A couple weeks ago was the school vacation week in New Hampshire, so I took some time to run away to Florida and see my lovely parents. They are a bit outside of Tampa, living the retired life! Now I am sitting in my living room watching the blizzard through the windows definitely missing the sunshine and warmth! Besides spending some time in Tampa and at my parents’s house, we also spent some time in Tarpon Springs and Clearwater.
One of my favorite things to do at my parents’s house is just walk around or go for runs to enjoy the nice weather. The birds are so pretty down there, and so are all the flowers and plants. My parents have a couple palm trees and beautiful hibiscus flowers in their yard. Their backyard is actually the golf course, and it makes for some fun people watching from the lanai.
Tarpon Springs is a coastal city on the Gulf of Mexico northeast of Tampa. It is an important location for harvesting natural sponges and the historic sponge dock area has fun shopping and Greek restaurants. Tarpons Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US.
It was so nice to be near the water and all the sponge boats. My past few visits to the water had been pretty cold compared to this one 🙂 Walking around Tarpon Springs, there are lots of decorated bikes. My favorite was the one above decorated in sponges. They started appearing in the spring of 2015, and they are truly art. Warren Gregory is the artist behind the bikes. He was inspired by many years living in Amsterdam. From Tarpon Springs, we headed south to Clearwater for some beach.
Watching the snow fly and blow around outside, its hard to believe I was ever in warm Florida. I have gone down every February since my parents moved down there, and it really is such a nice winter getaway. Hopefully anyone else affected by this winter weather is staying safe and warm and maybe, just maybe, my pics will help get you through!
Happy Monday!!! I just spent a lovely weekend up in Burlington VT with a great group of friends. This past weekend was the annual Vermont Brewers Festival at Waterfront Park right on Lake Champlain. We dropped the pup off Friday morning and headed up with a couple stops along the way. We stopped at Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT for a tour and some free cheese. The tour was great, just $3. I love how the Cabot Creamery works- its a coop, owned by the dairy farmers that supply the milk. Over 1 million pounds of milk arrive at the creamery from farms across New England and New York. Favorite cheese? Definitely the alpine cheddar- it was so good, had to get a block to take with us.
From there we stopped at the Ben and Jerry’s in Waterbury. Oh man, it was so packed. There were so many people, we walked around but didn’t stay…..I did get some Ben and Jerry’s at the scoop shop in Burlington though 🙂 Last stop before the campground was Prohibition Pig, also in Waterbury. They had some great beers of their own on tap, and then an awesome selection of local beers- some from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Hill Farmstead, and Alchemist that are tough to find!
We stayed at North Beach Campground for the weekend, 4 couples, 4 tents, 2 sites. We put all the tents on one site and used the other site for the fire pit, picnic tables, and set up the screened in EZ-up. We were close to the bathrooms, and they had battery operated hot showers, which are great amenities at a campground. It’s not my favorite campground that I have stayed at, but the location was perfect. It was just a short walk to the lake, and just a little longer walk to the park where the beer fest location. The beer fest on Saturday was great. It was hot, but they had plenty of free water thankfully. We pooled our tickets to try as many beers as possible, attacking each brewery with a divide and conquer strategy. Thankfully we are all close friends, because there were a lot of passed beers! In all, I think we tried around 75 different beers!!! Not bad! We made really great food for the weekend- marinated steak tips, turkey burgers, rotisserie chicken salad with dried cherries and walnuts, and of course, s’mores. We had a camp fire and played cards for hours…it just seems like time doesn’t exist when you are camping.
Sunday we got up, packed up the sites, and explored Burlington a bit. I loved Outdoor Gear Exchange, had to hold myself back from LLBean, and grabbed a couple chocolates at Lake Champlain Chocolates. We did lunch at Farmhouse Tap and Grill and I got the best BLT I have had ever. Everyone loved their meals and beers, definitely recommend it!
Very last stop for the weekend was the Magic Hat‘s brewery which is called the artifactory. It’s a very cool brewery….the building itself looks like a plain, industrial warehouse, but they have really done a lot inside to make it feel like a different planet. It’s dark, neon, and kinda psychedelic- lots to look at. You can try beers there and get growlers. I really liked the Single Chair Golden Ale, dedicated to the single chair lift at Mad River Glen, and Stealin Time which is a wheat ale with ginger.
We had such a fun weekend. I loved Burlington and Lake Champlain and think we will be returning next year. It was definitely tough getting up this morning to row at 5:30. Oh yes, I am in a learn to scull program this month, what a throwback. I have loved every second of it, but man is it early. I will write a post about it soon! Anyone else been to Burlington? Where did you go? What were your favorite spots?
This past weekend I attended my 10 year reunion at WPI….that’s right, I graduated college in 2006!! It made me feel really old haha. My husband, Jon, was also the class of ’06 so he came with and we had an awesome day catching up with people. We met up with a group of friends at the Boynton restaurant in Worcester to start our day, a place that we all spent much time at in college. From there we headed up the hill to campus.
