Weekend in Philadelphia

Working with an organization called Girl Develop It brought me to our national conference this weekend – and this time it was in Philadelphia!

The last time I was in the city was for another conference, just as I was finishing graduate school. Phew – lots has happened since then. I’m staying in a very similar place as last time, but managed to squeeze in a bit more exploring than last time. Hooray! The hotel our group was staying in was right near the iconic “Love” sign, so I managed to sneak in a quick look while taking a walk at lunch time.

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I also quickly darted over to Reading Terminal Market for lunch and couldn’t resist the temptation.

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The weather was so warm – it was actually very refreshing! And they had my flavor – vanilla with peanut butter. Divine.

The rest of the weekend was a complete whirlwind – I was there for a conference and the time really flew by. Inspiring speakers, lightening talks and lots of networking time really helped me and my co-leaders pick up momentum and get inspired about things we’d like to achieve more locally.

Plus, closing down restaurants for private events always make an evening more fun.

 

I was able to sneak in a run on Saturday morning, and was treated to some great views around the city.

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I think someone else missed me…but I probably missed him more.

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Labor Day weekend in Cape Cod (part 2)

Sunday started in the same way as Saturday morning – with a run. This time we explored a new neighborhood which was a bit off the typical route to the beach, and again I loved looking at beautiful cape cottages and historic homes. It was so pleasant to run in a new area, and we both enjoyed starting the day on an energetic note!

Our run ended at a place of pilgrimage: the Donught Shack. This glorious location was within walking distance of our home, and provided a wonderful treat for Sunday morning. We got a variety of flavors to sample – I think my favorite was butternut, but I was happy with them all! Between the five of us we were each able to get a taste. YUM.

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My parents had plans with friends for the morning, so Teddy, Anne and I set off exploring parts of downtown Dennis. We started at the yarn store (obviously), but also enjoyed meandering through several antique stores and gift shops. We lost Teddy after a while, but he headed home to his happy place in the hammock and Anne and I continued to poke around.

Finally, we picked up amazing sandwitches at the Mercantile and enjoyed a late lunch in the sun at home. Later in the afternoon Teddy and I headed out to explore some more on bikes – the weather was hot, but it was fun to get some more exercise and enjoy the summer breeze.

Later at home we got sucked into a puzzle, and had fun working on it for the evening while we made dinner. Nothing like a good grill meal in the summer.

In the evening we watched a very interesting documentary – “Virtuosity – The Cliburn” before heading to sleep.

Monday morning was a bit more relaxed – I immediately got sucked into the puzzle, but headed out to go mini-golfing later in the morning. Always a Cape Cod classic, and I even won the first round! Whoo! After another relaxing afternoon at home, we headed back to the Surfside Grill (told you it was amazing) for one more meal on the beach. It was again, so wonderful! Not to miss our summertime classic – we enjoyed ice cream at Captain Frosty’s before getting back on the road.

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Spending four days at the cape was perfect – enough time to feel like we were really far away from home, but not so long that it was logistically challenging to pull off. I’m already looking forward to going back next summer!

Labor Day Weekend in Cape Code (part 1)

On Thursday evening Teddy and I made the drive down to Cape Cod. I grew up spending two weeks on the cape every summer with my family, so it’s always so fun and nostalgic to spend time there. My parents were there for two weeks, and invited us and my sister down for a long weekend!

We got things started early by taking Friday off of work – it was so pleasant and felt like we were able to escape for a long time.

On Friday we headed down the cape to Provincetown. Somehow Teddy managed to grow up in Massachusetts but never go to the famous P-town, so we headed there for the day. We poked around in lots of fun shops and Teddy purchased flip flops and lovely new socks, while my dad invested in a new tee-shirt.

We then headed over to the Cape Cod National Seashore – one of the best beaches on the cape. We enjoyed a snack of fresh fruit and pulled out a key that my parents have been flying for more than 30 years! The conditions were perfect, and it doesn’t get more “summer evening” than that.

