Lancaster County PA Realty Check: How I Fell In Love With "Elmo" (My GPS)

How I Fell In Love With "Elmo" (My GPS)

I've owned a Garmin Nuvi 660 GPS (global positioning system) for several months now.  I can't believe how I ever lived without this little gem!  Beautiful bright color screen, accurate to within about 20 feet, it talks to you in a male or female voice with a variety of accents and languages which you can choose - what more could you want?

I've talked to people who complained about the accuracy and idiosyncrasies  of other brands.  My Nuvi not only tells me where to turn, but how far ahead the turn  is and what the street name is.  The last feature is called text to speech, or TTS.  Based on the map and satellite information it gets, it will read street names and routes to you.  Since its pronunciation is based on an algorithm, it sometimes gives some interesting mispronunciations (for instance it pronounces the first syllable of "Buchanan" as rhyming with the word "much"), but if there's any question you can ask it to repeat itself.

It also gives me the estimated time of arrival at my destination, and a different screen shows a list of all the turns I will make. Other extras which I have not even had the time to explore yet are the MP3 player, audio book reader, bluetooth capability and an FM traffic warning system!

My Nuvi has saved me gasoline and hours of lost time in showing homes, especially in areas outside my normal neighborhoods. I've come to rely on it.  As a matter of fact, calling it "it" somehow feels wrong - it sometimes seems so human I had to name him - "Elmo", as it happens!

I named "Elmo" after St. Elmo, a fourteenth-century monk who became known as the protector of sailors, and who kept their ships from getting lost (get the connection?)   When sailors would see a halo of lightning playing around the ship's mast, they named the phenomenon "St. Elmo's Fire" and considered it a good omen of St. Elmo protecting them.

The Nuvi 660 is a little pricey, but if anything ever happened to it, I would  get one again in a New York minute.  Incidentally, extended warranties are available very reasonably.



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Comment balloon 10 commentsBrian Schulman • April 27 2007 07:02AM


Do you "tickle your Elmo"? Lol... just kidding but it does sound kinda kinky with all the female voices and accents.
Posted by Luke Constantino, Residential/Commercial Real Estate Brooklyn NY (Brooklyn/Manhattan Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Brian, my husband bought me a Garmin StreetPilot for Christmas.  I LOVE IT!  I feel as if I can go anywhere with confidence...oh wait, that's because I CAN!

Have an awesome day!


Posted by Antoinette Scognamiglio over 11 years ago
Brian: Never leave home without one. I'd be lost without mine!
Posted by Roberta Murphy, Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes (San Diego Previews Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Thanks for this information.  I am always getting lost all over the Island and am in desperate need of one....what, then, is a little pricey?  The good thing about the Island is, you can only go so far without hitting water!  I will look into this, it's been FAR too long....thanks for the information.
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 11 years ago
Luke - No, I don't tickle it, but it definitely tickles me!  Elmo can talk with an American, English or Australian accent, plus about 20 foreign languages.  I actually feel more comfortable hearing it talk to me in a female voice, but I still call it Elmo!
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 11 years ago

Antoinette & Roberta - thanks for the positive feedback.  You have an awesome day, too!

Carole - you can get more information at -

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 11 years ago
Thanks for sharing the info! I have a GPS system in my car but sometimes I think these aftermarket systems are even better. They have so many features that the factory-installed units don't have yet. I may have to get one of these in the near future. Thanks again!
Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) over 11 years ago
Ryan, you're most welcome.  I agree that most of the factory-installed car GPSs seem to cost more and have fewer features.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 11 years ago

Do you use the traffic feature? Will it warn you about real time traffic or do you have to press a button to reroute and pray that the new route is faster?


I'm dying to get a GPS with true traffic rerouting.     

Posted by FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. (Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc) almost 11 years ago
Frank, I only used the traffic feature once, because the feature is only available in the greater metropolitan areas.  Since there were no traffic emergencies, I didn't get to see it in action.  The manual says that the screen would show you where problems are, and where to turn off for an alternate route.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 11 years ago