Saturday, April 17, 2010

To Maine and Back

OK, now I KNOW it's adult-onset ADD. Almost missed my plane back to Kentucky -- but that's (almost) the end of the story. To start at the beginning...

Saturday, 10 April -- Keeneland to Louisville.
I drove up to Louisville after the races at Keeneland. My flight was early Sunday morning and I didn't want to drive to Louisville very early, and I didn't want Barry to have to drive me up and pick me up in Louisville, so I decided to stay overnight. No problem -- except for the teenagers who kept going in and out of the motel from 11PM to 2:30AM and listening to the door bang every time they went out and came back in -- probably every 2 minutes for all that time. It really wasn't their fault the door banged when it shut, but it was still annoying and cost me a good night's sleep.

Sunday, 11 April -- Louisville to Manchester to Westbrook, and meeting Miss Garnet.
The flight was uneventful, never had to leave Concourse A at Detroit, so what saved me a bit of worry. BUT, (See the DTW map) I came in at gate A-60 (1 on the Google Earth pic) and my flight to Manchester was leaving at gate A-9 (2 on the pic), and the Concourse is about a mile long, and I only had about 15 minutes before boarding. Anyway, when I got to A-9, I was told the flight was leaving from A-28 (3 on the pic) and was delayed 30 minutes. Whew, I'd have time to grab a bite to eat. But no, as I was leaving the area, the attendant announced that the flight had moved to gate A-68 (4 on the pic). Well, this time I got smart and took the electric tram -- it was after all about 3/4 of a mile to walk. And to think that I was taking off across from the gate I came into. Oh well, I could use the exercise.

When I arrived in Manchester, I got my rental car at Enterprise, the ONLY place I'll EVER rent cars -- fantastic customer service, great prices -- drove to Westbrook, and checked into the motel. Maureen brought the kids over about 5, and we spent some time together, meeting Garnet -- whom I have taken to calling "Miss Garnet" -- no idea why, but it sounds so Southern. We went to Denny's for dinner -- actually breakfast, and watched Gannon ogle the waitress as she ran the rolling sweeper over the carpet. He LOVES pretty girls with wheels. He will need to marry a model with a Ferrari, or will have an auto mechanic's shop with those girlie calendars all over the place.

Monday, 12 April. Grandchildren, lunch with Stacey, Bobby, and Josh.
We met my niece and grand-nephew at Applebee's in South Portland for lunch. Stacey had Bobby just a week before Maureen had Garnet, so we were there with four adults, a toddler, and two infants. Didn't faze the server one little bit (she got a good tip, too), and all three kids were good as gold!  I had the asiago steak, which was good, but not exceptional, still was a fair value for the price.

After lunch, I went for Gannon's 15 month checkup, where he scooted around like a house afire. In the examining room, after the nurse was done with the initial checkup part, he played with the stool, watching the wheels and casters for about half an hour. Even after the doctor came in, Gannon still played with the stool, occasionally bumping the doctor, who didn't mind in the least bit. I was impressed with him and the thoroughness of the exam. Maureen's got a good one there.

After that, we just kind of drove around, eventually ending up in one of my favorite places, Pine Point in Scarboro. I was seeking clam cakes, but none of the places that sell them (at which I will eat, anyway) were open, so we just enjoyed the beach from the car -- it was very windy and we didn't want to take the kids out in that.

We then stopped at Len Libby's candy store on US Rte 1 in Scarboro.  The chocolates there are to die for -- expensive (most run $20+ per pound), but they're SOOO good.  I especially love the cashew clusters.  Gannon apparently wasn't too impressed with the 2,000 pound "Chocolate Moose" (in the background of the picture) but I was!

Later, I was able to sneak Maureen into the motel pool -- well actually, the gal on the counter didn't really mind. We enjoyed the hot tub and pool for about an hour, which was great, because Maureen's back spasms began again just after Garnet's delivery, so the hot tub was a real pleasure. Plus I think we both slept well because of it.

Tuesday, 13 April. Going to Waterville.

