well not strangers but friends. Friends made through this blog. Friends that have offered to have us to stay whilst we are in America. Friends that have made suggestions and given tips on where to go too.
What a WONDERFUL bunch of friends I have. It occurred to me the other day that this upcoming trip to America wouldn't be happening if I didn't have a blog. It's because of the blog and my American friends that I had the urge to go and visit their wonderful country and to meet them. It's only because of the blog that we're able to afford to go and stay for sixteen days because we certainly couldn't afford for five people to stay in hotels and eat out for that long.
I feel so blessed to have these wonderful friends in my life. Take Jodi for instance who we will be staying with for five nights in Pennsylvania. She's planning on taking us to the dutch Amish country, to a baseball game, to do some shopping and I know she's got other things up her sleeve. She and her husband have been soooo helpful telling us where to hire cars, how to get down from JFK. I can't wait to meet her in person as we've found we have so much in common - a lot of late nights there me thinks. Sue has invited us over for tea one afternoon and Amber can't wait to meet her three lovely little girls - she lives nearby and Melody wants me to go to her sewing group one evening whilst I'm there.
Then we leave PA on July 31st and drive up to Vermont but stopping in Connecticut on the way to stay with Georgia and her family. The boys are really keen to hang out with her boys and I'm really looking forward to having a chin-wag with her. After that we're going to drive up to Deerfield on Kristin Nicholas' suggestion and meet up with her the next day, if she's free. That night we stay with Tonya in western Massachusetts.
Then it's up to Vermont to stay with Sarah albeit it for one night as she's off to Canada early the next morning but she has offered us the use of her lovely hand-built house on 3rd August. I'm so grateful as that will be a day to chill out and so NO driving. Then we think we'll head over to Portsmouth, NH and get a B&B (if they exist in America) for two nights before heading down to Boston to stay with the step-sister of Tom's first girlfriend. (My neighbour said - how have you kept in touch with these people?) So a couple of days in Boston where we'll also meet up with Brenda and then Sturbridge Village on the way down to get the ferry over to Long Island.
There we will be staying with the lovely Wylie, another blog friend and having two days in NYC and one day in the sea with her and her partner. Then that's it - we fly back on 12th.
Doesn't that sound like an amazing trip? I am a bit concerned about all the driving we're planning to do as we are just not used to being in the car everyday for hours but we can always cut down and linger a bit longer in places once we're out there. We're all so excited as the last time we did a big trip was four years ago to India.
I'm still open to any suggestions anyone might have and I'd also like to know about fabric shops, wool shops, craft places. Of course Amber wants to know where a teenager might want to shop aside from Gap. Kristin pointed out that Green Mountain Spinnery is up near her and I've gleaned a few tips from other bloggers who've been to New York. Does anyone have any suggestions for places that Tom and the boys could go to in New York whilst Amber and I are shopping? I've discovered some interesting places in Boston already as Wylie's mother sent me a whole load of leaflets last week. (Wasn't that the kindest thing?)
So now we're getting haircuts, buying new sandals, sunhats and new underwear - that's me and Amber. Ever since my washing blew over into my posh neighbour's garden in London and he came over and gave me back my knickers in a brown envelope I've been paranoid about people seeing my knickers. So I'm getting new ones as I'll probably be chucking my laundry in with my hostess's.
We're off on July 26th and in between I'm visiting my parents and then we have to pack. Meanwhile I'll be making lists everyday I guess .............
PS I will post up the recipe for cinnamon buns next time as this post is way too long already.
PPS I posted out four packets of fudge on Friday night as promised to Lucette, Simone, Denise and Julie. I've been paranoid ever since as I just know they're not up to my usual standard thanks to the thermometer doing acrobatics in the pan. Sorry girls, I hope it was edible.