Monday, July 6, 2015

Vermont: Getting there and Day 1

Yes!  I did it again!  Another unintended one week break.  This time I am blaming it on traveling and more traveling.  I always have good intentions but not always the best follow-through.  So, I'm going to power through and get caught up as quickly as possible before the kids go back to to school in two weeks.   There's lots to talk about.

Michael graduated from high school in Vermont in June, 1995.  He didn't go to his 10 year reunion in 2005 because it was over Thanksgiving weekend and that's a lot of travel in a short amount of time.

When his classmates started talking about their 20 year reunion Michael wanted to go.  It's also been 5 years since we visited his family in Vermont, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity for a trip.

Michael bought his tickets back in January to fly into Burlington a few days before the reunion. They were pretty expensive, so we decided that I would just stay at home with the kids in order to save money.  But that didn't sit right with my parents.  They insisted that I needed to go with him. They had already agreed to watch the kids and even though I said they didn't have to, they ended up buying my ticket.  Since I was spending their money I wanted to be as frugal as possible. which meant flying into Boston instead of Burlington.

Unfortunately, the cheapest tickets possible meant 21 hours of travel.  I left Phoenix at 1 pm on Wednesday and got to Burlington at 1 pm on Thursday. 

This was before I left on Wednesday.  Thanks for participating in the picture, kids.  Your smiles are so genuine and uplifting.

On the way to the airport.
I flew from Phoenix to Chicago and then had a two hour layover before flying to Boston.  I got into Boston at 1:00 am.  And then, I sat.  And sat.  And sat.  I couldn't take the silver line bus to South Station for my Greyhound Bus ride to Burlington until 5:48 am, so I sat on a bench in baggage claim and read for 4 hours. 

Jeannette was checking on me periodically from home in Michigan and Michael was just barely leaving Phoenix, so I took some pictures to share with them.

This was an accidental picture.  I wasn't actually giving the peace sign.

My bench home for the next 4 hours.

My "neighbors".  They all tried to sleep.  I didn't even try.
At 5:00 I got up, went to the bathroom, sprayed dry shampoo all over my hair, reapplied deodorant and brushed my teeth.  Then I went outside to wait for the bus.  I took it to South Station where the only thing open at that time of day was McDonald's.  I ate breakfast, which was simultaneously disgusting and delicious.  Seriously, how is it possible for fast food to taste so good but also so bad?

Then I waited for the Greyhound Bus.  Which was an hour late in arriving.  But the time I was standing in line I had been awake for 22 hours and I was starting to feel woozy and close to falling over.  Finally, at close to 8 am the 7 am bus arrived. We left Boston, I plugged my phone into this handy outlet next to me,

took this picture for Michael and Jeannette,
and promptly fell asleep.  I woke up 2 hours later in White River Junction, VT.  I was actually a little freaked out that I slept that deeply and for that long.  I slept through about 5 stops where people got off and got back on.   I'm surprised I wasn't murdered in my sleep. 

I finally got to Burlington, an hour late and an hour after Michael's plane landed.  His Aunt Sandi picked us up and we went to Al's French Fries in Burlington.  I had never heard of this place, but apparently it's a Burlington institution and has been around approximately, for forever. 

I did not take the next two pictures.  Thanks google.

There is only one location, so this is exactly what it looks like.

Our fries. 

Then we drove to St. Albans where Michael's grandfather lives.  The scenery was not terrible on the way.

We haven't seen him in five years.  He's not doing so great.

The view from his back door.
Michael's grandfather was letting us borrow his truck for the week. He can't drive anymore, but it was still incredibly generous of him.  On our way to Sandi's house (a little further north but a lot east of St. Albans) we drove by Michael's childhood home.  This is the fourth trip where we've driven by, but Michael still hasn't worked up the nerve to go knock on the door and ask to come in.

His parents built this house and it was the only house he had ever lived in when he moved to AZ for college.  They sold it when they followed him to AZ two years later.

They put this wagon in the front yard and all these years later it's still there.  

I took one thousand scenic pictures while we were driving.

Michael rolled his eyes when I made him stop for a picture of these cows.

We got to Sandi's house (these are her flowers) and unpacked.  Then we took a little one hour nap.  It was just enough to take the "verge of hallucinations" edge off.

After dinner that night we took a little drive in Michael's uncle's ATV and I took some more scenic pictures.

Including some totally adorable ponies.

ATV selfie

Sandi has two sons that work for Ben and Jerry's, so pints are always readily available at her house.  We shared a pint of this delightful stuff, 

before we collapsed into bed.  And didn't get up for a solid 12 hours!


Valerie said...

Man my mom would have loved to have met you and taken you to VT if I'd known you were sitting there for so long. Bummer!! So glad you had a good trip and made it there without losing your sanity.

Sherry said...

Okay so the next time you plan a trip where you have to have extended layovers, can you please try to make those in North Carolina (preferably Raleigh) so we can meet up and chat? I think that would have made the travel experience much more pleasant. I am so glad you were able to go on this trip with Michael. I don't think it would have been the same for him without his other half. Eddie's 20 year reunion is next year, but it shouldn't be too far away since his hometown is pretty close to us now. Someone did mention a possible cruise though so who knows. I haven't ridden a Greyhound Bus in years (since I was a kid and we used them on school field trips). I remember liking it then, but I don't know about now. It does sound comfortable enough if you were able to get some rest. I have heard Vermont is a beautiful state, and your pictures do seem to verify that fact. I am glad you got to see Michael's grandfather. I know he would have loved seeing the kids, but he looked very happy to see you two. I wish Michael could have visited his old home. It looks like a wonderful place to have grown up. I guess Michael was pretty stuck on Arizona since he had met the love of his life there so his parents figured they better move out there since his stay was going to be permanent. I think that is just a testament to your relationship and how quickly he realized his love for you. ;-) And now, I really want to go get some of that ice cream. Thanks a lot!

Cat said...

Yay, I've been looking forward to reading these posts! :)