As I enter the ballroom today, I make my habitual curtsy in Lady B’s direction. She immediately crosses the room, lifts her quizzing glass and peers at me.
Tessa: My goodness, Lady B. What is it? Have I grown a third eye?
Lady B: No, Miss Dare. You’ve freckled.
Tessa: I have? I mean, yes. I suppose I know I have.
Lady B: Have you been spending time in the sun without a bonnet?
Tessa: I must confess it’s true. Mr. Dare and I just returned from a holiday in Hawaii. And while there, I rarely wore a bonnet.
Lady B: Hawaii? What is this place? And please, dear girl–do not tell me to Groogle it. I leave the InnerNetting to the authoresses.
Tessa: We Americans call it Hawaii now. But you know it as the Sandwich Islands, Lady B.
Lady B: Ah, yes. The Sandwich Islands. I’ve heard tell of them from the Earl of Sandwich himself.
Albert: Squawk! Archipelago!
Tessa: It’s a string of tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Lush rainforests, dramatic volcanoes, beautiful beaches…
Albert: Squawk! Ahem.
Tessa: Quite right, Albert. Lots of parrots, too!
Lady B: Well, it sounds lovely.
Tessa: Oh, it is. And the best part of our trip was that we went there for a wedding. My dear friend and fellow authoress Carey Baldwin got married to her dashing beau–on the beach, at sunset. It was lovely.
Lady B: What a radiant bride!
Tessa: Wasn’t she? And it was so wonderful to have the four of us together – we’re the same group of friends who put together a new digital anthology for charity, Three Weddings and a Murder. I wrote a new novella for it, called “The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright.” I tried to bring Harry and Eliza to a ball a few weeks ago, but they got rather…sidetracked in the parlor. Kissing.
Lady B, disapprovingly: Yes. I recall.
Tessa: Well, let’s just look at the wedding photos some more.
Lady B: A wedding, on the beach? In the Sandwich Islands? What sort of special license a couple needs to procure for that ceremony, I dare not guess.
Tessa: I don’t know about the paperwork required, but we didn’t even need shoes!
Lady B: Ah, sand betwixt the toes and a fresh, bracing salt breeze. You’re making me long for a holiday by the sea.
Tessa: Well, it is the time of year for it. In Spindle Cove, all the usual young ladies will be gathering for the summer holiday. Frequent Ballroom guest Amy joined us on Saturday after driving home from Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. I know several of the other authoresses have summer vacations planned, which may or may not include seashores.
What’s your favorite beach you’ve visited, or one you particularly long to visit? Feel free to post pictures for Lady B’s edification and our general entertainment. Some questions: Do you prefer rocky or sandy beaches? Atlantic or Pacific (or Mediterranean or…?) Cloudy or sunny days?
I always thought I preferred foggy, windbreaker days on rocky beaches, like the beautiful shores of the central and northern California coasts. But Maui turned me into a sand and sun worshipper!