I Could Live Here: La Grande Summer House

In a week I'll be heading out for a weekend at my friend's summer house in the Catskills, which has led me to fantasize about having a fabulous vacation home of my own. 

This vacation home, a 1972 estate in Napa, not only has an ivy-clad brick turret for a front door (!!!) but a pool, bocce courts, horseshoes, a hot tub and four bedrooms. At $2.35M, it's a far-off fantasy but I can still pretend. Here's a transcript of what I might say as I gave JT (my Catskills host) a quick tour... 

[via telephone]: "It's through a gate and at the end of a long driveway, park anywhere and come to the red door in the turret.... no, I said TURRET - like a castle.... No, of course it's not a castle... Well, my real estate agent called it a farmhouse."

"Oh hi! Come on in... How was the drive? Gorgeous, yeah, I know... So come on out of this turret foyer, which I still need to decorate, and see the rest of the house. Here's the kitchen to your right."

"Yep it's Carrara marble... Of course you can make fresh bread at dawn... And I haven't yet tried that rice dish, what's in it again?... oh right: black truffles, sauteed shiitakes, pepper bacon and caramelized shallots! Delicious. Come see the living room, I'll bet you had no idea how much I like beige."

"More living room, more beige. Oh and yeah, I'm into leather furniture now. Can't get enough of it, really."

"The best part of the house, though, is the backyard and the gardens. It should be about 75 or 80 degrees tomorrow... You're right, that is the perfect temperature."

"Yep, that's my fountain... No, you'd be surprised how often you enjoy a fountain once you have one, you should get one for your summer house... What's that? Oh, I sit near it and look at it and listen to it, the usual fountain stuff."

"You look thirsty. Let's go put your bags down and come sit outside with a glass of wine. Here's where you can stay. Sorry that it kinda looks like a hotel - I need to something about the carpet but check out the views!" 

"And this is my room... Yeah, that's my private sun deck - you'll wanna knock before you come out there."

"And here's where Gunther will be staying." [note: Gunther is a dog, but in my fantasy I'm such a good host that I give him his own room, despite the white carpeting.]

"So get changed and I'll meet you out by the pool for some rosé and cheese... Sure we can play horseshoes - or bocce? okay... And after dinner we can get in the hot tub if it's chilly."

"What, i can't hear you, I'm practically 4,000 square feet away at the other side of the house?... Sure, go on up and look out the turret... What's that?... Yes, Wine Country is beautiful... No, I don't miss New York at all... Absolutely, you are welcome here any time... You could totally move in... Take the East Wing for as long as you'd like. That's why I bought such a fabulous vacation home."  

the end.

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