Then it was on to the Astors' Beechwood. Beechwood is quite a change after the over-the-topness of the Breakers. It's much, much smaller, and is much more homey. The thing about the Beechwood tour is that it is presented as a reenactment of the way life was in the house in 1891, just after the renovation. I've been before, but the show has always been different, and this time it was moreso than usual, because we were there in the dead of winter, and that's taken into account be the reenactors. If you visit in the summer, you will get to talk to some of the guests of the house, or perhaps a younger family member as you tour. In the dead of winter, the only folks around are the servants, because everyone else is down in NYC at the main house. The actors were amusing, sharing all the gossip of the house with us, but there were only two guides and a couple of bit parts, where usually there are three or four guides. Still, it was fun, as usual.
There was one odd bit of synchronicity between the two family homes in that they both lost sons of the family to sinking ships, one of the Vanderbilts on the Lusitania, and John Jacob Astor IV on the Titanic.
After that we got some hot soup for lunch, then strolled about Newport on a very bright, very cold afternoon, ducking into shops when we felt the need to warm up a bit. Monday was a day for sleeping in and watching TV, rather than braving the cold again. Besides some Firefly eps, we watched the pilot for Wonderfalls, which was great fun. Looking forward to more episodes of that. After that, I reluctantly took the funnest guest ever down to the bus station in Connecticut for her trip back home.
The only negative in the whole weekend was that my right leg decided Saturday night that I was having way too much fun, and felt it had to do something about that. At some point on the drive back from Worcester, the side of my leg started to ache. A lot. The pain went down the side of the leg from hip to calf, and I have no idea what set it off. I don't remember slipping or tripping or even stepping funny at all on Saturday. I was fine while sitting through the Vagina Monologues, and later at dinner. Yet when I got out of the truck after the hour's drive, my leg was all sorts of sore. Sunday morning, it was still sore, but didn't hurt much when I was standing or walking, only when I was sitting in certain positions (especially driving). Walking around Newport and the mansions, even going up and down stairs wasn't a problem at all. It was only in the truck that it really hurt.
Monday morning it was much, much worse. I had a miserable time putting on my right sock, because I just couldn't bend and rotate my leg to do it without a lot of pain. OTOH, standing and walking (after an initial limp at first) were fine. Then I drove msbelle down to the bus station at Foxwoods. It wasn't too bad on the way down, but the ride back was terribly painful. I stopped at the supermarket on the way home, and was limping a lot. Once home, nothing I did could make it comfortable. Siting at my desk was painful, so I lay on the couch to watch TV for a while. Finally, I ran a hot bath and tried soaking in that a bit. It helped some, not a lot. Finally just went to bed.
This morning it was better than yesterday, so I'm hopeful that it might be getting better. I just wish I knew what it was. It's in the wrong area to be the sciatic nerve, but beyond that, I have no clue. Plus, I'm really worried about the fact that I'm going to be sitting on a plane for several hours Friday. I really don't want to be in pain for that. (It occurred to me as I wrote that that this has happened to me before *on* a plane trip, but the effect didn't last much beyond getting off the plane. Maybe my leg just doen's like to be twisted in a particular way while seated, and this happened somehow Saturday. Who knows?)