In my home we've turned the phrase "green eggs and ham" into a verb, much like "google" has become indicative of a definitive action. To "green eggs and ham" something is to change your mind on some item or concept you had previously disdained. It started back in the early 80's when my Daddy finally permitted my Mom to purchase a microwave. For years, he'd held off, swearing that if his own saintly mother (the matriarch of seven kids) had done without one, we could too. Once she wore him down, Daddy was the first to admit, "Green eggs and ham – I love it! Why did we wait so long to purchase it? How have we done without it for so long?!"
This year, I've "green eggs and hammed" a techno gadget – the GPS unit. Who needs it when we've got something as nifty as Mapquest to get us from point A to point B? My mother-in-law foisted one upon my husband for his birthday last year and I scolded her vociferously. Her gift to Greg was the Garmin C550 Streetpilot GPS Receiver and I was upset with her for spending the money on something I was positive my husband wouldn't use. After all, he's one of those guys who absolutely refuses to ask for directions. I was sure it would sit unused in his car.
Wrong – a major "green eggs and ham" moment! We tried it out on a family trip a week later and became instant Streetpilot addicts. When my own birthday rolled around two months later, guess what my mother-in-law purchased for me? Yes, now we have "his and hers" models in our vehicles.
What's the good of this particular tech gadget? You'd be amazed! Here are some of my favorite features:
Speed and accuracy. As soon as its been turned on, the Streetpilot determines your location and queries you about your desired purpose. Within minutes of entering your destination address, you receive a map and detailed instructions which are verbally given to you turn by turn. The GPS also computes your estimated arrival time – I've found it's accuracy on that item almost uncanny. The unit has options to update your route and travel time, accounting for delays in traffic hotspots.
Ease of use. The Streetpilot has an easy touchscreen interface and gives verbal directions to walk you through the directions. It even anticipates which lane you need to be in for upcoming directions. Unlike mapquest pages which may require a solo driver to look at a paper copy of the directions, a voice (or rather, your choice of many voice styles) tells you exactly where you need to go without you taking your eyes off the road. Our voice of choice, Lee the Australian, has never led me astray and is even smart enough to recalculate when I make a wrong turn or miss an exit.
Bluetooth. In many states, hands-free cell phone usage is now the law. The Streetpilot immediately converts my cell phone to hands free and has a clear signal for a speaker phone conversation that can be heard throughout the whole car.
Doubles as an MP3 player. My Streetpilot holds some of my favorite tunes and podcasts, making my road trip even more enjoyable.
Goes with the flow. Now, when we leave on a family road trip, we rarely scout out the directions beforehand. With the address, it's easy to drive straight to our desired destination. But we can also stop and smell the roses along the way, using the Streetpilot to direct us to upcoming points of interest, services, lodging, or even an emergency Starbucks stop.
I will never again go back to driving without my Garmin C550 Streetpilot GPS Receiver – getting to our family fun has now become easy and reliable.