To grandmother’s house we go, literally! I’m piecing together the quickest, but most independent, way for my daughter and I to gracefully arrive in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Though our destination is only two hours north, by direct car route, figuring out a route from southern Vermont to rural central Vermont using only public transportation takes some research.
One option involves relying on other people to shuttle us at both ends, with a train ride in the middle. While I love the train, finding a ride that will take us over the Green Mountains to the appropriate train station is impractical. Though it will take us a lot longer, I like the next option better: our departure point is a park bench barely 200 yards from my house. We can get there on foot – no need to disturb a soul. And the final leg on our journey will bring us within 10 minutes of the dinner table.
We’ll be taking three different commuter buses. The challenge is that the point of a commuter bus is to transport commuters from one business district to another – in other words, getting them to work on time. When you start trying to go beyond normal commuting distance, it gets a little dicey.
That said, I’ve managed to stitch together an interesting trip. Like the train option, it requires us leaving the day before Thanksgiving, and will take about seven hours from start to finish, and will give us a few hours in both Rutland and Middlebury. Though I’ve driven through many many times, I’ve never really explored Middlebury on foot. It’s a lovely little college town and I don’t know when I’ll have this opportunity again so I’m looking forward to some exploration!
So, what are the other upsides to having to use public transportation? It’s cheap; it’s egalitarian – all your traveling companions are at an equal footing because no one has control of the wheel; and there are always colorful conversations to overhear or partake in with strangers (well, that could go either way).
I know, I know… an extra day and seven hours travel time – heck, in that time frame, we could be in Vegas, Key West, or Bermuda. All I can say is that turkey better be good!!!