Last day in Vermont, and a travel day. We had breakfast at Steve’s Diner, just across from the Inn. This is the type of place only open for breakfast and lunch, and where the waitresses are on a first-name basis with the clientele. No grits, of course, but we both had delicious pancackes with maple syrup. It still amazes me that something this sweet comes from the interior of a tree.
I got everything ready to go, and was itching to get on the road. We left a bit early, with the idea of stopping by a covered bridge just outside of town. We continued on the small road outside of town, knowing that it parallelled the main road. This took us by the Morgan Horse Farm, of Morgan workhorse fame. The stables were hugh and quite elaborate, dwarfing the small farmhouse.
The road took a bit longer to get to Vergennes than I planned, so we hit 7 and headed at a faster pace. Turns out it was a good thing we left early – road construction caused several delays.
Check-in at Burlington was a snap, and soon I was on my way to Philadelphia. I was worried that security might think these foil and wax wrapped packages might contain more than cheese, but I guess they are accustomed to tourists taking their products home.
As we taxied up to Philly, it was announced that the next leg of my flight was cancelled. Wonderful. It seems the only person authorized to help me was a brusque, matronly gate Nazi, who was much more occupied with completing forms than helping stranded passengers. One of my fellow cancellees, who was doing a marvelous job of keeping everone calm, told the gate Nazi that she was brutal, but in a kind way. I finally got book on the next direct flight – nearly five hours later.
Resigned to a long stay in the terminal, I first wandered in search of food and to occupy myself in the shops. The weather worsened, and no flights were leaving, so all the eateries were full of irritated people. I wandered into a Mont Blanc shop, and wondered what type of person would pay $800 for a fountain pen in an airport. Soon, however, I was contemplating buying something in one of the shops just to keep myself entertained, and I could see how someone (with more money than sense) could be lured into such a purchase.
The weather cleared temporarily, as did the throngs. I treasure my personal space, and hate it when I get crowded. However, the haitus was far too short as flight after flight was cancelled. Apparently the entire eastern seaboard was in a mess. People were not happy, and the airport staff was horrendous.
Passenger: “But the people at the gat told me to come here.”
Attendant: “But I’m telling you this area is closed – go back to the gate.”
Those of us waiting for the GSP flight bonded, as we had lots of time to talk. The woman who had calmed us all earlier had a five year-old at home who would be going to Brushy Creek. Turns out we knew lots of people in common, and passed the time playing Who Do You Know.
We watched anxiously as moer flights were cancelled. At 9:30 we were relieved to finally be boarding the plane. My seat was at the very back of the plane, next to the lavatory. Nice. At10:30, the pilot came on to tell us that there were about 20 planes on the runway ahead of us, and that it would be another 40 minutes before takeoff. At this rate, it will be tomorrow before we get home.
Finally, shortly before 11:00, we took off. As we rose, I enjoyed seeing the lights of the eastern megalopolis, laid out like the maps I so enjoy reading. Washington DC was clearly visible, and it was easy to recognize landmarks.
We were given complementary drinks, and the woman next to me toasted to our departure and safe landing. As for my airline merlot, I wish I had sniffed the cork. At least it smells better than the lavatory behind me.