Many people who know us are aware that we first met each other in 1994 via the fan e-mail list for indie Boston band Tribe. Last year, our dear friend Jared went to the Jersey City Art Studio Tour (JCAST), and randomly ended up in the art studio of Janet LaValley, Tribe's lead singer. She was amazed that he knew Tribe, as they had broken up over 20 years ago. Jared told her that Craig and I had met because of the band, and had been married for 17 years.

After that, we were able to connect with Janet via e-mail. She was very friendly and we kept in touch. She was interested in our godchildren and we would occasionally send her photos from our travels. She told us that she would be participating in JCAST again this year. We thought this was the perfect excuse to take a long overdue trip to visit Jared and Dave and do some NYC sightseeing. (We haven't seen them since their wedding two years ago).

Janet thought this was a great idea, so we made a plan to do it. A couple of weeks ago, we were surprised and delighted to receive a package in the mail from Janet. She had transformed a photo that we had sent her (us with our Guatemalan and Ecuadorian godchildren in traditional Otavalan dress) and created a lovely collage with a vibrant hand painted background. We were so honored. She said she had been inspired by the photo. it was an amazing work of art. She was a bit shy and said she hoped she wasn't overstepping by using the photo. Exactly the opposite; we are so humbled and appreciative! Now we really couldn't wait to visit her, to get to thank her for it in person! Craig had met her a couple of times back in the day, but I never had.

Friday 10/7/2016 - Arrival at Jared and Dave's

We got to the airport at 7 p.m. We needed something to eat and had two hours until our flight boarded. When I saw a restaurant named Stephanie's, of course I had to patronize my namesake! It is part of Stephanie's Restaurant Group, which operates Stephanie's on Newbury and two other locations ini Boston. We had an amazing meal: we each got meatloaf stuffed with aged Vermont cheddar cheese in a mushroom gravy with mashed potatoes and haricot vert (You know a restaurant is fancy when they list green beans in French!) It was so delicious. Craig had a Lagunitas IPA and I had sangria. It was a great meal and a great way to kick off a mini vacation!

Our flight took off on time at 9 o'clock, and landed around 10:15 in Newark. Jared and Dave picked us up at Terminal C, and we drove back to their house in Bloomfield. "Our house is the subtle one," they joked as we pulled into the driveway. There were tombstones in the front yard, a glowing ghost on the roof, and a sign advertising their "Dead and Breakfast: No Vacancy". Good thing we had reservations!

We arrived at 11:11 p.m. (really!) Their vintage house is amazing, with lots of period details (push button light switches, built ins with leaded glass doors, etc.) We chatted for a while and snuggled with Sylvia, their sweet and friendly Boston terrier. At around midnight, we had to tear ourselves away from the conversation to go to bed, as we had a busy, activity-packed day tomorrow! They have a temporary roommate named Tom staying in their spare bedroom, so they gave us their own room. We protested, but they insisted. The other option was the attic room, and the steep staircase would have been difficult for Craig. We really appreciated their hospitality!

Stephanie's at Logan Airport

Enjoying a delicious meat loaf dinner at Stephanie's

Arriving at Jared and Dave's house

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