This is our second time doing this - DB, who has become a friend, organizes groups of observant people to go on various vacations, but this is a constant - he takes over this inn in the Berkshires. He kashers the kitchen and organizes the others to help cook, serve and clean up, and makes sure we know what activities/events/cultural things are available for us. There's a sefer torah and they put up an eruv on Shabbat.
The group itself is interesting - there was a three-month old and people in their fifties. There were women in sheitls and scarves, and not covering at all, who biked in skirts and who lounged in pants. There were a lot of vegetarians - D is one - and diabetics and gluton-intolerants and just believe everything you read about food folks. (There's a thing about not cutting garlic with a steel knife. Because the knife absorbs the flavor. As opposed to plastic. Sorry. No one takes my knives away.) But there were also people who just kept kosher. There were political conservatives and political liberals, too. Singles and married couples and families. Nice range, in other words.
We got there about midnight on Thursday (we had a very late start.) People were still arriving, there was hot soup on the stove and someone even helped jonbaker with our luggage. We got a room with a queen-sized bed - D asked us if we wanted two beds, but was relieved when we didn't. And the wifi reached to our bedroom.
The only problem with the room was that the heat was on - we were HOT in the rather deliciously cool weather. *sigh*
Breakfast was whatever was out - cereal, milk, soy milk, cottage cheese, fruit, etc, plus there was a lunch buffet to make sandwiches. After all, this crowd could hardly buy lunch out - so there was bread and tuna and hummous and cheese and vegetables, and baggies and paper bags for us.
Some folks went biking, some to the Rockwell museum - we went to the Shaker Village. It was fascinating, as you can imagine, and I spent some time chatting with a volunteer about wood working. We also saw their steam turbine and heard some singing. Then it was back to get ready for Shabbat.
Shabbat - well, there was davening and hanging around and reading and such. We had lunch outside (because there was an eruv, after all) next to a lovely brook. We got to know this one somewhat older couple - both converts, married only a few years ago, better. I have their number waiting for me at home. At one point, the more active people gathered together for a long walk. I napped in the sunroom/shul instead.
There was a bonfire after dark, but we had to go someplace that night. We didn't get back until after midnight again - in time for ice cream.
Sunday, we went to see Othello. I've seen it televised and I've read it. Jonathan has done neither, and I took care not to spoil him. So he was rather emotionally devastated by the end. Well-done play. Interesting casting - Cassio was African-American, so there was, visually, two Moors. And Iago was not played as cold and distant. In fact, I think he was acting more...I got the impression, through my slash goggles, that this Iago was actually in love with Othello, who would never return it. Or he was a total sociopath, which he was. I did think the Othello was over the top in the beginning, but it paid off in the second part (after the intermission) when ott was called for.
We got back to help with the barbecue - I'd already sliced and flavored squash, and now I cooked corn on the cob and was then detailed to watch the vegetarian (pareve) grill. That was the vegetables and portabello mushrooms and the vegetarian sausages. Later, I grilled fruits for dessert. What did I eat? A normal hotdog and a piece of steak on a bun, and I tried a mushroom. Unfortunately, they'd put too much of a salty grill spice on them for my tastes.
Most people left Sunday night, although some few remained and others came in. We left Monday morning with a bag of peanut butter and banana sandwiches and some salted peanuts. By 4:30, we were at my in-laws. Where we found that the downstairs toilet doesn't flush. :)