Albeit briefly, I am back home. For a few short hours this evening, I'm reveling being back in my (clean) apartment. I say clean, as I was surprised how much I got cleaned up and organized before I left. The cats didn't destroy too much while I was away, the biggest mess was the (once clean) dishtowels that were creatively arranged around the house...
I had a grand time with my friend E. on this trip!!! Such a delightful good time.
I was packed and ready to go, amidst a flurry of phone calls in the morning. I even ran out and got my hair cut before we departed the hot city around 2pm.
We pulled off the highway in New Haven for a beverage refill. We got to chatting (as we do) and missed the big, nice ones; and so we stopped at a ghetto one, which was to become a theme for us over the rest of the week. Ghetto deli's.... lol The run down kind, where you need to dust off the candy or cans before you put them on the counter... It sounds gross, but it was a riot, really...
Back onto the highway until we reached exit 72 for Niantic. Ms E went flying by our original destination, as it was time to for me to experience a Lobster Roll... and it was now past 5pm, and definitely time for food!! So we stopped at Skippers, and I had my first Lobster roll ever. I opted for the 'hot' style, served with butter (who doesn't love melted butter?) and it was pretty good. A lobster roll is basically lobster rolled into a bun... simple yet eloquent. Later I learned that the 'cold' style is lobster and mayo, which might have been the better choice. I had meant to try the other style, but I had a mild reaction to something that evening, and decided that I wasn't going to spend the week swollen and scratching, if I could help it... So no more lobster... grrrr
After a great dinner (all meals (except breakfast) were consumed on patio's or decks in view of water) we backtracked a mere mile to... The Book Barn. Oh my stars. D over at Ink in My Coffee
has been talking about them forever and I can now, relate firsthand, how fantastic the place is. It's a used bookstore, and we proceeded to spend the next 4 hours there, until we closed the place, well after 9pm. I barely managed to get through the various locations and stacks, as well as introduce myself to all the various wildlife and kittens/goats that also call the plot of land home. I lugged a big pile of books to the van... A very nice perk of driving is that I didn't have to ship books home, or haul them through the airport!!! And I have PILES of books... they had an Egyptian section that just blew my socks off... and all of the books under $10 and most for a mere $4. Piles, I tell you. I'm seriously concerned about where I am going to put them all. I simply MUST get another bookshelf now.
After we closed the store, we continued on our way to Rhode Island, after a stop at the Stop and Go market. We needed coffee, tea, and a few nibbles for the house, and weren't sure what we would find open in town upon arriving. It was a HUGE grocery, and for those of you who know what kind of crammed markets I have to shop in here in NYC< you will know the thrill I got from being in a real huge grocery, with Aisles!!! They had a GREAT produce section, and I left bearing a bag of perfect sweet cherrys and a few containers of Red raspberries that unfortunately didn't even make it out of the parking lot before we scarfed them down!!!
We arrived in beautiful Westerly shortly after 11pm and a beautiful drive through the fog. The fog was perfect. It was mist without visual interference. We were staying at a friends house who was on his honeymoon. And the house was fantastic!!! I camped on the leather couch, and we each had our own bathroom. We unloaded the van and promptly fell into bed after selecting one of our 'new' books to read.
In what was to become a theme, we headed to The Whistle Stop restaurant. It was a cute breakfast diner, right next to the RR tracks. While we were enjoying our breakfasts, I glanced up at the TV over the counter, to see CNN covering the story of the steampipe explosion in NYC. I made a few phonecalls to assure myself that my cats weren't in danger and we moved on with the day... (I have a great track record, which makes my friends nervous... I have manage to 'just' miss most of the NYC calamities... I had just left town pre 9/11 and I missed the huge blackout as well). After breakfast, we headed to a cute farmers market and chatted with some locals and then Ms E. proceeded to drive me all over the place. We drove through several towns on the ocean; Watch Hill, and several others that I couldn't possibly begin to recall. The aforementioned fog was in full effect, and you couldn't see more than 5 feet out into the ocean, and yet the basic driving view was just fine. We finally (after driving around sightseeing for over 3 hours) selected a place to sit and drink and play backgammon. We paid to park, and then realized after 10 minutes of digging through the van, that we had left the backgammon board at the house. So we unparked and headed back to the house to retrieve said board. Upon completion of that errand, we headed back to the beach/resort where we proceeded to eat, drink, and play backgammon for the next 6 hours on a patio right on the beach. Yah, we weren't messing around!!! It was a grand time, and the backgammon was pretty evenly matched in terms of winning!!!
