Girls Weekend Getaway: North Fork of Long Island

Continuing with tradition, my trusty Ladycation squad took a late-summer getaway to celebrate yet another 50th birthday in yet another off-the-beaten-path location.

Last year, we rented a fabulous Airbnb in Woodstock, NY and ate, drank and hiked our way around the Catskills. The motto of that trip was “Whiskey & Boys” and I have it embroidered on my wall to prove it.

The year before, we flew up to St. John’s in Newfoundland where we made lots of friends, danced to Irish music and kissed a frozen cod. The slogan for that trip was, “What happens in Newfoundland, stays in Newfoundland.”

This year’s birthday girl chose the North Fork of Long Island as our destination and we drove out one Friday morning in September for our three-night stay and got out there in no time, which is a bit of a miracle.

Okay, some thoughts about Long Island: I really love it. But if you’re not already on Long Island, it is a bitch to get to from New Jersey. The traffic can be daunting, trying to navigate your way around New York City.

But the North Fork is so special – especially after the summer crowd has left – I’d be willing to brave driving there during a Friday rush hour. It’s so worth it.

Geographically, Long Island kind of juts east towards the ocean, with the ends splitting into a fork. The bottom half is the South Fork (the Hamptons, Montauk) and the top is the North Fork (Greenport, Orient) and they are two different worlds.

As you drive towards Orient Point, at the end of the North Fork, you can feel all the space. Farmland for as far as the eye can see. Farm stands. It’s not honkytonk or touristy. Having lived in New Jersey forever, I’m impressed with how much undeveloped land remains out there. Undisturbed stretches of waterfront. Really beautiful.

We stopped for a late lunch at Case’s in Southold, which we found down a long road off the highway that didn’t seem right and just when we started to doubt our GPS, we saw the water and the sign for the restaurant. We sat outside on the patio looking out at the water and drank icy cold local rose and decided it couldn’t get any better. And then it did.

If I could have the honor of marrying the lobster roll that I ate for lunch, I certainly would. But that would mean I couldn’t have devoured every last bit of big mound of perfectly dressed lobster meat on the perfectly toasted top-split roll. At the end of the weekend, we all decided it might have been our favorite meal, of a lot of fabulous meals.

 BEST LOBSTER ROLL EVAH (look, I even had to take a little nibble out of it before I could take a picture of it)


Other weekend highlights included our perfect Airbnb in East Marion, our day spent driving around Shelter Island and gawking at all of the to-die-for houses and the all-rose vineyard in Southold that made up feel like we were sitting in the South of France.

I can’t imagine what staying in the North Fork would be like during the summer season, much less trying to get out there. I highly recommend a late summer/early fall visit when you can rub elbows with the locals and feel like you’ve kinda got the place to yourself. One caveat: getting Uber or Lyft rides was a little dicey and another reminder that we weren’t in Jersey any more.

If you’re thinking of going, here’s what I recommend:


Airbnb: Our rental was pricey but fabulous. It sleeps 8 comfortably with 4 bedrooms, so would be great for a few couples or families to rent. Stylish décor; all the amenities you could ask for and cool outdoor space to hang.


Fork & Anchor (East Marion): Get the #15. It will change your life.

Love Lane Kitchen (Mattituck): We stopped here on our way home Monday morning. Totally charming. Awesome coffee. Put poached eggs on anything, I am a happy girl but on top of kale with avocado on the side and I just might start talking dirty to you.


Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market (Greenport): Unassuming set up on the dock in Greenport that’s pretty cool inside. Oysters. Rose. Cheeseboards. A little old xxx guy preparing it all who took a shine to me. On the menu, it says you can shuck your own oysters if you’re feeling adventurous, and one of our ladies asked the server, with a straight face, “Is it hard to shuck yourself?” which, as you might imagine, became the weekend’s catchphrase.

The Halyard (Greenport): We ended up here on Sunday night as a kind of consolation spot when we showed up to a nearby vineyard that had already closed and we couldn’t believe our good luck. Brand new. Insanely stylish. Perched on the sound. Killer sunsets. Ditto the cocktails. Would love to see what the rooms look like in the adjoining hotel and think dinner watching the sun set on the outdoor dining area would be beyond romantic.

