As you already know, summer camp was great, but the drive up to summer camp was wonderful in its own way, too. It started with a special little lunch stop with Kellie and Corinne. Corinne and Kellie were two of the first "virtual friends" I ever met in real life . I initially got to know them through an on-line book club and their blogs. I always admired their comments, their thoughtful observations, and their book suggestions, but when my dad suddenly took a turn for the worse in Baltimore, we found ourselves frantically driving up the East Coast to be with my family and in a desperate moment I reached out to them. Without a second thought they offered to watch my kids during that first frenzied day when we were trying to figure out what was happening with my dad's situation. And on top of all that sadness and confusion, they somehow discovered that it was my birthday and surprised me with some tasty French pastries. They will forever be lodged in my memory of that roller coaster of a day with their offerings of friendship and support. It's strange to feel connected to friends you have only met twice in real life, but I do and I hope that those bonds of friendship will continue to grow now that we are in closer proximity.
After lunch I got back in the car and continued to head north to Pennsylvania. I love road trips and sometimes I especially love road trips by myself. This was one of those times. I took backroads. I meandered and stopped when I wanted to. I pulled over to take pictures. I caught up on Moth podcasts. I ate junk food. And I slowly made my way to Longwood Gardens which was spectatular on a quiet, crisp September afternoon.
The Gardens are beautiful with their formal gardens and charming forest tree houses, but I spent the majority of my time walking through the meadow area. It was vibrating with life and color; bright yellows and purples, butterflies, bees, enormous dragonflies and a very interesting art installation by Bruce Munro. I would love to have seen those bottles lit up at a night along with the other pieces that were scattered throughout the gardens, but I had to get back on the road to make it to Doylestown for summer camp.