Boston Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

This spring I was fortunate enough to get to see Sleeping Beauty by the Boston Ballet twice! I had plans to go with my sister since back in February, but then a friend in the pit offered me her comp tickets for opening night and I got to have a little date night with my husband. In what seems like a past life, I played bassoon in youth and adult orchestras in Cambridge/Boston. My former section mate from when I was in a youth chamber orchestra at Longy School of Music is now a professional musician totally killing it. It was SO cool that I got her comp tickets. I look up to her now as much as I did back in the 8th grade, made me feel so important to get her comp tickets haha.

When we went to see it opening night, it was a Friday evening. The audience on Friday and Saturday evenings can be interesting, more adults…..often more intoxicated. My sister and I went on a Saturday afternoon there more of a family/children vibe. Traffic was crappy getting to Boston on the Friday night, but it was a beautiful night. We didn’t really have time to do a sit down dinner, so we grabbed some slices and cannolis from Sal’s Pizza. By a slice, I mean almost a quarter a pizza! We sat on a bench on the common and ate our dinner while doing some people watching. It was definitely 5 star dining as far as  I am concerned!

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Beautiful spring evening on the common
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This skirt from J. Crew Factory has an elastic waist band- nice for my growing baby bump! Looks like its sadly sold out though! 😦

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The ballet itself was amazing as usual. We sat in the mezzanine at the Boston Opera House and had a great view. The story is pretty similar to the Disney movie except the fairies aren’t plump little old ladies, they are majestic ballerinas. The prince doesn’t fight Carabosse (the evil fairy who curses Princess Aurora), the Lilac Fairy does, she is really the hero in the ballet. Finally, the last act in the ballet is a star studded wedding reception for Prince Desire and Princess Aurora featuring Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood with her Wolf, and Beauty with her Beast. The music for “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream” is actually from the Tchaikovsky score, so you will recognize that tune.

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The chandeliers and ceiling details at the Boston Opera House
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The reflection of the chandelier lights on my husband’s phone made the sparkle lights on my shirt, ha! I know its a little blurry, but man, it just shows the wattage of those chandeliers!!!
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So there is a little window by the men’s room on the second level that looks out over the lobby. Kind of a neat view of the beautiful chandelier there.

The Saturday I went to see the ballet with my sister we had more time before the ballet. We got breakfast from Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen, a restaurant close to the Boston Opera House.  They had a great breakfast menu. We both got the American breakfast and loved the crispy breakfast potatoes and the thick fluffy grilled english muffins. After breakfast we went to walk around the common for a bit. There was a protest going on! We grabbed a cookie at the Cookie Monstah food truck (so delicious) and went to check it out. From what we gathered, one side dressed mostly in camo was supporting free speech, the military, government, and some- Donald Trump. The other side dressed in black- some with helmets on, some with ninja face gear on, seemed to fighting against Donald Trump’s brand of free speech. There were Boston police officers and park rangers all over the place. Very exciting but sort of ruined the scenery of the common. People were on the freedom trail tour walking through that craziness, kinda rough on the tourists I think. Our seats were third row for the Saturday performance which was AMAZING. All the sparkle on all the tutus, so close, it was beautiful.

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Everyone else was photographing the protest….annnnd I snapped pictures of the mounted unit, cute pony huh? He looks sturdy, built like a table, short neck, but overall, I would take him!
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Ceiling painting in the center of the opera house
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Ceiling painting towards the stage of the opera house

Sleeping Beauty is a beautiful ballet. The costumes, scenery, and music are gorgeous. I mean, Aurora wears three different tutus- a pinkish one for her birthday party, a blue one for the dream sequence with the prince, and then a white stunner for the last scene. For this ballet they took some stunning promotional photos at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA.

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Gorgeous right? Follow @bostonballet on instagram to see more promo materials and behind the scenes pics/vids.

The next ballet I would go to is The Nutcracker, but who knows, I will have an infant then, so all bets are off. Next season is going to be HUGE. Boston Ballet is doing Romeo & Juliet AND La Sylphide next season, total ballet swoon.

Here are some other Boston Ballet posts from the past to check out!

