Quick trip to New Hampshire

For my mom’s birthday I treated her to concert tickets. The concert was in New Hampshire, so Teddy and I decided to take advantage of that opportunity and spend the day hiking in some beautiful weather.

 

We hiked Pact Monadnock – an easy, relaxed hike that was just what we were looking for that day. The weather has started to get quite cold so we didn’t want a long trek, but enough to get the blood flowing. This was perfect. It only took us about 1.5 hours to make it to the top and we were treated to beautiful views. We could even see the Boston skyline – how cool is that?!

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After our hike we headed into Peterborough, where the concert was located. We met my family for dinner before heading over to the theater. We were treated to an awesome night of music from Le Vent du Nord, a band from Quebec. It brought back memories of my time living in Montreal, that’s for sure.

The band has amazing energy, and they played several pieces from their new album, Tetu. I was also lucky enough to win a copy of it! Weird and random, but I’ve been listening to the album in my car ever since and have been loving it! I’m already looking forward to the next time they’re in New England.

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A weekend in the US Virgin Islands: Saturday

This weekend my mom and I decided to celebrate her 60th birthday in style – in the US Virgin Islands! My parents when to St. John on their honeymoon exactly 30 years ago, and it just so happened that my dad would be traveling this week in Europe so wouldn’t be able to celebrate. I was looking to enjoy the benefits of having a full time job (i.e. PTO!) so my mom and I decided to head south for a long weekend!

Our flight left from Boston early on Friday, and by the time we arrived on St. Thomas mid-afternoon we found ourselves in the middle of a tropical storm! Not ideal for a Caribbean weekend getaway. Luckily the weather got much better for the rest of the weekend, but we spent Friday night hunkered down and even ordered a pizza! It must be vacation if we’re ordering food to be delivered – we never do that! We relaxed at our Bed and Breakfast, Two Sandals By the Sea Inn and crossed our fingers that the weather would improve.
Two Sandals By the Sea Inn

Saturday

…and boy did it! We woke up to an incredible view from our balcony of the mountains on St. John. The sky was a bit overcast, but kept improving through the day!
View while eating breakfast on the porch
We enjoyed a lovely breakfast before heading down to Red Hook Harbor to catch the ferry over to St. John. The trip is only about 2 miles, so the ferry ride was about 20 minutes. However, the water was extremely choppy, and it felt more like a roller coaster than a relaxing ferry ride! Given that my mother and I are both very susceptible to motion sickness, it was a good thing the trip wasn’t too long!
We arrived on St. John and headed over to the Virgin Islands National Park visitor center, a quick walk from the harbor. From there we set out on a lovely hike through the forrest. The plants were so interesting – lots of cacti, ferns and tropical plants. Everything was so lush, the air was humid, and I loved it! We finally ended up on a beach, and boy were we glad that we’d brought our bathing suits. This was our view:
Solomon Beach
HOLY COW! Literally. It looked just like that. WOW.
We spent a while relaxing in the incredible beauty of the beach before continuing on our hike. Stunning views met us the higher we went. Both of us were very glad that we decided to bring our hiking boots – the recent rain and rendered the trails quite slippery and muddy. Regardless, it was stunningly beautiful and we loved it.
We made a stop to refuel at the North Shore Deli in Mongoose Junction and had the most refreshingly wonderful Pina Colada’s ever! I also enjoyed a wonderful veggie burger. After enjoying the air conditioning and sipping every last drop of our drinks, we headed back to St. Thomas on the ferry. An evening of playing cards followed – a Mom/Mary vacation tradition. An excellent day!

Hiking Mount Layfayette

Teddy and I had a bonus extra day off from work this Monday – Happy Columbus Day! Also, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends out there!
We decided to use this bonus day to head up to the White Mountains to do a bit of hiking! The drive from Boston is about 2.5 hours. We left a bit later than initially anticipating – I had to say goodbye to Salka! So sad.
When we reached the trailhead we took a quick look at the map, and started heading up! The foliage was absolutely at it’s peak – every vantage point was incredible! We were continually awe-struck by the amazing views. It looked like all of the trees were on fire – such amazing colors.
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Though we started out thinking we would do a ridge traverse after we made it to the summit, the fog rolling in above the tree line, along with the wanning sunlight, convinced us otherwise. We spent a while at the top of Mount Layfayette before deciding to head back the way we came. Not the easiest decision, but by the end of the hike we were very glad that we had made it! Once we were below the fog the hike was much more pleasant and the views were just stunning. We had to stop just to take in the massive expanse!
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By the time we reached the bottom of the trail we had covered nearly 10 miles, and my fitbit said we logged more than 330 flights of stairs. Not too shabby! This was an excellent hike, and both Teddy and I agreed that we would return to Franconia’s Notch in the future for more excellent hiking. Especially in the fall – the views are just stunning!
Done any good hiking lately?

Weekend Recap

Another weekend has flown by – this time a bit more quietly. Having more down time was just what I needed, so I’m glad I took the time to relax a bit!

Friday

On Friday evening Teddy and I met up with a friend and headed over to the Just Crust for pizza – naturally, it really hit the spot! We tried a few other places first and the lines were long. We really weren’t looking for anything super fancy, so we got a pizza to split with the three of us. It really hit the spot! It was great to catch up with Ajay, our friend, and enjoy the crisp, fall weather!

After eating, we headed over to a friend’s house to play some great board games. This friend is super into board games. He even designs his own! But he’s also excellent at explaining games and basic strategies, so is a great person to explore new ones with. The first game we tried was Factory Fun, a “simple” game of connecting machines and pipes. Teddy and I played on a team for this one since there was a player limit, and I’m glad we did. It was awesome, and I’d love to play it again! Potential future gift for Teddy?

The second game I played was called Cornerstone. This was like a super advanced version of Jenga, and so much fun! I’d absolutely play it again. You basically had to build a tower only moving on your color, and without toppling the tower. Such a challenge – and we built a great one! All in all, a very fun night. I’m looking forward to exploring more board games with those folks!

Saturday

On Saturday Teddy and I enjoyed a lazy morning after being up so late. We made some breakfast, and then I relaxed and did a few chores around the house. Later in the day I headed over to the new Assembly Square Mall in Sommerville. I’m not much of a shopping fan, but I do need to amp up my fall wardrobe. I was able to find quite a few things at the outlets, but it was super duper crowded! Not my favorite. Later I got some groceries, and Teddy came over. We had a quiet night and actually talked a lot about board game strategy from the previous evening!

Sunday

On Sunday Teddy and I headed down to Hingham to visit World’s End, a conservation area. It was beautiful! Only about a 45 minute drive from Boston, this conservation area has miles of beautiful walking paths, and excellent views of the Boston skyline! We spent the day wandering the trails and enjoying a picknick lunch. The weather was a bit overcast, but the rain held off! I’d absolutely recommend this place for some relaxing walking – it wasn’t even very crowded! Fun fact about the area – it was short listed for the location of the UN World Headquarters. Who knew?! Certainly would have made the South Shore of MA a very different place.

We finished off our trip with a quick stop by a local yarn shop, Yarn in the Square. It was really cute, but I didn’t purchase anything. I’m trying to work through my stash – visiting new yarn stores really isn’t helping that effort!

The rest of my evening was spent cooking and preparing for the week – lots of fun things on the agenda!

 

Do anything exciting with your weekend?