Two weekends ago we had the pleasure of reuniting with a couple of warm, old friends: Jo and Becky from our days in Mongolia. They arrived from the UK on Thursday and were in the house to greet me and James upon our arrival home from work/daycare.
We quickly settled into that sort of casual comfort only enjoyed with close friends. Perhaps it’s having slept in gers together or ridden across the Mongolian steppe for far too many hours in far too squished a space, but whatever it is, it’s nice. Simple comforts of pleasant conversation, cold beer, and warm cheer.
Our first stop for the evening was the pub where our Brits were introduced to the pumpkin mania that is this time of year. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin desserts: all of it was amusing (and delicious).
Friday we left them to entertain themselves for the day while we counted the minutes until our weekend arrived. On tap? A quiet evening at home in preparation for a big day a the fair on Saturday.
Up and at ’em early on Saturday, we journeyed to Topsfield for the fair.
And then to the brewery in Gloucester for lunch.
And then to the lobster shop to buy dinner.
And finally home to greet another Mongolia friend, Marilyn, who had taken the bus up from NYC.
James called a meeting amongst his new friends to welcome them to the house.
We waited until post-bedtime to cook said friends and to enjoy a delightful lobster and corn on the cob dinner. How very New England of us.
Sunday morning we said so long to Marilyn and hopped in the car to journey to Plymouth, MA, and then on to Sandwich. We weren’t looking to do much of anything, per say, but we wanted an outing, so an outing we created.
What better outing than Oktoberfest, stumbled upon at the height of hunger and pessimism (this town is empty, we’re never going to find anywhere to eat, DOES THAT SIGN SAY OKTOBERFEST?!?!).
Jo liked jager.
Warmed through, back home we went with a stop first at Becky’s family’s house to drop her off for the afternoon.
Monday we wandered about some more, casually puttering the streets of Cambridge before coming home, heading out for a walk, and then saddling up to the bar at another local pub. Here we enjoyed bar snacks, a few pints, and that warm kind of lighting that makes an evening feel more magical than it really is.
Our visit wound down on Tuesday, and the guests took off on Wednesday. We were left with a quiet house and a reminder that friends met in unique ways always offer unique reminders of the novelty of life, the quirkiness of the world. Much in the same way that babies do, friends from afar remind me that the world is a fun – so very, very fun – place.