“We have no plan here,” I say. “I’m stopping. We can’t just drive around hoping we get there.”
“But look, the addresses are getting bigger,” my husband points out. It was 800s, now we’re in the 900s.”
Our rental car doesn’t have GPS, we have no smart phone, we have no map of downtown Napa, and to top it off, its dark and raining. I have no problems asking for directions; it would only be the 18,567th time or so in my life. I am completely comfortable not knowing where I am. Not having a plan on how to get where I want to go: now that’s a different story.
I am about to point out we don’t even know where Main street is, so the numbers are irrelevant when he speaks up. “Turn south,” he says, knowing me well enough to point in that direction.
We are looking for Ubuntu, a restaurant that came highly recommended. It’s an all vegetarian menu, most of the food is grown in their own garden, and even carnivores on Yelp said it was the best meal that they had ever eaten. Without a reservation, we probably won’t get in, but it’s still worth a shot–if we can ever get there.
We cross Second Street, then First. This is meaningless to me: we’ve never been downtown, we have no idea where Ubuntu is in relation to where we are, and we only have an address: 1140 Main.
“Turn right. Main street is always close to First Street in small towns,” says the man who grew up in a place without street signs. Suddenly, we’re on a busy street and in a few blocks, I see a sandwich board advertising “Ubuntu Valet in Back.” Miraculously, without any formal navigation, we have arrived.
We wait for almost an hour, while they serve us free wine and olives in the Ubuntu Annex and when we eventually get a seat at the bar, I feel so lucky. At the end of the meal, I declare its the best I have ever eaten, in my entire life. It’s true.
I feel in love with my husband for many reasons, but one of them was the fact that I think he’s got magical powers. An internal GPS that can navigate through a new city to a chosen restaurant: I think that qualifies and I am extremely grateful for it.