One very fun summer adventure was when Mom and I took the kids to visit my aunt Marta and her boyfriend Andy, in Connecticut.
It was partly a work trip, since Shakespeare on the Sound invited me to come do my Take 5 workshop for them, and we got to see their production of King John. But it was also very much a fun trip to spend time together.
Marta lives in a beautiful farm house, an easy walk to a little town. A short drive in the other direction was a pond that Petra became obsessed with.
We went without much of a plan, but adventures managed to find us. One evening, when I was catching up on work, Mom took the kids to the pond, and they got to help train a water rescue dog.
Check out this video of the dog in action! The kids had to pretend to be in distress and then hold onto the dog while it swam to shore.
Another day, we went and saw Gillette Castle, which I hadn’t even heard of, but absolutely loved. William Gillette, who was the original Sherlock Holmes, took his Hollywood money and turned it into this monument to his eccentric interests, including trains and cats. The whole house is incredible.
He had a gorgeous spot, with an incredible view of the river. The grounds are extensive and include many hiking trails (although the children hadn’t slept much the night before, so we didn’t do a ton of those).
This guy was something else. He had a zillion books. All of his rooms had themes. He designed complex mechanical locks for every door, and all of them are different.
Another day, we went on a beach excursion. My family is … not beach people. Too hot! Too cold! Too windy! Too sandy! Too boring! Too scary!
We lasted about an hour at the water, but then we found a very neat nature center and people were happier.
But as I said, the real highlight was getting to hang out with Marta and Andy (and their menagerie). We played badminton, ate delicious food, chatted about all manner of things, read to the kids, went for walks. It was glorious.
Dear Aili, Silas, Petra, and Wendy —
What a lovely, lovely account of your visit with us. We miss you, too, so very much, and we hope we’ll all gather again at Thanksgiving.
After you left, the house seemed so empty and quiet — the megafauna searched everywhere for their devoted human cousins and there were absolutely no more badmitonska games. And NO wonderful ukulele concerts. And NO password.
We have planted a Montauk Daisy in your honor — it has bright green leaves and will flower in September….
All love to you —