Thursday, Mr. Gray & I headed to the East Coast for a little vacation time and my cousin’s wedding. On paper we knew what we had to do to get there, but it didn’t really sink in until we started off. We got up about 4:00 Thursday morning, drove to Austin, flew to Newark, rode a bus to another terminal, flew to Providence, hopped in a cab to Galilee (I love that we were in Galilee, even if it wasn’t THE Galilee), rode the ferry to Block Island, then got a cab to the hotel (they called it an inn… I can’t get used to saying that, but it was more of an inn than a hotel). Whew! Once we got there, we realized we’d have to do all that again to get home!
Our first flight was definitely a northern crew headed home. It’s always fairly easy to note where the crew is from–especially when leaving Texas. The crews from Texas and the South are generally so polite and friendly. This crew wasn’t interested in doing much of anything to ensure our flight was pleasant, or doing anything at all. One of the first announcements asked that everyone please check their overhead bins because the plane couldn’t take off until they were all shut. I have never been on a flight where the crew didn’t walk through and take care of that themselves. Hmmm…
Once we landed in Newark, we had to get on a bus to change terminals for our next departure. Mr. Gray, being the Southern gentleman that he is, got up to offer his seat to some older ladies who were standing. They both looked at him like he was crazy and continued to stand. I had plenty of wiggle room as we cruised around Newark. Mr. Gray didn’t want to sit back down after offering his seat, so he just continued to stand. It was a very different scene from anything around here.
We successfully made our way out to the island, and were pleased to see that the moped rental place was right up the way from the ferry landing. We headed over to rent our moped for the weekend. They were maroon–WHOOP!
Mr. Gray walked up to talk to the lady while I waited with the luggage. The plan was to put the luggage in a cab with me while he took the moped to the hotel. As soon as the lady saw me, she told him I wasn’t allowed to be on the moped at all on the island. So we settled for a cab.
With all the talk of a “heat wave” in New England before we left, we knew they were experiencing warmer temperatures than they were used to. We went as far as to make fun of these poor people for thinking those were hot temperatures. Then we got there and noticed that air conditioners are not standard in that part of the country. Please see exhibits one, two, and three in our windows:
We were really quite comfortable as long as we had all the fans on, all the time. (They stole the third one back from us the last night.) It worked out nicely in the evenings once the sun set and the outside air cooled off as well.
Friday night, we ate dinner at an air conditioned restaurant (YAY!) and then headed to one of the hotels on the island for drinks with my family and other wedding guests. Many of the people on the island looked like they belonged there; they wore sailing clothes (like you see in movies… I didn’t really think there were any men who actually dressed that way) or other nice high-end apparel. However, there was a group of 6-10 at the Spring House, who had to be Guidos. Straight off the crazy show (Jersey Shore? I don’t know, I’ve never seen it, but I’ve seen the people). They talked the talk and dressed the part, so Mr. Gray and I just watched them for a while… hilarious! I wish I would’ve had my camera (it was too dark for my phone) to catch these folks in action.
Saturday we planned on kayaking, but the weather looked a little gloomy for the already cold water, so we decided to walk to town and rent a Jeep for a couple of hours. We just wanted to cruise around and check out the island. We got about half-way to town, and it started to rain. We stopped at the Block Island Depot to wait under the porch until I let up…
We watched it for quite some while; the funniest part was the only two people had umbrellas. I don’t know if they were all tourists who were unprepared (like us) or if the people on the island just don’t care if they get wet. Once it let up, we headed towards town again. Before we got much further, it started to POUR! We headed into Block Island Grocery (which has air conditioning, by the way) and called a cab. We were drenched when we got back to the room.
We decided to spend a little time inside the rest of the day and took a nap before the wedding.
The wedding was in a gorgeous garden in a friend of the couple’s back yard. The reception was in the groom’s mother’s back yard. Both were gorgeous. It rained a little during the reception, but not enough to hurt anything. There were several hand- and home-made touches to the wedding that made the details so nice. It was fun to spend time with cousins we rarely see and to do so in a setting other than a funeral!
We got up early Sunday morning to do the cab, ferry, cab, plane, bus, plane, drive home trek again, and were pleased to be able to ride the ferry with cousins as well. We were all headed to different airports on the mainland, but we got to visit a little more before heading back.
As we hopped in our cab to ride to Providence, I noticed that the cab driver had the “defrost” on full blast cool air instead of the air conditioner! Mr. Gray and I were cracking up–we had a hard time dealing with four days of no air conditioner, and these folks don’t even use the air conditioner enough to know how to turn it on correctly. After switching it to decompressed (read: hot) vent air, she finally got it on the AC and I stopped feeling as though I was suffocating in a sealed up tin can.
We spent a few hours waiting in the Providence airport (ate some Wolfgang Puck pizza–yum) before departing (after a delay) to go back to Newark. While we were waiting in Newark, we went to the Garden State Diner to grab dinner before our plane (we did a lot of sitting; we don’t actually eat all that often–even in my condition). A poor bus boy spilled tea (thankfully Yankees don’t sweeten their tea to the point of syrup like Southerners) all over me while we were eating. Fortunately, it didn’t stain my clothes or stay too wet for too long.
On our plane into Austin, a lady several rows in front of us started having chest pains and trouble breathing 30-45 minutes before we were scheduled to land. The flight attendants paged any medical personnel to help with the situation, and the pilot rushed our landing. Paramedics were waiting in the jetway for her, and got her off the plane immediately upon landing. It was a situation that was handled excellently. We don’t know what happened for sure, but we hope she’s all right.
We made it home about midnight, and now we’re back to business as usual. It was nice to sleep in my own bed with the AC and the ceiling fan! Poor Mr. Gray had to get up and head to work, but he was planning a trip to Home Depot before we were even off the plane, so I’m sure he’s got something to keep him busy before he catches up on any sleep!