Dinner at Groton’s Gibbet Hill Grill

Groton is an adorable New England town. Cute Main St. with cafes, bakery, and pizza shop, great conservation land and trails, a rail trail for walking & bike riding, plenty of picturesque horse farms, and not one, but two boarding schools. Groton is home to Lawrence Academy & Groton School. Both schools owe their founding in some part to the Lawrence family, which I am actually a descendant from! I am planning to run around both schools this summer, they are gorgeous, you will love them. Groton School was actually in School Ties!

Anyways, Gibbet Hill Farm is walking distance to Lawrence Academy and they have both a restaurant called Gibbet Hill Grill and a function/wedding venue called The Barn at Gibbet Hill.

The menu at the grill is amazing. Entrees were priced from the teens to twenties and steaks could be a little more expensive, but the ingredients are all local. The produce for the most part comes right from their farm! We started with a bowl of the clam chowder. Living in New England, we are kinda spoiled in the clam chowder department. The Gibbet Hill version did not disappoint! It was very creamy, big clams, and great flavor. I do like it a little thicker, but it was delicious. It came in a cute little cauldron too.

IMG_4567

Then for entrees, Jon got the shepherd’s pie and I got the potato crispy haddock with bacon and potato corn chowder. Both entrees were amazing. The beef in the shepherd’s pie was awesome, which shouldn’t be a surprise because it is a steakhouse, and the corn chowder that came with my haddock was so good. Jon also got a side of mac n cheese which was huge, so we had that with our dinner the next day too! The bar was great, many choices for wine, beer, and spirits/cocktails. I got a Belgian wit beer and Jon got the Gibbet Hill Brew which is an IPA made by Berkshire Brewing Company.

Below are just some pictures I snapped in the restaurant. The building has the big beautiful wooden beams, a fireplace, adorable navy blue/cream checked table cloths, and an open counter/window into the kitchen which I love. The artwork was all farm related, portraits of prize steers and vintage memorabilia/farm items.

IMG_4562IMG_4603IMG_4568IMG_4564

There is some historical significance to the property and a trail system that you can explore seen here. I would really like to go back with the pup to explore and watch the sunset from the hill, and then head into the grill for some chowder 🙂 Jon and I don’t go out to dinner all that often, maybe once a month, so when we do, we like to go somewhere nice and sort of have an experience I guess too. The other places I have on my list are the Colonial Inn in Concord and the Wayside Inn in Sudbury! Where do you go for your special dinners with friends or family?

Signature 2

Advertisements

Bluebird day hike up Mt. Garfield

I hiked Mt. Garfield in December 2014, but we still aren’t quite ready to do any of the 9 remaining mountains I have left to finish the New Hampshire 48  4000 footers, so we did Mt. Garfield on Sunday for my husband’s grid. My husband, Jon, is doing the grid, which is all 48 in all 12 months. It takes years to accomplish for most; probably close to 20 years for Jon. When I did Garfield in December, we were socked in meaning it was a cloudy day with no views. When we did it Sunday there was not one cloud in the sky!!! Mt. Garfield is a part of the Franconia Ridge, so you can see Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack, Mt. Liberty, and Mt. Flume to one side,  and North & South Twin, and the Bonds to other side. You can look down into the Pemigewassett River Valley to see Owls Head, and on a really clear day, you can see Mt. Washington past the Bonds. We took the Garfield Ridge Trail up, which is a beautiful trail. The road to the trailhead from Rt 3 is still closed, so that does add 2 miles of walking to the distance. Overall I think it was 12 miles. There are a couple river crossings which were very low/safe for this time of year. Sometimes spring can be tough for river crossings because the melting snow makes for raging rivers. The trail was a sheet of ice for probably the last 2-3 miles to and from the summit. We had our microspikes, and even then it was a little tough. We both really wished that we had our crampons. We saw one couple turn around because they didn’t have any traction, another couple where one didn’t have traction and struggled hardcore, and another couple that shared 1 pair of microspikes (they each had one on their right foot). The happiest and safest folks had microspikes 🙂