Flying Goat (Shelter Island): At the Shelter Island Golf Club. Great place for cold local beers on tap and French fries after a morning hiking through the meadow (see below).

Four & Twenty Blackbirds (Orient): I don’t LOVE pie, but I would kill for this pie. All kinds to try. We had a savory pocket filled with mushrooms and a little cheese, a stone fruit number and a custardy baby pie. We sat at a table outside and said we were just gonna nibble and gobbled them all up.


Brix & Rye (Greenport): Another one of our top weekend faves. We stopped for pre-dinner cocktails and ended up staying to eat. A little dark and not a lot of tables but being there in off-season helps.

American Beech (Greenport): We sat outside on a very quiet night. Chic. Delicious food.

Noah’s (Greenport): Also chic and delicious.

To Do:

Croteux Vineyards (Southold): You would think that four women heading out to the North Fork of Long Island would mean that we’d being hitting up all the wineries but we only made it to one. If you can only go to one vineyard, I cant recommend this one enough. It really does feel like you are sitting in the South of France and the wine is delicious. Plus its owner, who was pouring the rose and working the register the busy day we were there, was super easy to look at. Plus, he was featured on Mo Rocca’s “Everything’s Coming Up Rose” piece on CBS Sunday Morning this summer.

Lavender By the Bay (East Marion): According to its site, one of the largest lavender farms in the country. Our Airbnb had baskets of dried bundles around the house lending just a hint of lavender to the room, so I knew I needed to go. Fun to walk around and just see all the flowers going on forever. Shop lets you buy it in all manner of shapes and sizes.

Mashomack Preserve (Shelter Island): Covers one third of Shelter Island and run by The Nature Conservancy, the preserve offers a variety of habitats – fields, woodland, marshes and tidal creeks. What most struck me was the ingenious way that have woven technology into the experience. Along one of the trails there are stops with barcodes you can scan with your phone and listen to commentary specific to where you are. Not to mention, the scenery will knock your socks off.

Dam Pond (East Marion): Directly across the street from our rental, we mosied over to get one last look at the sound, which we did from atop a cliff at the end of a path. Cool.


Old Orchard Farm Store (Orient): Charming little shop westopped into roaming around Orient, where I found two really awesome Christmas presents.

Mercantile North Fork (Greenport): Okay, the real reason we didn’t make it to the three vineyards we planned on hitting on Sunday was that we got sidetracked here, wondering how we could ship the entire store home to New Jersey.

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Newfoundland: Not Your Average Ladycation

The view hiking up towards Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland.

The view hiking up towards Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

I was reminded recently why I love to travel. Why I need to travel.

I returned last week from a four-day jaunt to Newfoundland with three other women and yes, I know, you’re not the only one who thinks this is an odd choice for a girls’ getaway. Why not Vegas or South Beach, you’re wondering.

Imagine the locals’ reaction when they learned the Girls From Jersey, as we came to be called, travelled to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for a vacation. It ain’t no Napa.

And initially, I thought it was a little weird, too.

The occasion was a close friend’s 50th birthday and she determined we should all head north. Like, really far north. But she proceeded to do all the research and make all of the reservations and I am a baby and deep down love being told what to do so happily agreed to join her. The four of us also happen to travel really well together. There isn’t a diva in the group and we’re all pretty flexible. Some of us like to adhere to rules more than others, but that causes amusement rather than irritation among the group. At least it does for me.

The birthday girl’s logic, when she later explained how she chose our destination, made perfect sense. She said beach getaways and wine tours were lovely, but she wanted a little more excitement. Something out-of-the-box.

“I wanted an adventure,” she told me.

And that’s what we got.

I’ve spent a lot of time since my return extolling the virtues of Newfoundland in particular and Canada in general and have been encouraging everyone to make plans to go today. And you really should because soon, you will not be alone. An expansion project in the works will double the size of the airport in St. John’s, the island’s largest city on its easternmost point, by 2020 to accommodate the approximately 2 million tourists expected to visit Newfoundland. You’ll thank me later.

