Normally I would eschew such grandiosity, because I am a lover of earthy things and would like my great grandchildren to have some earth left to love as well, but this time I caved like a Florida sinkhole to the lush comforts of the 300. Leather seats (heated!), pumpin' stereo system, shiny tires, and enough muscle under the hood to make a race car driver horny. I immediately dubbed it "The Pimpmobile," and set off to the James River Plantation zone, pushing 80 at only 2000 rpm.
(Yes, I love to drive. I love to drive fast. I also realize now that I love to drive fast on country roads in a big-ass car that actually seems to moan with pleasure at high speeds or in tight turns. Oh yes, I love me that kind of driving.)
After realizing that one cannot, in fact, drive THROUGH Fort Lee Virginia (though I tried), and making up a route in my head (because really, who travels with a MAP?), I arrived at the B&B only 30 minutes late, which is pretty good, given that I got delayed 40 minutes by the rental place and probably 15 on my "detour." Awaiting me on the wide front porch were 2 hott chickas with warm hugs and bright smiles and a taste for adventure. The third showed up about an hour later, and we were off and running!
The plan was to hit some big ol' plantations, taking their tours and wandering their grounds in a picturesque fashion while chatting of history and our families. It was a spectacular day, with temps in the upper 80's and a sky so perfect in its late-summery way that if it were any more blue or the clouds were any more cartoonishy puffy I'd say someone had pulled off a tremendous act of fakery. The sun beat on the brick and boxwoods as we professed our love for modern times, in which women can go about with bare arms and nary a petticoat to be found, and our admission that if we lived in "the olden days" we'd be very very crabby beeyotches indeed.
I stood on the ground where "Taps" was composed, and gazed out over the wide James River while red velvet ants marched boldy by. I wondered what the people who started these vast enterprises would think of what they'd become. The Plantations (a farm with one major cash crop) and Hundreds (so named because they were plots of land that could support a hundred people) carved from the woods of Virginia through hard labor turned into tourist destinations could hardly be a future envisioned by their founders.
Presently (well, at 5, when the plantations close and the families who still live in them presumably can come downstairs again), we made our way back to the B&B to freshen up. Our hostess poured wine, and we lounged in a foofy-frilly Victorian parlor on very old furniture while cooling off and killing time until our 6:30 dinner reservation. What peace is to be found in the company of old friends falling back into place, filling in the blanks of our lives for one another, finding the rhythm of conversation and finishing one anothers' stories. Just like we used to.
So then, to dinner.
Baked brie, blah blah blah, wine, blah, blah, blah, ghost stories that really happened to us (plus tears!), blah, blah, blah, dinner, blah, blah, blah, more wine, blabber, blabber, blabber, coffee and chocolate-bourbon pecan pie, natter natter, natter, and 150 minutes later dinner was a memory of great food, many words, and an eventual shouting match to be heard above the din of many happy diners in a room built for echos. (Hello? Indian Fields? Y'all ever heard of carpets? Draperies? Might help with that NOISE issue you got going on.....when I leave a restaurant I do not want to feel as though I've just seen a 2-hour death metal battle of the bands and had to scream to talk to my fellow moshers. Just a thought)
Back to the gentility then.
Which involves rabbits. Lots and lots and LOTS of rabbits.
Apparently, the hostess at the inn has a fetish for stuffed rabbits. And shopping for them. And decorating entire rooms with them.
Rabbits, and pillows. Lots and lots of pillows. And silk flowers, and antique baby carriages, and old dresses on dress forms and pictures of dolls dressed up in old victorian dresses, and the color pink, and lace, and and and....
It was enough to give a Scandanavian the jumping heebie-jeebies, and perfect for those people who love all things Victorian, of which I am not one, but I could admire the effort that went into creating such a haven for those who are.
After a quick change into our PJs, we began the sleepover part of the visit, which involved some bourbon, photo albums, more bourbon, and more pictures. And lots of talking; always with the talking! Who knew these people had so MUCH to talk about? Good grief, I could hardly get a word in edgewise! Buncha conversation monopolizers, is what they are. Going on and on about their kids and their families and their careers and their houses and oooh look, wedding pictures! Man, it's like they just could NOT be quiet!
Or was that just me?
1:30 a.m. the last 2 party girls go to bed, pushing aside pillows and silk flowers and stuffed rabbits to collapse into deep sleep.
Too soon the light filtering through the window got me up, to find that somehow in the night one of those rabbits had crept into bed with me, and I was cuddling it tenderly. I'd tucked it in under my right arm and was grasping its wee soft foot, and for a minute I thought I was holding a baby and got terribly confused. Its sewn-in black eyes and long lashes beseeched me to snuggle it just once more, and I complied, because who knew what terrors could be visited on me if I dissed just ONE of the hundred stuffed bunnies that inhabited the space tucked under the attic in which we were staying? It doesn't bear thinking about, really, and, quite honestly, I needed to make up to all of them for putting some of them in somewhat compromising positions the night before.
As it turns out, the snuggle was a good move, because 4 of the largest rabbits were waiting for me when I opened the bedroom door to the living room. They were apparently on the lookout for me, and could quite possibly have done me a serious disservice if I'd not done the bidding of one of the smaller of their breed.
Sometimes I am so smart, and wisely listen to the voices in my head.
You know, this is getting very very long, and I need to get to work.
I'll have to save the mouth orgasmatiastic breakfast story (among others) for later. Just thinking about it makes me salivate.....