IMG_4606
Water levels are so low right now for spring, rock hopping across!
IMG_4617
Icy trails!
IMG_4599
Mizpah making it look easy!
IMG_4607
View of Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack, Mt. Liberty, and the side of Mt. Flume from the center out to the left
IMG_4609
Cold n windy day! 
IMG_4615
Owls Head
IMG_4614
A river runs through it: The Pemi River Valley
IMG_4611
Foundation of the tower that used to be on Mt. Garfield
IMG_4612
South and North Twin
IMG_4613
The Bonds behind the Twins

Mizpah did an amazing job as usual. She is so athletic, surefooted, and agile. I am constantly impressed by Mizpah out on the trails. She’s so aware of her surroundings and just in tune with the trails. We purposely let her nails stay a little long in the winter/spring until the ice melts because they give her little microspikes of her own. She was the only dog we saw up there, and she got a lot of love from our fellow hikers. This coming weekend, we are planning to do Mt. Cabot, which I do need for my 48, so I am really excited about that!!!

Signature 2

Volunteering for my barn’s spring two-phase!

This past weekend was the spring two-phase at the barn that I ride at. A two-phase is dressage and stadium jumping, the third phase that will be added in for future shows is cross country. I usually volunteer to scribe for the dressage judge which is really fun, but definitely hard work. You write furiously, trying to make sure that you get every comment and score as the dressage judge watches the dressage test. Our judge for this show was Lainey Johnson, and she is awesome. I love scribing for her because I learn so much, and she is just a lovely lady to hang out with too. The shows at my barn are schooling shows, so they are affordable, and just great opportunities to get some showing experience at a very low key, informal event. Once dressage finished up, I helped score the stadium jumping rounds. The spring show is the first show for many horses and riders coming out of winter hibernation, so its a great step to prepping for the rest of the summer shows. We only had 3 errors in dressage, and only one person came off in stadium. There were quite a few refusals in stadium, but in a schooling show the rider can finish even if they get eliminated and you can pay for an extra round and try the course again too. Its supposed to be a positive learning experience 🙂 Here are some pics from the day!

IMG_4581
View of the dressage arena from the dressage shack
IMG_4582
Bigger view of the dressage arena
IMG_4586
Stadium jumping
IMG_4591
Nice view from our jumping arena huh?
IMG_4592
I loved this palomino horse, oh man, looked just like the Barbie horse figurine I had so many years ago. 

Even if you are just getting into horseback riding and you aren’t ready or can’t afford to show, volunteering at shows can be a really fun way to learn and get involved. You get to know people from your barn and that camaraderie can really be a positive part of your time spent at the barn. Saturday was just a beautiful day too, can’t complain about getting to spend a lot of it outside watching children and adults chasing their dreams on horseback 🙂 Have I inspired anyone to get out there and start riding or just volunteer their time at a barn? I hope so, riding and spending time at the barn has saved me from many a bad day.

Signature 2

Spring Day at Nashoba Valley Winery

April vacation is one of the amazing perks of being a teacher. A week away from work when its just starting to get nice out is just what the doctor ordered. I have been doing a lot of work to finish up this semester at grad school, but I made plans to relax yesterday with a lovely group of my coworkers at Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton MA. There aren’t that many vineyards here in New England, a lot of them are small. There are some grape wines, but Nashoba started with a lot of the fruit wines- apples, pears, peach, blueberry, and strawberry. They do tours on the weekends, and tastings anytime. Some of my friends did the tasting, but this wasn’t my first trip to the winery so I just grabbed a bottle of chardonnay and stepped out into the sun! The tastings can be really fun to try some of fruit wines, or they have some beers too, and they have a brandy called Northern Comfort (NoCo??).

