So where were we on that Sunday morning? Ah yes, wondering where to go next - Boston, back to Ashfield or The Berkshires even? - when the phone rang and someone answered our prayers. It was Kristin sounding really pleased that she hadn't missed us as she'd just got back the night before from New Jersey. Can you come and stay she asked? I nearly fell out of my seat. When Kristin and I had spoken about this trip we realised that we probably wouldn't get to meet as she would be away when we passed by her place and it was only because this friend in Boston couldn't have us that we were now free.You know I've spent this whole trip saying how blessed we were and it's things like this that made me say it.
Anyway, I did not need asking twice so it was off in the car and back down Tom's favourite motorway:
On route we stopped off in Grafton (what a pretty place):
and somewhere near there we stopped on the side of the road and bought lemonade and brownies off two lovely girls. We told them we'd come all the way from England for their treats and they looked suitably impressed:
Then it was another quick dip in a river somewhere (near Newfane, I think):
before arriving at Kristin's.
Oh Joy. What a beautiful house she has - the downstairs rooms are painted in soft leafy greens:
piled high with books, decorated with beautiful textiles, rich coloured cushions here and there, molas and paintings decorate some of the walls, other walls are painted like so:
Talk about eye candy. I just drifted from one room to another with my mouth wide open. It's such a lovely house in itself but the internal decoration really is quite stunning. If you want to see more there is a link to a magazine article here. Just scroll down till you get to Country Homes.
That night we had a barbeque, ate some more s'mores and all the children played board games till late whilst the adults chatted. The next day - guess what - we took Kristin and Julia to Elmers for brunch but we were too late - they'd finished serving and cleared up the kitchen. So we went over to the pizza place instead which was actually really nice. After that it was a visit to Historic Deerfield:
and a tour through one of the lovely houses which my children patiently bore but Julia loved and then back to Kristin's where the boys helped her husband to herd sheep that had gotten astray. They had a great time - my boys that is - and Rohan has gone back to his original dream of wanting to be a farmer. He got sidetracked by wanting to be a cricketer and then a rugby player in between.
Now next morning we were supposed to get up early and go to Boston but the children woke up asking if they could please go to Elmers and then to the glacial potholes before we left. So Kristin and I managed a bit of extra time together thankfully. I tell you I should have packed the others off and spent a day with K as we had so much to talk about and I wanted to see her work and her studio. As it was I managed to look through the books she's written and see some of her projects close-up. She is so talented and such an inspiring person too. I feel so lucky that I finally got to meet you Kristin and to stay with you too.
Look what she gave me as I left. A signed copy of:
and some balls of her lovely wool which is as soft as can be (it's a wool/mohair/alpaca blend). She let me pick what I wanted and I tell you it's so lovely I could have taken a ball of each colour but I didn't want to appear greedy:
So after a snatched hour to ourselves we went back to Elmers - "Hi it's us again" - and had a great brunch and a lovely chat with the owner who is from New Orleans. I didn't catch her name but I just want to say if you're reading, 'please come to England and open up an Elmers near us'. My children will love you forever and do all the advertising for you ....... and get pretty huge too, I suppose.
Well after a quick swim we really did have to leave for Boston and we did it with tears in our eyes. Thanks Kristin, Mark and Julia for being such wonderful hosts - can we come back next year please?
Three hours later we were in Boston where we got to stay in our first hotel. It really made us appreciate how amazing our trip was that we only did it once. That afternoon/evening we walked around Boston and then met Brenda and her family for supper. Brenda and I have been e-mailing each other for a while and I was so pleased that we were able to meet up. Sadly, the evening was far too short but we were well entertained by Jason, Brenda's other half who is a real character. The boys loved him as they did the two little boys - Jack and Nash. We all had a cuddle with Nash who is just six months old. To prolong the evening we went to Ben and Jerry's down the road but it really was time to go back to the hotel as we were all wilting by now. A sad goodbye was said and we went back saying what a lovely family you have Brenda and thanks so much for supper and for the lovely gifts you gave us too. We just wish we could have spent some more time together - you and I had so much to talk about.
Next morning we went to Cambridge and had another American brunch at Zoe's before we sped off down the motorway to Bridgeport to get the ferry to Long Island. In retrospect we should have spent the morning in Boston as Cambridge was far too busy and touristy but never mind.
I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that the fourth and final part will be coming up soon and then we can resume normal broadcast - as they used to say on the telly. Thanks so much for reading and for being interested in our trip. I wanted to share it with you to show you just how amazing this blogging community really is and also to pay tribute to all our lovely hosts and to say thank you to my wonderful (new) friends.