Saturday morning was quite eventful. Dad had mentioned that a good breakfast spot in Burlington was the Penny Cluse Café. So we decided to skip the continental breakfast to experience a little Vermont. We drove to the supposed location of the café and didn’t see it but as the location was a very cool outside mall, we walked along searching. After a block or two in the brisk air, Wes and I noticed a bagel place and stopped in there. Gramps looked a little dubious so I decided to ask the patrons if they knew of Penny Cluse Café. They responded yes, it was the hoppingest place in town and we’d better go now if we wanted to reserve a spot. That sounded pretty promising so we decided to follow his directions. Wes had already left the bagel spot to go get our computer so he could charge it at our breakfast spot but I was confidant that we would run into him on our way back to the car. We arrived at the location of the car and it was gone. I called Wes and he said he was at the bagel place and had moved the car over closer. I explained the situation and he came back to where we had originally parked and we all piled back in the car. Gramps was a little disappointed about all those quarters we’d put in the parking meters. We drove about 20 yards away from our original location and spotted the penny café.
It was too late to back up so we did a little drive by at a church, and made a full circle back to our parking spot. Gramps was delighted to be able to use his quarters. We walked into the penny café and it smelled great, menu looked awesome. Then I overheard someone way in front of me get told that the wait was 45 minutes. I reported the news and the group decision was to head back to the bagel place. And so we did, chuckling along the way.
The plan for Saturday night was to take the grandparents out to dinner for their anniversary and Grama’s birthday. With this in mind, we decided to just snack for lunch. Grama had her heart set on some ice cream but we were having difficulty finding a little ice cream shop. I had dad yelping various ice cream joints on his i phone but we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. Grama was growing dubious, wondering what type of civilization we must be in with no ice cream for miles around so Wes and I decided that we’d best pull into the nearest type of store that would supply ice cream. Into a Walgreen’s we went, and came out with two Haagen-Daazs pints that were rock solid.
Grama had her cup and spoon all ready but when we tried to scoop some ice cream out with plastic forks we’d stolen from Wendy’s, nothing budged. So onto the dash the ice cream went and Grama went on holding her ‘cup of anticipation.’
An Element is a very roomy car inside, lots of air space. So, when Grampa continued asking questions to the folks in the back seat (me and Grama), and I got tired of hollering responses since Grama rarely heard him, I would just play possum. While driving around Saturday afternoon, Gramps asked how things were doing in the back seat. I didn’t really feel like this question merited too much of a response and Grama didn’t hear so I feigned sleep. Grampa told Wes, ‘They must be sleeping back there’. Wes had seen my smirk so he responded, ‘I think they’re just ignoring you.’ Gramps pondered this then said, ‘Well, they must be having joy unspeakable.’ This was just too much for me and Wes and I exploded into laughter. Grama came to from her musings around then and wondered what was going on so she was filled in on our joy unspeakable and we all chortled for the next few miles.
Somewhere during our trip, Grampa had told us that he had few faults but one that he was sure of was that he didn’t listen very well. After four days with him, I had to agree. Freeport, Maine was the farthest north we were planning on going and in Freeport was the headquarters of L.L. Bean. Grama was quite excited to go there and when I saw all of the other shopping that was available, I was quite excited myself. We split up and went our various ways. About 30 minutes into my glorious shopping spree, I began getting phone calls from Grampa. One was to let me know of his location, another to let me know that he had just stepped outside to try on his new jacket, and another to how long we would be, no rush though, and still another to ask where they should wait. By that time I had found Wes and told him we should probably go and asked if he would please give grampa his cell phone number. I had told Grampa, ‘we’re on our way, just stay at that first L.L. Bean store,’ so Wes headed to the car and I headed to L.L. Bean to collect the grandparents. Except that they weren’t there. I wandered around the store to no avail so went to plan b. I had mentioned Starbucks to Gramps during the last phone call so headed back that direction to see if that had been his final destination. No grandparents there to be found. By this time, Wes was driving around looking for them and I was walking around the streets. Also, Grampas phone was going straight to voice mail so that wasn’t any help either. Just about the time I was muttering to myself, ‘Grampa, why didn’t you just stay where you were supposed to,’ they came walking around the corner. Wes pulled up and this is where I am grateful that he’s my other half. All I wanted to do is say in an exasperated tone, ‘Grampa, for crying out loud…’. Thankfully, Wes beat me to the punch and just rolled down the window and said ‘There you are!’. We left Freeport without further incidents and headed to Portland to take Grampa and Grama out to eat.
The bad thing about Elements is the suicide doors. Not only are they difficult to get out of when you reside in the back seat, but it also means that with Grampa inhabiting the front seat, he’s the one that always gets out to check out restaurants. As you know, this had caused a little angst in our food consumption already. Once again, Dad had been busy yelping places for me and I had a small list compiled by the time we had reached Portland. But, Grampa was residing in the front seat and so the first two places were vetoed. By the time we reached Joe’s Boathouse, we were starving and I was crossing my fingers that Gramps would wave us in. Thankfully he did and we enjoyed the best meal of the vacation.
My clam chowder was the best I’d ever had, Gramps and Grama’s salmon was incredible, as was Wesley’s mahi-mahi. Wes and I questioned them as to what was their gold nugget on 58 years of marriage and Grampa’s advice sounds simple enough, don’t sweat the small stuff.