friday night dinners

Immediately following graduate school I spent a couple years in Connecticut and found an amazing group of friends. We were all new to being Nutmeggers in the Constitution State and so explored our new home in New England together.

With few exceptions, nearly every Friday night we found ourselves at someone’s place (usually Dior’s) for friday night dinner parties. Late nights sometimes reaching to dawn, free-flowing wine and bourbon, and laughter beyond belief characterized these evenings, which only served as a prelude to weekends together.

We recently reunited at Anne and Jeromy’s house in Connecticut for a delicious friday night dinner. We missed Dior, who couldn’t make it, and can only hope that our laughter reached him in California. I’m so lucky to have such amazing, warm, talented, hilarious and generous friends!

working waterfronts

New Bedford anchored the whaling trade along with Nantucket, when whale oil illuminated lamps extended across New England in the 1700s. Today it is still a working waterfront, a port where fishermen dock before heading out to sea for two to three week stretches of time to search for and catch fresh seafood like the tuna, scallops and lobster we had just finished eating.

On our way back to Round Hill we walked through the waterfront in the dark of night to hear the sounds and see the sights of the water’s industrial edge. I have to admit that walking by these large trawlers with their industrial size pulleys and spindles used to pull in loaded down nets sent chills through me. Maybe it is all the death and hardship these boats see when they’re at work, but something permeates their essence that is dark and foreboding. The one bright spot (literally) was a boat at end of the pier.

Three North Carolina fishermen had headed north to avoid the latest hurricane, docked in New Bedford, and were headed out the next morning to harvest sea scallops. Fishing is in their blood, they told us. They know that even while they entertain thoughts of leaving this life, they know they could never say goodbye to the sea.

p.s. I just had to include this fun photo of Amy! The docks may have been creepy, but they still provided an ideal stage for her dance moves!

meet you in padanaram

We spent a good four years together nearly every day while we were in graduate school in Eugene. Now we are scattered around the country – Amy’s in Boston, Catriona and Sam are in Philly, David is in Missoula, and Ivy and I are in Portland.

Every year or so we get together for a weekend, but it’s been a long time since the whole gang’s been able to gather. There was Philly in 2003, Nantucket in 2004, and Portland in 2008. This year we all met for Labor Day weekend at Round Hill in Padanaram, Massachusetts (Amy’s parent’s summer place on the shores of Buzzards Bay).

We ate lobster and fresh farm grown produce, swam in the calm ocean waves and lounged on the beach, rode around in golf carts and hiked through the woodlands, biked around the inlets and stopped for homemade ice cream. We watched a little tennis and played a little bocce. The weather was warm and gorgeous and the whole weekend was too dreamy for words.

vacation every day

Landing in Boston (after a nonstop from Portland – thanks Alaska Airlines) and getting picked up in a convertible with the top down is the right way to start a vacation. But that in no way compares to having a wonderful 24 hours with Lauri and Magnus at their new home in Newburyport. It was short, but Lauri and I really know how to pack amazing conversations and experiences into soul-enriching moments of time.

I love experiencing the everyday moments of life… from getting a little turned around in New England, to stopping by one of its best farmers markets (the farm had a live buffalo for pete’s sake), to listening to neighbors (they could give reality tv stars a run for their money) while we drank a decadent bottle of Pinor Noir. Dinner started by getting excited to cook an amazing Indian curry dish only to find out we were out of tumeric which led to picking up the phone and ordering Thai. Watching a little Ducks football (before things turned ugly) and then falling into a deep slumber in the best guest quarters a tired traveler could ask for – I nodded off to the sounds of New England church bells striking the eleventh hour.

In the morning we ducked into town to grab a little coffee before heading to the beach with our picnic breakfast where we got to talk and catch up to the sound of the waves and the sights of summer’s end. Newburyport is Lauri and Magnus’ new home and they chose well – it feels like vacation every day.