On the three-hour flight home, my travel companions and I decided that what made Newfoundland so special was a combination of three outstanding features.

Hiking up towards Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Hiking up towards Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The Scenery

 I don’t want to spend too much time giving you the history of the island or describing its geography. Let’s just say that initially, I assumed it was off the coast of Maine only to discover, right before I left, that it is significantly more north than Maine and way east. Like, we visited Cape Spear – just south of St. John’s – to take selfies standing at the easternmost point of North America. Keep going from there and eventually you hit Ireland (in fact many Newfoundlanders speak with an Irish accent and there’s a vibrant Irish music scene). Newfoundland is right under Labrador, where you’ll find arctic tundra and icebergs float by in the spring. And the combined population of the two regions, which comprise one Canadian province, is a little over 500,000. FOR BOTH. Just to put it in perspective, in 2014 there were 8.9 million people living in New Jersey.

The coastal views are stunning. Rocky shores. Picture-perfect lighthouses. The clear, dark Atlantic Ocean crashing against steep cliffs. It’s like walking through a postcard.

During the late spring and summer you can see whales who journey north to feed on the water’s abundant krill and icebergs float south from great glaciers in the north. Our visit was on the tail end of all that excitement but we did get to see a lot of puffins on a boat tour out of Bays Bulls and two bald eagles soaring through the sky. We also saw a giant mola mola or ocean sunfish eyeing us as he floated atop the waves until he dove down and sank out of view.

When we weren’t stomping around hiking trails and old fishing villages, we also enjoyed the sights of St. John’s colorfully-painted “jellybean” buildings and the interiors of a fair share of Irish bars.

And I’d be remiss if I did not mention the scent of the sea — and not the Jersey Shore low tide odor — but the ancient, salty blast that hit us as we descended from Signal Hill into the old fishing village Quidi Vidi. It was accompanied by a blast of cold air that cooled us down after a sweaty hike to the top and reminded us how everything about Newfoundland was unpredictable. We were constantly surprised during our stay.

Finally, we rented a charming house in the city’s Outer Battery section just steps away from Signal Hill that offered sweeping views of the city’s busy harbor. Beautiful spot to cozy up on the couch in our pjs to sip coffee and watch the fog roll in each morning and to drink a glass of wine and see the harbor lights twinkle in the background before dinner. But I mostly loved falling asleep each night with my head next to an open window and listening to the sound of the water hitting the rocky shore nearby and the moan of a lighthouse in the distance. We were sorry to say good-bye.

Our brunch here at Mallard Cottage included breakfast pizza and a smoked blueberry old fashioned.

Our brunch here at Mallard Cottage included breakfast pizza and a smoked blueberry old fashioned.

The Food and Drink Scene

 Would you believe that one of Canada’s top-rated restaurant – I repeat:  top-rated  – is right in downtown St. John’s? Prior to our trip, that little fun fact left me dubious about Canadian food in general. I mean, how good could the food be if the best place is on some random, barren island, I thought?

And so, to all of the good people of Canada, I’d like to apologize for my ingnorance. If Newfoundland is any indication, you people are eating like kings. At least compared to the food and drink found in my neck of the woods.

Some standouts:

