By Trix Wilkins
Photo of Pittwater, Sydney, courtesy of Wikipedia
Been helping to organize a hen’s, and in the midst of all that my mind started to wander into the land of “what if…” – what if Jo and Laurie had at some point gotten engaged, and Jo had enlisted the advice of her sisters as to what to do for her hen’s? And what if they had been in Sydney, Australia? What might Meg, Beth, and Amy have suggested – and how might things have worked out in the end?
Meg: The quintessential luxurious day out in the city
I think Meg’s imagination would have gone a bit wild at the thought of planning a day for all her sisters in beautiful Sydney, backed by the finance of the Laurences! She might have suggested a 2 course lunch at the picturesque Botanic Garden Restaurant, followed by a wander (or a run, in Jo’s case) about the Royal Botanic Gardens while she gazed in wonder at the unfamiliar flowers and foliage of the southern hemisphere.
Recalling their days as amateur performers, Meg might have arranged a viewing of a matinee at the Sydney Opera House (whilst fondly reminiscing with Jo over how Laurie had invited them to the theatre all those years ago) – and being of a diplomatic bent, appeased their grand Aunt March by finishing the day with a formal dinner overlooking Sydney Harbor at Bennelong.
Beth: A serene retreat to the beautiful Blue Mountains
Being the most in tune with her beloved sister Jo, Beth would have looked for a place full of the wonders of books, nature, adventures – and music. Though she was considered “the musical one,” she would have thoughtfully remembered that Jo too loved music dearly.
Thus I suspect Beth would have suggested a day out at the Blue Mountains – climbing the thousand steps, beholding the Three Sisters, wandering down to the Empress Falls (and being severely tempted to join Jo in jumping through waterfalls).
When Jo had tired herself out, a myriad of second hand book stores in Leura would beckon – and armed with newly acquired treasures, she might not have been able to resist a “rest” at that secret understated café with the surprisingly majestic valley view.
Beth might have conspired with Mr Laurence to arrange a special musical performance at Pins on Lurline – finishing the day with a dinner set in a historic house, the ambience beautiful without pretension, a restaurant right up Jo’s alley.
Amy: Books and tea with a twist
Of all her sisters, Amy would have been the one to take Jo to the Mitchell wing of the State Library of NSW, set in a sandstone building with its old world feel of rare, ageing books and centuries of accumulated knowledge and ideas. Partly because she might have wanted to affirm her support of her sister’s writing (after having burned Jo’s manuscript as a child), but also because only a few blocks away is one of Sydney’s oldest and grandest hotels, the Westin: host of the Mad Hatter Tea Party as well as Endota, reputably one of the most luxurious day spas in Sydney.
After taking Jo on a tour about the library, Amy might have persuaded her sister to a visit at the Westin – citing unusual and seemingly other worldly confections, and a spa pedicure so relaxing Jo might feel utterly inspired to write her next novel afterwards, perhaps even her magna opus.
What Jo might have gotten up to in the end…
An early morning kayak, bushwalk and swim at Pittwater followed by a picnic lunch on the Palm Beach peninsula. The afternoon might have been spent playing croquet and taking long walks on the beach and headland.
In the midst of the croquet game, Jo’s hen’s might have officially ended with an unexpected gate crash by Laurie and his boys – who would have chartered a boat for all to Watson’s Bay, where they would have eaten lobster for dinner at Doyle’s (with Jo still blushing over the memory of that dinner party with the lobster salad, and Laurie looking at her mischievously).