A. & S. Unplugged

Harvey's Beach
Even in the midst of maddening RFP writing at work, it was a most welcome short getaway weekend to unplug along the Connecticut shoreline in Old Saybrook.  We stayed at the Deacon Timothy Pratt B&B, a converted historical home in actress Katharine Hepburn's hometown.  I lounged in the garden listening to the fountain as I tried out the hammock and . . . just took a slow, deep breath. This was after treating myself to a refreshing lavender-vanilla ice cream soda at the soda shop next door.  A. & I. took a stroll along Harvey's Beach which reminded me of childhood summers when my parents, auntie & uncle dug for bushels of oysters along the Long Island Sound.  As we waded through, the tiniest hermit crabs and killies along with their snail buddies greeted us along the shore.  We dined at Dock & Dine, a local riverfront restaurant, where we stumbled upon an evening of live music with a guitarist in concert as we savored our fresh oysters.  The guitarist's original works made for a romantic evening, and A. enjoyed his music so much that he bought his CD.  

A. & I had agreed that we would unplug -- that is, no cell phone, no laptop, no TV.  Only the comforts of The Gambrel with its original charming exposed beams and pinewood floors, the room included an intimate reading area with a view of the garden and a most inviting tub in the middle of the room, where I enjoyed a soothing candle-lit bath in honeysuckle aromatherapy (my favorite relaxir provided by the inn).

The highlight of our trip was a visit to The Book Barn in neighboring Niantic -- literally, an immense red barn filled with books upon used books, meandering paths outdoors, nooks and crannies to sit a spell among blooms and fountains, coffee mugs provided, and page through as you like.  It was a scene out of Alice in Wonderland meets The Secret Garden.  Cats clearly well-fed napped in every corner, on top of coffee tables and book carts as locals wheeled in their used books for sale on wagons.  True to the barn spirit, there is no indoor plumbing, and the only available restrooms are the outhouses provided by "John" tucked behind one of the many gardens on the barnyard property.  

I indulged in book treats and made sure to pick up some fiction since A. asked me what was the last fiction book I'd read (and I didn't know) as I tend to read more non-fiction/memoir.  Upon thumbing through a bunch of CDs, A. spotted a Gilmore girls soundtrack which he knew I'd be excited to play for the rest of our ride up to Windsor.  Must've been fate.  For a total of a little over $9, I bought two fiction books, including a hardcover, and the CD was only $1.  Not too shabby! 

We spent one night at the Pratt House and stopped by Mystic and Old Mystic Village, then headed up to Windsor to visit cousin J. for his birthday, where I was delighted to learn that one-and-a-half-year-old C. was staying with Lola O. and Lolo C. for the week.  Did I mention the half pound of chocolate-peanut butter fudge I nursed as I took the drive from Old Mystic to West Windsor?  I made sure to get my dose of happy baby in as I played peekaboo with C. and took him in my arms to swing him around like an airplane.  Wonderfully tempered and sweet, C. was a cheery little one to visit with.  As we headed back south, we enjoyed Sunday supper with Auntie and Uncle in Stamford. They prepared their usual delicious homemade feast -- fresh sashimi tuna and broiled swordfish, bok choy from the garden and flavorful ribs.  For dessert, the softest chocolate brownie-like cookies with pecans.

Despite driving home through the downpour last night, A. & S. Unplugged made for a most welcome getaway.  No texts, no phone calls, no emails, no facebook. Only the company of my love and summer's rapture.