I have just returned from the most magical weekend of my life—thus far. Briefly, we went to New Jersey overnight. The end. But the beauty is in the details, and I’ll begin at the beginning.
Back in April as a wedding gift my dearest and oldest friend Michele and her darling husband gifted us with an overnight stay at a B & B in Flemington, NJ. You might remember me mentioning it back here. Michele’s aunt and her husband own the Main Street Manor. With our stay we were also given a gift certificate for dinner out and a bottle of wine—Flemington is a dry town, so it’s all B.Y.O. We left early Saturday morning.
The highlight of the weekend was, without a doubt, meeting in person with the lovely Michelle of Cicada Studio fame. Michelle, her husband Andrew and their dashing babe Bruno met with us in Lambertville—a quaint town full of antique shops, charming eateries and boutiques enough to have every Etsian digging deep into their paypal accounts! Having seen enough pictures of the Bencsko family I knew them as soon as I saw them, and as I expected, we were instant friends! After all, we’ve been virtual-friends for almost two years now so we had plenty to talk about and sadly not enough time to cover everything. While we bantered on about the ups and downs of self-employment in the craft world the husbands chatted about things that husbands chat about—neither Michelle or I could probably tell you what that is, but they hit it off! And Bruno…sweet Bruno who never made a disapproving peep, entertained us all with his pensive smirk and playground antics. I know that anyone who reads this blog is a faithful reader of Cicada Daydream so I don’t need to tell you how inspiring Michelle’s work and business practices are. It was a real treat to meet in person and I can only hope that some of her indie-prowess has rubbed off on me!
When we all parted ways Dino and I headed back towards Flemington where we had dinner reservations at Matt’s Red Rooster Grill. Besides the stylish décor and bustling atmosphere the food was amazing. We were skeptical about the grilled romaine salad that local regulars insisted we try—hot lettuce? But it was amazing—crunchy, not wilty, with a smoky grill flavor and a tangy parmesan dressing. I was debating between filet mignon with black truffle butter and coconut braised short ribs—tough decision since I love anything with truffles. I got the best of both—I ordered the short ribs and the waitress brought me a side of truffle butter for my bread!
Our evening ended in the parlor of our Inn where we finished up the wine with Donna, the Inn Keeper. Truly, what made our experience in Flemington so amazing was Donna and Ken—not just for the luxurious accommodations that they provided us with, but for their warm and open personalities. They shared the secrets of their town with us and I left with a heavy heart knowing that it would be a while before we cross paths again—but we definitely will.
This morning after a homemade, organic breakfast by Donna and Ken we did a bit more shopping and I went home with an early birthday present. If you have read Eat, Pray, Love you will remember Liz and Felipe? They own a warehouse in Frenchtown where they store hundreds and hundreds of unique artifacts from their world travels. I went there feeling jittery and a bit star-struck because apparently the author is often there. Sadly, she wasn’t that day (perhaps this is better since it left me without the opportunity of saying something completely idiotic and embarrassing myself), but Felipe was—who is actually Jose. He is wonderful and charming and offered us hot dogs and red wine (which he himself was indulging in!) at 11 o clock in the morning! We left the hot dog there, but we took with us an amazing Boddhisatva statue/head, a shark tooth (guess who wanted that?) and a beautiful silk shawl for me.
I fell madly in love with Frenchtown—something I thought I would never say about New Jersey and spent my day dreaming up my public studio/retail storefront on Main Street…someday maybe.
For now, until life leads me there for good, I have such a happy feeling all through me and I am thanking the Bencsko’s, and the Arold’s, the O’Hara’s, and my husband…and the universe for giving me a weekend full of pleasures of the simplest kind.
You can see more photos of our adventure here.