Saturday, October 09, 2010

Maine-ly For Fun, Part 1

It was an interesting beginning for the vacation we had planned for and looked forward to for months. The flight from Denver to Detroit was find until for some reason it was a bit late in landing. The time allotted between the two flights left very little wiggle room - we literally walked from one plane right into the other, thankfully the gates being not too far apart.

We were delighted to find our seats to be in the front row - well, the first row behind the privileged few who are served food and beverage on real dishes. It was so nice to have room for my very long legs to stretch and cross. The euphoria didn't last long, though - we weren't in the air for even ten minutes when the young woman behind us began to have physical problems and passed out with her head on one of our seat backs. There was a doctor on the plane and thing began to be very hectic and intense. She quickly lost everything she had eaten - most unpleasant (thank goodness, there was no odor!) We felt so bad for her and began praying for her. As the doctor worked with her, we learned that she was a 25-year-old Chinese student at the University of Pittsburgh who was flying to Boston to be in a wedding the next day. She really thought she was going to die. The doctor determined that she had either suffered an allergic reaction to something she'd eaten, or had eating something that caused food poisoning. Either way, she did regain some color and was able to talk, and insisted on walking out of the plane instead of being wheeled by the paramedics who were on the tarmac when we landed. I wish I knew the end of that story.

The good news - our bags were there promptly. I was watching a young man who was carrying a dozen roses, searching the crowd for a special face. He didn't find her before we had to leave. I felt for him, and wish I knew the end of that story, too! The bad news - remember the Seinfeld episode when he went to pick up a rental car he had reserved and they didn't have any cars? It was funny when Seinfeld was at the counter, but not so much for us.

We took the shuttle to our rental agency of choice. We couldn't believe the length of the line at 10:00 p.m. We soon learned the bad news. Remember the huge rain storm on the East Coast last Friday/Saturday? It seems that many people rented cars from the Boston airport, got into the storm, couldn't get back to Boston, made arrangements to fly from wherever they happened to be, and left their cars at that airport. Every rental agency in the airport was in the same boat - NO CARS. Before they knew that everyone was in the same boat, we were all being promised a car from another agency - with ours picking up the difference in price. Wrong - after sending quite a few people over there, they started arriving back at Square One, very angry. We finally decided to take a cab to our hotel, which at least we had. We collapsed in bed at 12:12 midnight.

The next morning we didn't trust Alamo to call us, as they promised. We found others at the hotel in the same predicament. We began trying to help each other find cars. We finally did find one at a really small, kind of hole-in-the-wall place with a car to spare. We took yet another expensive cab ride "two towns over" to rent said car. We were very glad to see Boston in the rear view mirror - we had planned to spend some time in the city, finding a church to attend, and spend some time with history in the afternoon, but changed our minds.

I will be calling Alamo again tomorrow, and will be keeping after them until they give us back the money I had already paid for the car I reserved, plus the difference in the second rental amount, plus three $30-dollar cab rides - all promised to us (the third cab ride was today when we turned the car in and had to get back to the airport). BTW, we did enjoy each of the three cabbies - one Tanzanian and two very Bostonian.

It's a three-hour drive from Boston to Augusta, Maine (the price was much better, but we're not at all sure it was worth it!) It took us quite a bit longer than that, because we made quite a few stops and made it into a good day. The first stop was in Newburyport , Massachusetts, where we took this shot of the beautiful harbor in this very old town.

You know my fascination with old cemeteries - there are so many scattered through the countryside, most very small, and all very old. The one in Newburyport was intriguing. There were dozens of flags flying on the stones of veterans back to World War I who were from their town.

This monument was very unusual - it was honoring all of the letter carriers who had died from 1897 to 1971.

These very thin, flag stones are prevalent in these old east coast cemeteries. Many of them are sinking and teetering.

We continued north and called Kevin when we got close to his house in Winthrop. He came to meet us rather than give us directions - since our GPS had died at the most inopportune time. We found this little stand while we waited - and I must admit, I did partake.