Today was going to be busy. We had at least six things to do in Waterville, and really could have added several more things to the list, but time was limited. I had to meet with my realtor and the guy who is buying my Waterville house, to finally get the whole payment mess settled (no need to go into that). It got settled, and to MY satisfaction. Now I don't think I'll have any more problems getting paid what I'm owed each month. While I was in the meeting, Maureen and the kids visited with her best friend from high school, Dawna, and her 2+ kids, and I joined them when I finished.  The boys played very well with Gannon, especially Ethan, the older son, who is SO smart, and SO mature.  Uriah did fine sharing his toys with little rug-rat, Gannon, too.

After a nice visit with Dawna (Matt was just headed back to work after lunch, so we got to see him, too), we headed for Oakland and Messalonskee Middle School where we said hi to Mark, Jon, Tracy, Diane, Angela, Anna, Bobbi, Nancy, Holly, Mary, Christine, Marshalyn (yeah, we sang our old junior high school song as a duet to Maureen's cringing ears), Linda, Rick, Scott and Alison (who has lost so much weight she's only half here -- GREAT JOB, Alison)! I FINALLY got to thank Blair personally for all the help he was when we were packing to move here. We couldn't have made the move without his help. It was great to see the former colleagues again and to be able to show off two grandchildren.

Then it was off to the Oakland Area Historical Society, where we met Alberta and Mike, and went through the OAHS postcard collection. We selected many cards which I brought back to Kentucky to scan, and put onto a CD or DVD for sale when we finish. It was so good for Mike to "adopt" Gannon for awhile, so Alberta and I could work, and Maureen could feed Garnet properly. I'm so blessed to have so many good friends in Oakland.

Then it was off to Big-G's in Winslow. We just had to introduce Miss Garnet to whoopie pies -- note their size compared to her! Lunch there, then I remembered we had to go back to Oakland because Barry's daughter, Karen, had some clothes for Gannon. Good to see her and Wyatt, and glad we didn't miss them.

Wednesday, 14 April. To Waterford, then back to Portland.
Since I had a whole day before my return flight (well, we'll see about THAT assumption shortly), we drove up to Waterford, to see Barry's brother, sister-in-law, and sister. Maureen had met Bruce and Shirley, but not Carol, and we lucked out, catching all three of them home.

Anyway, Maureen just plunked Miss Garnet in Bruce's lap -- never asked him if it was OK -- and he, like a good grandfather and great-grandfather, did just fine. Shirley takes to babies like a duck to water, so there was no problem there. What a beautiful sight, and if she paid attention to her own grand and great-grand children the way she did to Garnet, those kids are truly lucky.  Shirley, I really hope you don't mind that I took, and am posting, your picture.  Didn't ask Bruce, just did it!

It was especially good to see Carol, since (1) we missed her the last time we were in Waterford; and (2) she's driving back to Kentucky with us in June for a visit here -- we're looking SO forward to it. We had time to discuss some of the things she's going to do down here, and we're planning the whole time around what she wants to do. We'll show her the trip of a lifetime!

Now, what to do for lunch? Only one answer, Melby's in North Waterford. Good home-cooked food, huge portions, good prices. Gannon had a great time, Garnet mostly slept, and Maureen got a chance to eat while I fed Gannon.

We were to meet Jeannine and Josh at the Old Country Buffet in South Portland, and were on the way when Jeannine called to tell us that someone had a heart attack and apparently died in the restaurant! Turned out it was a coach for a visiting Canadian high school team. Fire truck, ambulance, paramedics and general confusion! We got into the restaurant at 8:15 only to be told it closed at 8:30, but we could fill our plates and eat quickly! Uh, no. So we decided to go to IHOP. Good choice even though they closed at 9, and they told us to enjoy our meals and to stay as long as we needed to.

While waiting, I called Barry, and he wondered what I was still doing in South Portland, since my flight left Manchester in about 12 hours! Yup, I had totally screwed up -- thought the flight was Friday not Thursday. So I managed barely to avoid panic, ate quickly, said good-byes to Maureen and the kids in the parking lot -- not the way I wanted to leave -- got back to the motel, asked if I got charged an extra day because I was SUPPOSED to have checked out that morning. Yup, an extra day. Oh well. Packed quickly (forgot my phone charger), got some cash, and headed for Manchester NH about 9:30. Lucky there few cars on the road and I made good time, checking into the motel a bit before midnight.

