The next morning, Meg and I meet in Union Square and complete the car rental application and paperwork, which includes the two of us FULLY inspecting the taupe Chevy Trailblazer. A ubiquitous Midwestern car not regularly found in Manhattan that screams “RENTAL”. Kate meets us there; we pick up Wynn and then head Uptown to liberate Siobhan from her office. It takes about 40 minutes to load five women, boots, bags, wine and snacks into the SUV. This includes the three minutes Siobhan (Post 136) and I spend scooping up her things when one of her bags bursts open and the contents spill onto north-bound Park Avenue.
We make excellent time out of the City and 45 minutes later when we drive by the Target in West Nyack, we squeal in delighted unison. You would think we’re drooling over Harry Winston, but this requires no discussion. As a collective, we know Sunday’s return to the City will involve a bull eye’s pit stop. Men, please take note, there are occasions when dates are not as exciting as discount Bounty and faux leather home goods. This is because gummy bears and super sized boxes of tampons don’t disappoint, but dates sometimes do.
The five-hour car ride to Vermont (home of maple syrup and Howard Dean) is smooth and seamless. It is early evening when we arrive at our idyllic looking lodge with a snow-capped roof. I hop out of the car and breathe the pristine cool air. The trees with their anorexic branches are mesmerizing, etching dark lines against the silvery sky speckled with shiny stars. It has been a long time since I saw stars. It is one of the trade offs for living in Manhattan I guess. So I close my eyes and wish for the happiness I desperately need.
Our unit at the Trail Creek Condominiums, despite the décor being Precious Moments meets Country Living, is spacious and really quaint. I ignore the slightly musty and cigarette smell and scope out our digs for the next 48 hours. There is a HUGE kitchen (with a dishwasher – I almost forgot what they look like), two baths, two bedrooms and a loft space. Coming from tiny Manhattan apartments, the space is as mind numbing as the cold Vermont air. What do people do in all this space? Decorate? dance around nude? throw parties? I have no idea!
We pick rooms and then trek through knee-high snow to dine at the Wobbly Barn. We return giddy from our dinner bill -- $120 with tip for ALL five of us. The same dinner would cost at least twice that in the City. Full and happy, Meg makes a roaring fire. The five of us, Siobhan, Wynn, Kate, Meg and I, put on our pajamas and lay around sipping wine. The heat and amber glow of the fire warms our feet, faces and souls. The curtains are open and we watch bright white flakes of new snow fall from the heavens. As I enjoy the peace, I am reminded why it is VERY IMPORTANT to get off that island every few months!
“Y’all, how great would s’mores be right now?” Meg asks in her southern accent. “So great!” I reply. “Oh. My. God. I am so full, but if we had them, I’d eat 50,” Siobhan says in a kid-like voice that makes me think of the little girls we once were. An exhausted and satiated silence falls over us. Like typical New Yorkers we reach for our phones to check text messages and emails. After a few minutes Siobhan sets her phone aside, smiles and asks, “What should we talk about next?” Meg smirks and says, “Uhm, boys!”
To be cont.