  • I know it’s not very ladylike, but I am an enthusiastic carnivore. I dig meat. So I found myself drawn a few times on the trip to menu items that included bone marrow as a type of condiment. I spread it onto my hanger steak at Chinched and ordered the cheeseburger with house-cured bacon at The Social House where they slathered the marrow onto their homemade buns. Both dishes came with thin, salty frites, which also might have contributed to the beauty of these meals.
  • I’ve never been a huge oyster enthusiast. I think the only time I’d ever eaten them was when my first husband and I went to New Orleans with another couple to get away from all our babies and toddlers and kind of drank our way through the city as an escape one weekend years ago. I believe oysters were involved. And lots of beer. But since then I’ve stayed away from them. I mean, who’d want to put that weird grey stuff in their mouth? But a plate of them arrived at our table at Chinched on Saturday night on a bed of ice and once I heard they were from Prince Edward Island – right around the corner – I knew I just had to try them. I squeezed some lemon juice and plunked a dollop of the sweet and slightly spicy mignonette on top and tipped the cold shell to my lips and let the whole gloopy mass slip inside my mouth. And then BAM. It was like taking a sip of the sea, all cold and briny. Totally magic. It was probably one of the best things I’ve ever tasted and we ended up eating oysters everywhere we went because when in Rome, brother, eat the oysters.
  • Have you seen my veggetti? I actually don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here but love to talk about it ad nauseum to people who have to put up with me in real life. And although it sounds very dirty and scandalous, I use my veggetti to do awesome things with squash and zuchinni. Wait. Stop. Now you’re getting weird. It’s a spiralizer that turns veggies into long spaghetti-like strips you can sauté. Someone got their hands on one at Chinched and used it on a potato that was then wrapped around a big fluffy piece of cod and the whole thing is fried, I suppose, to make it a yummy crunchy coating around the fish. Divine.
  • When they are not coming up with amazing things to do with cod and marrow, Newfoundland restauranteurs are also concocting amazing cocktails to drink. I have a thing for Old Fashioneds and sampled them all over St. John’s during our stay but the standouts had to be the classic rendition at the bar at Blue on Water and the smoked blueberry variety I sipped at Mallard Cottage with my brunch on Sunday. Heaven. My partners in crime would tell you that they enjoyed the cilantro margaritas at Chinched and the El Camino at Adelaide Oyster House  (please enjoy with one of their fish tacos which I could eat every night of my life).
Getting "screeched in" at Christian's and becoming honorary Newfoundlanders.

Getting “screeched in” at Christian’s and becoming honorary Newfoundlanders.

The People

There are plenty of beautiful places to travel in this world. And plenty of destinations where you’ll find outstanding food and drink. But the reason you should visit Newfoundland is for the people. They behave the way we are supposed to behave as humans. They are polite. They are considerate. They are kind. They are curious. They are knowledgeable. Time and again we had encounters with the locals that left us shaking our heads and marvelling how certain things would never fly where we live. I’m taking about:

  • The woman working behind the counter at a remote post office where we stopped to buy postcard stamps and ask where to find a hiking trail, who let me use the bathroom in back. Actually, she let all four of us use the restroom and I’m pretty sure in the United States, that would be considered a federal offense.
  • A gentleman we started talking to at a local liquor store walked us to the walk-in beer cooler in the back to help us pick some interesting brews to bring back to our house and it was only after we parted ways that we realized he didn’t work there but was only an extremely helpful fellow customer.
  • The security guard at a museum/cultural center called The Rooms travelled with us from room to room and explained how historical events influenced much of the artwork on display, giving us a mini lesson in Newfoundland history. His knowledge completely enriched our experience.
  • The women working at the museum gift store not only took the time to tell us how to get to said liquor store but Googled what time it closed.
  • Taxis not only showed up for early morning pick ups scheduled after very late night drop offs but drivers were a font of information for places to go and things to do and also happy to let you walk off with their map. In fact, they insisted.
  • The TSA agents at the St. John’s Airport greeted us with a friendly “bon jour” and when one of our travel party members was unable to access her boarding pass via the Internet, a very helpful agent showed her how to take a screenshot on her iPhone to avoid a similar situation in the future.

I’ve joked in the past that friendly people make me nervous but honestly, after a few days in Newfoundland, I was sorry to return to a decidedly less kinder and gentler place to live. Where oncoming traffic doesn’t stop to let you pull out of a parking lot and TSA agents don’t bark at you to take off your jacket.

On our last night we ate dinner at a hot new restaurant on Water Street called The Social House. We sat at a high top table and slurped our final plates of oysters and chatted with our charming young server named Jordan. He told us he’d grown up in Sweden and moved back to Newfoundland – where his dad was from – a few years earlier and was finishing his last year at university. The 21-year-old talked about his internship in broadcasting and thoughts about breaking into sales and we asked him where — with all those plans — he thought he’d wind up after graduation.