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After a stop at Arnolds to get sea food for dinner, we finally headed home to play board games for the evening before heading to sleep.

Saturday morning started bright and early with a run around Dennis – we made it all the way to the beach for an early-morning view of the sky. So gorgeous and peaceful, and it was nice to run around a new area, too! I love the historic homes of the town.

We enjoyed a relaxing brunch outside after our run, and spent the morning enjoying the beautiful weather.

Not to let the day go to waste, we decided to go kayaking for the afternoon. Teddy and I did what we promised we’d never do – share a kayak. The conditions were actually perfect for this – we were going against the tide for the first part of our adventure, so having two people in the boat was a big advantage. We loved the area that we were exploring, and the return trip was super speedy due to the tide!

After heading home to clean up, we went to the new Surfside Grill at Corporation Beach for lobster rolls. It doesn’t get any better than this – sipping gin and tonics, watching the sun set over the beach and eating incredibly fresh lobster rolls. Done! We capped off the evening with a stop at a new gelato restaurant, which absolutely lived up to the excitement. YUM.

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4th of July in Boothbay, Maine

Happy 4th of July! We spent this year similar to the last 4th of July – in Boothbay, Maine. Teddy’s relatives live right on the ocean so we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to enjoy a weekend there.

We got a very early start on Friday morning, and arrived in time to take a brief hike before meeting up with the family. We went to an area called Oven’s Mouth – weird name but a beautiful hike!

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We headed wandered around the downtown area, poking in a few shops, before heading out to Ocean’s Point. This is a favorite place – the views are beautiful and it isn’t usually very crowded. This weekend was no exception, and we had fun scrambling around the rocks before meeting up with the rest of the crew.

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We set up our tent and enjoyed a wonderful dinner on the water with the extended family before calling it a day.

On the morning of the fourth we took the kayaks out bright and early. This was easily the highlight of our weekend – we saw seals playing in the water, herrings flying all around us, and were able to enjoy the harbor before it got busy. So peaceful and beautiful!

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After a hearty breakfast, we headed out to do some lighthouse spotting (when in Maine, right?!) and hit up a craft fair before enjoying lunch at the Boothbay Brewery. The beers were as good as we remembered. The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out on the water and enjoying time with Teddy’s family playing yard games and cooking on the grill. After the sun set we went back to the harbor to steak out a great place for the fireworks! Nothing like watching them over the water. It was a great weekend!

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Long weekend in Los Angeles

I was lucky enough to be sent to San Francisco for a work project, so I decided to make more of a trip of it and spent the preceding weekend in Los Angeles! This isn’t a place I’d generally go, but since I was already going to be in California and have spent time in San Francisco before, why not try something new!

 

I arrived very late on Friday night, so after a good night’s sleep I hit the ground running on Saturday. I was staying right in downtown Hollywood, so it was super close to the walk of fame. It was so much fun to look at all of the famous movie stars! There were way more than I realized.

 

I made the trek to the Getty Center, and was really blown away by this museum. The setting was absolutely spectacular. Located on the hills above the city, every window in the indoor/outdoor space has phenomenal panoramic views. I enjoyed one of the (free!) guided tours of the museum.

 

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On of the highlights for me was seeing van Goh’s Iris painting. When Teddy and I were in Amsterdam earlier this year the museum specifically pointed to this painting as a key one missing from the collection! It was great to be able to finally see the original here, too.

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It was incredible simple to wander around the museum for hours – the space itself was as much of a spectical as the art included in it. The gardens were amazing and I loved all of the balconies. The renaissance collection was beautiful and I felt like there was just so much to see. This is an absolute must visit if you’re ever in the area!