We all brought some snacks to share. You can bring in food, or you can get these really cute picnic lunches from J’s Restaurant. J’s Restaurant is right there at the winery, it has a seasonal local menu- kinda pricey, definitely more for a special occasion. I brought some cabot cheddar cheese and triscuits and got to use my new gray marble cheeseboard. I also brought my tervis because I was nervous about transporting an actual wine glass ha. It was  such a beautiful day, the fruit trees are all just starting to bud. We will definitely go back in the summer when everything is green and growing and even more gorgeous.

IMG_4531

IMG_4535
Getting married means getting new monogrammed stuff right!?

IMG_4526IMG_4523

IMG_4525
So many varieties of wines all made right there
IMG_4519
Side of the winery, perfect to sit outside and enjoy some wine
IMG_4516
Front of the winery
IMG_4521-2
Buds on fruit trees! Spring!!

So much fun yesterday, and now back to work for a couple days until the weekend. I have to finish up a hw assignment today, then an exam tomorrow, and a presentation on Monday! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though, just a couple more weeks and I will have my MS 🙂

Signature 2

Mt. Moosilauke Hike on the Carriage Road

Sunday of this past weekend, my husband Jon, Mizpah, and I headed up to NH for a hike. Jon’s broken toe had healed just in time for our wedding, and we were ready to get back to hiking after almost 2 months away from our favorite mountains. We chose Mt. Moosilauke after reading through Saturday’s trip reports because Mt. Moosilauke had just some soft snow/ice on the Carriage Road trail where some of the mountains still require crampons. The Carriage Road trail is wide and gradual, it was a little over 10 miles and took us a little over 6 hours to do.

At the summit of Mt. Moosilauke, there are remains of the Prospect House built in 1860, later known as the Tip Top House, a hotel similar to the one on the summit of Mt. Washington. It burned down in 1942. The Carriage Road was built in 1870 to bring guests up to the summit.

Tip Top House, Moosilauke Breezy Point, NH
Tip Top House, Moosilauke Breezy Point, NH

Breezy Point Road leads to the Carriage Road trailhead. Nathaniel Merrill built a farmhouse there in 1834, and converted the farmhouse in 1860 to serve as an inn called the Merrill Mountain Home. Slightly downhill from there, the larger Breezy Point House was built in 1877. It was destroyed by a fire in 1884, and then the Moosilauke Inn was built there in 1886. In 1915, the Merril Mountain burned down, and in 1953, the Moosilauke Inn burned down.

A smaller motel was built at the inn site which closed in 1981. Crazy history. The spot where the inn was is just a big field. I guess there was even a 9 hole golf course there around 1900. We did find a cellar hole around where the Merrill house could have been.

Then on our way out, we found this cellar hole further downhill from where the inn would have been. Could have been outbuildings from the original Breezy Point House.

Here are some more pictures from our hike. We did Moosilauke back in November too, and in this post, I discuss the link between Moosilauke and Dartmouth College.

IMG_4477
Built in the 1990s by the Dartmouth Outing Club, just beyond this bridge there was a shelter called Camp Misery in the 1930s. I believe the bridge is made of pieces of the shelter.
IMG_4480
Soft snow and ice on the trail
IMG_4481
Mizpah and Jon on our way to the summit, South Peak in the background

IMG_4484

IMG_4486
Up on the summit, windy as usual!

IMG_4488

IMG_4490
View of Loon’s south peak
IMG_4492
Moosilauke’s summit is always windy, it is the first tall peak that gets wind from Vermont!

IMG_4496

IMG_4498
Beautiful birches on the trail
IMG_4506
Mizpah relaxing when we got back to the car

So now I have done Moosilauke 3 times. Its great because there are so many different trails up and down it, I have never done it the same way twice. We are going to try to hike the next couple weekends and we have some big hiking plans for this summer. I still have 9 left to complete the 4000 footers in NH. Of course they are all tough, long, or far away hikes- save the craziest for last? I read this article this past week, and it really summed it all up for me. Where do you like to hike!? I love hearing other people’s hiking stories!!

