In 2007, Clayton and I had just started dating. I met him at Redbones, a Southern restaurant that was right across the street from my apartment in Somerville. He was a waiter and I was a hostess. We started to hang out alot and slowly built our relationship. On one particular Thursday (August 23, 2007), Clayton and I decided to go to the beach. I must have had a day off from school and he was off from the restaurant We decided to take the commuter rail to Ipswich to spend time at Crane Beach. We had heard that we could take the commuter rail up there for a pretty good price and a shuttle bus would take us to the beach. So we left, with all our beach gear and headed on the train. When we got to Ipswich's visitor center to ask about the shuttle bus, they told us that the shuttle only ran on weekends and that we would have to walk it to the beach, which was 5 miles down the road. Since had already come that far, we decided to walk it. On the way, we stopped at some of the sites...a national reservation....
And Russell Farm apple orchard. The whole time, I was wondering how we were going to get home, but Clayton kept re-assuring me that we would find a way back. Also while we were walking, we were going back and forth if we should hitchhike. After a long while, we decided to try the hitchhiking thing and we were soon picked up by a mother and her son (Connie and Christian). They said that they lived up the road near the beach and would take us as far as their house. However, in the car, Clayton won them over and they decided to take us the whole way. Nearing the beach, Connie asked us if we were going to attend the concert that night at the Estate. We had no idea that there was any sort of thing, or what the Estate was, so we asked what kind of music and she said she would ask once we got into the beach. Christian also gave us a helpful hint on how to get to the Estate..through a particular path through dunes. When we finally arrived, we were shocked to find out that the band that was playing at the concert was the Boston Beantown Swing Orchestra. How fortuitous! A swing band?! I was just learning at the time and Clayton was into swing since high school. We thanked Connie and Christian and made our way to the beach. It was gorgeous!
After some time at the beach, we found the Estate and the dunes that Christian told us about. You can see it from the beach in this picture on the right hand side.
Once we made it through the dunes, we were amazed at the site.
Isn't it amazing?! This isn't the best picture, but here are the rolling hills that were behind me when I took this picture.
We were both shocked with amazement. Then the band played and it was such good music. This picture recently resurfaced from that day. It was taken by the band manager, Frank, who found it not too long ago of the two of us at the event. We were sooo young!
Fast forward years later, this Estate became a part of our swing dance summer events. Boston Beantown Swing Orchestra plays there every summer on a Thursday. Every year, we try to make it. Earlier in the summer, Boston Swing Central hosted a 20s event at the Estate (which will hopefully be a yearly thing). Here are some pictures from the 20s event.
This past Thursday, August 8th, was the annual Boston Beantown Swing Orchestra gig and Frank asked if we could teach the lesson for it. We had also taught the previous year, so we knew better how to teach the crowd. We initially were afraid that the dance would get rained out, but it cleared up by the time we had to get there. The lesson went well, the band loved Chicken Rhythm and the band started to play their stuff. Clayton and I walked up the hill to see the beach view with a friend from work and her boyfriend and we then headed back to the Estate and danced some more. At one point, Clayton asked me to go over to the Italian Garden that is off to the right of the Estate. When we got over there, it was pretty dark and no one was around. That's where Clayton got down on a knee and I replied with "Are you S&%#@ing me?! while Mack the Knife was playing in the background. I could't believe it. Totally surprised! He had a silver ring that he gave me and said that we will be picking out the actual one together.
I said yes! of course and that was how it happened! After he asked me, we went back up to the dance and danced together. A crowd of people started to watch us and cheered us on. At first, I thought Clayton had orchestrated the crowd, but he didn't. It was all by chance. After the dance, we headed to the pub to celebrate. So yes, Crane Estate is very dear to me...and now, it's an integral part of my life story. Who knew that a trip to the beach, would have led to this?