We've been spending summer vacations in Vermont with our grown children and their families for about ten years now. Every year seems to have a theme or a high point that defines the vacation. One year it was the magic show our Grands put on for us and their parents--not just the show itself but the hours they spent practicing their tricks and helping each other. And then there was the year of the farm stand peach pies. We couldn't eat enough of them.
This year was marked by binge watching--in three nights--all five hours of a DVD. Who would admit to binge watching on vacation? Sounds awful. Besides, what would keep a 14-year-old boy, one seven and two 12-year old girls intrigued--plus the parents and grandparents --and asking all day when the viewing of the next episodes would begin?
We watched the PBS version of Pride and Prejudice--the one with Colin Firth as a dreamy Mr Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as the spirited Elizabeth Bennet. We had to take occasional breaks in the action--wee pauses to explain some details, such as what an entailed estate entailed and for those among us who were romance-challenged, why some of the characters did or did not pine for others. But everyone loved the tale of the Bennet sisters, their sensible father, their hysterical mother and the balls and dancing of the era, plus the lushness of the scenes--horses riding across meadows, characters walking through wooded estates or into town on rutted roads. We were all intrigued with the way life was lived some 200 years ago--at least as re-created by the producers of the program.
The evening binges led to daytime discussions--on the lot of women at that time and now, on the importance of live music and muscianship, how mail was delivered, on how people traveled to visit friends and relatives in other towns and cities, the role of servants.
And then we followed it up with peach pie--some traditions live on from one vacation to the next.