This sweet house is where we stayed--Sarah's Haven, located on a pond in a wooded area outside Worcester. Hand crafted by an amazing woodworker, it was full of surprises--secret closets, hidden rooms--like a ship's galley, there wasn't any wasted space. And cleverly designed, too! Check out the entry way, set up for boots, coats, mittens:
And the pond:
Naturally our first stop was Concord, Orchard House to be precise. Everyone knows Little Women is one of my favorite books of all time and Louisa May Alcott ranks up there with Shakespeare on my Great Writers list.
I was reallyreallyreally excited to see Louisa's childhood home. We had a great tour guide, too. She was incredibly knowledgeable about the Alcotts, their friends and their various involvements and didn't just stick to the script about Louisa's life. I'd have loved to had lunch with her and talked more. If we lived near, we'd be besties, I'm certain of it.
I didn't learn much new during our tour. Louisa's father, Bronson, was a philosopher who kept his family in poverty, but his mind was so fantastic that guys like Emerson kept him around. Louisa lived in a circle where Henry David Thoreau taught her and her sisters biology at Walden Pond, Ralph Waldo Emerson was a regular guest. She and her sisters were surrounded by great ideas, minds, inventions and resources. The interesting thing I did learn was how talented an artist her sister, May, was. The house still has her drawings on the walls and window frames--she sketched on every available space and her work is truly remarkable.
Next stop: Walden Pond. I read four books at regular intervals throughout my life: A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, Little Women, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Based on this list, you might imagine how visiting Concord was a religious experience for me.
And swimming where he swam/drank/bathed/did dishes! I was pretty geeked out.
On our way out of Concord, my heart full and my head spinning, we stopped by Longfellow's Wayside Inn for dinner. It looked as charming as you'd expect. We dined on authentic colonial fare, including some of the BEST British ale on tap, Indian Pudding, potatoes and a steak Marni claimed she could cut with the side of her fork. (I had a lobster roll.)
My third day in Concord involved edits on my manuscript (reader--I'm waffling between two titles: Riding the Edge and Changing Gears--any thoughts?). My dearest Screw Iowa Writers Workshop gave me brilliant advice and tuned it up so I'm ready to make final layers of revisions before sending this new baby into the world.
Days four and five in the next post, I have groceries to buy, children to hassle and a garden to tend. Meanwhile...
Spill it, reader: where is your dream vacation? What destination would inspire a religious fervor out of you?
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