The Good, The Bad, The Upcoming

We returned from Rhode Island yesterday. Sadly, the relaxing days of the beach at Newport, the mansions, the mild weather, and light sandwiches were forgotten in the stress of getting home. Our connection at La Guardia on Sunday night was delayed three times for a total of four hours before being canceled. (I know—when did you have to start making a connection from Baltimore to Providence?) Rather than finding a hotel and trying to get on an early flight Monday morning, we rented a car and drove the final three hours from New York to Baltimore, getting us home at 1:30 am instead of 7:40 pm. I don't recommend walking up to a rental place and renting a car one way without a reservation unless it's really worth it to you—the rental car cost more than my flight.

But it would be a disservice to remember only the bad. There was the ticket agent several gates down from our canceled flight who, between her own work, put in a request for a flight refund and provided us with the necessary information about La Guardia that our own gate agent refused to provide. There was the shuttle driver from Enterprise who went out of the way and drove us to the Budget rental car lot after we missed the Budget Shuttle. There were all the courteous drivers in Newport who waved me on to make a left-hand turn when traffic crawled and I could have waited minutes to do so. There were the other drivers who didn't honk or give me the finger when I cut them off trying to find this exit or this side street. There was the waitress at the cafe who made fantastic stiff orangeina-and-vodka spritzers for us after discovering they were out of Blood Mary mix. And there was the older woman at the Brown University new student orientation fair handing out brochures who mistook me for a freshman (when, technically speaking, I could have been taking my son or daughter to orientation).

But I'm happy to be home. I like routine. Except for returning the rental car (another few hours of adventure) and recording a chapter of "May-September" at WYPR yesterday, everything is back to normal.

Yes, you can listen to an excerpt from my novella MAY-SEPTEMBER on WYPR's "The Signal" in September or October. I'll post a date soon. Thanks to Aaron Henkin, the program's host, for having me on.