With the exception of the year that I had a party at my house when we were between renters, the three of us had not gotten together at once in years up til this year. After the visit to Barcelona we all agreed we need to get together the three of us more often, a challenge when I live 4000 miles away, but one we have accepted (and it's only 2 more years) and will work around.
So with our trip to the US around the corner, we had chatted about how we could make it work when we had only one day to get together. Urs lives in Albany, Caryn in Manchester, NH and I would be coming from MA. We did some triangulating and eventually came up with somewhere in the Berkshires which seemed to be the mid way point.
After some back and forth, Urs suggested Deerfield, the home of Yankee Candle. It was almost exactly 2 hours from each of us, a totally manageable trip. The next question - to bring the kids or not to bring the kids. I decided that despite the fact that I'd love some alone time with my friends, that it would be easier to bring the kids and I wouldn't feel any pressure to be back home to pick them up thereby getting extra time with them. And while Urs and Caryn decided to leave their youngest kids at home (their oldests are closer in age to Liam), we had 4 "big" kids with us which was plenty!
I'd heard the Yankee Candle in Deerfield was cool and it was - with more candles than you can imagine, it was a bit of a winter, fall, spring, summer wonderland. Full of candles, toys, fudge, old fashioned candies and knick knacks for the home, it pretty much covered every base and the size of the store was deceiving - it was huge!! We actually spent a good 2 hours in there! The kids made molds of their hands in wax and got to dip candles in wax and even make their own candles!
Christmas in August??
Toys and trains!
145 days til xmas (as of Aug 3)
Aidan making his candle
Dipping candles in wax
Aidan making a wax mold of his hand
After Yankee Candle, Urs had found a pizza place nearby that had probably some of the best pizza I've had in a long time and bonus, they had gluten free pizza for Urs! The kids got a bit rowdy though and we had a woman speak to us about them... ok, perhaps a not so great parenting moment, but hey, they were having fun. Aidan was actually at the adults table because he considers himself to be an adult and we had a great time having him entertain us and playing cards with him while the younger kids raised a ruckus at the other table.
The kids obviously had some energy to release so after lunch we headed to the local elementary school where we let the kids loose on the jungle gym and to run through the grass and just have a good time while the adults hung out at a picnic table catching up. Eventually the kids got bored and started to ask us all if it was time to go home - I guess we could only expect so much of them in one day. But in the end, it was a fantastic reunion and I'm so glad we had the chance to get together, if only for one day. Thanks to both of you for driving all that way for us!!