October 17th, 2005


Essex and Eve with dharmagirl

So today was my last full day in Massachusetts and I tried to make it a good one.

In the morning, after breakfast, we headed out to a destination I picked out last night as an alternative to the Salem-Essex Museum in Salem, which Dad wasn't too keen on. Instead I found this place in Essex that's a boatbuilding museum! Essex is a tiny town on Cape Anne, by Ipswich and Gloucester, with a 300-year tradition of making wooden fishing vessels and schooners. The museum has pictures, ship models, movies, tools, boat building, etc. and I knew Dad would probably like it since his home town, City Island, also has a long-standing boat-building tradition and he grew up with boatbuilders, including my grandfather. Anyway, we went up there, which was a very scenic drive (Rt. 133 is amazingly unspoiled New England goodness!), and went in for a look. There was no one there except us so we got a personal tour through the various buildings, boatyard, etc. Dad seemed to enjoy it, but by the end he was worn out.

Afterward we all had lunch in the car -- sandwiches, soda and church bake sale goodies. Dad then stayed in the car (a repeating theme of this trip) while Mom and I went out to visit some antique stores. Trivia: Essex has more antique stores per capita than anywhere in America. (Easily explained by fact the town's population is only like 3000, but even so there are over 20 shops right on the main road, don't even know about elsewhere in town.) We had such a Goldilocks experience: shop #1 was great, shop #2 had issues, shop #3 gave both of us a massive allergic/claustrophobic reaction and we had to leave. LOL. I enjoyed the ride home again because that particular area seems quite unspoiled -- lots of woods, few scattered old farmhouses, farms -- and the leaves were kind of changing, lots of yellows. I did nod off eventually though, my "nap time" kicking in as usual. At home, I staggered into bed and fell asleep for an hour and a half.

For the final bit of the night, Dee came by just after 7, said hi to my parents, and we went out. Dee (who hopefully is reading this) looked GREAT! It was funny though; I hadn't seen her in person for so long that at first it was like I saw her as a "stranger," but then after 10 minutes she looked like her again. And of course we got to talking, kidding, bitching, and being stupid like always. We went for dinner at Friendly's in N. Andover. (For those out of the know, Friendly's is a New England tradition, known chiefly for their ice cream but also as a reliable restaurant chain.) And there we talked, kidded, bitched and were stupid as usual :) We recounted stories from "the old days," discussed pets, gossip, jobs, stupid people, allergies, and anything else that poppped up. Right as I finished my main mean, my phone rang and Caleb had this big urgent tech issue related to the TSW web site, which threw me off for 10 minutes, during which I ordered a HUGE sundae. Then just as I was about to eat the sundae he called again.

Afterward we decided we should go elsewhere to talk more, so Dee came up with B&N in Salem, NH. It's near her work so she knew how to zip up there. It was fun hanging out there. We made fun of book covers, I showed her Storm's books, and in one of the coincidences-but-not-really, we stumbled across a book we had JUST been talking about at dinner. The freaky thing is, neither of us could remember the title or author and we were bugged about it. It was a good book and feeling finding it was "a sign," I bought it. I also got two calendars (one a gift) and a "brain teaser" puzzle for Mom, who loves such things. Dee drove me home and we yapping all the way.

P.S. Oh, and dharmagirl, you should update your LJ :)