Monday, August 15, 2022

Wanna See My Vacay Pictures?

This is going to be a very short post. Or not.

I just got back from my sojourn on the east coast and I am completely wiped out. The kids have officially moved to their temporary quarters and I am sitting here relishing the silence. Not that I'm not a great fan of chaos, but....

Staying with my family on the Island is always good medicine. We don't have to do special stuff; we just get to be. I always laugh so much when I'm with them, never mind that my cousin Tracey Simon is a stand up comic. She's funny in regular conversation. Staying with Ellis and Tracey is always a hoot. 

The beach was fantastic. See those boats in the background? That's the reason we have supply chain issues. They cannot get into port to unload. They are sitting out there in a tidy little line waiting their turn to sail into the docks of New York.'

Yes, there was ample pastrami, but the best was from the Lido Deli and picked up with the Mallomars Fairy. Talk about catching up! Like it's been a lifetime since the last time I saw her at her sister's wedding (I was a bridesmaid) and she was just a kid! 

Dinner with my grad school buddy Diz who has stayed in the business that is show and her husband was perfection. Just to talk real theater...the nuts and bolts kind...makes me remember who I am underneath the words: I am forever a director and damn proud of it. 

Despite the semi-cold and cloudy Friday morning, I sat on the sand at the water's edge with my cousin Perdie discussing all things consequential and trivial. See, I was sitting on the beach with my kid cuz just talking. That was worth the trip right there. 

Took the Long Island Railroad into Penn with my cousin Ellis-the-train-expert and managed to see the new Moynihan Station. Lovely...but brief. Thank goodness for Ellis's aid in shlepping the damn suitcase, wheels be damned! Even in a cab, it was close. But off to Connecticut I went to see my friend Wendy. Don't tell her, but it was really to sit in her hot tub and watch for meteors. Oh, and eat. Lots of great eating.

And visiting. We had a lovely lunch with my friend Lynn at a lovely Ukrainian spot: The Good News Restaurant. It was the first time we ever managed to have lunch together and now that we're both retired, I sure hope not the last! 

On the friend front, I finally met my editor, Gail, in person. She's been my second set of eyes on Tuesday mornings for about 9 years, and while we do talk on the phone, this was a first hug. I didn't tell her I was coming, so I got to surprise her. The look on her face was priceless. I was over the moon to finally see her in person. She has been the voice of reason when my thoughts were muddy. She is a wonderful friend and terrific copy editor. I cannot imagine doing this without her....and now I'm gonna sit back and wait for her to complain about the picture. I think it's lovely, Gail!

One of the highlights was discovering The New England Accordion Museum in Canaan, CT. Mr. Ramunni was a delight. Considering I have three cousins who play accordion, and any number of friends who used to play accordion, this was a heck of an education. If you are ever in the area, stop by, and if you're really nice, Mr. Ramunni will play for you. His passion for the instrument is contagious; if you're ever in Canaan, CT, be sure to stop there. It's a total hoot.

I also managed to see two things that were bucket worthy. 

We were in Sandy Hook, and we saw the new school that has been built over the site of the old elementary school. It's very beautiful and fitting that it's over the same spot: a sort of phoenix rising from the ashes. I could not take a picture. I just couldn't.

The other bucket list item was the Guthrie Center. Anyone of a certain age cherishes that perennial Thanksgiving earworm:

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the Restaurant, but Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in the Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and Fasha the dog. 

No Thanksgiving is ever truly complete without at least one awful rendition of Alice's Restaurant Massacree, and lord knows, I've heard many of them. 

I cannot say enough about staying with my friend Wendy. Her house is magnificent, her pool is to die for, and her skills as a tour guide around western Connecticut are unparalleled. It's not enough that the area is stunningly beautiful, but her explanations of who, what, where and when are amazing. She's a human catalogue of information and I am in awe of her. That and her effortless ability to navigate back roads. Man, I would be sooooo lost!

The house itself is partly made from the reclaimed parts of a barn that was original to the property. This is dawn as taken from my bed. It was breathtaking. Each morning I awoke to some feat of nature happening outside that window. And I will tell you waking up at dawn was worth it. It's a whole 'nother level of peace. That the remnants of the barn make up large portions of the house blend old and new into a welcoming and almost dream-like experience. For the record, the kitchen is pretty cool.

Floating in an infinity pool was a whole new experience. Magic. Seriously. We soaked in the hot tub end while we waited for the Perseids meteor shower to commence, but clouds got in the way. Not that I cared much; the hot tub in the pitch dark or night was a spiritual experience
And no discussion about my sojourn in Connecticut would be complete without mention of Fergus. Yes, he is as fluffy as he looks, and at 18 weeks, he already knows how to turn on the charm. This guy is one fun puppy.

The journey ended in Boston, where I got to talk politics with Luke, a fine Coast Guard officer, lawyer, and son of Minnesota Minda. What a joy to sip a Guinness with a kid who's not such a kid anymore. We sat outside at a tavern and talked about all the problems of the real world. He actually knows about these things from the other side and it was a delightful hour. 

Equally delightful was dinner at Petit Robert where the food was as good as the show going on around us. Two of the most handsome men I've ever seen, deep in their Arabic conversation at the table next to us, totally ignoring the three women preening, making eyes, and generally sending out "take me" signals to the two guys. It was the best floor show in town.

The adventure ended on Sunday morning with me sprawled on the pavement in front of the Prudential Center because I cannot walk and laugh at the same time. My Apple watch asked me if I was okay, (I was,) and then asked me for more information. The correct answer? 
I've fallen and I can get up. 
Yes, I've got a couple of bruises and a scraped knee, but I am just fine.(And no, I'm not posting a picture of either the bruises or the knee, thank you very much.)

All in all, it was a great two weeks away. I am grateful to my cousins and friends who made this a great adventure. If I learned nothing else, I learned that I need to go east more often. Say what you will, you skeptics; it's still home. 

The WP's Tip o'the Week
Cherish your family and friends. 
Visit as often as you can, talk on the phone when you can't.
Having people that know you well is a good thing. 


  1. Next time you must come to RI!

  2. Looks like a great vacation! Welcome home.