Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Parental units, free cup, our song, tasting, blowing in, discard, going alone and crickets.

Sometimes you just have to be a bit flexible with your numbering.

1. We met Rich's parents, Lucille and Fred, and you could see where he gets his kindness and generosity from. They welcomed us like long-lost friends, and I loved being 'The girls' right from the start. Later, we set out in Lucille's vast and beautiful 1980s Cadillac ('I'm the original little old lady who you want to buy a car from.' We went to the graveyard so we could salute Rich and give him some flowers. His stone is artful -- simple but full of meaning for anyone who knows how he gave Lucille gardenias, that he achieved Scouting honours and that he loved books.

1a. Driving towards the end of Long Island, we stopped at a Starbucks where the barista asked 'Are you on holiday?' I said: 'Yes.' Seems this was the right answer, because it got me a free coffee! 'He's probably used to dealing with some very rude and demanding people,' commented Bob.

2. 'Switch on your radio at 3.30,' said Bob. 'It's a good show.' And they played a special song for Clare and Katie driving through Long Island: Gilbert O'Sullivan's Clare. I never realised there was a song for my name -- and it's even spelt right.

2a. Visiting Pindar Vineyards Winery. When Rich visited us, he brought over some bottles of really quite nice wine and a big packet of bottle labels, which I used to decorate a little chest of drawers in my bathroom. We saw the original paintings used to make the labels, and tasted (and bought) some wine.

2b. Watching a storm blowing in towards Orient Point while we waited for the ferry. The wind whipped our hair and battered at our coats. After hot New York the sea air was a blast.

2c. Horseshoe crab shells. I've never seen these before except in pictures and I couldn't believe they were big enough to use as helmets.

3. On the other side of the ferry was our first solo US driving -- Katie's first solo US driving, I mean -- and we were both very scared. So arriving safely at the motel in Mystic was a great relief.

3a. I hadn't expected to hear so many whirring churring croaking things -- I like these noises because they make it feel as if you are properly on holiday.