Maine Trip Report 2018 Part One
Dear readers, I am afraid our tale of travel starts on a sour note this time.
We had booked our trip with our usual flight – a red eye out of San Jose to Boston on Friday night after work, followed by a three hour layover in Bean Town on Saturday morning and a Cape Air puddle jumper to Augusta, ME. We have used this route for years and never had a problem.
Welp, not this time. We began to get notices of a flight delay in the late afternoon. It started with a half an hour and grew to an hour and then by the time we pulled up to Rob’s parents house so they could drop us off at the shuttle, it was saying it was delayed until midnight. It was then that I got an email from JetBlue telling us that the delay was going to cause us to miss our connecting flight in Boston to Augusta and that we should call them ASAP to rectify the situation.
Rob hopped on the phone to them while I called the shuttle to tell them we would not be making the shuttle we paid for and would need the later one. They were perfectly fine and the change was made in minutes. JetBlue however took much longer.
Long story short: Jetblue re-booked us on a flight the next morning out of San Francisco at eight with a connecting puddle jumper in Boston an hour after we landed.
While that got us to Augusta only 8 hours later than we would have, it put a huge snag in getting our rental car because they would be closed by the time we got there and wouldn’t reopen until Monday.
Side note here – we didn’t think about this until we had gotten home – JetBlue could have saved a lot of problems for us by keeping us on the delayed San Jose flight and simply moving us to that later Cape Air flight. Why they didn’t think of this I do not know, because it would have saved them a lot of money too. Instead they booked us on the San Fran flight and put us in the extra leg room seats no extra charge on our flight there and back at no extra charge.
Another side note – the San Jose flight ended up not being delayed as much as they thought and we would have made the connecting flight on the original flight plan.
While all of this was frustrating to us the first day of our trip, it was what it was and we can’t change it now.
So we got up at one thirty Saturday morning, showered and drove to Rob’s parents so his dad could drive us to the Marina shuttle bus pick up at 3:45 AM. Tired yet? Yeah, so were we.
The first thing I learned about flying out of SF instead of SJ is that the plane is nicer. There is a 1st class cabin and the coach seats are a bit nicer and have touchscreen tablets in the back of the headrests with more entertainment options than the SJ flight. Not a huge selling point, but it was nice just the same.
Both flights went off without a hitch. While we were waiting in Boston for our flight, Rob emailed the local Hertz counter in Augusta where we had our rental car reservations and told our tale of woe. They wrote back and asked for some information including pictures of our drivers licenses and told us that they would leave the keys and the contract with the Cape Air desk in Augusta. So even though the car place would be closed, we would get our rental car. HUGE relief as we wouldn’t have to rearrange so many plans when we got there.
The car they had waiting for us was a brand new Ford Fusion. It had 2000 miles on it and was super fancy inside. It literally took me ten minutes once inside the car, to figure out how to start it.
With a quick stop at Hannafords to get some simple groceries for dinner that night we headed up to my mom’s apartment and crashed.
The original plan was to have dinner at Red Barn with my adopted sister Naomi and her brood, but we arrived to late. We moved the plans to lunch the next day and had an easy dinner at moms that night.
The next day we got up and met Naomi, her husband Dan and all five of their combined children. I had to pick them up in shifts. LOL!
We had a lovely lunch at the Red Barn(my favorite restaurant in all of Maine) and it was good to catch up. Originally mom was going to join us but she felt a bit unsteady on her feet that morning and declined. On the way back I brought Naomi up to the apartment so they could visit since they hadn’t seen each other in years.
After I brought Nae home Rob and I took a trip to Walmart for all the things we might have forgotten and then rested a bit at moms before heading out to meet one of my oldest friends Katherine at Big G’s for an early dinner.
We had a great visit and then it was off to moms for an early night as we were still adjusting to the time difference.
Monday was Moms favorite day of each trip as it was Casino day!! We packed up our bags again and drove an hour or so to Oxford Maine. Home of one of the two casinos that Maine has to offer. We have been to both and mom prefers this one, so that is where we go from now on. Last year they were working on the hotel that would attach to the casino but it wasn’t done so we stayed across the street at a Hampton Inn. It had a shuttle bus that went to and from the Casino but Mom had a really hard time with the stairs on it so she was super looking forward to being able to just take an elevator down to the casino whenever she wanted on this trip.
Check in was painless. We had originally booked a regular room for us and an ADA room for Mom because last year the bed was too high for her in a regular room. Welp, the ADA room was clear at the end of the hall and our room was right by the elevators. Since the bed heights were the same she opted to switch rooms with us so she would have less walking to do. The result was we had a funky shower but a MUCH bigger room than normal.
Mom soon realized that going down the casino without us wasn’t a good idea. She didn’t divulge to us how much money she lost in the hour she went without us, but she said she probably shouldn’t have done it.
When we eventually did go down together, we all stuck pretty close. The way we play slots is just for fun. We find three machines next to each other and then we all take turns on our machines. Mom will play a round and we will watch, then Rob will play around and Mom and I will watch and so on and so forth. It makes the time stretch and therefore we don’t spend as much money as if we were just sitting there hitting the button over and over.
After a few hours we called it a night, getting some food from the “pub” right before the elevators to the rooms that was surprisingly good and heading up to the rooms.
The next morning we hit the slots one more time for Mom before heading out. We cashed out all her tickets and it turned out that she had broken even on the trip. She was very pleased.
We drove straight through to Mom’s apartment and spent a little time with her there. This was our free day. We had booked a hotel room for the next three nights. Most of our days were to be spent out and about with Mom and friends but that day, it was ours.
We stopped at Target and then checked into the brand new Homewood Suites in Augusta. It was AMAZING! It was pricier than we wanted to pay, but in the end it was worth every penny. Plus, since I am a Hilton Reward member, this will serve towards points on our next trip.
It was basically a little studio apartment and it fit our needs wonderfully. We relaxed and watched TV and I hit the pool. It was fabulous.
Wednesday we were supposed to meet up with my bestie from High School Kimmy. She has had a lot of health problems in the last year and a half and she texted me that morning that she wasn’t feeling up for it so we said no problem. We changed our plans a little. We had originally planned to take Mom to her favorite ice cream place on Friday, but since we now had the afternoon free, we called picked her up and took her out.
When we were done, Mom wasn’t ready to go home yet. She rarely gets out and about so she suggested we go for a drive.
We ended up in Lewiston at the Marden’s there. I hadn’t been there in years and I was excited for Rob to see one of the original locations. He had been to the new one in Waterville, but it wasn’t the same.
We got quite a few little trinkets and then headed home. Mom hadn’t been on the back-road to Lewiston and back for easily 20 years so it was fun for her to see what was new and what was still there. She kept us entertained will all her stories of what “used to be there.” 🙂
We dropped her off and took off for another night of TV, pool and relaxation. We had a couple of salads delivered that night simply because we were sick of fried foods at that point.
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