Signature 2

Marathon Monday & North Shore Beach/Food Adventure!

Good morning!! Happy Patriot’s Day & Happy Marathon Monday!!!! Growing up in New England always meant waking up on Patriot’s Day, which is the first day of April vacation here, and immediately tuning into the marathon coverage. Since I became a teacher just a year out of college, I have continued this tradition! I went to watch the marathon for quite a few years. One of my friends from college ran in it, and we would get a group together to watch and then meet up at a bar later. I was there in 2013. I was at mile 25 with a group watching for our friend. After she passed us, we walked down to the finish line, met up with our friend at Copley Square, and headed to a bar. She finished in 3:02. Less than an hour later, we heard someone come into the bar and say that there had been an explosion at the finish line. People thought it was a man hole cover or a pipe bursting, nobody could have even imagined that the explosions were bombs. It had to be something uncontrollable, some sort of unintentional disaster. There was no urgency at that time, but we decided we should finish our drinks and get going because the T would be packed with so many people leaving at once. None of our cell phones worked, it was so weird- did the explosion take out a cell phone tower? It didn’t make sense. I hopped on the commuter rail to head back to my car parked in Acton, and then I looked at my phone and oh my goodness, I had soooo many text messages & missed calls. When I got home and turned on the news, I saw why everyone was trying to get a hold of me!! What a week that was, the love and compassion shown in the city of Boston and all over the world for the victims and their families was incredible. I haven’t been back since, not because of the bombings though. I was away in Atlanta in 2014, and then the weather last year was terrible. Today I am happily watching at home curled up with the pup, relaxing after our hike yesterday.

Saturday, Jon and I celebrated our first week of marriage by heading to Gloucester with our dog, Mizpah. It was an even day, so Good Harbor Beach was the off leash beach. We ran around the beach for a while, and then hit up a few of my favorite North Shore spots.

LLBean Sweater // Barbour ‘Argon’ Jacket (old) // LLBean Scarf // LLBean booties // KJP bracelet (old) // Harding Lane hat

First up was Woodman’s in Essex. This was one of the traditional stops on the way home from the beach for my family. Lawrence “Chubby” Woodman is credited with the invention of the fried clam, believe it or not. They have amazing fried seafood, fries, onion rings, and chicken fingers. The one thing that’s tough is they have the milk broth clam chowder, not the thick chowder New England is known for. Woodman’s was featured in the Adam Sandler movie Grownups too! In the summer, they have an ice cream window and a little nautical gift shop; they sell KJP there!  Jon had never been, so we grabbed some fried clam strips and french fries 🙂

Then we drove by the farm where I used to ride in Essex. The new owners have really done a lot of work on the paddocks and barns. I met one of the owners a coupe years ago when she was still doing a lot of renovations, she had jumpers. It looked like a lot of her boarders were probably also jumpers- big horses, sheets in warm weather, small paddocks, haha.

From there we hit up our last stop, Richardson’s in Middleton. Richardson’s homemade ice cream was sold at Orchard Hill Ice Cream, the big ice cream spot in my hometown. They have the most amazing ice cream. I love their mocha chip with big chocolate chunks, the Tollhouse cookie, and oreo cookie. I got a chocolate frappe, and then we picked up a half gallon of oreo cookie. They have their cows right there on the premises, but Mizpah was a little freaked by them. The picture I snapped her was near the donkeys, which she was a little calmer around, but honestly, she just looks so pathetic. There’s mini golf right next door, so you can really make a day of it there.

Yesterday we hiked Mt. Moosilauke, so I will post about our hike tomorrow. I love how you can spend one day at the beach, and then the next in the mountains here in New England. It’s so nice out today, I hope this warm weather is here to stay, happy Monday!

Signature 2

My Wedding Weekend!!

