When travel plans fall apart, my tendency is to fall apart with them, but weeping at airline ticket counters tends to futile. Particularly with travel in wintry months, it’s best to throw up my hands and do my best silent imitation of Frank Sinatra singing, “That’s life.”
Today one small thing — namely one of the only flights leaving Burlington, VT to be cancelled — tumbled my dominoes. The two and half hours I spent on the phone with United Airlines agents, in line at United and Delta, talking with airline agents in person, and eventually both talking on the phone with Cathy (who I’d been on the line with for over an hour) and in person with Kelly (at the ticket counter) at once resulted in a way home…..tomorrow, over 24 hours from when I should have left, and did I mention it’s leaving from another city in another state?
This is why I’m waiting at the airport, 6.5 hours after I arrived here, for the Greyhound bus to take me and others here on a 3.5 hour ride to Manchester, NH. There, according to the latest plan, I will stay in a hotel overnight, wake up and wander a bit, and then get a shuttle to the airport to fly home via Laguardia.
What to do with myself, and especially my anxious mind and exhausted body that will do just about anything to go home right now? I’ve tried several things: the lovely and relaxing lunch I planned to have in the airport restaurant was truncated when two families bursting with toddlers and babies sat on tables around me (I really love babies and even like toddlers, but felt a bit shaken when they shook my chair and table).
So I went to Plan B, or C or D or whatever I’m at: I asked the Greyhound agent if I could leave my little suitcase and backpack behind her counter, and when she said yes, I set out for a long walk.
Never mind that I was next to an airport and walking down a busy highway lined with the likes of the Ho-Hum Motel (across from the Ethan Allan Motel). I had air to breathe, each step reminding me that this was a small glitch in my life, and an invisible one compared to what many around the world put up with all the time. I’m privileged to have ways to keep transporting myself, and a bed to sleep in between bus and plane, not to mention good food to eat.
Which led to my ultimate destination: a Price-Chopper about 1.5 miles from the airport, where I bought all I needed for a lovely meal on the bus. The bus that should be here already. The bus that might be late because word is that it had some delays when it stopped at the border north of here. The bus driven by someone who, according to the Greyhound agent here, never calls to say if the delay is a few minutes or hours.
I wish I could say, “No matter” to that reality, but I can’t. But I can make myself a bagel with lox and wile away the time until home shows up in the front view mirror.