Evening at The Nutcracker     Boston Ballet premieres Le Corsaire

Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker 2015

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Warm winter afternoon at Crane Beach

So from pretty much the day after snow polo to the end of this past week, I have had the worst cold!! Coughing, sneezing, watering eyes, fatigue, all of it. Thankfully I started to feel better this past week just in time for the unseasonable heat wave here in New England.

For my first “finally feeling better afternoon out”, I headed to Ipswich MA to visit a friend who just moved there just down the street from Crane Beach. It felt so good to get out of the house for more than just work, hang out with friends, and of course be at the beach!!! Crane Beach allows horseback riding and off leash dogs from October 1 to March 31, so we brought her chocolate lab Wellie with us. I totally felt like I was cheating on Mizpah, she will come next time. We both ride horses so of course are both dreaming of trail riding there as well.

Here are some pics I snapped. With the blue sky and the setting sun, the water looked an iridescent blue. It was perfection for my first adventure out in the world post-sickness!

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Still a little bit of snow on the dunes. Check out our super long winter shadows!

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Sun setting on a beautiful day. To the right of the sun, you can just make out the roof/chimney line of Crane Estate.

My friend got her resident beach sticker recently, which I think will make for some really fun day trips this coming summer! Crane Beach is usually pretty busy in the summer, the normal parking rate can be pricey at $25 but they do have nice bathroom/shower facilities and a snack shack type place with food and novelty ice cream. Where I am in NH now, while I of course have way closer access to the NH beaches, I am more excited about being closer to the North Shore beaches in MA that I grew up loving. Alrighty, hope everyone enjoys their weekends! I am on vacation next week so I will be heading to Florida to dust off the Palm Beach sandals again!

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Evening at The Nutcracker

Boston Ballet‘s Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition for me for a long long time. One of my first memories is actually of being sick sitting on a booster seat for The Nutcracker at the Wang in Boston, the former home of the Boston Ballet. My mother says I was 5 and slept through much of the ballet. The Nutcracker is magical. The story of a Nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve and a journey to a magical wintery palace….the costumes, the music, the sets…all in the beautiful Boston Opera House.

This year I went with a few girlfriends and we met up at Teatro Restaurant beforehand. I can’t recommend the food there enough. I got linguine with shrimp and it was delicious. It definitely made up for not getting a goodie at the Boston Common Coffee Co, which is my usual pre ballet ritual. Boston Common was beautifully lit up which really set the scene for the winter magic of the ballet.

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The Boston Opera House was all decked out with Christmas trees and other greenery. We grabbed champagne and Nutcracker gingerbread cookies and head in for the show. One of my former section mates was playing bassoon in the pit orchestra so I went to say hi during intermission. We hadn’t seen each other since I was in 9th grade!! Crazy…oh and thanks Facebook haha!

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It was a Tuesday night show, so I will admit, the ballet seemed a little skeleton crew-ish? The Nutcracker Prince had to also fill in for the Snow King so the Nutcracker Prince was missing from the last scene when Clara bids adieu to the palace. The dew drop was also missing? Kinda weird, but it was still a great show. I guess its just something to remember for next year.

The Nutcracker has always been a part of my Christmas season. I haven’t been in a while, but I also love the Holiday at the Pops by the Boston Pops Orchestra. What are your holiday traditions??

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The 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta

Hello everyone! It has been a crazy couple weeks. We finished ripping up carpets and putting down hardwoods in our living room and bedroom and painted the walls. The place looks completely different with fresh paint and nice oak hardwoods! I am glad we finished up in time for one of my favorite weekends, the Head of the Charles!

I decided against going down on Saturday because it was pouring for most of the day, but I did head down on Sunday because I was volunteering! Sunday is also a great day to go because parking is free in Harvard Sq and its the day of the Championship 4s and 8s! This was my fifth year of volunteering. I volunteered my senior year of high school and freshman year of college, and then the first two years out of college. My first two years we got long sleeve tshirts, the next two years we got fleeces from Nautica BUT unless you were there Friday night you got the big sizes so I gave those away. Brooks Brothers took over the volunteer apparel in 2009. This year they did a fantastic blue and red down vests and black hats. Love it. I have volunteered out on the docks in the past and I have volunteered in the info booths. This year I was in the info booth right across from the Brooks Brothers tent at Attager Row, the retail area between Elliot Bridge and the finish line. My fellow volunteers were great, all very helpful and interesting people. Volunteers aren’t just rowers, they come from all different backgrounds to help this amazing two day event go as smoothly as possible.

