Thursday, June 28, 2012
The famous Sharon Twin Oaks, Sharon, Connecticut... this time, in full leaf.
Not pathetic. Peripatetic.
Summertime, when She Who Must Be Obeyed is enjoying her annual respite from Teachy Business, is when we put on our Traveling Shoes. And so far, we have logged a few miles.
A few weeks back, while I was busy hacking up the golf courses in coastal South Carolina, SWMBO used the opportunity to visit her clan in Texas. Then, mid-month, we jumped in the car for an extensive road trip up the East Coast, with stops in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Washington, D.C. When your offspring - and other members of the extended family - are scattered all over the country, that’s what you gotta do if you want to see ’em all.
There are several routes that will get you from Atlanta to the Northeast. Interstate 85 will carry you all the way to Petersburg, Virginia, where you pick up I-95. That gets you as far as New York, and then it’s just a question of what route you want to take into Connecticut. It's not an especially scenic drive, you have to deal with the traffic crapfest that is Washington, D.C., and there’s an assload of tolls beginning around Baltimore. So we took the inland route, heading up through Tennessee to grab lunch with Eric at the Straight White Compound, then proceeding through Knoxville and Bristol, thence up through the Shenandoah Valley on I-81.
SWMBO and my irrepressible Auntie Zelda.
On the way, we stopped off for a visit with my Aunt Zelda - yes, Zelda - in the wilds of central New Jersey. Zel met us at the door wearing a Cyndi Lauper T-shirt, which tells you something about her personality. She’s the human embodiment of Champagne - effervescent, sparkly, and intoxicating.
From there, it was a straight shot up the legendary Garden State Parkway into New York, then across the Hudson on the Tappan Zee Bridge, finally crossing into the hyperbucolic northwest corner of Connecticut that is the home of the Mistress of Sarcasm.
It’s a beautiful corner of the world, serving as a weekend getaway destination for wealthy New Yorkers as well as a magnet for people who are into the Arts Scene. There are little boutiques that sell little $450 jackets stitched together from raggedy Indian schmattas, fancy riding stables to accommodate the Horsey Set, expensive prep schools, and fine restaurants... all in an unprepossessing rural setting with its thin native population of Connecticut Yankees. The Mistress, in roughly nine months of residence, has already established a wonderful circle of friends there and feels very much at home.
We stayed there four nights, one of which was spent at a fine B&B in what passes for downtown in Falls Village, the second-smallest community in the state. The other three were at a three-bedroom house rented for the occasion - the kind of place where we would have been perfectly happy to stay the entire summer. That, alas, was not in the cards, but we were there long enough to through a nice pre-birthday birthday party for the Mistress and some of her local buddies... a sort of warm-up for the Big Event at the end of the month.
A panoramic view of our digs in Salisbury.
The Mistress’s roomie Heather and parents Kent and Gail host a delightful alfresco dinner.
Bidding a reluctant good-bye to Connecticut mid-day Tuesday, we headed south to New York, there to spend a few days bunking in with my brother (The Other Elisson) and visiting Eli (hizzownself) and Toni. He’s eighty-seven now, Eli is, but he still retains his encyclopedic knowledge of filthy limericks. Am I my father’s son? You tell me.
The Throgs Neck Bridge, gateway to Lawn Guyland.
Thursday, we departed Long Island and made our way southward to Washington, D.C. where we hung out with Elder Daughter. This also gave us a chance to spend some quality time with Wendy, a daughter of Friends of Long Standing, and her fiancé Brian, with whom we had a delightful evening listening to jazz at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, followed by a serious sushi-eating and alcohol-drinking session at the Kushi Izakaya. The rest of our time was divided between downtown D.C. and the pedestrian-friendly streets of Georgetown.
Me, the Missus, and Elder Daughter.
Sunday came all too soon, and with it the need to turn southward once again, pounding down the highway for the eleven-hour return trip home. That night, Hakuna was either happy or pissed-off to see us, we couldn’t tell which: All we knew is that she spent the next 36 hours yowling, as if to say, “Where the fuck have you been all this time?” (It’s not as though we left her alone for twelve days. We had a house-sitter keeping an eye on her and performing food bowl and litter box maintenance.)
Can’t wait to see how noisy she is after our next trip. ’Cause there is one. We’re peripatetic, ya know!
(More pics below the fold.)
Lilies in Rhinebeck, New York, a nearby Hudson Valley community.
Yes, there really are falls in Falls Village. Why do you ask?
The Hunt Library in Falls Village.
The not-quite-thirty-year-old Mistress of Sarcasm.
A brace of Martinis at the Falls Village Inn. Mine was a cucumber martini made with Hendrick’s gin.
The atrium of the Westin in downtown Washington, D.C.
The National Cathedral.