Yes, folks, I am still alive!! Kurt came over to this page this morning and said, “Aren’t you ever going to update???” So I figured I really should.
My visit with Judy went really, really well. I think she was a little apprehensive in coming since I had been so awful about keeping in touch with her, but she really wanted to meet the baby. I realized that the reason I had been so remiss in staying in contact because I miss her so very, very much, and it’s painful in a way. For four and a half years, Judy was just across the street, always there for me, always a phone call or a jaunt across the street away. I could head over there for any reason, whether I needed a hug or a cup of sugar, which was especially important when Kurt was out to sea for half the year. Now she’s thousands of miles away, and for the first year I lived here, I had only Kurt, and I missed the camaraderie of having a good female friend. Instead of staying in touch, I pretty much shut down.
Not the best of ideas, let me assure you.
Fortunately Judy looked past my issues and booked her flight anyhow. And since she’s a flight attendant, it was just one of the perks of her job. When I picked her up at the airport Tuesday night, it was like we had never been apart. From that moment on, it was just like old times.
Wednesday we hung around the house for much of the day. Judy’s flight had landed at 11:30 the night before, and we hadn’t gone to bed till 1am. Eventually we decided to get a bit of fresh air and hiked down the Cliff Walk from Easton’s Beach almost down to The Breakers and Salve Regina University. I’m pretty sure we walked about two and a half miles; there were markers for every tenth of a mile, and we got all the way to the “13” marker before turning around and walking back.
I carried Mary Ellen in my sling on our walk since I remembered there being stairs on the Cliff Walk, and who wants to deal with a stroller on stairs? There were far fewer stairs than I remembered, but Mary Ellen kept me warm. The only problem was everyone wanted to stop and talk to me because they saw a baby sticking out of my jacket and they wanted to know how she was being held and if she was comfortable.
Trust me, she was comfortable. She starts squalling if she isn’t!
On Thursday, we totally did the touristy thing. What’s a visit to Newport without a trip to the mansions?? We took in both Chateau-sur-Mer and The Breakers. I hadn’t been to either mansion, so it was just as much fun for me as it was for Judy. Chateau-sur-Mer was one of the few mansions in Newport that was built as a year-round residence, and it was one of the first as well. It’s not nearly as opulent as most of the other mansions since it was built so early, but it’s still a very lovely mansion. The Breakers, of course, is the most opulent and extravagant of all the mansions in Newport. It was built for the Vanderbilts, whose main home in New York City had over 150 rooms. The Breakers, by comparison, was just a small summer cottage with 70-some rooms. It was really amazing to see the splendor that these folks lived in back in the Gilded Age. My entire house would fit into one of their bedrooms! Everything in The Breakers is covered in 22K gold, except these four corners one of the main rooms that the curators originally thought was silver. When they tested it, they found out instead it was platinum! It’s just mind-boggling.
Friday night we had a party of sorts. I had entirely too many gin & tonics while we played board games with Judy and a family in the neighborhood. It was okay, though; everyone else had too many drinks as well! Then Judy and I ended up talking about anything and everything till five o’clock in the morning. I don’t know how we stayed up so late, but I guess we had a lot to talk about. I’m just hoping she was able to sleep on the plane as she flew home!
Now it’s awfully quiet in the house. But I have vowed to myself that I would keep in better touch with Judy because the Girl Scouts are right — “Make new friends but keep the old / One is silver and the other’s gold.”