Meet Stella. Stella is a very important member of our family. She joined us for Christmas 2008, a gift from my mother. (Thanks, Mom!) Stella is our GPS. Specifically, she is a Garmin Nuvi 250w. We call her Stella, so that when we are lost, we can yell, "STELLA!!"
Jor Man has noticed the feature which tells how much further until the next turn. He figured out that the amount of time to the next turn, could be figured by the speed and the distance. I tell you, these kids find ways to learn and use math all the time. Really keeps me on my toes, trying to explain it to them.
Stella comes in really handy when we are on the road and someone needs a bathroom break. In Illinois, where I grew up, you can see at each exit what is available because of the tall signs. But in New England, the trees often obscure the view so that I can never tell whether the next exit is rural and nothing to see, or a regular hub-bub of activity. With Stella, we can ask her where the closest bank, library, hospital, grocery store, or gas station is.
Sometimes we mess with the voices. There's an Elfin voice, that is very grating! He yells at you, and tells jokes about the reindeer and Santa. The kids love it. My favorite is the British voice. She's much more polite and patient than the American voice! Sometimes we test our knowledge of different languages. But only when we are willing to get a bit lost.
Having Stella with us enables me to go places with confidence. I don't risk our safety trying to look at a map and drive at the same time. And for city driving, it's really helpful.
The cons: Sometimes in the city it can take 10 minutes to register the satellite because of the tall buildings. It also has a harder time on cloudy days. However, this is only a problem at the beginning. Once she has the signal, she's good to go.
One last GPS suggestion: Stella is a wonderful help when parking in a large, or unfamiliar parking lot or town. Once, when visiting Yale, we parked the car on a side street and just began to wander about, looking at the buildings, going where our interests led us. When it was time to head back to the car, none of us had any idea where it was. Except for Stella. I had marked the location of the car, turned Stella off, and slipped her into my pocket. When we needed to find the car, I simply turned her on, and told her to take us to the most recent place. Very helpful!!
Wish you were here!