Last week, we took a quick, drive-able vacation to the Adirondacks in New York and ski-country in Vermont. It was lovely. Every day, we did at least one adventure – motor boating, touring a historical site, hiking, biking, shopping, exploring. And then capped every day with a fine meal and several drinks.
I’ll do a travel post later with links to things we liked, because those posts are surprising popular with the google-searchers. But today, just some observations.
There were very few political signs anywhere we went. A handful of Trump and Biden signs, but not the amount that you would expect to see before a big election. I have no clue what that means.
These vacation spots were packed. Not being terribly organized, we failed to make reservations ahead of time for dinners or for a boat, so we had to hustle to find those things when we were there. I suppose that many of those vacationers would have normally gone somewhere that involved a plane, so places that were in driving range of Boston and New York City were more crowded than usual.
Hanging out with all those tourists for days, life felt normal — normal but with masks. People were eating huge meals and hiking mountains just like normal. In late August, most people in this area of the country don’t have their children in camps or school, so the presence of kids wasn’t surprising.
Our contractor begged to finish work on the repairs to our house, even though we were gone. In the shadow of some green mountains, I texted him about base moldings and toilets. He was in a rush to finish our project, because he has a long list of other projects ready for him. Everybody is doing work on their house right now, and contractors’ time is precious. They are charging premium prices.
I’m not sure, if he’s talking to me anymore, because Home Depot broke the bathroom vanity during the delivery, so it has delayed finishing our project for three weeks. Home supplies are very hard to come by right now, because everybody is doing work.
My cousin and his wife are one of the thousands leaving New York City for the suburbs and paying stiff prices for houses. He said that 25 offers on homes is typical. He is having trouble reserving a mover to get his crap out of his apartment.
So, based on our experiences and texted conversations with cousins and contractors, you would think that the world is awesome. Everyone has gotten used to wearing masks. Outdoor restaurant dining is delightful. The biggest problem that we have is getting a bathroom sink delivered in one piece.
On the way back home, we stopped off in Middlebury, Vermont for lunch. The Travelocity app recommended the local tavern, so we masked up and went in. Tables were separated from each other, but it didn’t really matter, since we were the only people there.
After an excellent meal of brisket and clam chowder, I asked the waiter whether Middlebury was going to be virtual or in-person. He said students were set to return in two weeks, and added that the town needed them badly. He has only been working two days a week, since the school closed in the spring. Middlebury isn’t a tourist destination. Its entire economy is based on the local college.
I wanted to ask the waiter what was going to happen to him and his girlfriend, a private pre-school teacher, when the COVID checks stopped, but one can’t exactly do that.
Last night during the Republican Party Convention, I was surprised about all the talk about socialism and Marxism. I felt like this topic came out of the blue. I was prepared for talk about policing and crime, but Marxism was weird. Who’s talking about that right now?
If the pandemic continues to hammer the economy, income inequality is going to get worse. One half will be taking motor boats on lakes and renovating suburban castles, the other half won’t have enough work. The unemployed, the hungry, the homeless will need a massive government bailout. Maybe, the debate of tomorrow will be about socialism.