“Right here,” he said, spreading his arms. “We have everything we need right here.”

And so they do. I’m glad I got to experience it for myself.

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Great Expectations

photo-21This is a story about expectations and the benefits of keeping them low.

Now, of course, this idea is nothing new. Every year there’s some article written about how Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world and it’s in part because the Danes keep their expectations low.

They are just content with their lot in life and don’t expect much more.

I’ve mentioned this idea to my kids, the notion of keeping their own expectations low, which is usually met with groans and eye rolls. Okay, it might be a bit of a bummer – having your mom tell you not to expect too much out of life – but it is a surefire path to happiness. Don’t get your hopes up for, say, a hamster for your birthday when you know your mom is not willing to clean more poop.

I like the slant the novelist Jodi Picoult gives to achieving happiness in her book, “Nineteen Minutes”: “A mathematical formula for happiness: Reality divided by expectations,” she writes. “There were two ways to be happy: Improve your reality or lower your expectations.”

Maybe this idea is a little more hopeful, a little more in line with what my friend Lisa was trying to get at during a recent conversation we had about expectations. “Shouldn’t we all expect certain things from ourselves?” she asked, and I agreed. We should have a certain set of boundaries about our own and others’ behavior and if those our not being met — our expectations — then something needs to change.

But we both agreed that low expectations for our Ladycation to Florida this past weekend was probably the key to a memorable getaway. Like, we had off-the-charts fun.

In the days leading up to our departure, people would ask me where I was going in Florida and I would have to tell them, “I have no idea.”

I mean, I knew I was flying into West Palm Airport and that we were staying at our friend’s place somewhere around there and that the three of us would be joined by the homeowner’s college roommate the following day.

That’s about it.

I had no idea what we were going to be doing, if I needed to pack some dressier stuff for dinners and if bringing sneakers was way too ambitious. And I figured the college friend would be nice enough, but didn’t really give her too much thought.

I just figured it would all be fine and nice to get away from cold New Jersey for a long weekend with nice women.

When my girlfriend who lives across the street – the kind of friend who, when I am packing for a trip, lends me all her chic Joie tops and Anthropologie necklaces – learned that I was not going to South Beach, as she first thought, but West Palm, she said, “Oh, so it’s just going to be a nice, quiet girls weekend,” and started putting her fancier items back in her closet.

I nodded my head and picked up the stack of colorful Lily cashmere sweaters she was lending me to take along and I packed for days lying out in the sun and casual dinners with the girls at night.

It turns out, that the weekend was anything but quiet. In fact, I’d say it took on the feel of one of those Vegas commercials because some of the things that happened are really better left in the West Palm-area and definitely not on my blog which is read by my kids, their friends and my mom.

We got a little crazy.

Perhaps the tone of the trip was set when that second round of drinks at the Newark Airport wine bar caused us to almost miss the flight out Thursday night (it turns out a 7:30 departure means they shut the door to the plane at 7:20, according to the flight attendant who lectured us while checking us in at, like, 7:10 and then punished us by making us check our carefully-packed, carry-on bags.) There was my Beyoncé moment when the singer in the band at the bar we went to after dinner Saturday night came down off the stage to dance with me to “Walk This Way” and one of my moves was crooking my pointer finger to get him to, well you know, walk my way. (My girlfriend Lisa said the next day, “I know the type of shenanigans I can get into, but didn’t know you had that in you.”) And the tail end of the trip found me in the airport bar, again, drinking Scotch out of a straw being held by some hot guy whose sunglasses, at 8 p.m., indicated he had had a rough weekend, too.

Here’s that mathematical formula: Low expectations + High alcohol =  Mucho fun.

We had joked all weekend that Lisa was a “connector.” She loves to chat with the workers at her local Dunkin Donuts she visits daily and tried to high-five one of the flight attendants on our flight to Florida. But it is pretty safe to say that Florida Amy was also quite the connector.