I think that having rowed in the event two years does help me to be a good info booth volunteer, as well as the fact that I got to learn how to row on the Charles in high school. I know all the bridges, all the boathouses, and the good places to watch. I have had some mishaps out there too:  I coxed a boat (the only time I ever coxed a boat) into the shallows on the Cambridge side by the Weeks Bridge (oops), rowed around in the basin during what felt like a hurricane, and swamped a four. Swamping the four meant hopping out of the boat to flip it, and then getting back in…not easy. For next year I am going to put together a HOCR guide- all the food, shopping, places to watch, and such. It will be really fun for me to write 🙂

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I did take a break to run over for a pic at the Brooks Brothers photo area.
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It was a cold and windy day, but gorgeous blue skies.
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I just loved the pink and navy unisuits on this crew
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Four launching out of Cambridge Boat Club from the Eliot Bridge.
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Beautiful scene by the Eliot Bridge. The boathouse up towards the left belongs to the Belmont Hill School and the Winsor School.

There were some fabulous highlights this year. Gevvie Stone who won the silver medal in Rio won the women’s championship singles. The O’Donovan Brothers who were hilarious in Rio rowed in a quad for a second place finish, the US Para Team rowed in the mixed eight race, and the gold medal women’s eight was on hand for autographs. The HOCR just after the summer olympics every four years is always a little special. I would love to row in the HOCR again. We shot for an alumni 8 but didn’t get a bid, maybe next year!

Now, sadly the HOCR gear from Brooks Brothers is not available anywhere else but their tent during the event. I really liked the HOCR long sleeve cotton sweatshirts but they were a little too expensive for me. The official HOCR merchandise is really nice too and can be a bit more affordable depending on what you are looking for.  There was no KJP presence this year in the Brooks Brothers tent which was interesting. The past few years there was an area within the Brooks Brothers tent featuring members of the KJP team and products.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Whose coming to the HOCR next year? Counting down already…

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Sites in Historic Concord, MA

This past weekend, my husband and I spent the day in Concord MA checking out some of the historic sites and houses. We went to The Old Manse, North Bridge, The Orchard House, The Wayside, the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and finally the Colonial Inn. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter  and The House of the Seven Gables, two books that I actually read and loved in high school. He was born in Salem and then lived in The Old Manse in Concord, moved to the Berkshires, and then came back to The Wayside in Concord. Rev. William Emerson was the first inhabitant of The Old Manse, and Ralph Waldo Emerson lived there for a time too with his grandmother. Hawthorne lived there in his first three years of marriage with his wife, Sophia Peabody.

We walked from The Old Manse over the North Bridge and checked out the grounds there. The original North Bridge is no longer there. I think its actually been rebuilt a couple times. April 19, 1775 was the big day, the shot heard round the world, the battle of Lexington and Concord. A few ancestors on my mother’s side, Phillip Robbins and his son Jeremiah Robbins, Sr., were there that day. Minute Man park is really beautiful, its really hard to picture the battle that actual happened there.

From here, we went to The Orchard House and The Wayside. I have read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott probably a dozen times. It is such a good story, and at this point because I have read it so many times through my life, it feels like it has become part of my story. Alcott  set and wrote Little Women living in The Orchard House (1858-1877), but many scenes were inspired by earlier times living at The Wayside (called The Hillside when they lived there). The Alcott family lived at The Wayside from 1844-1848 and then rented it out until they sold it to Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1852.

The Orchard House was cool because of the book, but I definitely fell for The Wayside .

The gorgeous piazza was added by the Lothrop family who lived there in 1887. The tower in the center of the home was added in the time that the Hawthornes lived there. Harriet Lothrop wrote the children’s book series Five Little Peppers under the pen name Margaret Sidney. The photo of the window above is actually the loft above the little barn where Louisa May Alcott and her sisters staged the plays that inspired parts of Little Women.
From here we went to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. A section of the cemetery is referred to as The Author’s Ridge and thats where Emerson, Hawthorne, Alcott, and Thoreau are buried. A founder of WPI, George Frisbie Hoar is buried nearby, and his gravestone brought me to tears.

