The final journey for me, in being part of the production of HOLIDAY with Matthew Mead, involved an actual journey to the New Hampshire home and studio of Matthew and Jenny Mead. Although I have now tagged along on several shoots, written many, many words for the beautiful features in the magazine and exchanged numerous conference calls, texts and (yes!) Facebook chats about the content, I had never set foot in the magical land of the Studio, which I like to dub Holiday Headquarters.
And so my journey began.
Wednesday, August 18:
Pack up the car and drive for what felt like a really looong time. Pit stop in Bangor Maine for the night, punctuated with a little shopping.
After a little more shopping in Freeport (back-to-school shopping at CrewCuts), I drove on to the Meads. I receive numerous texts from Matthew, tracking my journey, and laugh when this one comes in:
If you come before 4pm,
Jenny will have my head
on a platter
Duly noted, I made a pit stop and spared Matthew a horrible fate.
Because we've all been there, haven't we?!
Guests who show up ahead of schedule...before we get a chance to hop in the shower, clean the toilet, or run the Swiffer over the floor...
Picture a charming white 1 & 1/2 story cottage, nestled into a quiet street close to downtown. Front and back porches with natural, stained beadboard ceilings and a kitchen boasting open shelving laden with Matthew's collection of ironstone, a big sunny window, smoky charcoal- painted bottom cupboards gives the overall effect of an unfitted kitchen straight out of a home in England. Warm patinaed wood floors throughout and furniture collected over time - either culled from antique shops, crafted by local artisans, or gleaned from photo shoots for an insider's discount (jealous yet?). I felt like royalty as I was ushered upstairs to a glorious loft-like space with a large bathroom and a bedroom with soaring ceilings and luxurious linens. It appears style gurus really know how to treat their guests...go figure!
(The Studio...in its pure form. I saw it when it was filled with HOLIDAY magic!)
Still full from a delicious meal that Matthew and Jenny treated me to the night before, I accompanied Matthew and Jenny to Holiday Headquarters. Upon arriving, I met The Lisas and toured the studio, marvelling at all of the behind-the-scenes projects that take place in different corners of the studio. I got a chance to see the bloggers' projects that they have contributed and so many other magical things you all will love. We went over the features, discussed the stories and what still needs doing and shared a few groans over how little time there is before our deadline. We then wandered downtown to dine outside a bustling pub until the younger crowd arrived and ushered all of us old-timers home.
( A grouping of photos...waiting for The Wall)
I awoke and went downstairs to discover Matthew had taped each and every page of the magazine, produced thus far, onto the wall in his den. It was an incredible feeling After a quick breakfast of yogurt and fresh blueberries (and to answer your question, I am yet to officially eat any of Matthew's cooking. I think I intimidated him with my kitchen prowess!) We then hopped in their truck for a glorious trip into Boston to IKEA! As I wandered the store - alternately sighing with happiness as I placed items in my bag and groaning in frustration that I couldn't bring the things I really wanted home - Matthew and Jenny shopped for a set of dressers to place into the (my) bedroom upstairs. A quick, late lunch of Swedish meatballs and we were back on the road, the box of the truck sagging with our purchases.