(I love that I was in the Poconos for less than 36 hours but I’m already on Part Three of this story…and I haven’t made it past the very first night.)
I have to tell you, I was in hog heaven as I wrote my morning pages curled up by the fire, listening to Rocco continue to snore five feet above my head in the world’s tallest bed. I never imagined myself the type of gal to revel in remote controlled fires, but I could get used to instant cozy with the flip of a switch. I almost didn’t mind that the falling rain was apt to foil my hiking plans.
When the princess awoke, we trudged down the path to the Manor House for breakfast. There were only three other couples staying at the resort. Most of them were close to our age, except for an older couple I’d place in their seventies. I couldn’t stop sneaking peeks at them. The frisky duo consumed multiple mimosas and giggled surreptitiously as they dined quickly in their matching velour track suits. (We never saw them a second time during the trip and their Do Not Disturb sign never left their door knob.)
I think the word Poconos might be French for Doilies. I have NEVER seen such a copious use of paper doilies in my life. I asked the waiter if he feared for the extinction of the doily based on their effusive use in his workplace. His response was, “Huh, I’d never noticed before but now that you mention it, I’d guess we use at least ten doilies per table.” TEN DOILIES PER TABLE! I’m sure he was low balling me.
Besides, he was only counting the doilies used in the dining room — under cubes of coffee cake, atop the dainty tea saucers, beneath the chilled fruit cups. What about all the doilies I’d seen in our room? I found them under the champagne glasses, below the pile of bath products, beneath the bedside mints, cradling the remote control — it was a doily massacre!
After our three course breakfast, we ordered our boxed lunches and debated how to spend the day. “We could try the hiking trail,” I offered.
“It’s raining,” Rocco responded.
“Not that hard,” I countered. “The guide says it’s only an hour’s hike.”
“If you want to go hike, it’s ok. I will find your body.”
I decided traipsing into the rainy woods all by my lonesome during hunting season wasn’t the single wisest thing to do, so we opted to explore the “Area Antiques and Points of Interest” map included in our hotel binder. We started out at an old Victorian Home in Hamlin that had been converted into a shop called Past Impressions. Rocco spent a ridiculous amount of time gazing at antique pocket knives, opening each one in search of the Remington name. I poured over an amusing assortment of Polish Folk Song reels for player pianos. Not that I own a player piano, but a girl really should always keep her options open.
After picking up a few Christmas gifts, we moved on to the next shop — Ursula’s Barn. One of my favorite people on Earth is named Ursula (no not the evil octopus looking lady from The Little Mermaid) so we HAD to stop. I spent the majority of the time chasing around a gorgeous gray tomcat, but Rocco somehow managed to find another cute gift amongst the mountains of holiday tchotchkes.
I don’t know how I found the inner fortitude to refrain from purchasing these gorgeous specimens. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see one of those furry heads peeking out of their stocking Christmas morning? If only there had been one more, I could have purchased a matching set for my dear brothers. Seriously, I’m still having nightmares about those weird licorice rope looking claws.
We tried to find a local potter’s studio, but the map the hotel provided us was less than helpful. After much debate, we decided against visiting the Sterling Candle Shop and Tanning Salon with its flashing neon sign. Instead, we poked into a few more shops and returned to the Manor for lunch.
Yes, many doilies were slain in the presentation of our meal. As I sat my sandwich back on it’s now soiled doily, Rocco motioned towards the fromage plate. “You gonna eat the brie?” he asked as he polished off the cheddar.
“Like ever?” I countered in confusion.
“Well, don’t throw it out if that’s what you’re asking. Don’t you eat brie?”
“What, you don’t like it?” I asked innocently.
“Not really,” he shrugged.
“Not even baked with fruit inside puffy breaded yumminess?” I pushed.
“Nope,” he shook his head.
“Did I know that?” I asked after a brief pause.
“We’ve had this conversation before,” he sighed. Modulating his voice he put on a cheesy grin and launched into a reenactment. “Let’s make brie!” he imitated. Switching voices and changing the grin he continued, “I don’t really like brie.” Back to the higher pitched voice and bug eyed grin he finished with, “Really, you don’t like brie?”