I will be retro-posting entries from my trip journal. I'm not sure how I'll handle the entry numbers (yet).
There were 4 misfortunes that marred my trip home.
1) On the return trip, despite the fact that I didn't buy much of anything in Maine, my checked bag was 5 lbs over-weight. I wasn't going to pay the $50 over-weight fee, so I extracted stuff from the checked bag and lugged it all over three airports.
2) Although the arrival gate for the Portland-to-Philadelphia hop was right next to the departure gate for the Philadelphia-to-Chicago hop, I had a grand total of five minutes to relax before they began boarding. Portland-to-Philly boarded early and then had a 15-minute ground hold; we arrived in Philly early and then had to wait for them to fix the jetway. *sigh* I had no trouble making my flight since I only had to walk down the concourse one gate, but I had to stop to go wee, and had no time to get any food or anything. And so when the couple sat next to me on the plane with their take-away containers of spaghetti and began eating, it only aggravated the hunger pangs I was already feeling. (It was around 6 PM and I'd last eaten around 12:30.)
3) The flight to Chicago departed late and arrived on time. When my suitcase finally appeared on the carousel, I snatched it and hurried to get to the bus depot. I even ran...and then discovered that I'd gone the wrong way. I'd had about five minutes, according to the schedule; now it was after the bus' departure time and that meant I'd missed the bus, so I'd have to wait about an hour for the next one. I reversed course, followed the signs, found the right place to be...and--lo and behold!--there was a Coach USA bus there!
I ran. "Are you going to Crestwood?" I asked the driver, who was just closing the luggage door.
...so I made the bus. It was hot on the bus and I sat there panting and sweating, but I'd made it.
4) When I got to Crestwood and got to my car--after putting my luggage in the back--I saw that the left-front tire was flat. Shrugging, I started the car, reopened the hatch, got out my little 12v compressor, and pumped the tire up.
* * *
And so all of these "misfortunes" were not really bad, and it all turned out all right. I have no complaints whatsoever; in fact, I'm really happy that the return trip went so smoothly, because it could easily have been disastrous at every turn. (I mean, what if the flight from Portland to Philly had been late?)
So I drove home from the bus depot, stopped at Taco Bell for some cheesy double beef burritos, and made it home about 9:30 PM. I managed to eat one burrito before fatigue hit me "like a 18-pound sledge"; I had a shower and was in bed before 11. It had been a busy 12-hour day for me.
...I slept until almost 6 AM; I still feel as if I'd been beaten with a stick. I'm going back to bed once this is finished.
* * *
Friday evening I spent with my niece and nephew, playing D&D. It started with my niece and I; but the nephew came in and watched, and after a while I handed him an NPC character sheet and let him join. They ended up having a really good time.
I'm already starting to think about heading back out there next summer....