A few years ago, I treated myself to the ultimate girl’s getaway – a beach house in the Hamptons. Of course, I couldn’t actually afford a beach house in the Hamptons during ‘The Season’, but I managed to get a great house right before Memorial Day that didn’t require me to sacrifice my first-born child. I invited my girlfriends, the ones who had been sharing an annual girls weekend away for years, and (because I could) I asked my cousin Lisa if she’d like to come out and join us.
She said yes.
Four of my friends said yes.
The weather did not cooperate, but it didn’t matter. We drove around and walked around and shopped and ate and drank and braved the wind on the beach and talked and laughed ourselves silly.
We had a wonderful time.
In the back of my mind, I wanted to write about the Hamptons, not about the rich and famous who lived there, but rather the fish-out-of-water types who visited, like my friends and I. So I actually took notes and pictures and kept trying to think of a twist that would make for a great book that was more than just a funny travelogue.
When it finally struck me, I started writing Stealing Jason Wilde.
And the best part was, I really used all those notes and pictures, I remembered the places and sounds and everything that made the trip so special. And one of those memorable moments was at The American Hotel.
My friend Michele came out early with me, and my cousin arrived early as well, so we had a few days before the others arrived. We spent one of those days in Sag Harbor, and we went into The American Hotel for a drink. What a classy place – seriously. We sat at a small, dark bar, and I asked for a whiskey sour. I know—who drinks those any more? But it sounded good to me, and to Michele and Lisa, so the bartender, a charming New Zealander named Ray, made the best whiskey sour I had ever tasted. It may have been the best drink I’d ever tasted period. And he told us that it was in the house, because he hadn’t made one in so long.
So, were we impressed or what?
Before we left, my cousin took his picture. I told him I was a writer, and that if I ever wrote a book about my trip to Sag Harbor, I’d be sure to squeeze him in.
And I did.
I had a blast writing Stealing Jason Wilde, not only because I loved the characters, or because it was a bit different than my usual Rom-Com. I got a chance to go and experience my Hamptons week all over again.
What a joy!
And here’s the icing on the cake — my cousin, a wonderful artist living out in San Diego, took her picture of Ray and painted this amazing portrait.
He no longer works there. I’m so sorry, because I would have loved to send him a copy of my book – and this fabulous painting.