to the next phase, whatever it turns out to be. Right now, we are heading for a few weeks in a warm climate, to get my aching joints and frozen fingers out of the worst of the winter, a season which, even though it has not really set in yet in the Mid-Ohio Valley, has been making its presence felt. Today's temperatures were supposedly hovering around 40, but with a low, grey sky, light but noticeable winds, and periodic cold drizzle, it was definitely winter. We are hoping for better weather ahead (both literal and metaphorical).
Today's preliminary leg of the trip was more of an adventure than planned. Having lost our original ride to the airport, we decided to try the regional bus service, which a number of friends have used successfully and which is quite reasonably priced. Our wonderful house-sitter dropped us off at the pickup point, our local K-Mart, and was sent on her way with hugs and wishes for the new year. The appointed hour came: no bus, and we and the other waiting passenger were getting cold. So I did what any self-respecting consumer would do: call the number listed on our boarding passes. The office was closed. Annoyance ensued. Luckily, the other passenger had a smartphone and was able to track down an emergency number, which is not to be used for schedule information, as the young woman with the yapping dog on the other end informed us. However, I used my best angry-schoolteacher voice and informed her that we had looked up the travel delays, our route was not the one listed, and we needed to know what had happened to our bus. As it turns out, the route number changes once the bus arrives in Marietta, so the bus with the flat tire was indeed ours. The estimate was that the bus would arrive within the hour. As the situation developed further, the bus had not only a flat tire but a damaged suspension from said flat, so a new bus was summoned, and our 10:25 ride arrived at 2:10.
While we were not amused, there are worse things than being stranded next to a McDonald's, where hot coffee and foodlike substances can be found. A few years back, friends traveling from Eastern Europe and needing a visa to get into Canada for part of their trip had to wait at a consulate with no access to food or water for something like six hours. (We had always thought our northern neighbors more civilized than that.)
Only a few hours late, we have arrived at our hotel, enjoyed a better-than-McDonald's dinner, checked in for our flight online, and are waiting for the next phase of the adventure to begin.