Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's just me and some cats

Oh the joys of work travel. I'd like to believe that every time I have to travel for work (or have traveled over the years) it would be to a major city or at least a good size town. You know a place where there's at least one fast food restaurant, a coffee shop, and some local restaurants that are enjoyable and delicious. A hotel chain of some form would be nice too.

Sometimes, though, work travel drops you into the middle of nowhere. That's sort of where I am. I'm in Newport, VT. Don't know where Newport, VT is? Look at a map of Vermont, go almost to the Canadian border on the northeastern side of the state, and drop down slightly. My flight options were Burlington or Montreal. Yes, I could have flown to Canada, rented a car, and then driven back to the US. The flight was too expensive so I opted for Burlington and about a two hour drive to Newport. Visiting Vermont this week means that I have 12 states left to visit in the US. I would like to make that happen before I'm 40.

I love the movie Baby Boom. It's such an eighties movie (just based on the shoulder pads alone). Diane Keaton plays a successful career woman (in advertising because it was the 80s) with a comfortable life. She's not married but in a blah 80s relationship with Harold Ramis and is child-free. Then some distant British relative dies and she becomes the guardian to an adorable baby named Elizabeth. She tries to juggle her New York lifestyle with motherhood but it doesn't work so she chucks her life in the city and buys a house in Vermont. Everything goes wrong in Vermont and then everything goes right and she ends up with a successful business, an adorable baby, and Sam Shepard. This movie is basically what I know about Vermont.

Vermont is lovely. I'm sure that the loveliness of the fall is disrupted abruptly by the harshness of winter but man, are leaves amazing. The colors, the way the sun hits the oranges and reds, the mountains - it's breathtaking. Add quaint towns and cows and it's basically a postcard in state form. Did I mention I saw cows frolicking and playing today? I totally believe that cows have best friends and today proved it. If only I hadn't been driving I would have taken pictures. I also passed something called the "Maple Outlet" - I'm stopping on the way back to Burlington.

Anyway, I'm also experiencing my first bed and breakfast. I've stayed at inns before but inns and B&Bs are not the same. Basically a B&B is like staying in someone's house except that they're staying there too. And making you breakfast in the morning. My experience with B&Bs comes from chick lit and an episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelei and Rory end up at the Cheshire Cat and it's sort of stereotypical of what people think of when they think B&B - scones, awkward common room conversations, lots of florals, and cats.

I'm not great at small talk. I can do it for work because it's part of my job but socially sometimes, I'm awkward and can be very quiet. I don't always ask questions (which is important in small talk) but I'm fine with answering questions when asked. I'm also not here for a romantic weekend or for leaves or whatever reasons people go to B&Bs in Vermont. A B&B is the only option up here (there's an inn but it's 40 minutes away from the school). So here I am in my little guest room. I almost missed the drive because it was basically pitch black at 6:40 and there was no one else around. The proprietress is very nice and I met the two cats (the cats like me). I know the place is full but I haven't seen anyone else yet. I did hear someone in the common area; I'm guessing it's one of the other guests. Or the cats.

Tomorrow I'll drive along the Lake Road (and actually see the lake) to the school for training. I'm looking forward to visiting Newport in the daylight and seeing what there is to see. Hopefully, I can capture the postcard quality of where I am in a few photos. Maybe I'll even get some maple candy. Sometimes being dropped in "the middle of nowhere" is not a bad thing at all.

I'm also looking forward to the quiet to get prepared for National Novel Writing Month. It's starts next Friday and I'm feeling a little stressed about it. I figured I'd use my evenings here to work on character development and map out some semblance of a plot. I also have to give a presentation at our fancy work event in November that has to do with the Island and NatNoWriMo so I'm hoping to get that done too.

Maybe tomorrow I'll meet my fellow B&B-ers and have some maple syrup on my home cooked breakfast. I can only hope.

Later in the week: more from my trip to Vermont and maybe some updates on the novel.

Gilmore Girls

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