As for the college roommate, it turns out that we were separated at birth. We hit it off immediately when she arrived early Friday morning, totally admiring each other’s outfits, and the four of us were really well suited for traveling together. There was a high-level of bossiness that was balanced by others’ (me in particular) willingness to just get in the back seat and go along for the ride. I am an amazing Indian.

And my friend who owns the house, unbeknownst to me, had planned our weekend with lots of fun things to do on an almost hourly basis, like at 3 p.m. Saturday we needed to leave the beach for cocktails, 4 p.m. was ice cream at her favorite ice cream place followed by shopping and then home to be ready for our 7:00 pick up to go out to dinner. I woke up Sunday morning to find a pink bag filled with assorted resort wear pieces lying on the floor of my room and carried it into the kitchen and said to the girls standing there, “What the hell? I don’t even have a job.” 

Therein lies the danger of shopping with girlfriends after drinking a goblet full of Hendricks gin on a sunny deck in Florida. Rational thinking goes for a swim in the ocean.

Anyway, lest you start to get worried about me, I’ll assure you that Florida Amy has been packed away since my return late Sunday night. She was a lot of fun but doesn’t really fit into my daily grind of laundry folding and driving duties. She wasn’t the most solid of citizens.

Take heart, though. I leave for Jamaica next week.

God only knows what Jamaica Amy is like.






Suburban Women in Crisis

IMG_3972A couple of years ago I went away for a long weekend to Miami’s South Beach with an old college friend while my kids went away with their dad for Spring Break.

She’s the same friend who, if you recall, suggested on a recent girls’ weekend that my dark, red lipstick was not doing me any favors, and smudged it off of my lips with her thumb. She also observed during another ladycation with our sorority sisters in Hilton Head that I if I wanted to be successful with the fellas, I really needed to work on my small talk. Apparently, it’s not great.

And while some people might be offended by these personal observations, I know that she just has my best interest at heart and was offering the advice with love. She’s a Greek and after spending a week with her people last summer, I understand her so much better. I now know from where her very strong opinions and forceful nature stem. It’s the same cultural impulse that compels a taxi driver to shout out the window at everyone he passes and the frustrated woman behind the hotel desk in Samos — who was trying to help me connect my iPhone to their wireless — to bark, “Give to me,” and pluck the phone from my hands.

They are inherently a bossy people.

So, from time to time during our trip to Miami, where we stayed in a swanky little boutique hotel and sunned ourselves on the beach alongside topless South American beauties, my pal would lean over to me and say, “S-S.”

That was her code for “stop staring.”

Apparently, it’s something I do quite a lot. And now that it’s been brought to my attention, I catch myself staring at people from time to time, like one of my kids sitting on the couch reading or when I see that really beautiful woman in town who I think looks exactly like Elle MacPherson.

I guess I just get caught up in all the admiring and forget that I am not invisible and it could be perceived as creepy (it freaks my kids out at any rate; I don’t know if the lady in town has noticed me yet).

This past weekend I found myself wishing that the same Greek girlfriend was around to help keep my staring in check.

I went away with a couple of friends from town to Vermont to stay in one of the girls’ condo for a weekend of winter fun at her members-only ski resort.

Yes, something like that really exists.

We snowmobiled through the snowy woods along a winding trail — at one point passing a herd (flock?) of turkeys standing in a clearing along the side — and raced across a hilly golf course, opening our throttles as our hands gripped the heated handles. We skied the wide-open and empty trails on snow groomed to resemble corduroy, skiing right back onto the chair lift and up the mountain. And on Sunday we strapped on our snowshoes and marched around the well-marked cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in the woods alongside the condo.

We were quite adventurous.

And when we weren’t outside playing in the snow, we spent quite a bit of time in the old country inn at the base of the mountain that serves as an uber quaint and fancy ski lodge while a much larger facility is being built for members nearby.

It’s like the setting for a snowy Nancy Meyers movie and is where all the staring comes in.

So, I am not living hand-to-mouth here in a fairly affluent part of central New Jersey where many of my 11-year-old’s friends own iPhones, there are a lot of Louis Vuitton bags standing on line at the gourmet deli counter and Audi SUVs waiting out in the parking lot.

