Saturday, September 29, 2007

42 years?

I've just had the most delightful 24 hours! I hooked up with a girlfriend from a long ago life.

I was lucky enough to spend the summer I graduated from high school with the family of one of my Daddy's dearest friends - on Maui!!

We'd all been pals since we played on the beach in Waikiki when we were little kids. (That's me in the flower lei!) Raona is one of three (beside me) - her sis Gail also graduated that summer, and kid brother Jimmy - (there are two extras in the picture, plus my Mama, who's standing, and Raona's Mom sitting to the left). That summer changed my life!

Daddy's pal somehow convinced him to allow me to stay, in their care of course, for more than the two week visit we had planned. I discovered there was another kind of life to be had, other than the very tightly controlled and disciplined life I had been leading under my Daddy's watchful eye. Freedom! Oh, my!

Somehow, Raona and I lost touch after that summer, but kid brother Jimmy and I have run into each other countless times and become very close. When he heard I was in New York, he told me that Raona lived just a few miles from where I was staying. So I made a call!

We got together yesterday, had an incredible dinner at the La Perla Restaurant in Averill Park, and laughed and giggled and talked story for hours. Raona's sweet husband John was very gracious and understanding as we carried on!

Today, I was treated to a tour of nearby Saratoga. The famed mineral springs of this historic city have attracted Victorian society each summer for more than a hundred years to partake of curative waters, enjoy elegant resort living and cheer on their favorite horses at the Saratoga Racetrack.

The lovely downtown buildings have been expertly restored, making it a very worthwhile spot to visit - great people watching, beautiful architecture and dozens of exquisitely decorated horse sculptures lining the main avenue (every year, as a very successful fund raiser, several more horses are purchased and sponsored by various entities, which sponsorship grants them the opportunity to decorate them as they choose). One of these horses is covered in small mirror tiles, others are painted with race scenes, or country vistas, or pop art creations. One even is painted to resemble a horse! Imagine! It's a terrific eye-appealing way to promote the town!

And then there are all the magnificent old mansions, also beautifully maintained or restored, with elegant gardens and surrounding grounds. Even old carriage houses have been converted to spectacular homes.

Wonderful day, beautiful weather, fun drive to see more of the countryside and Saratoga, with an old friend! Heavenly!!

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