Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Joey's Birthday Week

So as I mentioned, this handsome guy turned 30 a couple of weeks ago... so we had a week long celebration full of gag gifts and rang the week in with a party at our house. It was so fun.

SMU cups

Boxers and socks

Joey's awesome blazer from Mary and John

Bath stopper (its a fish)

What's this?

Oh, a crotched bearded beanie! Perfect for a cold winter.

Joey could open a new birthday week present each day... and he wanted to open them first thing in the morning, because I mean, who wouldn't? That's why he's in his bathrobe for some of the pictures.

I only got a few pictures of Joey's party, but it was a blast.


Leon loves Dr. Mehta.

Anywho, it was a great week, we had a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who came over to celebrate!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Joey's Birthday Berkshires Adventure

.... was two weeks ago, but hey, better late than never I always say.

Joe turned the big 3-0, so we celebrated all week long... its always a party at the Laborde house.

We started out with a trip out west to the Berkshires, and stopped through Northampton first. I love that town.  We had lunch at this diner, its probably where Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon get homemade pies and broasted chicken. Delicious.

And we soaked in the town.  It was extra beautiful on account of the foliage.

 Northampton has a really cool bohemian vibe, and the people are really friendly. There are a lot of cool bands that go through there.  Sometimes the whole boho scene can be irritating, lets just call a spade a spade. I lot of creativity and not a lot of worky worky, if you know what I mean, but its not like that there. At least from what I could tell from spending approximately two and a half hours there.

We stopped by Smith College, where my two best aunts, Nancy and Barbara went to college. Thus we went through the campus and I of course, wondered what it would have been like if I'd gone there instead of its bitter rival, Wellesley College. OK not really, at least about the rivalry. Womens' Colleges aren't really like that.

Smith is beautiful.

I'm sure there's some kind of message behind this that I don't fully understand.

At Smith the students live in houses, not dorms. I'm not sure if this is one of them or not, but I like to think it is. Its such a cool way to live at college... I lived in different dorms all through college, and I liked living on campus, and this sort of takes it to another kind of home-y-er level.

So later in the afternoon we arrived at Elm Court in Lenox, Massachusetts. Its an old Vanderbilt estate, and its amazing.

It was left vacant for about 50 years, and now one of Emily Vanderbilt Sloane's great nephews and his wife are renovating it. They've completed a lot of rooms already in the main wing, where we stayed.

Our room

I super loved this kitchen.

I sort of look fat in this picture but I don't know why. Is it the scarf? Is it because my bangs are weird? Is it an actual weight issue? I don't know, but I do like the background... so just focus on that part.

I didn't want to leave. I really loved it out there. I felt a tremendous sense of peace surrounded by all of that beauty. But anyway, since this was supposed to be a trip for Joey, I hope he liked it too.

So then we decided to take a drive down a beautiful country road on the estate... 

Well OK, it wasn't that one... more like this one.
Les, the manager of the inn, came down to help us dig her on out. BTW, isn't our new car a beaute?

He was so incredibly nice. He even offered/tried to insist we take his car out to dinner and he would wait for roadside assistance... we couldn't do that, especially since he recommended we walk this road, not drive it.
The more the guys dug, the more it sank. Eventually a tow truck came and pulled it out with a wench. Then, um, well... the tow truck got stuck.  Les gave the tow truck driver and his poor wife, who just came along for the ride and wasn't even wearing shoes... a ride back to town. Because nothing says "hey! we're the jerks from Boston!" like driving our 3 month old Outback down a mountain road and getting stuck... then sticking it to the guy who helps us. Literally. We felt so horrible. Ugh.

So then we went to the Lion's Den for drinks and dinner.

So that helped us get over it a little. I hope the tow truck guy had a similar place to forget his troubles/us.

The next morning after an extra delicious breakfast we were off... and then we heard this horrible screeching sound coming from our right front tire. We squealed into a car wash and went through three times... sprayed the undercarriage, and it was gone. For about 11 minutes. So then we screeched into a tire place, and the tire place guy lifted the car up on the car lifty thing and washed it with a power hose. A lot of little rocks came out, and we were off again.
Then it came back, and at this point, I got worried. As we creaked through a beautiful neighborhood, we pulled over and gave the right front tire a long look. A compassionate woman and fellow Subaru owner came out of her house and recommended a garage around the corner. So we screeched in, and saw three tow trucks with the same name of the one that pulled out out the night before. Oh. crap.
So as we pull in the attendant comes out and says "sounds like you got a rock in your rotor."
and I was all, "yeah, that could be it," as if I knew anything about anything.  And so he comes over and reaches into the wheel and pulls out a little rock. And I was all "awesome! thanks!" and he was all, "no problem." And then we started to drive away and it kept making that sound.
So he had us pull in and he put our car up on a jack and took the wheel off. Then he got out tons of rocks. And he was like, "how did this happen."
And so I tried to discreetly say "ohh, we... we got stuck, got stuck in mud."
And after a little more back and forth he said, "ohhh, so you're the reason I had to pull my boss out of the mud this morning at 6 am."
Oh. my. god.
I told him that we felt really bad, and we apologized profusely. He stopped giving us a hard time and got all of the rocks out. Soooo, that really came full circle.
And with that, we satisfied the karmic cycle and it was time to return to Boston.

I have to say, I would go back there in a second. I loved Elm Court and Les the manager was the bomb diggity. If you want to have a peaceful weekend in a beautiful place, you should stay there. Especially if you have ever gone on the tours of the mansions in Newport and wondered what it was like to live as the upper eschelon of society in the Golden Age. I can't believe this place is open to the public as a bed and breakfast. Yeah sure, we got our car stuck, but that's us... just don't be all driving around in the back of the estate and you'll be fine.  The rooms were amazingly beautiful with so much attention to period detail, the beds were so comfortable and warm, and I mean, really and truly I can't wait to go back.

I'm going to post the rest of Joey's birthday week celebration later on this week, I'm just going to cut it off here since well, everyone probably stopped reading halfway down anyhow.
I hope you all had a great weekend!