Here is the George Frisbie Hoar Grave.

Finally, after lots of walking it was time for a snack at The Colonial Inn. The actual building has been there since 1716 and it served as a storehouse and a hospital during the American Revolution. Room 24 was the operating room, and Room 27 was the morgue! Eek! Post-war, the hotel was a store and boarding house. Henry David Thoreau lived there from 1835-1837 while he was attending Harvard. It started operating as a hotel in the mid-19th century.

We sat outside, Jon got a 1716 Colonial Inn Ale which is made by Sam Adams for the inn, and I got a shirley temple. We had dinner plans so just grabbed a spinach artichoke dip. There are all different rooms inside the hotel for small gatherings/meeting, and multiple areas to eat. A cool spot was the Village Forge Tavern- it was dark, earthy, lots of equestrian/farrier stuff for decor….you can almost picture militia having a tankard of beer in there. It was such a beautiful day we had to be outside. Historic Concord is an amazing place to visit because while there are many sites related to the American Revolution, there are just as many sites related to the transcendental literary revolution. Next year we want to try and make it for the reenactment they do for Patriot’s Day!

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Mahi Gold at WPI’s Alumni Weekend

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.

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This is the Earle Bridge, a walking bridge over Institute Road. Freshman year during orientation, all new students walk over this bridge to symbolize their journey beginning. On graduation day, all graduates walk back over the bridge to symbolize the end of their time at WPI. Tearin up just a little, don’t mind me guys.

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.

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Not loving my hair in these pics haha, I put it in a braid wet so it has that sorta wavy look to it, ohhhh well 🙂 

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Dress // Sandals // Bracelet

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.

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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!

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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!?

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Oak Hill Conservation Area

After being sick with allergies and some flu like symptoms last week, I attacked this weekend with a vengeance! Sunday I ran my first 5k road race with my sister, Brenda, in Stow MA. It was the 18th annual Run for the Woods, and the money raised benefits the Stow Conservation Trust. The course had minimal hills, and winds by some beautiful spots- an apple orchard, a farm with goats/cows, and a farm with sheep! That afternoon I was tired, but we had to do something with the pup, so we decided to try out the Oak Hill Conservation Area in Littleton, MA. The two big features there are the Lookout Rock, which I guess you can see the Hancock tower in Boston from on a clear day (it wasn’t that clear for us), and Tophet Chasm. Tophet Chasm was formed 15,000 years ago by an outlet from Lake Nashua, a glacial lake. There are trails along the ridge of the chasm looking down into it, and then a trail along the bottom of the chasm. We will NEVER take the trail at the bottom again, Mizpah had a blast running through the swampy areas down there and honestly, I don’t think I have seen her that muddy ever!!IMG_4961IMG_4960IMG_4959IMG_4934

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Walking uphill felt great after running a 5k earlier haha!!!
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View from Lookout Rock
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Highest point in Littleton- 508′
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Farm/land boundary

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Sidewall of the chasm
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Trail through the swampy bottom of the chasm
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Another shot of the wall of the chasm
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Looking down into the chasm from the top of the ridge
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This picture doesn’t even do justice to how muddy Mizpah was because you can’t see her back legs really well, she was gross!

We will hopefully be heading up to do some hiking in NH this coming weekend, but it is fun to explore smaller local spots when we can’t get up there. This area had conflicting information posted about leashing your dog. The leash law for Littleton was posted, but then another sign said dogs needed to be on leash or under verbal command, and then yet another sign said dogs needed to be in sight and under verbal control and were not allowed to approach people or dogs unless invited. We did a mix of leash and off leash….if we heard people, we put her on the leash. When she got super gross, we put her on a leash so she wouldn’t be gross greeting people. It was pretty quiet there though, not a lot of people at all. We had such a nice weekend weather wise this past weekend. I hope it continues!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Getting married means getting new monogrammed stuff right!?

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So many varieties of wines all made right there
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Side of the winery, perfect to sit outside and enjoy some wine
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Front of the winery
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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 🙂

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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!

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