We stopped and got a paper on the way home, in preparation of seeing Harry Potter, but once we arrived home and realized the next showing was @ 10pm, we decided to go the following afternoon, and just had a home night in front of the TV. E watched Mission Impossible while I split my time between tv and reading...
Back to The Whistle Stop for breakfast (no insane news stories from NYC over breakfast today). And then had another great scenic trip all over the surrounding countryside on the way to the movie theatre. The movie times had changed from what was in the paper, so we had a few games of backgammon before we headed into the theatre to see the movie (which we both loved). I mean loved, in as far as you can love 2 hours and 18 minutes of a movie that should be 6 or 8 hours... but it was done fairly well, and I enjoyed it.
Following the movie we headed back to Watch Hill, and could actually see the ocean, it was NOT foggy, and after a long and delightful walk in the surf, we headed back to Watch Hill Inn for predinner and cocktails. Booze, clams, tuna, and backgammon. On the raised patio, overlooking the bay, as the sun was setting. SPECTACULAR!!!!
We then headed home for a quick freshen up and change, and then headed to the Japanese Steakhouse, called Fugi Gardens. What we didn't realize until we walked into the place was that it was also a hubatchi grill... So we got dinner theatre to go along with it. We HAD to go with the hubatchi option, the chefs comes out and cooks your dinner on the grill, in front of you. All sorts of dinner theatre. We had a great chef, and shared a grill/table with a couple that was celebrating their 22 wedding anniversary. We never really got the conversation going between the four of us, not for lack of trying, and it wasn't like they were Republicans or anything like that, I think that Ms E and I were just a bit too far ahead in the cocktail department for the 4 of us to be on the same page. hehehe Oh, I had a cocktail (martini) called Monkey Business there, how could I not?! Anyhow, our chef was hilarious, and full of tricks, juggling an egg over the grill with his spatula. Very impressive, I made the comment that I almost felt like I was at a Cirque show... We had a great dinner (swordfish, steak, shrimp, veggies, booze) and no backgammon...
Then it was time for the next stop... because we hadn't had dessert!!! So off to the Three Fishes for a bottle of champagne and dessert. Then had the most delicious almond/peach/raspberry cake with ice cream, and a bottle of Rhode Islands best... "When in Rome..." So delicious that we closed the place, which blissfully was mere blocks from the house. There was no TV viewing Friday night, we both promptly went to bed.... hehehe Yah, we were both on a tear, and the mission was more than accomplished...
We opted to try a new place for breakfast, this one outside over looking the water (hmmm, a theme). We arrived a bit late for breakfast (hmm, wonder why?) and had lunch instead at The Cold Goose. I literally ran into a beautifully handsome blue-eyed waiter and chastised E for not dining there sooner than the day we were leaving town... hehehe. We then headed back to the house for a load of laundry and house lockdown.
We headed back to Niantic and The Book Barn (we hadn't done the 'downtown' branch yet). It was Festival time in Niantic, street fair/carnival time, so we had to park a bit away and walk, but i got some MORE books downtown, and met some different pets... and one 21 pound cat named Frank, who was recovering from a broken foot, but that was one FAT CAT. I called him Bob when I saw him draped on the floor in front the register, and the clerk informed me his name was "Frank." No sense of humor..., Bob, as in Bobcat... it was TOO damn big to be a housecat. Frank was amused, the clerk was not. We wandered about the fair for a while and then headed to the big bookbarn, just outside the city, where we spent yet another 4 or 5 hours browsing and chatting.
It was a wonderful trip, and I'm glad to be home with my girls, for the next day 1/2. I have to work tomorrow, and then I'm leaving for the next jaunt off to the Big O. Bast has already informed me that I'm sleeping on the couch tonight so she can have some daddy time. I concur. They smelled the book barn cats on me the second I opened the door... Time to remind them that I am their one and only daddy, and that they are the only girls for me!!!
Love and light to you all... I must go now, I can't feel my legs, nor can I believe that both of them have been sitting on my lap for the last hour, as I type this!!! xoxo