Our trip to Vermont (full recap)

This whole post is about our trip up to Vermont for Justin’s sister’s high school graduation.  It’s a long post.  If you’re not interested in my babblings about flying and party prep, feel free to skip it.

We left Thursday morning to drive down to the Jacksonville airport.  I’m really amused that we decided to drive from South Carolina, all the way through Georgia, and into Florida to go to the airport.  But it was significantly cheaper than flying from Savannah and 2 hours closer than the Atlanta airport, with the added bonus of being much cheaper for parking and a seriously cute airport.  Atlanta’s airport is this monster of a thing.  Jacksonville’s is like what the Savannah airport would look like if it grew up a little.  It’s got its big boy pants on.

Anyway, we drove though this patch of sulfur on the way down and I got to see what happens to Justin when his allergies flare up.  Here’s a hint:  It’s not good.  His sulfur allergy reacts instantaneously and closes him up like my asthma would.  We had to keep on driving until we got out of it before we could pull over so he could recover, but for the miles between the bad air and where we stopped, he could hardly breathe, his vision went crazy, and it was honestly really scary.

We stopped at a gas station so he could get some fresh air, the car could air out completely, and I could get him some water to drink from the counter inside.  And then I drove for the next hour or so and he slept.

We flew from Jacksonville through JFK up to Burlington and all the airports were great.  I freaked out a little, but I think I held it together pretty well.  You’d really have to ask Justin how I really did.  There were swallows flying around inside the airport near our gate at JFK, which I thought was hilarious.

We flew with Jet Blue and I think we’re going to try to fly with them again, if we can.  Each seat has a little TV where you can watch Direct TV or listen to XM radio or watch the path of the plane progression.  The headphone jack fits standard headphones, but if you didn’t bring a pair, you can buy one from the attendants for $1 using the credit card swipe built right into the seat near the TV.  The first bag checked was free, drinks and snacks during the flight were also free.  It was awesome.

One of Justin’s friends picked us up from the airport and we went out to dinner with a few other friends before heading back to their apartment to spend some time.  I got to spend a lot of time talking about 5S and Lean/Six Sigma with Rachel, the fiancé of Pat, the friend whose wedding we’re going back up for in August.  That was unexpectedly exciting—so few people understand what I’m talking about when I get started on that.

As it got late, Pat drove us up to Justin’s family’s home so we could go to bed.

Friday was the graduation, so a lot of time was spent getting ready for the party on Saturday.  Justin and I put together felt banners with “SCAD” written on them since that’s where Jessi’s planning to go to school in the fall.  I was very proud of figuring out how to make bumblebees out of yellow felt and fabric paint.  We were all proud that the school actually gave Jessi her diploma.  She was really tickled by the laptop that we gave her as a gift, and I was tickled that I got to play with her fancy new camera at the graduation.  (And she got several talkings to over the weekend about how to properly care for both the laptop and the camera.)

Saturday was the party.  Justin and I started setting things up in the yard around 10:30 for the party to start around 3:00.  We pulled chairs from the barn, set up tables, prepared the bonfire, set up tiki torches and the badminton set and the croquet set.  We set up decorations and electrical for the music.  I got really, really burned because I didn’t realize when we went out at 10:30 that I’d be out for several hours and didn’t stop to think about sunscreen.  And then I stepped in dog poop and had to hose off my shoe and walk around barefoot.

Wendy (Justin’s mom) and Rose (his grandma) prepared loads and loads of food.  Tony (Justin’s step-dad) collected drinks and ice and balloons from in town.

When people started to arrive, I got the fire started and then Justin and I ran off into town for a little while.  We stopped to buy a new pair of shoes for each of us—me because all I had were the ones sitting wet on the porch and a pair of heels for the graduation and him because we were thinking we’d go kayaking Sunday and he wanted to have sandals.  We picked up a bunch of squirt guns for the party and a few things from the grocery store and I was finally able to drink a lot of liquid to stave off the dehydration I’d been working on all morning long.

And then back to the party where there were probably about 50 people, none of whom I knew, eating hamburgers and hotdogs and chips and macaroni salad, playing games, sitting around talking, singing and dancing with the music playing, and chasing each other around with squirt guns.

I spent a lot of time sitting, reading, watching people, meeting a few people, getting lots of comments about my lobster-red sunburn, and laughing at the teenagers.  Crazy, wacky kids.  Justin and I did spend some time playing a few games and chatting with people he knew.

The party lasted long after dark, with people sitting near the fire or near torches, listening to music and chatting.  Justin and I went inside when Jessi and a bunch of her friends went inside to watch a movie, so I could shower and get more aloe vera slathered across my damaged skin and he could keep an eye on the kids in the living room.

All in all, I’d say the party was a huge success and a whole heck of a lot of fun.

Sunday we had been planning to go kayaking, but instead most of us slept in pretty late and then Jessi and Wendy started getting ready for the trip they were taking to NYC with Rose and several other kids from the graduating class, parents, and school staff.  Tony took care of clean-up from the party, laundry was done and I kept track of grabbing our laundry and getting it back upstairs to pack into our bags by the end of the day.  Justin, Jessi, and I tried to go into town for ice cream but the shop lied and it was actually closed when we got there.  So we got a few items from the grocery store instead and had sundaes back at the house.  We watched the very amusing Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and then went to bed.

And then got up out of bed a few hours later to head to the airport for our 6:00 flight.  Burlington’s airport is a darling little baby airport, but it was early in the morning and I was tired, so there was a little freakage.  Wendy, Rose, and Jessi switched to stand-by and made it onto our flight instead of their 7:30 flight.  When we landed in JFK, they watched our stuff so we could find something for breakfast.  Our connecting gate was actually only a few feet from our landing gate, which amused me a whole lot.

We landed back in Jacksonville without any problems.  Justin slept most of both flights, so when we got back to the car (after an adventure with finding a bus to take us back to the parking lot), he drove all the way home.  When we got to the place where the sulfur had been a problem, we turned off all the vents and he put on a mask to filter the air, and we made it through without any problems.  It may have just been a freak accident; we’re still really not sure.  If anyone wants to figure out whether there’s a recurring sulfur thing 20 miles north of Darien, GA, please let me know.

Anyway, we got back to the house, threw our luggage on the floor of the bedroom, and I slept most of the rest of the day.

And that’s it!  That was our trip.

Our next flight will be at the beginning of August to go up to Pat and Rachel’s wedding.  And then nothing until December when we’re going to Wisconsin to spend the holiday with my family.  (Happy!  I am SO looking forward to that trip!!!!)