I apologize for my blogging hiatus, but its been a crazy couple weeks since my Aiken SC trip. I got married this past weekend!!! We headed up to the Indian Head Resort in Lincoln, NH on Friday, and did our rehearsal there. Then we had our rehearsal dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Truant’s Taverne. Now, some people think you have to choose- you are either a Truant’s fan, or a Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery fan.  Woodstock is on the other side of the street, they brew their own beer, so delicious. I love both. I couldn’t decide if you made me. One benefit of Truant’s is that it’s closer to the ice cream place I guess. The people that own Truant’s also own White Mountain Bagel Co. which is where we got breakfast for Saturday morning at the hair salon. Their tomato basil bagel is so good. Ok I promise my wedding weekend wasn’t all about food…but we also got lunch on Friday at another place I love, Half Baked Fully Brewed….ok back to the wedding.

IMG_4316
Rehearsal time with the traditional bow bouquet made from shower gifts 🙂 Wearing a Lilly Delia little white dress (sadly sold out)! Yes, the lake outside is still frozen on April 9th….New England

Indian Head Resort has many conventional hotel rooms, the ones with a view of the Shadow Lake, the Pemi River, and the mountains are the best. The resort also has two adorable houses for rent, so some of my bridesmaids were in one, and the groomsmen were in the other. Our rehearsal dinner was all about fun comfort foods- chicken fingers, mac n cheese, steak tips, and garlic whipped potatoes. There was also salad though, no worries, haha #eatclean. The varsity room upstairs at Truant’s has shuffleboard, arcades, pool tables, and a jukebox. It was such a fun night. We headed back to the hotel, grabbed drinks at the Thunderbird Lounge, and did some hot tubbing! Indian Head has an indoor heated pool/hot tub AND a heated outdoor pool/hot tub. The outdoor hot tub is huge, I want one.

Saturday, the mothers, bridesmaids, and myself headed off to the Daydreams Hair & Nail Studio for hair and makeup. The ladies at the salon were so sweet, they genuinely cared about what we wanted and we loved them! They made everyone’s hair and makeup dreams come true. Their makeup is a mineral based line, so it was great for my skin, and they had the wispie fake lashes which I love so much more than the blunt cut lashes.

IMG_4302

We got back to Indian Head, put on our dresses, and then it was time for champagne and photos! Jon and I did a first look so we saw each other and did some pictures before the ceremony. It was so good for both of our nerves/emotions to do the first look. The ceremony was inside, and it was perfect. There were tears, laughs, and it feels like it was over so fast. We did some photos outside even though it was freezing, and then it was reception time. The food was amazing, our DJ was fabulous, and it was just awesome having so many friends and family members all together in one room!

IMG_4369
Ceremony First Kiss!
IMG_4370
Reception First Dance!

My dress came from David’s Bridal, and my bridesmaids’s dresses were all navy/gold dresses from Lilly Pulitzer! My sister wore the navy beaded ‘Largo”, my friend Kayla wore the navy ‘Bentley’, and my three girlfriends from the barn actually did Rent the Runway for the navy ‘Valli’.  My sister got her dress from the After Party sale, and the Bentley dress was really affordable on Amazon. The groomsmen were in gray tuxedos, navy ties, brown shoes, super classy looking bunch of guys.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After the wedding, we all hit up the hot tub one more time before heading to bed. Sunday many guests met up with for the breakfast buffet which includes lots of bacon and an omelette station….soooo good. Again, sorry for my food obsession.

Because I am in grad classes, we are not doing a honeymoon right away, but we do have some fun trips planned for the summer 🙂 I can’t wait to get the professional photos to relive the amazing weekend all over again. Both Jon and my families vacationed at Indian Head Resort growing up, often because camping trips got rained out at Fransted Campground, so it was extra special to be there, and with the mountains that we have hiked looking down over us….it was just a great weekend full of love and happiness. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!! Here’s one last pic of the beautiful sunset over the Franconia Notch.

IMG_3377

Signature 2