What a week we've had! The #1 Catch-up was written just two days after we arrived; now we've been here a week and 2 days. There have been two major highlights in this week and tons of delightful times.
Last Wednesday as we were sightseeing/shopping with our cousins, we went to the Centerville Pie Company, first made famous by Oprah on one of her "My Favorite Things" episodes - in 2009, I think. She fell in love with their Chicken Pie and so did we. It's not typical, being 100% chicken in a two-crust pie served by the slice with extra gravy on top, some cranberry sauce, and some wonderfully seasoned mashed buttternut squash. (I'll have to show you the pics later; they are on Jane's camera. But you can see the pies on the web site, and if you look at some of their latest photos, you will see us in a few. Here is their blog post about it.)
It was great fun; we loved the food and the folks, especially Kristin and Polly.
They told us the Travel Channel was going to be there the next day filming a "Food Paradise" episode and invited us back. That's all it took for Joel! We HAD to go...and so we did. Dave loaned us his car (with Garmin aboard), Jane programmed our destination and off we went. We arrived a little before noon, signed waivers and permissions in order to get in the door, and joined the other diners/shoppers. The crews were there: local videographers and some members of the LA Food Paradise production staff. We waited around for a bit, but it seemed that it would be quite some time before they got around to the actual interviews, so we ordered our lunch and ate. We went as slowly as we could, expecting them to want us to be eating...but they started elsewhere and we finished our meal. They did come to us though, and DID want us to eat, so they ordered a dessert pie for us. Then, even knowing we'd eaten, they asked if we would/could have some of the Chicken Pie, too. Oh, my goodness! Thankfully, the restaurant staff just gave us beautiful plates of the pie and cranberry sauce and left off the squash!
It was fun to be involved. They were gentle directors, though they asked me twice to use my right hand for particular shots. They seemed to enjoy Joel's energy a lot and we think we (or she) will end up in the actual episode. It was huge fun. They even filmed me in the retail side of the store when I ordered some macaroons to take back to the troops at Jane's house. And just so you know, they were the BEST macaroons, too: big and fluffy with the perfect amount of crunch on the outside. Yum!
Then there were beach days:
I tried some tai chi out here, but it was pretty funny. Fun, and funny. It was hard to forget about the people out there. (this long-shot photo is from a different day) And the rocks and sand keep moving under my feet. But I did it - have done so a few times...
A day or two later, we had a picnic with some of Dave's family and walked to another harbor beach. This one was sandy, quite windy that evening, but just gorgeous. Once again, I'll have to borrow the photos from Jane; mine are in the phone, but I forgot the adaptor card thingee...
Dave has proven to be a VERY good griller. He was in charge of all things fire this night and the food was scrumptous. Sue and Daphne had made wonderful salads and sides and served sweet sweet watermelon. And kids of all ages enjoyed the s'mores.
On another night - Saturday, I think - Dave made some of the best ribs with multiple cooking methods and Jane's special rub.
Another evening was my first-ever shell fish meal: not paella (no rice or saffron) but terrific steamers, little neck clams, mussels, shrimp, and kielbasa in a rich broth that we soaked up with delicious bread. I confess I worried about that meal a little. What if they were as nasty as I imagined!? Much to my delight, it was all VERY good. None of it was chewy like my years-ago experience with escargot. All of it was tender and delicious. Jane is a great cook who takes care with a meal and serves it beautifully. And I never have to be scared of shellfish again!
And there was Hoxie Pond:
And dinner out by the water, of course:
A restaurant called HemiSphere
And Then...and Then... And Then...there were Whales!!! Oh, my goodness.
if you still have a Facebook acct., check here:
If you don't here are a few highlights of the excursion into Stellwagen Bank:
And on the way back in, good shots of Sandy Neck:
This lighthouse used to be powered by whale oil; now solar.
These homes belong to individuals and are passed down thru the families, but are part of an historic area that can not be built upon or otherwise improved. The homes have no electric power and no running water. They CAN be repaired after storms. Very interesting, but I must learn more before I could comment further.
We've seen so many wonderful places and met so many warm people. I just don't know what folks mean when they talk about 'cold' New Englanders. It has not been our experience. We are finding such great generosity of spirit here. It's true that Bearly is a great ice-breaker, but it feels like more than that. What a special vacation, and still almost two weeks to go!