Mr. Clean, My Psychotic Husband
The first getaway day dawned bright and sunny and a bit windy. I was all packed and ready to go out the door a little before 10:00am, but Mulletman (aka Mr. Clean) decided that he needed to wash, vacuum, scrub, and otherwise detail BOTH vehicles before we left.
If you know Mulletman, this does not surprise you.
About 10:30 I went outside and stared at him. He finally looked up and saw me. Slowly it dawned on him that he was gumming up the start to a much anticipated celebration and he began to blush.
"Sorry. Thanks for putting up with my psychotic behavior."
"Oh, it's fine really. I DO appreciate riding in a pristine car. And it's very thoughtful of you to leave the van clean too so we don't have to worry about that when we get back."
I kept on staring, a tolerant smile locked on my face.
"I'll be psychotic a little more quickly!" he blurted and started rubbing for all he was worth.
To his credit, He was showered and ready to go within 20 minutes of our conversation!
On The Road!
Once we were on the road, everything was lovely. We ran some errands, ate a leisurely lunch at Panera Bread (Their soup in a bread bowl is my favorite!), and made the obligatory stop at LLBean in Freeport. We have an LLBean credit card and therefore earn "Bean Bucks". Translated into English this means that we can go to Bean and get very expensive stuff for free. Nii-iice!
We meandered our way toward Boston and, naturally got stuck in rush hour traffic behind the honk-and-go lady. I don't know what was up with this woman. We kindly paused and let her turn out in front of us. From that moment on if we stopped - which we did quite often because it was rush hour - she STAYED stopped. She was looking at and fiddling with something down on the seat beside her. The anxious type-A behind us would lay on the horn, I would give a light tap on mine and then she'd look up and go 20 feet to the next stop. And then she'd do it again. And again and again and again. I thought the guy behind us was going to have a coronary! Oh well, nothing's perfect.
Longfellow's Wayside Inn
Our first overnight destination was Longfellow's Wayside Inn in South Sudbury, Mass. Please DO take a few moments to look at their website - especially the pdf map of the grounds.
The place is extraordinarily old (for America) and tremendously groovy! It is, in fact, the oldest continuous inn in the U.S. It was immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his book of poems, Tales of a Wayside Inn. Naturally, we bought a copy of the book for a couple of literary geeks we know (I wonder who?).
There are 10 rooms in the Inn; 8 in the new wing and 2 in the oldest parts of the building. Rooms 9 and 10 enjoy the presence of a ghost or two (or so they say!). Our room, #5, was furnished entirely with beautiful antiques. The comfy king-sized bed was covered with a gorgeous handmade quilt.
The Secret Drawer Society
As we snooped around, we discovered that the antique secretary desk (no pic, sorry!) was stuffed full of notes from previous guests. There were YEARS worth of notes in there! Apparently it is a tradition at the Inn for guests to take part in the coveted "Secret Drawer Society". The premise is that each guest will write a note and hide it somewhere in the room to be later discovered by others. This set us to hunting. In addition to the desk, we found notes written on the backs of all the pictures and mirrors in the room (even in the bathroom), on the tags of the chairs, and under the extra pillows inside the big dressers. We had a great time adding our own notes to the stash!
We still had a little time before dinner, so we toured the inside of the Inn. In true New England style it has been added on to innumerable times and some portions were rebuilt after a fire. Consequently, it goes on and on and on! Most of the many, many rooms have been converted into dining rooms, all of which are decked out in true colonial style. Even the lighting is colonial. They don't use real candles in the sconces and chandeliers, but the electric lights they use look like lanterns or candles and are kept quite dim.
Because the Inn is a popular tourist attraction, they set aside one of Henry Ford's rooms for the exclusive use of their overnight guests. It was pretty, but it wasn't really a good place to hang-out. The room was fairly large and all the furniture was in straight lines along the walls. Fortunately, there were a few books and magazines and, of course a television. A very SMALL television. A very small television with an antenna rigged with a COAT HANGER. It was so incongruous with the rest of the Inn that we had to get a picture:
A Wonderful Anniversary Meal
We had our supper in the main dining room. It was incredible! Since the meal was included in the price of our stay, we thought we'd have a limitation on menu choices, but we didn't. We could order anything we wanted! Mulletman had steak with salad, marvelous mashed potatoes, perfectly cooked veggies and apple pie. I had lamb with the same sides and indian pudding for dessert.
Before the meal they brought out a basket of their famous breads and muffins made from flour that's stone ground in their own grist mill. Awesome! They also brought out a little dish with a small scoop of something orange in it.
"Ah," I said knowledgably. "That's orange sherbet to cleanse our pallets between the salad and the main course." Mulletman agreed, of course, because I am the culinary genius of the family. When we finished our salads, he handed me the dish and a spoon. I took a spoonful and slid it into my mouth…
It was cheesespread for the crackers! I thought Mm was going to keel over with laughter. Embarassing, yes, but I was not the only clever one on the trip.
We left the girlies with their grandparents while we were gone. Since Gramps is in poor health it seemed prudent for us to take a cell phone with us. We don't have a cell phone, but the folks have a cheap, open-faced trackphone. So we charged it up and brought it with us.
During the meal, Mm got up and went to the restroom. While he was washing his hands he started hearing a distant voice saying, "Hello? Hello? HELLO!?" Suddenly he realized that this voice was coming from his pocket. He had bumped his pocket and accidentally auto-dialed his brother in California! After they had a nice, though unexpected chat, we went on with our meal.
Of course, then I had to one-up him by trying fervently to unlock the door to our room, only to realize quite suddenly that I was trying to break into Room THREE which had a prominent "DO NOT DISTURB" sign displayed. Eeek! You can bet I disappeared from that scene in record time!
Gift Shop Treasures
After we ate, we scouted out all the goodies in the gift shop. We got the girlies some wooden fifes, bought the aforementioned book for the geeks and got ourselves several bars of homemade bayberry soap (only $1 a bar!) and this beautiful "bun warmer".
We retired early that night ;-) , put up our own "DO NOT DISTURB" sign and, um, enjoyed the evening.
Coming Soon: Day 2