I have a bad history of getting turned around on the Florida Turnpike. Back in 2003, I went south when I should've gone north and ended up spending the night in Yeehaw Junction. It's a much longer and funnier story, but apparently my original blog was wiped off of its server before I could archive it. You'll just have to take my word for it!
Last year, I got the Turnpike and 408 mixed up and ended up near the Florida Mall instead of my car dealership on East Colonial.
So today? It's shameful, but not surprising. Take a look at this image. I started out at Track Shack (uppper-right corner) and was supposed to follow the blue line left towards home. Instead, I took the scenic red route.
Here's what happened:
I took 408 westbound toward home, and decided not to take the 50 exit because I wanted to avoid the Ocoee traffic/traffic lights. I thought I'd merge onto the Turnpike and get off near Winter Garden Village to stop at Publix for dinner fixin's. Where 408 ended, my options were Turnpike North or South. My muscle memory told me to go North, but my brain had a moment of panic and at the last minute I decided to go South.
I was literally about 10 feet past where the concrete barricade on the right starts when I realized I had gone the wrong direction. Even worse: I was pretty sure there were no exits before I-4.
There's a service plaza a few minutes down the road -- one of those that exists in the middle of the road so it's accessible to travelers going both directions -- but I figured I wouldn't be able to switch directions there. As I drove past, I noticed some of the signage at the exit of the service plaza.
I could've switched directions there.
So I went all the way to I-4 and then meandered around the back side of Disney towards home. The trip that Google Maps tells me should've only taken 23 minutes ended up taking more than an hour. Like I said, it's shameful but not surprising. I'm an excellent navigator, but not when I'm also the pilot.