WPI is beautiful. Nestled in a concentrated area in Worcester, it has the classic New England college look. I remember going to check it out in high school and just instantly falling in love with the campus. My tour guide, Nicole, was awesome and would later become my sorority sister! I got in to WPI early my senior year, connected with the crew coach, the money all worked out and just like that, I had chosen my home for the next four years.
My husband was in the Skull society, so we hung out in the Skull tomb for a bit. Then we went to see our respective Greek houses- he was an Alpha Chi Rho, and I was a Phi Sigma Sigma. Finally we went to the Higgins House gardens (also seen here), arguably my favorite spot on campus. The Higgins lawn was my quiet spot to go with a blanket and read in college.
It was a really beautiful day Saturday, so I went with one of my Mahi Gold dresses and my navy/white Palm Beach Sandals with my white KJP bracelet. I have three dresses from Mahi Gold on the cape, and they are definitely some of my faves. They are all made from high quality cotton with a little stretch, thick enough to be not see through. The prints are all really fun and nautical.
Our little class reception was in the new rec/athletics building on campus which has a rowing room!! We used to have to get bused over to Holy Cross to use their tanks, but now WPI has a state of the art awesome room with tanks and ergs. We couldn’t get into the room but we did mess around on some ergs out in the hall for old time’s sake haha.
After our little class reception, they had smores and a reception out on the quad. Its funny because Jon and I were good friends in college and have a lot of memories together from crew and social stuff on campus, but we didn’t date until after college. Being together on campus and whenever we go to crew events, its special because its something that we truly share. Actually in my group of ten best gal pals from WPI, six of us are married to WPI grads! So many WPI couples!
It was so nice to be back on campus, we all had such a great four years at WPI, so many amazing memories. I have nothin but love for my alma mater. How was everyone else’s weekend!?
Today is the Kentucky Derby! Attending all three of the Triple Crown races as well as the Maryland Hunt Cup is on my bucket list. Last year I went with some friends to a Derby party in Boston, right on the water, it was so fun. This year, the weather has been so blah that we didn’t make any plans. My husband and I will probably just go somewhere local and grab a drink to watch the races. I think that derby day is a great time to unleash some floral prints as it is the race for the roses. Here are some fun dresses that I found for a nice price!
Mahi Gold Paradise Parade @ $98.00 in Hydrangea Walk- the most expensive out of the 3 but with the iconic Cape Cod blue hydrangeas…I need this. Mahi’s dresses are so soft and comfortable. Mahi Gold is definitely one reason why I love shopping in Chatham.
Now, one retailer that I have left off of my list is Vineyard Vines. They are the official style of the Kentucky Derby. They have a rose print dress that is gorgeous BUT its $248….and they have a white dress with a rose print sash for $198. If I was going to the event I would steer clear of these because you will see a lot of ladies wearing them and they are expensive….so unless you got it c/0….I mean, just look this year at all the gentlemen wearing the rose print sport coat from VV. If I was going, I would want to wear a dress that wouldn’t break my budget and that I wouldn’t see on every girl there 🙂
I am not much of a big hat girl, but I can’t wear headbands for a fascinator because I will get a headache. What I would actually probably do is decorate a hair clip to match my dress. These fabulous hair clips would definitely be my inspiration!
Making a decorated hair clip means it can’t have too much weight, so I would probably do mesh/organza and feathers- maybe one flower….but you can’t do too much or it will be too heavy to stay in your hair!
As for who I am rooting for this year at the derby, Nyquist is the favorite. Nyquist is one of three babies, along with Mo Tom and Outwork, in the derby that have the same sire, Uncle Mo. Crazy. If we look at trainers, two proven trainers have contenders this year: Bob Baffert has Mor Spirit who is a favorite, and then Todd Pletcher has Destin and Outwork. Steven Asmussen has Creator and Gun Runner in the race, and he has had some good horses out there too. His career survived a PETA investigation in 2014 and now he has 2 horses in the derby- not too shabby. Nyquist is the top money winner in the field with over $3 million in earnings, and surprisingly Lani with not so great odds is 3rd place with the money at $1.3 million. Second place is Exaggerator at $1.7 million but he has pretty good odds right now.
Nyquist is a safe bet, there is a good chance this guy will be in the winner’s circle. If you are looking for a horse that would be fun to bet on because they are in the mids for odds, then maybe Mor Spirit, or Destin, or if you are just looking for a fun name, then I like Oscar Nominated. The rules to name a thoroughbred for the Jockey Club make for some creative names!
Alright folks, from rain soaked Massachusetts, I am wishing everyone a fabulous Kentucky Derby day, I can’t wait to see all the looks on blogs and instagram, and watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports tonight. Enjoy it!