in all of the fourteen years that i have been traveling to and from vermont to visit my brother and his family, never has the trip been such a roller-coaster ride. it had so many twists and turns, i won’t be able to write them all out in one post. so consider this the first installment.
last thursday, my dad picked up david and me at 5:15 and 5:30am, respectively, to bring us to o’hare for our 7am flight. a long line at security awaited us, but it moved quickly and we were on our way to our gate in a matter of minutes. well, it may have been twenty minutes, but i was so excited that we were on our way to vermont, i didn’t care.
when we reached our gate, the sign for our departure noted a delay of an hour and twenty minutes. not a problem, we thought . . . as long as our connecting flight at newark waits for us. well, it didn’t. we missed it by five minutes. disappointing, right? you have no idea. because of severe weather in other parts of the country, flights into and out of newark were being delayed and cancelled left and right. david and i got shuffled around from one flight to the next, only to have them all pulled out from under us. nearly five hours after arriving at newark, we finally got a stand-by flight out. but not to burlington, where we originally had been headed. no, this flight was to manchester, new hampshire, a good three and a half hours south of burlington. but because it was our only option, and because my brother is a saint, we flew into manchester, and he drove the 3.5 hours to pick us up. in fact, he left well before we even knew it was a sure thing, just in case it should happen. thankfully—thanks be to GOD thankfully—it did. moments after reaching the baggage claim, my cell phone rang. it was peter, saying he was at the manchester airport; where were we? about 100 feet away, down the hall, that’s where. whew. mission: accomplished.
our bags. where were our bags? according to the (rather cranky) baggage assistant, they were still en route to burlington. we asked that they stay there, and that, if we weren’t able to pick them up when we got to burlington, they be delivered to my brother’s house the next morning. done. when we got to burlington, we went to the airport to see if our bags had arrived. the flight they were expected on was due in at 10:30. seeing as that was a mere hour and a half away, we chose to stay and wait for them, playing “six degrees of kevin bacon” (a game i’m not nearly as good at as i thought i would be) with my brother to pass the time. on a whim, david decided to check the status of the plane one more time. good thing he did, as it had been delayed until 1:30am. i think it was at this point that i uttered “you have GOT to be kidding me” for the 138th time that day.
we picked up our rental car . . . oh, yeah, we had planned to get up at six the next morning and drive to connecticut to visit david’s grandpa, who i have not yet met. i can tell you right now that didn’t happen. so we picked up our rental car and followed pete back to their house, where he gave us some long johns, pajama bottoms, and t-shirts to sleep in.
that was day one. more—so much more—is to come.