We spent a few minutes with Kevin, but he couldn't go with us - he had a lot more last minute details to finalize for the golf tournament the next morning. He lives in a beautiful spot, on top of a hill that gives you a view clear to Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

We then went on to spend a few hours with Groovy and her family, which was just as enjoyable as it was last year when we had the same privilege.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - The Golf Tourney! And now - off to try to catch up a bit with all of you!


Linds said...

Welcome home! You know, there are always hitches in travel plans of one kind or another - I am just glad you managed to get your wheels and get to see the people you wanted to see! Lovely photos, dawn.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

After all the travel mishaps and grueling experiences, Dawn, I'm very happy to see such wonderful smiling faces in your photos. And of course, you know just how I love the sea...the photo of the boats in the little shore town is so cool.

[I've had those travel experiences and they tire you out and wear you very thin sometimes...well, the car rental and the huge airports and the delays, etc. But I don't recall having anyone getting sick so near us in the planes...thank goodness. Or I'd be sick right along with 'em.]

Look forward to your golf tourney blog, I do.

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Dawn. Wow, I must say you all had one wild adventure to start your trip out. I sure hope they refund you money to you and you will probably have to stay on them until you do get your money back. Enjoyed looking at all the pictures. One really caught my eye. It was the one with the Yellow looking tree in the background. It was so Fall looking for sure. I like to visit the old Historic cemetaries as well. I'm not sure if I have ever really been to one or not, but seems like I may have when I was a little girl. I'm glad you all made it home safe and sound and am looking forward to reading more about your trip. I've never been that far Northeast. I've been to Pennsylvania, but that's about as far Northeast as I have ever been. Take care my friend and get rested up. GOD BLESS you and yours.

Love and hugs,
Karen H.

Glenda said...

Wow! What an adventure, Dawn!! Hope you get your money back! I'd love to visit Maine, especially this time of year when the leaves are so colorful.

We had missionaries Don and Cheryl Cox at our church this week, and they were wonderful! Have you had them? They are retiring at the end of their furlough.

Have a good week! Get some rest!

Linda said...

What a lot of adventures Dawn! I'm so glad it all worked out - eventually ;-)
It looks like the weather was beautiful, and Kev looks great.
Looking forward to the rest of the story.

A Hint of Home said...

Flying is not what it used to be. I'm so glad you got your connection on that flight. How frustrating not to get your car.
Thankfully the young girl was ok and you didn't have to make an emergency landing.
Enjoy your vacation!

Devoted said...

Hey Dawn, I tagged you in my latest blog. Go take a look!

Ann Nichols said...

What an adventure you had!So glad to hear that the girl sitting behind you was doing scary to be in a plane and feel so sick. Your prayers, along with the assurances of a doctor on hand, were probably just what she needed. I'm following along to read part 2!

nancygrayce said...

Oh, what an experience! We were delayed on our last trip to California and had to run from one plane to another and barely made it. It's hair raising, but fun to talk about later! :) Glad you made it. What beautiful country!

Nancy said...

It does sound like so much fun even with the car fiasco. I often wish I could hear the rest of the the gentleman with the roses. Sometimes, I will humor myself and just make up my own my head of course.

This time of year always reminds me of your visit to my town. I head to Michigan to visit my sister next weekend just like I had done when you visited NC. I hope you can do it again sometime.

I look forward to the rest of YOUR story.

Needled Mom said...

Goodness...those few adventures did not sound like the great beginnings of your vacation. I am glad that things got better for you.

I love the old cemeteries as well. It does make one very curious to discover the histories behind some of those tombstones.

PEA said...

I feel for that poor gal that was so sick on the plane...ugh! What a nightmare it must have been for everybody who was looking for a car rental, glad you were able to finally get one. I wish I could have walked in that cemetery with you, you know how much I love the old ones:-) I always wonder what the story is behind each one buried there.

So glad you were able to visit with Groovy as well, such a lovely picture of the both of you:-) xoxo

Sharon Lynne said...

Hi! I'm settling in to read all your posts. You sure have been writing!
Your journey to the east sounded quite stressful. I'm glad you arrived safe and sound. The surroundings look beautiful. Okay I'm off to read Part 2.