'Uh, just the states?'

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The traffic on the Queen Elizabeth Expressway was mounting, but we still made it here with time to spare.

I’ve arrived at my hotel in this city’s downtown, and cheers to this Best Western’s free wireless Internet. My laptop screen sits in the foreground of a beautiful cityscape witnessed from my 21st-story window.

Tomorrow Ball State University takes on Rutgers University in the International Bowl here. BSU is 0-3 in bowl game appearances, so we're hoping to break a streak. My under-21 friends aren't too concerned about that - they're just happy they can buy alcohol.

So, Canadian party life is great, eh? Well, once your here. The trip from our Indiana hometown took about 8 hours. No maps. No printed directions. Just two vehicles and two GPS navigation units.

Uh, make that one fully capable GPS unit.

Having received a Navigon device for Christmas, I knew that not all units come loaded with Canadian points of interest or detailed city naps. As we departed a McDonald's in Indiana, I looked the drivers of our carpool and inquired about their units.

"So, your maps cover more than the 48 states, right?"




As we loaded the vehicles and attempted to program the navigational units, the driver of my vehicle quickly learned his Garmin Nuvi lacked Canadian knowledge.

This struck fear into the hearts of 20-some-year-old men.

"Well, we can follow the other car," my friend said, knowing their unit DID have Toronto maps available. "I also have an atlas in the backseat."

An atlas? Who in the hell knows how to use that?

Truth be told, our map reading skills are still sharp thanks to Google Maps and MapQuest, but there's a small comfort in having something confirm and direct your navigational choices.

Wow, we're losing our ability to be self-sufficient.

Obviously we made it to our destination in one piece and without ever being lost. One thing we did miss: A the little screen of hope telling us our ETA and miles to go.

Make that kilometers to go.

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