Boy, did I need that break! I wasn't here to update the blog on Friday (and my plan to schedule something didn't quite work out) because I drove up to Rhinebeck, NY for a three day weekend with all of my very good girlfriends. It wasn't what most people would consider a “vacation”. I didn't get on a plane and go to someplace exotic. But I did get time away from my routine at home and that's incredibly important.
As a writer and a mom, I spend a lot of my time at home. When I can get my babysitter, I try to leave the house and go someplace to write but the majority of my work is done right here, whether it be at the desk in the playarea or the kitchen table while I feed my kids. Even three days away in upstate NY is a luxurious vacation, I can tell you that much. Three days with my friends, eating, drinking wine, knitting, and looking at the stars, is the best.
Sitting and knitting at the house with Jess, Katy, Lisa, and Maya
On Friday, one of my very best friends, Lolly (who came to town the day before), and I packed my car with groceries from Whole Foods and drove up to the house in the pouring down rain. It was a tough drive but we made it with very little delay, and when we got there Lisa and Jess helped us unload groceries.
That evening, when almost everyone had arrived and we were all done eating dinner, I pulled out my idea of an ice-breaker, my astrology book. I packed it on a whim and I'm so glad I did because everyone immediately wanted their charts done. Several people even contacted their parents right then and there to get their time of birth. Ah, technology!
An iPad and The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need
Over the course of the evening, I did pretty much everyone's chart. I got their birthdates (time of birth IS important!) and locations, plugged them into the iPad, and got birth charts on each. Then I used the book to help me analyze each person and read out fun facts and traits for the major points of their charts. I tried to skim ahead as much as possible and keep to statements that I felt would be less embarrassing but there were a few DEAD ON predictions about each person I read for. Absolutely creepy in some spots! I loved the fact that Melissa's horoscope said that she would turn a hobby into a career (that's exactly what she's doing!) and that Ingrid was best suited for the stage and singing (her forte!) and that she loved “things of the past” (she works in a historical village and loves it there). I think that for next year I'll learn how to read tarot cards. I am clearly the life of the party ;)
In which I hang with my friends, Cathy, Lolly, and Sarah
Saturday, we all went to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck. It was a whirlwind of people and conversations all day. I got to meet good friends that I have only ever known online (love you Cathy and Sarah!), and I was also reunited with friends I've met before and talk to everyday through the wonders of the internet. I was just thinking today about how special this community is! A lot of us would not know each other were it not for Flickr, Twitter, and Ravelry. I wonder what the world would be like if the internet had never existed?
Anyway, besides meeting people, I stood online for 45 minutes at the Jennie the Potter booth to buy mugs and I treated myself to two beautiful skeins of cashmere/silk yarn that I'm planning another shawl with. I ate ALL THE FRIED FOODS (no joke, I ate fried artichokes, fried clams, and fried dough) and I picked up two cute little stuffed animals, sheep, for my girls.
Saturday night, I made dinner at the house with the help of my friends: butternut squash chili, brown rice, roasted veggies, and white wine salmon. And Jess made an awesome apple crisp for dessert. There was drunken Scrabble and lots of stories and a few more birth charts to do.
Sunday, Lolly and I left in the late afternoon, after relaxing and packing up the food, and drove back to NJ. I put her on a train home from Newark and my vacation was over. But it was so great hanging with my friends all weekend and spending extra time with Lolly both at home and in the car. We got a chance to share in person things that we had only ever skyped or texted about. And she was sweet enough to listen to me talk about my books and my characters, but then again, she's been one of my beta readers from the very beginning!
I'll have to wait another year for another epic weekend like this past one. Does anyone have a countdown going until the next Rhinebeck?