Day 4 we headed out to the convent… sort of bright and early. We had to wait around all morning for Scott’s youngest sister, who was going to spend the day wandering around the thrilling metropolis of Woodstock instead of visiting the convent. I wore a long pencil skirt that came down below my knees and a cute blouse, and I pinned my bangs back in a little twist. Arranging my bangs back like that meant I was touching them all day and obsessed over them falling out of place, so that was great 🙄😙.
At the convent, we played bocce ball by the stream. At first I watched with Scott’s cousin (who surprised US when we arrived that morning- I hadn’t seen her in years!), but eventually I got roped into playing. I did not enjoy bocce. I don’t know what it is, but sometimes I can’t get myself out of my head enough to relax and enjoy games. I’ve always been great at watching, though. If you ever need a cheerleader for some Nintendo 64, I’ve been expert level since the early 90s 😆.
At the end of a long day of visiting Scott’s sister, we drove back to Woodstock. Then Scott, Maddie, and her boyfriend and I went to the Price Chopper grocery store in Saugerties. Figuring out what to cook for ten people was no easy feat. Maddie and Andrew ended up making a big one-pot pasta dish with pesto and peppers. Andrew works as a cook in Austin, and Maddie went to culinary school.
LIFE HACK #1: Vacation with professional chefs! 😂
The food was so good I didn’t even stop to take a picture. You can’t go wrong with basil pesto!
After dinner, we set up the bonfire. For a while, Scott’s dad and his friend joined us and roasted a few smellows. Scott’s dad has a friend who lives just down the road from where we were staying, and he is a former fire fighter. He made sure we were actually equipped with a bucket of water to put out the fire afterwards, since there was no hose. Later on, his girlfriend dunked both of her feet into said bucket.
Two siblings were missing from the bonfire- one was at the Convent, obviously, and the youngest was inside and didn’t want to participate. The five of us sat around the fire for hours and told stories.
It was the hardest I’ve laughed all year. I was almost crying from laughing at times. Scott’s brother is truly fucking hilarious, which my own brother discovered when we visited in 2012 and roasted marshmallows with him in the backyard in Long Island. Some people think you have to get drunk to bond, but the truth is roasting marshmallows around a bonfire. We all felt really bonded afterwards, and had nicknames and inside jokes.
Also hilariously, it wasn’t just the five of us for most of the night. Scott’s dad’s friend’s girlfriend, a lady named Petey in her 50s, sat with us. She didn’t talk much or roast marshmallows, and she didn’t seem to care that she was chilling with a group of young adults trying to have family bonding time. When she did talk, it was about Mountain Dew. We had a few of those moments of catching each other’s eyes and trying not to laugh- she really was a nice (if slightly weird) lady. It was just surprising that she sat with us instead of her friends inside, where they were watching a movie.
LIFE HACK #2: If you want to connect with somebody, roast marshmallows under the stars together!
It was one of the best nights of the summer.