There are pockets of great wealth, where the Wall Street crowd lives in fabulous homes with pools and docks along the river, and then, well, there are the rest of us living landlocked in Cape Cods and split-levels. I am kind of exaggerating but you get the picture: there’s a little bit of everything. 

The crowd gathered at this particular Vermont inn last weekend definitely fell into the former category — there seemed to be a lot of hedge fund managers — but it was just in such high concentration, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I stared at the Patagonia and Prada (!) ski jackets, the well-heeled ladies scattered around the dining room at dinner enjoying miso glazed Brussels sprouts and seared scallops in a beet puree and the woman sitting alongside us at the bar with the fabulous blow out (my friends couldn’t stop talking about her hair).

My one always-elegant friend leaned over as we stood enjoying our glasses of cabernet at the wine-and-cheese gathering for members Saturday night among the casually clad après ski crowd swathed in all their cashmere, and whispered, “It’s very Connecticut.”

None of this however, prepared me for all the staring I would try not to do on Sunday when we were whisked up to the top of the mountain in a heated Snowcat (nicknamed the CATillac) with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who was with his wife and two young children. And us.

I know.

Two things: First, Chris Cuomo is a pretty handsome dude in real life but the one I couldn’t stop staring at was the wife. Even after pulling off her helmet and one of those Balaclavas from a morning of skiing, she was absolutely beautiful – very dark and exotic, which some Googling later uncovered might be due to her Brazilian roots. The second important thing about this encounter was that the Cuomos were not remotely interested in our lady gang from Jersey. We really did not interact with them at all, even though we sat around a communal table in a charmingly rustic cabin at the top of the mountain and ate lunch together (where the spread included bagels and lox and vegetable-hummus wraps).

“Did you see her eyes glaze over when she heard we were from New Jersey?” laughed one of my ladies later after the Cuomos skied off with their kids and we took the Snowcat back down the mountain ourselves.

We had a lot of time for research during out four-hour drive back home and learned that they lived in Manhattan and Mrs. Cuomo worked full-time as magazine editor, has been called “”one of the most fabulous mommies in New York” and is BFFs with Tory Burch.  And she graduated from Cornell. Oh, and we think she was wearing a Prada ski outfit. Oh, oh and their South Hampton home had been featured in a spread in Elle Decor.

I was in a weird piecemeal snow outfit pulled out of our winter bins that hold my daughters’ old ski wear and the pants were so tight I could barely breathe.

We did have a brief conversation with Mrs. Cuomo, and I shouted to her at the other end of the long wooden table about how the four of us had been planning a winter getaway for months and had originally thought we’d go much farther north, to Jay Peak to stay at a friend’s bed and breakfast. When that didn’t pan out, I told her, our girlfriend offered her place and mentioned there was a nice mountain where we could ski. Totally downplaying the greatness.

Then we started “oohing” and “ahhing” over how fabulous we all thought it was and in retrospect, the Cuomos were probably a little more used to that kind of lifestyle. They probably didn’t think twice about people just handing them vegetable hummus wraps and Chardonnay and icy cold water tapped from some nearby private water source. And it was all gratis.

But the four of us did. We discussed in detail all of the lovely little things we had noticed over the course of our fancy weekend and thanked our generous and insanely low-key girlfriend for sharing her getaway with us.

“I feel like a celebrity,” joked one of our gang as we packed the car to return home. “My kids are going to ask me for my autograph.”

And while I wasn’t hoping my kids would ask for my autograph, I was so excited about my weekend that I was hoping they would be somewhat interested in hearing my stories and looking at the pictures on my iPhone.

“Why do you keep bragging about it?” asked my fifth grader when I tried to show him a picture of the Snowcat, and that’s when I realized that they couldn’t just be happy for me. They felt jealous and left out.

So, I guess that’s why I’m telling you. Please don’t feel jealous, I would have taken you, too, but there’s only so much room in a Snowcat.

The very famous Snowcat.

The very famous Snowcat.