Last Wednesday, Kate and Lydia drove to the Newark Airport. Instead of taking my train home to West Chester, I got off at the Newark Airport, took the monorail in to Terminal A, then we drove north to Maine. My all-around awesome cousin Liz Baldwin got married to carpenter, archaeologist, chef, and all-around awesome guy Matt Rowe. They have a really wonderful nine-year-old daughter, so this was definitely one of the “celebrate people you love” weddings, rather than a “good luck, you crazy kids!” weddings.
I mean, they’re still crazy kids, and all, but they continue to have great luck, and it was a wonderful ceremony on the beach at Reid State Park. My mom officiated. I saw cousins I haven’t seen in fifteen years or more (and these are first cousins!) Like my cousin Hillary Baldwin, who is a sculptor now living in Greenpoint, and Arlo Baldwin, who is now a Stone Cold Playa. (Hi guys! Arlo, I’m sorry I spilled cocktail sauce on your velvet suit.) And we got to reconnect briefly with other Baldwins — like Holly Baldwin, who is a professional Quaker (she directs Beacon Hill Friends House in Boston), and Max and Sarah, who are stylish back-to-the-land-ers. And Lydia had a great time seeing my mom (and vice versa!)
On the way back, we spent a night at Mohonk, which is a giant victorian castle on top of a craggy hill in upstate New York. I last visited Mohonk in 2003, when the big blackout happened while we were midway through a motorcycle trip, and we had only 100 miles of range in our tanks and every gas station was kaput. So we diverted to Mohonk because they make their own power in a big Jules Verne physical plant. So when colleagues at work reminisce about spending the night sleeping on the sidewalk in midtown, I get to complain about how the bar at Mohonk was out of limes. Gad, the horror!
Staying at Mohonk is a cross between going to the Plaza, being in a James Bond movie (there’s a gatehouse at the bottom of the hill that you must clear before you can drive slowly up the mountain on a private road), and being in the original Myst video game. From the balcony outside our room, you can look almost straight down to the lake, and to the crazy second-story flying walkway joining the family parlor to the second story of the lakehouse porch:
By the time the building has finished rambling, it’s a fifth of a mile long altogether. A fifth of a mile of carpeted, wood-paneled hallways with oak doors, transoms, bookcases, and fireplaces on both sides. Stephen King is supposed to have started writing The Shining after a stay at Mohonk, even though his Overlook hotel is set out west (and the exteriors in the Kubrick movie were filmed at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon.)
So naturally Kate, Lydia and I had to go play in the hedge maze!
(Kate is in the next lane over, which is why LBY is saying “we’re going the same way!”)
Oh, and as for exercise: Except for that steadicam run through the hedge maze, none this week. No treadmill, no jogging, nada. Plus, multiple calzones in Belfast, Maine, an asian wedding feast on Saturday, and several trips to the Mohonk omlette bar. I was lucky and only gained one freaking pound — apparently, my metabolism is still in a cautious wait-and-see mode. So I’m back on the regimen, and we’ll see if my body is willing to shrug this off as a delicious ham, mushroom, and swiss anomaly.