Two weeks and 3168.4 miles later (give or take), I am home again.
Since I did not walk those miles, I am not counting them in my Walking To New Zealand total.
The week before leaving was consumed with cooking for the men in my house, cleaning the house, making sure that laundry was done, double-checking reservations, lots of last-minute phone conversations with Mom, and all the other things that Moms have to do before leaving husbands and sons and going on an Adventure Of A Lifetime with their own mother.
Mr. Marvelous put me on Amtrak on a Thursday afternoon and I rode through the afternoon, evening and night to get to Charlotte, NC. I had a layover there (we won't say what time I got in or how long the layover was if you don't mind) and Mom and Dad met me at 6:00 a.m. Mom and I got on the train from Charlotte and took off around 7:00 a.m. A day on the train. It was even more fun than it sounds! I know that a lot of people don't like trains and are in too much of a hurry to get where they are going for trains to be a possibility. Mom and I love trains (although she may not love them quite as much after this trip). The staff were helpful, kind, cheerful, brave, reverent....oh wait a minute, wrong oath there....but we found the Amtrak staff to be terrific.
We got into Wilmington, DE Friday evening around 7:00, went to our hotel and had CRAB SOUP for supper. It was even better than it sounds. We were up bright and early ~ early, anyway ~ Saturday morning to catch the train from Wilmington to Vermont.
Before we left that morning we looked out our hotel window. Mr. Marvelous and my Dad had expressed a little concern while this trip was being planned. They were afraid that we would get into trouble and they wouldn't be there to take care of things. Not to worry! Here's what was right across the street from the hotel:
See? No problem. Talk about a full-service hotel!
Saturday was another full day on Amtrak to get from Wilmington to Burlington, VT. Again, the service on the train was terrific. The view was wonderful. Mom's only regret was that by this point we were going so fast that when she saw something out the window and wanted to get a better look, it was gone before she could. We did have a little excitement when we got to White River Junction, VT. Apparently there is a pub in White River that is VERY popular. A crew of about a dozen folks had enjoyed their adult beverages a little too much, so they made the adult decision to not drive home to St. Albans, VT (the end of the line and last stop before Canada). Very noble of them and I appreciate their discretion in this matter. However, they decided to join Mom and I in our car. Some sitting in front of us, some sitting behind us, some beside us, and all of them very loud. Their leader was also rather foul-mouthed. I told Mom to turn her hearing aids off. When he asked if we would like to join them for a few rounds of Yahtzee, we politely declined. One of the men was sober enough to be embarrassed at the language and tried (in vain) to get the leader to tone it down. And I promise that when I slung my (very, very heavy) backpack up on my should when we were ready to get off in Burlington I didn't mean to swat the leader upside his head. Really. I'm sure it was the hang-over that left him with a headache the next day.
We spent Saturday night in Burlington (probably the biggest city in Vermont) and the hotel staff there were fantastic; very patient with two older southern women who had been on the road for multiple hours by this point. Thanks, Comfort Inn, for having such gracious and wonderful folks manning your hotels!
Up next, Glover and an Aunt!