Road trip in miniature (Part One)…

Susanna, Audrey, Alicia and me

Susanna, Audrey, Alicia and me

My daughters arrived by plane and the laughter, stories, and excitement have been palpable to all around. The dynamic of being with three lovely young women is so enlivening. I don’t want to go to bed, I am so awake, who wants to sleep? I don’t want to miss a moment. So I sit up and write while they sleep.

My how they've changed!

My how they’ve changed!

We went straight from the airport to meet an old friend, dubbed their fairy godmother since she always sent them such extravagant Christmas gifts. She had not seen the girls since they were five and under. We arranged to meet her at a restaurant where our waitress, Dolly, immediately thought we were the best things to enter her domain since sliced bread. She called Alicia an orphan, cajoled and made sure we shared our food with “her poor little orphan” because she had only ordered a small side dish for dinner. It was a laughter-filled reunion.

Susanna and Matty and fragolino!

Susanna, Matty and fragolino!

A cherished friend of Susanna’s, that has been her bosom buddy since they met while studying abroad in Germany, drove to Lenox from Baltimore to spend a few days with us. Matty arrived with German Kinder eggs (chocolate eggs with toys inside), fragolino (special sparkling sexy wine from a restaurant they frequented in Germany), waffle cookies from Holland, and milchreis (German rice pudding). He fit right into our ebullient extravaganza and was a charming companion for the first few days of our week.

Our intuition dolls

Our intuition dolls

We read Edith Wharton ghost stories out-loud, ate pancakes, played games, watched Gilmore Girls, made little dolls to keep in our pockets to remind us that we can follow our intuition, drank great coffee, experimented to see if red wine stained our teeth, made awesome meals, shopped for purses, shoes, books, and sweater patterns, laughed with friends that all loved my girls…

Bingo girls...Susanna won twice!

Bingo girls…Susanna won twice!

… played Bingo at the local tavern, and went back for karaoke where we sang Seasons of Love in harmony after practicing in the car, toured a few old mansions, Shakespeare & Company and a marvelous contemporary art museum, saw a play, flirted, listened to stories by the personable proprietor of the local bookstore…

Alicia's sneaky surprise candy rings...

Alicia’s sneaky surprise candy rings…

…sucked on candy rings while walking around town because that’s what the Gilmore Girls do in one episode we watched.

House of the Seven Gables

House of the Seven Gables

On Thursday we hopped in the car and drove to Salem, MA, for a mini road-trip. It was awesome to have them all in the car, to talk, and listen to music, sing and giggle. It was bitter cold when they were here and so our outdoor entertainment was stunted. We bundled up, but still it was exceptionally freezing as you can tell from our photos. And being off-season most of the tours, museums and houses were closed. Luckily the House of the Seven Gables was open and we spent a lively hour touring Nathaniel Hawthorne’s legacy. I have always loved the book he wrote about that house, there was something magical about it for me and even though I have been to Salem twice before, I somehow never made it INSIDE the home that is available for tours. So it was enchanting for me to see it. The guided tour leads you into secret passageways that climb little stairways behind fireplaces to the attic, so it’s rather delightful.

Bundled up against the cold

Bundled up against the cold

We walked to the wharf and lighthouse and enjoyed the maritime heritage of the town. Then it was off to meander along the beautiful shore to Rockport, MA. We checked into one of the few open B&B’s, the Yuletide Inn and had the whole top floor to ourselves where we promptly made ourselves at home and played a dice game on a big four-poster bed, read books and ate candy beside the fake lighted Christmas trees.

(To be continued soon…)

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