Life Lessons

Best. Resort. Ever.

It’s a one of those “best kept secrets.” This four-star resort that’s tucked away in a quiet town along the Hudson River is my go-to spot when I’m mentally stressed out and physically depleted.  The moment I arrive and set my suitcase down, the tightness in my shoulders is released.

My favorite room is awash in soothing, muted colors, and drenched in natural light.  The luxurious linens and scent of fresh cut flowers do wonders to lull me to sleep.  There’s no set time for breakfast.  Morning coffee is served on a private deck that’s a riot of color (imagine a Martha Stewart-like arrangement of hearty potted flowering plants and lush green herbs) overlooking an expanse of untouched woods where a rustle of leaves announces a family of deer quietly wandering through or a bunny rabbit darting by.

This place has the best bagels I’ve ever had in my life (it’s in New York, after all), and fresh squeezed tangerine juice.  Lunch might be an asparagus mushroom soufflé or, my favorite, the Caprese salad, with tomatoes and basil that were grown on the property.  And dinner might be an expertly prepared Italian, French, or American inspired dish like Chicken Marsala, Beef Bourguignon, or Barbecued Ribs.

The spa-styled bathroom is larger than my kitchen.  (Really, I’m not exaggerating.)  The white soaking tub glistens so brightly you need to wear your sunglasses.  And paraffin treatments for your hands and feet are available at no charge.

Besides these lavish meals and spa treatments, there’s laundry service and an open bar.  In fact, everything is free.  “Such amenities and you don’t have to pay?” you may ask.  “Where exactly is this place, and how soon can I book it?”

Well…you can’t.  It’s exclusive and they don’t take reservations.  It’s the house where I grew up.  And the people there are the best – my folks.

Best of Boston, Life Lessons, Pop Culture

Wishing Every Day was the Fourth of July

It’s no secret that here in Boston we like to do it up big on the Fourth of July.  For decades, the Boston Pops has performed at the Hatch Shell along the Esplanade and, after the concert, a spectacular fireworks display rains down over the Charles River.  My neighbors and I may curse our lack of closet space 364 days of the year, but on the Fourth of July, we have the best place on earth to watch the fireworks: our roof deck.

Last week, as neighbors and friends gathered with beach chairs and blankets, food and drink, I was struck by what a diverse group had assembled on our roof deck for the day’s festivities.  One young mother was nursing her nine-week old baby, while the oldest, a vivacious lady in her seventies, sported an American flag motif scarf.  There were straight couples and gay couples.  And folks whose ancestry represented each of the seven continents.  There were Boston Brahmins, first-generation Americans, and at least one New Yorker.  All afternoon and into the evening, the sense of community prevailed as we waited in anticipation for the fireworks to start.

On the day we celebrated the red, white, and blue, there was no red state/blue state divide.  No political talk at all.  Do we all agree on everything?  No way.  But for one glorious, sparkling day we had come together with respect, pride, and patriotism.  All of us different, yet all the same – Americans.