We left Friday morning for a relaxing weekend in Boston. My husband did an amazing job of driving for the entire trip. Diane and Joe Dougherty and I could set back and relax. Joe served as the navigator (along with the GPS) and Diane and I took in the scenery. Spring is such a lovely time of the year to travel. A town filled with so many things to do, we had choices to make before we arrived in Boston. It was decided we would spend Saturday morning at the John F. Kennedy Library and the afternoon at the Isabella Gardner Museum. This was not my first trip to Boston (and will certainly not be my last), but in all my visits to the Boston area, I had hoped to visit the Isabella Gardner Museum. Finally, I got my wish!
The trip really was planned around visits with friends. Patty and Ed moved outside of Boston when Ed was hired by a local newspaper. I didn’t want our friendship to evaporate over time – not that we wouldn’t always be friends – but relationships have a bad habit of slipping away if you do not keep track of them! Patty has a new dog named Bentley – an adorable snow-white Maltese – to keep her company while Ed is at work. The Maltese has been a lap dog to royalty for centuries. Bentley has silky hair and loves to be pampered, cuddled and held. Patty brought him along in a tote bag when we visited the Kennedy Library. No one said a thing when Ed and Patty walked in with the dog. He never barked. Never! Not once! As long as Patty or Ed carried him, he was content. Wow! If I had tried that with either of my Corgis, we would have been escorted out of the museum in a New York minute! My dogs bark all the time – they are recreational barkers and love to talk!
The Kennedy Library was so interesting – we were reliving history – and that made everyone both happy and sad. Kennedy was so eloquent. He had a way of making everyone feel proud to be Americans. He gave us a mission – a job to do – and we were all in this together for the long haul. I couldn’t help feel a chill or two when I thought about the reality of what is going on in our country right now and all over the world. We spent some solemn moments in front of a piece of the Berlin wall. “Ich bin ein Berliner” echoing in our minds.
Saturday afternoon was a real treat! We met Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan and their husbands, Chris and George, to tour the Isabella Gardner Museum. It was wonderful to see them all again and be in such a magical, mystical place. The museum is a living work of art – the gardens are so beautiful and central to the design of the building. So much to see! The fabrics as wallpaper, the intricate wooden doors, charming desks, postcards and letters from the famous – we read a letter written to Gardner from T.S. Eliot. The artwork on the walls – everything, actually – is exactly where Isabella Gardner wanted it to be. I will definitely go again!
And then, some bocce ball and a delicious dinner at Limoncello’s – a restaurant in the North End – right next to Paul Revere’s home! We had a chance to talk on our walk to the bocce ball court, to the restaurant, and back to the cars. Clare, Chris, Tammy, and George are such great people! I realized how much I loved spending time with them. I actually felt….peaceful – like I was with my tribe – like I belonged. I knew this would not be the last trip to Boston. Oh, yes. The town is wonderful. But it’s the friendships that will pull us back again and again. We hope they have a chance to visit us here in Philly. Clare said she would love to see Longwood Gardens – the place Rose Cappelli often talks about on Slice. Oh, and the Brandywine River Museum, and Chanticleer Gardens and Gallery, and dinner at the Gables or the Dilworthtown Inn. Yes! And of course, reunions at ILA and NCTE.
We met Patty and Ed for lunch at La Voile on Newberry Street. What fun! I came home with two very expensive bottles of balsamic vinegrette and lots of great memories. There are many treasures in Boston, but the most precious treasures are the friendships!