Boarding School Blues
Boarding School Blues … the Mom’s
Boyfriend loves when my daughter calls from boarding school. He doesn’t have a one on one with her but shouts out while I try to listen. This is the first year my Baby Girl is attending boarding school in Vermont. While I visit her, Boyfriend holds down the fort.
I book a flight on southwest.com $120 each way. Being Frugal MacDougal, I reserve a car with Thrifty and shuttle a few miles away from the airport for a $20 discount per day. ($126 total).
I check in at the Toll Road Inn www.tollroadinn.com, $194.02 for two nights (it is not ski nor fall foliage season). Owned by a Polish couple, breakfast is included in the price and the wife is up early baking fresh muffins. The décor is 1950s Austrian. The rooms are not just neat they are immaculate. What I really love is the bathroom sink. It has a cavern so the bar of soap never makes a mess! Just as curious is the bottle opener next to the toilette. Boyfriend says this is common in Mexico as well.
The first night we eat at Zoey’s Double Hex, which is family owned. We are both in the mood for cheeseburgers with sautéed mushrooms that are served with homemade potato chips ($20.40). For dessert, we decide on Friendly’s for ice-cream Sundays ($12.88 for two). At the register I notice they are advertising an assortment of Ghirardelli concoctions. I am really putout. Baby Girl asks why I am making a commotion about not getting the Ghirardelli Sunday. I explain that it is like getting Hershey’s when you can have Godiva. “Ohhh.” We head back to the room. I get in bed and fall asleep until 3:00 a.m. when I awake to Baby Girl chatting away in the bathroom on my cell phone (five hours on a cell on a Friday night is not free).
I roll out of bed, put on my fleece pants and sweatshirt from the day before then head for the muffins and coffee. Baby Girl is still sleeping. Soon after, she joins me and begins the list of demands. She needs bras, underwear, socks, a new coat, shoes, and a trip to Rite Aid and highlights for sure. I look at her while waving my hand in the air and say, “Pick.” “Just pick the most important thing. I think the most important thing would be a coat.” “It will be thirty degrees tonight and you don’t have one.”
Before we leave, I check phone messages. The house is up for sale and a few realtors want to get into the house today. I call Boyfriend to give him a heads up. The news displeases him. Boyfriend is headed to the beach and the cooler is already in the car. Trying to make it easier for him, I suggest, “You need not wait, make the bed then put the dogs in the laundry room.” Boyfriend carries on while Baby Girl is staring at me. I hang up. “What’s wrong with Boyfriend?” She asks. “Nothing,” I reply. Ten minutes later Boyfriend calls back. “Don’t worry, I’ll clean up and do an Open House today.” “Thank you, Boyfriend.”
Manchester Center, Vermont is known for its outlets. We drive and walk until we end up at the Mountain Goat store. After an hour of Baby Girl trying on waist jackets, she agrees to a very sensible down coat with a hood ($240) it covers her gluteus maximus. Looking down at her flip-flops, I decide to do something about that too, and take her to the Overland outlet. There, she selects a pair of Uggs moccasins, which are lined in fur for $59.
With her new shoes on, we head over to Rite Aid. Baby Girl has a basket in her hand. I can’t watch, so I go my own way and meet her at the register. The “necessities” for a sixteen year old that day total to $63.24
I am now weak with hunger and luckily so is she. We stop at the Gourmet Deli and Café. It is everything the name says it is. Everything was healthy, wholesome, sprouty, and gigantic ($23.42). Thank God for stretchy fleece.
Baby Girl and I think it will be good for us to walk off our lunch and so we continue our spree to Banana Republic. I cannot remember what she bought in there, but my bill says $37.
We check out Tumi Luggage, where an elderly but overzealous saleswoman demonstrates the largest carryon in the line. Outside, I tell Baby Girl that I could buy my own Sherpa for the price of that bag.
We dart in and out of a few more stores, drive back to the Toll Road Inn, put our feet up freshen up the lipstick and head out to dinner again before withering away. This time to Garlic John’s.
Garlic John’s Restaurant is really nice. Various age groups are there, from yuppies to retirees. The waitress comes over to ask if we’d like something to drink. Is it my imagination, or does she have a puss on her face? Meanwhile at the table next to us, the customers are being served as their waitress shouts out, “TaDa!!!” How come we didn’t get her? Baby Girl and I decided that she was having a bad day. We ordered tortellini in brodo (broth), authentic fried mozzarella, and a pasta dish all for $36.91(no beverages other than water). For dessert, we headed back to Friendly’s. This time we both ordered Ghirardelli specials and the bill was $13.86. Not bad.
We thought about going to a glass blowing class which I was really looking forward to but instead we went back to the Toll Road Inn to pretend it was our living room and just hang out together for girl talk (www.manchesterhotglass.com).
Never mind that I brought two giant suitcases full of clothes, I still have another pair of fleece stretchy pants and a big college sweatshirt with my hiking boots to parade around in. We take a drive to the ski mountain to enjoy the view and then head over to the bookstore. When I first enter Vermont I notice a few vehicles that have tie-dye peace signs on their cars and I know I have to have one.
Nowhere to be found, someone suggests the bookstore. This is a true treasure chest. Baby Girl and I are submerged for hours. I bought a Moose Crossing sticker even though I would never put a sticker on my car, books, Vermont playing cards for Boyfriend, books, a hippie looking handbag for BG and of course a number of tie-dye peace magnets ($XXXX).
Baby Girl remembers she NEEDS a few more necessities from Rite Aid so we make a last stop there before I drop her off and make my way back to the airport in Albany New York.
In Rite Aid, I notice the same fly circling my head that got into my rental at Albany when I took the car and mumbled a few words under my breath. The cashier looked at me and said in a deadpan voice. “Ma’am I think we have flies her in V’mont too.” As we pulled away, I looked around and said to Baby Girl, “For all the tie-dyeing they do, they don’t seem to be using it on their hair.”