Sunnyvale Open for Business" sign hundreds of times and yet I've never felt compelled to turn down that road. Not once.
I make my right onto Murphy, cursing my lack of GPS. I had to make a crucial choice as my husband started to drive away with the kids: make-up case or GPS. He was moving too fast and I couldn't grab both, and obviously the make-up was the most important. Or so I thought at the time. Now that I'm about to get royally lost in Downtown Sunnyvale I'm not so sure I made the right choice. Who's going to care about my gorgeous complexion if I never make it to the restaurant?
As I inch my way down the road a sign catches my eye. Target? There's a Target here? And a MACY'S? Who knew? Seriously, does anyone know about these stores? I'd be willing to bet good money that my Mother-in-Law, inveterate Macy's shopper, has no clue that there's one closer to her home than Stanford Shopping center. And then, in the blink of an eye, I'm in Downtown Sunnyvale.
There are restaurants and an independent book store. Coffee shops and clothing boutiques. It's a for real Downtown and I've never seen it before. OK. Granted, it's no Castro street (the Mountain View one, not the San Francisco one). But still, I thought I knew all the Downtowns around here. I quickly park my car and hurry to the restaurant where my friends are waiting for me. And as I hurry down the lively street I wonder how many other secrets the surrounding neighborhoods hide.