Oh, where to begin?
We had an amazing weekend, and my love of all things autumnal (including the word autumnal) was more than confirmed.
First, I drove to Maine to deposit THAT DOG for a visit with the niece, the nephew...and their new cat. This was THAT DOG'S first experience with a non-canine creature that's supposed to be indoors, and suffice to say she didn't warm to the concept. Upon seeing said creature, she responded in what was (in her eyes at least) the only appropriate fashion, howling in stunned alarm and chasing the cat up the stairs, down the hall, and cornering her under the bed. It was not one of those cuddly family moments you hope for, but at least no one got eaten. Sometimes you have to be grateful for small things.
After dropping THAT DOG off for her feline acclimatization, Steve and I drove to Ithaca, NY for the weekend, to spend some quality time with friends I met at the beginning of the book tour. Our running joke all weekend was that Ithaca is JUST like Cambridge...only without the stress, the crazy drivers, or the parking tickets.
If I had to sum up my weekend in three bits of life wisdom, here's what comes to mind:
1. When touring wine country (who knew Ithaca had wine country?) avoid the places with the giant Hummer Limos in the parking lot, especially if you see dozens of 20 somethings pouring out, shouting, "Bring on the VINO!" There are other, lovelier vineyards to explore.
2. It doesn't mention this on the label, but Tylenol is super-helpful when you're at a dinner party and your friends make you laugh so hard, for so long, that your face aches.
3. Don't eat at the Ponderosa off the side of the highway. Never, ever, ever. (But if you do, there's a Wal-Mart 35 miles east that carries a full selection of Tums).
But that all pales in comparison to what Steve and I really learned, which was that long drives are worth it when you get to spend time with great people and expand the scope of your world. (Of course, I'm not sure THAT DOG would agree, given that her world expanded to include an indoor cat...but I took her for a run on the beach on the way home yesterday, and I think that was her version of Tums, making everything better!)