It was dark by the time we left, food and vacuum cleaners and puppies piled high in the backseat, sleeping bags by our feet and suitcases balanced on our knees. Dark...and quiet, as the Christmas music played in the background and no one felt quite like talking, all listening and watching silent headlights whizz past on the freeway.
The anticipation was palpable. The cottage was a new one, purchased by Brooke's parents back in August, and neither Tiana nor I had seen it, although we'd heard the stories.
By the time we pulled into the driveway just over an hour later, the Christmas lights had come on, casting a bluish glow over the snow-covered front walkway. We tumbled out of the car, dogs in tow, and stepped foot inside something out of a book.
(and I know that sounds cheesy and cliché and everything, but it's also true.)
Everything was wood, wall to floor to ceiling to wall, aged and used and coloured a rich, warm brown. A Christmas tree stood in the corner, lights twinkling and sparkling as we piled in, the cold air inside nipping at our skin.
"I want to stay here forever," I gasped, my coat still on and my duffel bag in hand. "I don't want to leave."
Of course I was laughed at, but they all agreed.
Mrs. H started a fire in the wood stove and we unpacked and explored, oohing and ahhing over every new development (like the fact that three of the bedrooms upstairs were all connected through an enormous bathroom, and the little nooks and crannies and closets scattered through the upstairs that were deceivingly huge, and the fact that if you so much as breathed or took a step, some piece of wood somewhere in the house would creak, and everyone would know. [this became a problem at night when I smacked my fist into the wall several times while rolling over.])
When we'd explored and walked the dogs and eaten, we sprawled out on the couch in front of the fire, pillows stacked high and blankets unfolded, and we talked.
It's been a while since I had a chance to spend time with these girls - my besties! - and I didn't realize how much I'd missed it. Being at school...being with people I like, people I eat lunch with...but people I don't really know, people who don't really understand me...it gets so hard after a while. This weekend, this little retreat/getaway came at just the right time.
(funny story, earlier that afternoon I'd been informed by a classmate that I think too much and don't pay enough attention to other people and that was why I had such big bags under my eyes. and I was like, "thank you?" but inside it just made me kind of sad because I missed being with people I cared about...people who cared about me and knew what I was going to say before I'd finished my sentence.)
We stayed up late and some of us fell asleep right there on the couch and got abandoned (except not really, because I swear she woke up when we shook her, she just refused to move.) The next morning we slept in (for the first time in almost three weeks, folks! It was beautiful.) and ate tons of food basically all day long, and played board games and explored the lake and the property and the cute - tiiiiny - little cabin next door.
That one day felt like it lasted for almost a week, and we were all totally fine with it, already thinking and planning ahead to our next collectively free weekend...
so we could do it all over again.
|I'm kind of a tea geek. Like, I asked for tea for Christmas. And when Brooke gave me FIVE DIFFERENT KINDS OHMYWORD|
I may have freaked out just a little bit.