We were up at 7:00. John had already gone to work but we visited briefly with Susan before leaving. We had breakfast at Paul's then went to Meriden to say goodbye to Grandma. She was finishing breakfast when we arrived and we had a nice visit. I had been worried it would be a sad visit, since she's not getting any younger and we both know that each time could well be the last. But I reminded her she had to help eat next year's birthday cake and that seemed to cheer her up.
Then we went to Hartford where we took a tour of the Mark Twain House and bought a few books. The tour was a lot of fun and gave me a lot of insight. I had read an abridged version of Twain's autobiography a few months before and bought the unabridged version at the gift shop.
Then we had lunch at Dan's friend's restaurant, Apps. It was a very slick and trendy place, very nicely done with a tempting menu and the longest list of martinis I had ever seen. We had lunch at the bar and chatted with Dan's friend Mark when he got a break from all the hassles of running a restaurant short-staffed. Watching him set up the bar for his absent bartender brought back memories and I had to restrain myself from the instinct to go back there and start working.
We got to the car rental return with time to spare, and a good thing since we had failed to notice we were low on gas and the rental agency wanted $80 to fill it. Obviously that wasn't happening. I waited with the luggage while Dan went up the road to the gas station and topped off the tank for $13. We remembered the steel in Dan's shoes and in my sweater zipper at security, so got through with no problems and settled in at the gate to wait. I went and bought a cookie and a brownie for snacks.
The flight to Cleveland was uneventful. We had pizza in Cleveland and ate the brownie I had bought in Hartford, which turned out to be one of the most decadently rich brownies I'd had in a long time. I was glad I hadn't known how good it was or I would've surely bought several of them and needed an extra seat on the plane back to Houston! The flight home was delayed and re-routed, arriving a bit later than planned, but at least we had no one waiting for us. We found the car dusty but otherwise fine at the park and ride, and got home to our grateful animals by ten.