When my phone rang last night during a particularly gripping episode of "Six Feet Under" and I noticed it was my father calling for the fourth time that day I didn't pause the disk but instead decided to call him back at a more opportune time - i.e. when I wasn't on the sofa in sweatpants, wondering how many more episodes we could get in that night before officially becoming lazy. And obese. In his message he said he had an "idea to run past" me and I called him back, excited, and then very excited because lo and behold, this idea? We should all go to Colonial Williamsburg for a weekend.
When I didn't say anything right away and heard my mother laughing in the background I think my father got the picture that I'd had enough of that town growing up. It was the Rotondaro family tradition, for years, to go - me, Mom, Dad, Vinnie and Grandmom, of course - down to Williamsburg for the New Year's holiday because what way better to celebrate the coming of a new year than to don white cotton bonnets and pretend it's 1786.
Vin and I used to happily walk those worn dirt roads, musket balls heavy in our pockets, just cheerful as hell because the wooden prisoner's stocks were just ahead, and damnit! We were gonna get our pictures taken! Then maybe we'd score some rock candy at the general store or, better yet, warm up by a bonfire right there on the cobbled street. Then it was off to dinner and back to the cozy hotel before things got, you know, too crazy downtown.
My father wrote me some emails today, explaining that Vinnie would be up for it if I was, and although I'm not sure J is prepared for a weekend of colonial fun like only our family can have, eating pheasant at Chowning's Tavern and all, I guess I'll take on the challenge. I guess despite the fact that my father's grown fond of the finer things in life lately - good wines, nice hotels - the charm of that Virginian hideaway just never lets up. Hey, I might even feel generous and spring for tin whistles. For all of us. At least now, out of the realm of deep adolescent embarrassment and insecurity, we can be proud of our purchases, rather than hide them deep in our pockets, thinking, "Wait a second. It's not cool to be pumped about a feather pen, dried ink and parchment, is it?"