The race was the largest I’ve been involved in; even Ironman Florida was not quite this big, over 2000 entrants for the Olympic Distance. I finished respectably considering my training is nowhere near what it used to be. Jake stayed with me through my swim start (2000 people in this case means wave starts of 100ish people at a time; I was wave 14 out of 18 or 20) and then headed off to find some breakfast and wander Burlington. I spent the next 2:42:01 swimming, biking and running. He ate eggs benedict (not a traditional version–sourdough bread and spinach added) and pancakes (also not traditional–added oatmeal to the batter!) that were passable. I ate four packets of Power Gel, vanilla flavor.
But onto the good stuff! We drove about 35 miles south of Burlington to East Middlebury and the Waybury Inn. This was more a choice of convenience than a rigorous selection process; basically there were no rooms within 100 miles of Burlington and we got lucky with a cancellation. The Waybury is popular without a national race happening nearby, it was the inn used for the exterior shots of the Newhart Show (did I just age myself?), has a pub that Robert Frost spent time in writing, and has a pretty good restaurant.
Check in was a little weird. When we pulled up we could see a wedding that was about to begin and the parking lot was almost full. I was concerned that we’d been overbooked and would not have a room, but was armed with the emails confirming our one night reservation. We entered the lobby, very rustic, and according to Jake, exposing original beams. There was no one at the desk. We waited. We rang the bell. We waited. And finally a women who smelled of booze (seriously!! like she’d just downed a shot behind the counter or something) came out and checked us in. She told us that the wedding would make things a bit crazy and loud, but that we should put our things in our room and go to the pub for a drink.
And that is just what we did. After I took a shower and scrubbed my race numbers off we went straight to the bar, the bar we’d been told was open and to go to. When we go there the bartender very brusquely told us that we couldn’t be in there, the wedding had rented the bar and we were going to make the bride mad. He agreed to make us each a drink that we could take out to the porch and he’d send us a waitress. Evidently I took too long to decide (because he didn’t have the first two things I asked for) and he told me I would have to leave.
I was pretty angry, especially since the front desk of this 10 room inn sent us there, it’s not like it was some giant resort where the left and right hands don’t know what each other is doing. This is one small building. Anyway, the porch waitress brought us each one drink and then never came back. Jake braved the wrath of the bartender and got us two more or three more or who knows. I cheered up quickly when I realized the awesome people watching potential that “Rick and Val’s Wedding” was about to provide. Let me just say: lots of tattoos, black jeans, smoking in the parking lot, and at least one ‘dress’ baseball cap. Not to mention “Val” was about 50 and had nine bridesmaids and the full on big dress shenanigans. Priceless.
What the Waybury lacked in service (and it continued to be shabby service but I’m thinking its a problem of having a small pool of people to hire, it was pretty rural) it made up for with good food. We ate dinner at the inn, sharing bacon wrapped scallops and a caprese salad with local fresh mozzarella. Jake had rack of lamb. I assume is was good as he ate the whole thing and I got not even a bite. I had venison and it was perfect. For my life I can’t remember what we had for dessert. I do remember having a Bailey’s though.
We spent our after dinner time on the porch again listening to the last wedding guests dance to Bon Jovi…