Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beach House Vacation - Part I

Sea shrubsIn trying to sum up last week's beach house vacation in Rhode Island with five other bloggers whom I've come to know and love, I'd like to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite books ever - Charles Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities - "it was the best of times ..." because it truly was.

I know that a lot of people outside of the Blogosphere would no doubt think that it was sheer madness for a group of people who - for the most part - have never met to decide to spend a week together in a house by the shore; especially the Rhode Island shore for those who aren't aware of just how beautiful it is! However, I think that those of us who are part of the Blogosphere are quite aware of how lasting friendships can develop with people that we know only from their blogs even if we never have the chance to step off of the electronic page and into reality.

Luckily I've had the chance to meet a lot of bloggers up close and personal and all of those that I've met so far have been just as warm, caring, friendly, funny, and fantastic in real life as they are via the Internet. The group I vacationed with last week were no exception to that rule at all - Callie, Claire, Kai, Mags, and Morgen. What a gang and what a week! I've decided that trying to share it all at once is just way too much of a task so instead I'm going to break it down by days as I've got way too many pictures to post and things to remember. Plus, as an added bonus to you folks, even though I tend to be way too prolific, I'm going to try to keep the writing down to a minimum and do most of this via slideshows - woohoo!

So - let's start with a synopsis of Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday ...

Claire, Kai, and I arrived from Connecticut after stopping in at a local Rhode Island package store and farm stand along the way laden down with luggage, wine, beer, sweet corn, apples, and squash. Big hugs were given all the way around and then we settled into our home away from home for the week. Mags needed to go buy food for the week as she was doing virtually all of the cooking so she and Callie and Morgen piled into the van and headed off to the local Stop & Shop while Kai, Claire, and I made beds and unpacked. Unbeknownst to me, I was apparently supposed to go to the store with them so that decorations could be put up for a surprise birthday party but I tossed a monkey wrench in that plan when I volunteered to stay behind and make up the beds. Oops!

Upon returning from the store laden down with enough groceries to feed a small army, Mags set to work preparing Mexican Night while Claire invited me to take a walk and check out our little beach town. I thought she was being friendly and wanted to spend some extra time with me but turns out that was the back-up plan to get me out of the house! What a sneaky little Brit she is! Still, we had a great walk and found a nice little group of rocks to sit by the water and watch the moon rise and the surf flow from. It was lovely and I would have been happy to sit there longer but Mags had told us what time dinner was going to be ready and we needed to head back.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into a kitchen decorated with streamers and balloons and a big "Happy Birthday" sign on the refrigerator! I honestly had no clue as I thought the plan was to do a combined birthday celebration for everyone - not just me. Well, either that or I'm just clueless! It was such a lovely surprise and was made even more so when I was presented with a gift certificate to a lovely little spa in the Ledyard woods! Thank you so much again - all of you!

After a fantastic dinner of fantastic Mexican food (I swear, Mags' chicken enchiladas are to die for and her cilantro rice - ¡Muy bueno!), Mags brought out of the most delicious birthday cakes I've ever eaten. Of course it looked like it was going to catch the place on fire from all the candles so I wished that we'd have the best week ever before blowing them all out and setting off the smoke detector! Following cake we all retired to the deck with our beverage of choice to relax, chat, and get acquainted off of the electronic page.

Sunday morning dawned with rain, clouds, and a rough surf but with the phenomenal breakfast that awaited us - who cared? Later in the afternoon when it had cleared up some we all piled in the van and drove over to Point Judith to feast on the best chowder and clam cakes on the East Coast before driving over to the Point Judith Coast Guard Station and checking out the lighthouse there.

Because it was still overcast the foghorn was sounding while the beam from the lighthouse glowed in the mist and I couldn't help but try shooting a little video of the surf and the sounds. I got to capture a little piece of Claire's voice, too, as she walked up and began talking to me while I was filming! Another added bonus for those of you who are beginning to think she was a figment of our imagination!

Upon returning to the beach house we played Scattergories and Guesstures and laughed ourselves silly before it was time for Callie, Mags, Kai, and Mo to watch Big Brother. Claire and I choose that time to take another walk which was really cool because it was misty and overcast and kind of eerie while we walked down the quiet roadways and discovered another hidden beach at the end of a dead-end road. Eventually the moon began to peak through the clouds and it was just gorgeous being by the water, listening to the waves, and watching the clouds scud across the sky.

Monday morning arrived with bright blue skies, blinding sunshine, and winds that could knock you over if you weren't careful! What a difference a day makes! The water in front of our house was full of surfers, windsurfers, fishermen, and all sorts of other people who had been nowhere in sight the day before! I took the opportunity to walk along the shore a little bit and take pictures - which you can find in the slideshow below. I also managed to get a nice sunburn on my face but it was a small price to pay for such a gorgeous day! Of course, at this point it would be really nice if my nose would kindly stop peeling!

Oh dear, so much for not being prolific in this post ... yeesh! Claire's right, I couldn't write a short post if my life depended upon it! That said, this seems like a good point to end today's post; I don't want to overwhelm you with too much at once! Plus it's going to take me some time to get the next batch of pictures ready as I am apparently not able to take just a couple of pictures either ... I gotta learn some control! Enjoy the slideshow - more tomorrow!


  1. don't stop being you.... be long winded it's you on blogs.... You are not long winded in person ya know... Your perfect So keep being linda can't wait for the rest of the story... Love ya Cal

  2. It doesn't matter how much you write Linda, I never get tired of reading it. :)

    Great account of what you got up to and fabulous photos. :)

  3. Anonymous2:52 PM EDT

    ::wistful sigh::

    the sound of the surf on the rocks...

  4. I'm so glad you got that video!! But, it makes me beach home sick.

    Great photos-and as for being long winded...well, you can pull it off! ;)

  5. I love all the details...and the photos of the shore are great.

    I love the ocean when it is all greay and overcast!

  6. An excellent post. I've made many blogfriends as well.I'd love to see them.

    A Quality Post!

  7. Love your posts just the way they are, except that I hope you got some close up photos of your housemates. Glad you had such a lovely time.

  8. We love it! More more....

  9. The eastern shore is so much different than it is out west.

  10. what fun!

    glad you had a good time

    gladder you're back!

  11. I'm gonna stop raving about your photographs! I'm getting very redundant! And blog on, sister! I love your posts...
    And I loved hearing Claire's voice, too - along with the surf. S-i-g-h.

  12. Gorgeous photos, Linda. And I agree with Callie, you are not long-winded in person at all!

    Glad you all had such great time.

    I enjoyed the sounds of the surf.

  13. Just beautiful! Can I come next year?


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