We happen to have a very talented family friend who built one in Chester County, and he invited us out for a night. We hopped the train, not knowing what to expect.
I pictured something rustic. I prepared myself for an evening of bare necessities, far away from the comforts of home and those boutique hotels that we have a penchant for. I stocked the iPad, charged the Netbook, even chose flat boots instead of heeled hiking boots I could never actually hike in. Clif Bars stashed, the arsenal of any vegan venturing to parts unknown, even if those parts are only a quick drive from a Wegman's. I was ready.
So I felt incredibly relieved when I saw that we had chocolate on our pillows and we had a bed covered in fresh white sheets and a fluffy comforter in this heated, fully decked out house-in-a-tree with a mini fridge and a working shower.
I don't camp. I'm in tune with nature, as long as I get to go home to my mattress and almost-as-fast-as-South-Korea Internet connection. So this was bliss. Our amazing hosts had a bottle of excellent champagne chilling on ice for us, and I knew immediately that this was the perfect weekend getaway...that happened to be only an hour away.
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We lit a fire, relaxed with wine and hummus, and got to know each other a little better.
We even ate dinner with the birds. Our host put out his first vegan meal: Portabella mushroom "sandwiches" stuffed with onions, peppers, and eggplant, and sides of rosemary-roasted potatoes and stuffed long hots. The peppers and herbs came straight from the garden. It was such a delicious and simple idea that I am going to make mushroom sandwiches with various fillings at home. I always put portabellas in sandwiches, but I never thought of using them as the bread.
We went to bed quite late and fell asleep almost instantly. I slept through the night without waking up once, and then heard the squirrels dancing on the roof. We had been warned about them, but I thought it was charming, knowing that those squirrels had no way of getting inside, but were still sharing a room with us in a way. Josh made some coffee in the coffeemaker, but we decided to head over to the main house for some freshly roasted Wegman's coffee.
I did not go a single day without peanut butter.
We headed out antiquing and touring, and we even drove by Josh's old town and house where he grew up.
When I spotted Talula's Table in Kennett Square, I knew exactly where I wanted to have lunch. I have never had the opportunity to check out Talulua's, but have listened to friends rave about how amazing the food is. We stepped into the modern general store and chose a seat at the large communal table and then enjoyed our spread with some fantastic strangers, a mother-and-daughter duo who were clever and entertaining company.
The food really is as good as they say. Josh had a dreamy mushroom risotto, a must in Kennett, and an eggplant roll-up. I had a side of beets and the roasted red pepper hummus with a flaxseed roll. Our Treehouse Host chose a pork sandwich on brioche and an amazing looking giant pickle, that Talula's sliced and plated for us. A plate of warm fennel pretzels was laid out on the table, priced at a buck each. This homey touch and the friendly conversation that fired back and forth is what made the Talula's experience complete. I sent Josh over to collect us two soy lattes and an espresso to test out the barista's mettle. Micro-foam velvet.
I was incredibly relaxed at this point. The air smelled so clean that each breath came from a deeper place. That's the power of early November spent anywhere but a gray city. My edge was softening. I could feel my shoulder blades sink down.
Though I will admit that gray certainly has it moments, and the feeling of coming back home, even though you were barely gone, is unbloggable.
Thank you, Kingdom of Treehousers, for having us. Back to Floor 6, Apartment, Philadelphia.