Tonight I drove home to Tulipwood in a thunderstorm. It rained so hard it was as if the earth just needed to let it all out. We all need to let it out sometimes. There was lightening too. Big thunderbolts flashing over the George Washington Bridge.

Normally I dislike traffic, but tonight something was different. My dad got home from the hospital two days ago and when I walked into his office to see him he had two CD’s for me. He always has music for me… he is responsible for most of my exposure to great music. He finds the stuff that becomes cool a year later… he just knows. He knows everything. He’s the wisest there is.

And so he had two CD’s for me. And I happened to have them in the car. It was the kind of music that makes you want to dim the lights and have a cocktail and slow down in life. The kind of music that makes you want to take a bath or light a candle or curl up with a good book. And so I tilted my seat back a little, and opened the cover under the glass sunroof and watched the rain come down and the lightening strike and listened to the sweet jazzy voice of the lady coming through my speakers.

And so I liked traffic for the first time. And I relaxed for the first time in a few days and I was grateful that my dad was home and getting healthy.

After cooking dinner at Beer Table in Brooklyn on Tuesday night for a crew of friends, I drove up to Rhinebeck, New York yesterday, where I had never been before. I went early with my brother who has become the official GP East Coast photographer. His initials are GP also, so it works out great.

We walked the streets of Rhinebeck which are filled with charming houses with porches. I love porches as you know so this was the town for me. Even the restaurants were little houses with porches. For example, the Thai restaurant that we ate in felt like I could have been at my aunt’s house for dinner… my aunt who happens to have a nice white porch with great green shutters and interesting modern art over her mantle. That kind of aunt.

Then I went into Oblong books to chat with some people about my book and drink smoked beer sent all the way from my friends at Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany… page 50 of Food Heroes, you’ll see what I mean…

But here is what was so spectacular about the event:

1. One couple who reads this little site and who I correspond with from time to time, drove three (3) hours from Trenton, New Jersey to say hi. They even skipped out on work a little early and made a fun trip of it. My kind of people. And now we’re full on buds.

2. My friend Julia from “What Julia Ate” drove thirty (30) minutes to come say hi and she brought two kinds of jams with her for me to try. She is a master canner. I think she may can and preserve things almost every day. You should really get to know her, she’s great. We found each other last Christmas when she was doing some research on quince trees in the Hudson Valley… we have quince trees, she found my site… the rest is history. That’s what makes me keep blogging every day.

3. And finally, when I arrived at the book store there was a note waiting for me on the seat. It was from the woman who hired me at Lehman Brothers back in the day! Can you believe it? How wonderful that she came to say hi and how serendipitous that I should meet her again on my book tour… in a certain way, that job lead me to where I am right now…

And then after a cozy evening in Rhinebeck I drove home, crawled into bed and jumped up again this morning to go tape a segment on The Strategy Room.

Tomorrow it’s on to Boston and Wellesley. You can check out the schedule of events here. The best part? I’m going to pay a visit to my great-aunt’s freshman year Wellesley College roommate… it doesn’t get any better than that.

Goodnight.

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All of these photos were skillfully taken by Gordon Pellegrini

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