One would think that would be enough screw-ups for a 12-hour period. But not so...

Thursday, 15 April. Flying home.
I filled the rental car just fine.  When I got to the airport I scanned my credit card to get the boarding passes. Only one popped out -- should have been two, Manchester to Detroit and Detroit to Louisville. Plus it said "seat to be assigned." I asked the gal on the counter and she bluntly and curtly said they'd take care of it upstairs. So I went through security and sure enough they had to open and inspect both my carry-on and my backpack. The carry-on contained a partial bottle of Maker's Mark -- which I really KNEW I couldn't bring back so I wasn't too upset when it got confiscated. I could have checked the carry-on, but the cost was more than the bourbon cost so I didn't bother. However, the other item that concerned me, two cans of Bakewell Cream (metal cans containing a white powder), made it through just fine.  If it hadn't, there'd have been a hissy-fit and you'd have read about me being rushed away in handcuffs, screaming, "My Bakewell Cream, my Bakewell Cream" until they got me to the asylum!

My backpack was another story. Something didn't look right, so they opened and inspected it. Apparently, the paper or the process used in the antique post cards I was bringing home triggered the x-ray, but after the TSA agent opened the envelope and looked inside, all was well.  He said, "These are really old," and yes, they are, most at least 100 years old.  Glad they didn't confiscate those!

So anyway, I went upstairs, got a cup of coffee, and since I was over an hour early for my flight, I just tried to relax a bit. Finally I went to gate A-4 to ask about the no seat situation. Wouldn't you know? The same curt, brusque gal who was downstairs was now at the podium. She said "You'll have to wait, I haven't opened the flight yet." Yes, Ma'am. Delta could use a much better customer service, by the way.

Once she DID open the flight, she asked for two volunteers to take a later flight -- I didn't volunteer because I had connections in Detroit, and there's only one flight per day to Louisville. She did find two, but when boarding began, only one was there -- the other person apparently boarded anyway. So I asked if I was going to make it to Detroit. "If we have a seat for you" was her reply. Just what I needed to hear, especially since I had booked this flight back in January! Finally, everyone else was boarded, and they were calling one passenger on the intercom. He didn't show, so they gave me his seat -- in First Class, as it happened. Like they were doing me a favor!  The whole plane was loaded and seated, and on I came -- I can only wonder what people thought about MY delaying the flight!

Flying to Detroit was cool though -- I got to see Mt. Washington with snow on it, a mountain somewhere in southwest NH or southeast VT that looks JUST like an old volcanic crater, and Niagara Falls so well I could see the mist from the Canadian Falls! We landed in Detroit at A-4, and my Louisville flight was at gate C-15 -- half a mile down Concourse A, half a mile through the underground tunnel (a really neat tunnel incidentally, looks like you're walking in a tube under water, with changing colored lights, and soothing music), then maybe 1/4 mile down Concourse C. I stopped at the first Delta kiosk with a human, and asked what to do about the fact that I had no boarding pass for Detroit to Louisville. The gal took my name and flight info, assured me that I was scheduled for that flight, but that she couldn't do anything -- I'd have to see them at C-15. So off to C-15 I went. I asked the gal there what to do and she couldn't believe they didn't give me a Detroit to Louisville boarding pass in Manchester. She smiled and said, "We'll take care of it, Hon." I told her that she was the first Delta ground employee who had smiled at me all day! She ticketed me, and I was on my way back home.

In rapid succession then, I deplaned, called the motel where my truck was, got a ride back there, put my thing in the truck, then remembered that the air-conditioning didn't work -- yeah, it was 84 and sunny when I landed (had a frost on the windshield at 6:30 AM in Manchester)! Once on I-265 and I-64, I finally decided that the day was getting better, and it did.

Though I miss Maureen, Gannon and Miss Garnet and wish I could have stayed with them for another month, it was nonetheless good to be back home in the Bluegrass.

No comments:

Post a Comment