Friday, April 30, 2010

A Funny Thing Happen on the Way to the Falls

A Funny Thing Happen on Our Way to the Falls

This past September, hubby and I visited Buttermilk Falls in the tiny town of Ludlow, Vermont. A charming village surrounded by robust color emanating from the trees as they blasted the last hooray before the onset of winter.

Vermont holds a special place in our hearts—we honeymooned in Pittsfield. But more importantly, Vermont is a wonderful place to visit, where the air is clean—free of toxins and the water is pure—so pure, you can see all the way to the bottom of the babbling brooks. The smell of wood burning stoves permeates the air, the cheapest form of heat reminding you of its quaintness, family unity and neighbors who share camaraderie far beyond the norm.

This particular morning, the air was chilly, but we were prepared with warm coats. On our way out of town, we stopped for breakfast and picked up some homemade jams and syrups. There’s something very therapeutic about purchasing homemade items when you’re on vacation. It’s a reminder of a wonderful vacation that extends until you finish your goodies.

We finally pull into the crowded parking area to begin our hike back into the woods to see the Buttermilk Falls. Hubby has decided to take a picture of me, but the camera is dead because he’s forgotten to charge the batteries last night. Needless to say, there is no point in lugging the camera around, so I walk back to the car deciding to stash it on the back seat of our car, along with my purse, and cover them both with our coats since it had warmed up a bit. I locked the car manually and headed toward the falls and my waiting husband. Having second thoughts about leaving my cell phone behind, I rushed back to the car with the keys and pressed on the remote. The doors would not unlock. I called out to Bob for help.

He just sighed and returned to the car, going through the same drill as me, repeatedly clicking on the remote to no avail. I began to panic, my heart pounding against my rib cage wondering what we we’re going to do. We were leaving for the airport right after we finished our hike into the falls. And seriously, visiting Vermont isn’t like living in a Metropolitan area with everything close by. I’m sure they have AAA, but without a phone, how can I call for help?

As I stood watching my husband continually press the remote hoping to get it to work, my anxiety escalated as I worried about our flight home, and then it suddenly occurred to me our purchased goodies were not on the backseat. Surprised because we hadn’t walked that far into the woods before I’d turned around to retrieve my phone, I couldn’t believe anyone from Vermont, our special place, could have stolen our treasures from our rental car.

But then, we did leave the back doors unlocked. Disappointed my last day on vacation had been sabotaged by some mean-spirited thief I began to pace back and forth. The crunching of the gravel beneath my feet began to drive my husband crazy, so I decided to do a bit of investigating by checking each car in the lot to see who had my jams and syrup while hubby fiddled with the remote.

Fortunately, other than the parked cars, no one else was around to see me snooping. As I approached car after car, I finally found what I was looking for—the car thief’s car. I shook my head in bafflement. What kind of schmuck would steal our stuff and leave it in the backseat of his car. I called out to Bob who was several cars away and he came rushing over. Bob leaned up against the window and shielded the light so he could see inside.

“Can you believe someone would be so blatant as to leave the stolen goods right on the back seat,” I shot out.

Bob backed away and gave me an odd look. “Hon, did you throw the wrapper from the cookie you had earlier on the floor?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I was waiting to throw it out in a trash can. Why?”

Bob pulled the remote from his pocket and clicked twice. All the locks popped simultaneously. Okay, so now, it suddenly occurs to us that we’ve locked our camera, coats, and my purse in the backseat of someone else’s car—a car the same color, make and model as our rental car.

Neither one of us could stop laughing at our stupidity. Especially me, because I’d gotten myself so worked up thinking someone ruined our trip to Vermont. So we waited, and we waited, and we waited by the car until the car’s owners returned from seeing the Buttermilk Falls—the falls that I most likely was not going to see since our flight would leave later that night.

Ninety minutes later, the owners came walking toward the car. Since I was the one to make the mistake, brave soul that I am, I approached the driver whose face was formed into a scowl wondering why I’m standing by his car.

“Can I help you,” he said.

“Ah, yeah. Well . . . you’re not going to believe this, but . . . well, you see, we thought your car was our car, and well, your doors were unlocked, and we thought we forgot to lock our doors, so we put our belongings in the back seat of your car and locked the doors.”

The three other passengers, one being his wife is now laughing with me, but the driver with the scornful expression on his face isn’t too happy. He immediately begins to chastise his wife for not locking the doors, but reluctantly gives us our belongings so that we can be on our merry way to the airport.

As Bob and I walked toward our car with our tails between our legs, we rushed the last bit to get into our car before we busted our guts laughing. Needless to say, this trip to Vermont will have many years of entertaining memories. I love Vermont.


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

What a hoot! I thought you were going to say you were trying to unlock the doors of the wrong car, but this was even better. Sorry you didn't get to see the falls, but at least you have a unique story and a possible scene in one of your next stories.

Mona Risk said...

OMG Carolyn, I am still laughing. I can't believe you lock your stuff in sdomeone else's car. This is so unique. If you put in a book, people would say, come on, this too much!!!

Unknown said...

Thanks guys. It was a fun experience.

Natasha Moore said...

LOL, Carolyn! This is a story you can laugh about for years and years!

Helen Scott Taylor said...

How funny and embarassing. Exactly the sort of thing my poor dh would do! Sounds as though you had a lovely trip.

Emma Leigh said...

Sounds like a great trip. What a memory to share for years to come.

Zelda Benjamin said...

Great story. Stories like that are what make vacations memorable. If nothing happened it would have been a run of the mill hike to the fall.

Josie said...

Vermont holds a special place in my heart, also. Grafton is a lovely town with several country inns. We enjoyed many delicious (and fattening) meals there. :)
Thanks for sharing your story.

Unknown said...

Thanks to all of you for reading my faux pas--but it's so like me to pull off some unintentional calamity.

Someone suggested this would make a good opening for a new story. I think I'll do just that.

Have a beautiful day. :-)

Lisa Dale said...

Oh that is hilarious--like something out of a book!

I love Vermont--my latest release is set on a wildflower farm in Vermont. :-) The perfect place for a romance.

Great post!

Unknown said...

That's a vacation that will never be forgotten. How red-faced you must have been. Glad at least the wife could laugh with you.

Anonymous said...

I can so see that. I walked up to 'I thought' my car and I'm pushing and pushing on the remote and nothing. Shows how times have changed. Why didn't I think to just use the key? Then...I see the car seat in the back and I'm like Ooops. LOL

Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

Too funny! Sounds like something I would do. Your story will probably be told over and over again throughout the years with fond memories.