Friday, December 07, 2007

lovely laid-back time

The last week hasn't been very productive in terms of writing, but they've been very mentally healthy.

Last Friday, Himself and I went out for Chinese. From there, we headed to LaSalette, a local Catholic shrine/retreat center that, every year, puts on an amazing holiday light show. I may be a pagan, but I love Christmas lights. I love pretty lights illuminating the dark at any time of year. We should have vernal equinox lights, midsummer lights, Halloween lights (in spooky shapes!), lights for no particular reason other than aesthetic appeal. But I digress. In any case, it was magical. I hope to go back again before the end of the holiday season.

The next day, our friends Suhayma and Periac (not their real names, obviously, but the SCA names we usually call them) collected us and we headed to the Nashoba Valley Winery, where we met our dear friend Random. We weren't sure what to expect from a winery that specializes in fruit wines, but we were impressed. How impressed? S&P, who'd just returned from their annual visit to the wineries of Napa Valley, bought two cases. We limited ourselves to one, figuring it's just up the road! We were able to taste 28 different wines, just a sip or two of each, which was pretty amazing. If you go there, try the ports and the "northern comfort" liqueur! From there, we made our way to The Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, MA, near Random's place, for a hearty and delicious Olde New England dinner. (Corn fritters! Duck! But alas, no Indian pudding.)

On Sunday, despite ominous weather forecasts, Himself and I headed up to Ogunquit, Maine and settled ourselves in the Anchorage Inn, in a room with an ocean view. The town was dead quiet, what few tourists there normally might be during the week in early December scared away by the threatened winter storm. (Which didn't amount to much locally, although northern Maine apparently got hammered, and my mother, in New York's Finger Lakes, is quite displeased with the amount of snow she got). Sunday night was eerie, the streets deserted, the shops closed, not a soul on the beach...and then carolers.

Yes, carolers. A group of (I think) gay men wandering through the deserted streets in the "wintry mix," singing their hearts out.

I was grateful for the carolers, because I was starting to watch for zombies and shambling sea creatures....It was that oddly quiet.

But seriously, the quiet was just what I needed after a long period of working very hard. We walked on the beach (cold, but beautiful), watched the ocean from our room, napped, read, did a lot of holiday shopping, enjoyed each other's company (yes, folks, that's a euphemism. Well, it's the truth, but it's also a euphemism for more interesting activities not to be detailed in this blog), and ate really, really well. A very different energy from most of our visits to Ogunquit, but as always, wonderful, and in some ways more powerful than at busier times. I'm not sure why that place, that particular stretch of beach, that slice of sky and sand and ocean, resonate for me as they do, but it's definitely my power spot. (And hey, a power spot with great food is not to be sneezed at!)

Many of the restaurants and shops were closed, but one of our favorites, the Old Village Inn, was open. On Monday night, we had a two and a half hour dinner: soup, appetizers, yummy main course, and dessert, all properly paced so we didn't feel stuffed. By that time, the snow was flying, the surf was crashing...too cold to walk, even for me, but we went back to the hotel and just watched and listened and it was truly magical. And in the morning before we left, it was back to the Old Village Inn for prime rib hash (Himself) and lobster Benedict (me).

Wednesday was back to work, and to another freelance project (hey, holiday cash is good!), but we went to Boston at night to see the ever-sexy, ever-fabulous Boston Babydolls burlesque troupe. Betty Blaze, Miss Mina and Honey Dew (or is it Do?) were charming, sexy, and adorable, and it was a great night out. Disclaimer: They are my friends, so I'm biased. But if you're ever in the Boston area and have a chance to see the Babydolls, seize it.

Unfortunately, this stretch of great days and nights was capped, today, by waking up with a headache so intense that all I could do was take the prescription headache meds and go back to bed. ARGH! It's subsided to a normal mild headache now, but it did not make for a pleasant day.

Karma? If so, it was worth it to enjoy the preceding days....


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