Highlights of my visit to Westport:
Not enough time with my (only and favorite and adorable) brother and his adorable family, including their two adorable dogs. We spend the time talking, window shopping, and laughing (and eating and going to movies. See below).
Laughter: A storefront labeled LCR, which nobody recognizes, I identify as "Lotsa Crappy Rejects, a consignment shop." We watch a TV show about people looking for first or second homes abroad. Ellen (brilliant sister-in-law) describes the usual episodes as depicting British couples oohing and aahing over caves in Andalucia. "We can work with that," they enthuse. "That" might refer to using a river as a bathroom or having ceilings so low that they make walking upright impossible. We agree that chickens should be engineered to be nothing but skin and bones (because the best part is the crispy skin, so why not make it the only part?). You shouldn't be shocked; I am descended from parents who used to order pastrami on rye with extra fat (the pastrami, not the rye).
Food: Japanese -- Hibachi lobster and sushi (at two different meals). Italian -- Veal chop (!) with wild mushrooms and half a slice of pizza (at two different meals). Chinese -- Giant shrimp with baby bok choy; spicy chicken and shrimp with mango; diced chicken in lettuce wrap. At home -- deep-fried chicken (which left us smelling like we worked at a Popeye's franchise for days afterwards); bialys (a round, airy but chewy roll with a sunken center filled with poppy seeds and/or onions)and cheese and perfect eggs-over-easy, courtesy of the delightful Sasha, who excels at egg preparation and dancing but not at both simultaneously, I don't think. Popcorn (tubs and tubs) at the movies.
Movies: Avatar (fantastic in 3-D), Up in the Air (with the swooney George Clooney, and the film was excellent, too), and the Meryl Streep-Alec Baldwin It's Complicated.(It's forgettable.)
I manage to keep the rows in front of us at the movies free and clear of tall people who might block my or anyone else's view. I ask the first woman who had the misfortune of seating herself directly in front of me if she would please slouch. She turns and says that she is short, but I correct her misconception. She moves. The couple that follows her leaves after I innocently remark, to no one in particular but aloud, that I sure hope that the tall people about to sit down are not intending to stay. I stare the next couple down and ask if they are planning to wear hats to make sure they would completely block the screen. They move. Their replacements are appropriately slouchy, so I don't need to say or do a thing, although by that time my family is pretending that they don't know me, and my beautiful 20-something niece Thea is reliving the nightmarish worst moments of having a relative embarrass a teen. But there is a definite method to my madness, as we can see the screen perfectly.
The visit is too short and our meetings too infrequent. We have got to get together more often!!!!!!!!!!!!!!