Sunday morning was again free for exploring, swimming, etc, but one o'clock found everyone gathered in their finest hats and tea frocks for the special guest - Jane Austen herself! Played by Bonda Lewis, Austen regaled us with readings from her novels and tidbits about her life. Tea was served on the terrace, with each of us choosing our own vintage teacup and saucer. The weather was quite warm, but the company was exceptional.
Someone (I think it was Barbara) suggesting that the pool would be good for "chubby dipping."
Throughout the day, ladies could be spied whisking in and out of the meeting room to check up on their bids on items in the annual silent auction. Bidding was fierce on a few of the items, and in the end over $1,000 was raised for Pemberley! The high point of the afternoon, it must be said, was a Pemberley water ballet, given by the Pemberley bathing beauties. Who knew Karen2L was so talented in so many different ways! Judges Julie and Lynn gave high scores .
Sunday evening was a bit melancholy. Some ladies would be leaving for home even before breakfast. We all knew the blissful weekend was rapidly drawing to a close. Good thing we had Power P&P with which to console ourselves. Watching a six-hour miniseries condensed into just the Darcy bits is better than therapy!

Monday was even hotter, which somehow made it easier to leave. Breakfast was punctuated by tearful hugs goodbye and promises of emails as each carpool left to catch flights home (many were seen grasping brown bag lunches provided by Westerbeke). We took solace in knowing we would soon 'see' each other back at Pemberley, and in knowing that Westerbeke would be a place we would return to again and again. We hope that Westerbeke becomes our west coast home in the same way that Craigville, Cape Cod has become our east coast home. Many thanks are due to Candace for scouting out all the possible meeting places and choosing Westerbeke Ranch, and to all the hard work of the ladies who planned out the details of the weekend. Next year, England!

I enjoyed spending time with Catherine checking out the unique chapel and revisiting the labyrinth. We also looked over the tiles near the labyrinth and found them to be quite detailed on closer viewing. Sonoma at night was so still due to the 10 p.m. quiet time policy, that we both declared we missed the customary sounds of airplanes and train whistles. What an absolutely beautiful setting was chosen for our annual meeting!
--Laurie C


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