Are full of happy (and cold!) memories of tailgating with friends!
Dale and I went off on a little getaway last weekend and I’m ready to tell you all about it. Mmmmmkay?
The wheels were put in motion when I found out that Kathy Mattea would be playing in Rockport last Friday night. We’ve gone to Shalin Liu to see her before and it’s a beautiful venue in a lovely area that we’ve never really spent much time exploring. So, I came up with a plan: go to the show on Friday night and then stay for the weekend. I’m sure it’s no surprise that this plan was agreed to readily by Dale!
Traffic was heavy and slow getting up there and we literally dropped our bags at our AirBnb and walked to the theater. We made it in time for a quick glass of wine before the show but it was a more stressful start to the weekend then I would have preferred. Honestly, though, once Kathy took the stage and started singing, all thoughts of traffic and taillights disappeared and we were caught up in the music. From the front row, I might add.
It was a really great show, highlighting many of Mattea’s old favorites as well as some songs from her new album. She came out to greet her fans afterwards and Dale and I loved that chance to chat with her for a few moments. We got out of the theater after 11pm and, predictably, everything was closed. We found a McDonald’s about 10 minutes away and let me tell you, that quarter pounder with cheese tasted mighty good . . . it had been a really long time since lunch!
On Saturday morning we headed out to explore. Our first stop was a great coffee shop right down the street. The coffee was strong and hot and the homemade pastries were fresh and delicious. I had a cinnamon/sugar donut but Dale had a Norwegian coffee bread that was warm and loaded with cardamom and cinnamon. It was like a Christmas preview!
We spent the rest of the day wandering through shops and art galleries, chatting with some really friendly shop owners, and visiting the iconic Motif #1.
I had a lot of fun getting to know my new iPhone X, too. It really takes great photos and portrait mode is fabulous. Here’s the story of this photo: I said to Dale, let’s take a selfie and just as I snapped it he turned and kissed me on the forehead. I didn’t expect it at all and I love that I captured that spontaneous moment. It’s my most favorite selfie of us ever!
We had a late lunch and then headed back to our AirBnb to hang out for the evening. The air was warm all afternoon but it was cooling down by the time we had our cocktails on the back patio. In other words, we weren’t out there long but it was lovely while we were. And we spent the rest of the evening listening to music, eating some really great cheese, and talking, talking, talking. As in, I think we talked from 6pm until 11pm. It was great to have a completely uninterrupted night to catch up and talk about things that actually matter and not just our schedule for the week.
On Sunday morning we headed back to the coffee shop and then hit the back roads to explore for a bit. We found some cemeteries (one was really gorgeous but I didn’t take photos there) and some beautiful homes, too.
The goal all along was Woodman’s for fried clams. We don’t get there often but I’ll tell you, it’s just the best. Hot and fresh and so so good!
We were in the car and headed for home around 2, listening to the Pats game on the radio and arriving home just in time to see the ending. (They won.)
It really was a great weekend away, full of quintessential New England elements, great music, and my favorite person in the world. We can all use a weekend like that now and again.
You may recall that three years ago this Thanksgiving Dale and I set out to recreate the cover of Alice’s Restaurant. The album, like me, was 50 years old and we had a grand time that afternoon. In case you’ve forgotten, here is the result of our fun:
We got some great mileage out of that photo on social media and Dale makes it his profile photo every Thanksgiving. Our kids were horrified (why is Dad naked?!?) but those of us who love that song know what it’s all about.
Well. Sunday night we went to see Arlo Guthrie in concert in Plymouth. We had high hopes that Guthrie would do a meet and greet after the show so we brought along a print of that photo. I wasn’t entirely sure whether he’d be flattered or offended but I figured it was worth a chance. Before the show we were talking to one of the young women running the souvenir booth and we asked if Guthrie would be greeting fans after the performance and she said that he doesn’t do that anymore. We told her about the photo and that we had been hoping we could get him to sign it. She asked to see it and when we showed it to her she said, “oh, Arlo will just LOVE this. Can I take it backstage and show it to him?” Of course we said YES and off she went.
She came back about 5 minutes later with a huge grin on her face and said that Arlo did indeed love the photo and that he commented, “this guy must be crazy” and then he signed it.
And now we have the new and improved recreation of the Alice’s Restaurant photo, complete with Arlo Guthrie’s autograph!
P.S. It was a fabulous show and he did all of our favorites, including Alice’s Restaurant!
When you’re in Kiwanis, the new year starts on October 1st. And a new year means a new President of our club and this year the person taking on that role is my husband, Dale. You may recall that I was president back in 2013 and had a wonderful party (or, as we call it, installation) at a local fancy restaurant.
Of course, that was me and this is Dale and his event was very different from mine. He chose to have it at the outdoor pavilion of a local social club. We had a western theme and served a meal of grilled steaks along with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. It was a wonderful evening and the only glitch was with the crappy caterer I chose to provide the sides – delivery was 40 minutes late and we ran out of potatoes. (She claimed a serving size is 1/3 cup. Ummmm. whaaaaat?) Anyway. Other than that (and happily most people attending didn’t even catch on to the problem) it was a really fun and special evening.
Don’t we look happy and relaxed? This was when I was really starting to panic that the caterer wasn’t going to show at all but I hid it well, right? Ha!
Red checked table clothes and multi-colored twinkle lights made it look like a honky tonk in Nashville! And that was certainly my goal. It was also a great excuse to wear cowboy boots.
I made centerpieces from sunflowers along with some eucalyptus, alstroemeria and goldenrod. I spent $55 to make all 12, including one that I put in a cowboy boot, and I call that a win.
The guys in the club grilled the steaks and they were really good – tender and flavorful. They came from our local butcher shop and we are so lucky to have this great resource right in our town.
Most of our favorite people were there, from our friends in the club to our family and neighbors. Jackie stole the show in his flannel shirt and overalls, of course.
No installation is complete without the actual installation and our friend Glen drove down from Maine to help out with that part. It was fun and easy and the speeches were short. Dale’s was really great and I couldn’t have been more proud of how he handled the whole thing.
After the formal stuff was over we had a fire and enjoyed some music. Our friend Tom was the DJ for us but Dale is an entertainer so he really wanted to sing for everyone. He did a great job performing with his brother Randy and friend Brett – one of the very first members of Dale’s band way back in the early 70s.
The whole thing was a lot of planning on my part and we couldn’t have done any of it without the help and support we got from the club and our friends and family. Dale and I will now go down in our club’s history as the first wife and husband who have both served as president and I couldn’t be happier to have achieved that milestone!
I have two tiny person photos for you this week, both taken at Dale’s installation as Kiwanis President last Saturday night.
Here’s our newly appointed President (aka Grandpa) with Jackie.
And here’s Jackie just chillin’ in his stroller.
You might be able to tell by their attire that we had a country western theme for the evening and I do have lots more photos to show you from this very special night but for right now these will have to suffice.
Jackie is cute enough that I think you’ll be okay with that.