vacation, all i ever wanted. vacation, had to get away
okay, so i tried to post yesterday about my weekend in new england, but my computer wigged out halfway through and i had to perform an emergency shut-down.
suffice it to say that my weekend with salimah and cat was fantastic: much relaxation, yummy food, FUN purchases, tooling around small towns, and being in one of my favorite cities ever. boston has such a great energy about it, and i've always LOVED that accent!
quick recap: salimah and i left just before 5 a.m. on friday morning, was on the new jersey turnpike by 6:10ish, and in boston by 1 (we deliberately took an extra long stop along the way to allow miss catchka to have time to get herself in order before we barged in on her life for three days). it was a completely lovely, uneventful trip, made even better by the fact that i had made a two-volume, kick butt (if i do say so myself) 'please come to boston' mix to commemorate the place i am in my life right now and where i want to be.
friday afternoon, admist some balmy drizzle, we made our way to concord and hung out at louisa may alcott's stomping grounds. there was such a whimsical vibe in that transcendentalist home [and i later discovered that i had been there more than 25 years ago. can't say whether it's changed; i have no memory of that visit:)], and honestly it made me want to go and write something.
after a lovely dinner of chicken saltimbocca (compliments of cat), we headed off to dreamland rather early (having been up since 4). saturday morning, we got a slow start and drove to winchester to the griffin museum of photography for an exhibit on photojournalism, and then to porter square for sushi and shopping at this very asian-centric 'mall.' while there, i scored a fun japanese bowl and small chinese pastry (later consumed at starbucks).
after a quick detour to pier one on the way to the car, we ambled to davis square and, after pumpkin lattes, cocoa, and a mini-photo shoot, we spent the rest of the day window shopping at used book and CD stores. we dined at red bones bbq restaurant and then drove to arlington heights for ice cream and a quick tour through the neighborhood where my aunt, uncle, and cousin lived - and where i spent two summer trips as a 12- and 13-year-old.
by this time, the temperature had dropped quite a bit, and it was finally starting to feel like fall in new england to me (yay!). once home, we hung out before bed and then made plans to rise a bit earlier on sunday morning, because we were meeting one of my dear childhood friends, her husband, and baby for brunch at renee's cafe in davis square (i had a bbq chicken, apple, and cheddar omelette - delish!). we had a lovely time and were thoroughly entertained by little jack who, at just 16 months of age, already has the look of a charmer and the budding personality to match.
after brunch, we bid them a quick farewell and headed off to rockport, a seaside town with lovely shops and little seafood joints tucked together along crooked streets. even for a chilly, windy sunday, the town was hopping with visitors, and we dashed from shop to shop, trying to avoid being in the cold air for long stretches. the sea was gray and the ocean sprayed gloriously against those craggy new england rocks. it simply did my heart good to look at it. also, the seagulls were HUGE, and the chowdah (eaten at ellen's harborside restaurant) was rather satisfying and tasty. after lunch, we got cocoa and walked down the main dock for some photos and gazing at the sea before retreating back to the warmth of the shops.
while in rockport, i scored a few little goodies, including a lovely silver claddagh ring from the village silversmith (i've been wanting one for more than half my life; it seemed high time to get one for myself). after several hours of shopping and bearing the cold, we traveled back inland and hit up one final shop (with homemade pottery that i had been eyeing every time we drove by) before going home for a meal of homemade chicken enchiladas.
monday morning came early and we were in the car by 6. we made it home in about eight hours again (this time because our bladders seemed continually full and we had to stop no fewer than five times), with no traffic or problems along the way.
it was a satisfying time away from home, and although it came and went too quickly, i am so grateful for having had that respite. the past two days, i've been at home doing chores and hanging out with salimah. last night, we took in a late screening of 'just like heaven,' featuring the lovely mark ruffalo and then today had a sushi lunch, some shopping at whole foods for me, and then time at the one world cafe so that she could write a poem for class and i could catch up on some celebrity rags.
tomorrow i venture back to the real world. it's a bittersweet thing - stepping into your actual life again after some time away - but it must be done. besides, i've only got to endure two days and then the weekend comes again.
but for now, the memory of the sea and the air and the feeling of somewhere else will comfort me....