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Late in the afternoon I jumped back on the bus (so. many. buses.) and enjoyed the trip through Beverly Hills and UCLA back to downtown Hollywood. I headed up to the observatory nestled in the Hollywood Hills. This classic location was crowded, but as beautiful as I expected! I enjoyed the exhibits inside the observatory, and also took a nice long hike around the area. It was so easy to get away from the crowds quickly as the trails were extensive. I also got a great view of the classic Hollywood sign!

 

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I headed back to my hotel and ended up modifying my itinerary (a pattern lately, and very unlike me) since it is so challenging to get around in this area without a car. I’m really glad I did so.

 

On Sunday morning I wandered around the Hollywood boulevard a bit more to see the Chinese Theatre and spent a really pleasant few hours at the Grammy Museum. I loved the attention they paid to non-pop artists, and loved all of the musical samples! Very fun.

 

I jumped onto yet another bus and headed over to Santa Monica. The vibe here was much more my style – very casual, right on the beach and super relaxed. I wandered around on the boardwalk (great people watching!) before heading to the hostel. I ended the day with a super California experience – Korean/Mexican fusion tacos from a food truck right on the water. Can’t get much better than that!

 

Monday was spent mostly working before catching my flight to San Francisco. I bee-lined to China Town and achieved a life-long dream: sushi from a revolving, floating conveyer belt. Mission accomplished!

 

Until next time, California!

Long weekend in Quebec

Teddy and I headed up to Quebec city for a weekend away. We made the 8 hour drive early on Wednesday, so by the time we arrived in Levis we were more than ready for a walk. We explored the small town of Levis and found our wonderful AirBnB. Not a five minute walk away from our place we discovered this amazing view:

 

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Levis is directly across the river from Quebec City. It has the same charm as the city, but prices are much lower and the area is a bit quieter. Just what we were looking for! Our host reccomended that we try a local ice cream shop, and boy were we glad we did! The ice cream was amazing, and well worth the steep price tag.

Our next morning started bright and early – we caught an early ferry across the river to get to the old port of Quebec city. I even got to practice my French while purchasing our tickets, so that was a pleasant treat Smile 

We spent a very relaxing day wandering the streets of the old city. Different than some of our more recent travels, we didn’t have a laundry list of museums and historic sights that we wanted to see. Instead, we were just looking for a relaxing, scenic day. We had just that! When we arrived the city was still waking up, so we got to enjoy the quiet streets before the larger crowds arrived.

 

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We both loved the historic buildings, the winding streets, and the French every where! I’ve missed that – I went to college in Montreal so I got quite nostalgic. We particularly enjoyed the long boardwalk in front of the Chateau Frontenac – so beautiful! The weather was amazing and we could see for miles. Amazing! Of course we also ended our evening with another ice cream in Levis!

Friday was the day of waterfalls! Despite the light rain we went to two lovely waterfalls. Our first stop was Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. This quiet area was right off the highway, and a quick walk brought us very close to the dam. We were also able to walk on the shale rocks very close to the falls. Fun!

 

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Next we went to Montmorency Falls. There was a very intense staircase up the side of a cliff to get to the top of the falls, and we made the trek. My fear of heights really kicked in at the top when the path went over a bridge on the top of the falls, but the views were incredible! I was pretty proud of us for making it over.

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The Montmorency Falls are quite close to the Île d’Orléans, a lovely agricultural area close to Quebec. We drive quite a ways around the island stopping at chocolate, cheese and wine stores along the way. The homes on the island are beautiful, and the views of the mainland of Quebec were stunning.

Saturday morning we made a few changes to our itinerary, but ended up heading south to Montreal! I hadn’t been back since I graduated so the trip was very nostalgic. Of course our first stop was the scenic McGill campus – it’s been a while! Still looked awesome though. Memmorrieesss……

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Anyway, Teddy had never been to the Old Port so we walked down to that area and wandered around for a while. Again, the sky was clear blue and there were tons of people out enjoying the sunshine. We went back up to the Plateau area and had a light lunch at Juliette au Chocolate, an old favorite from the college days. Then it was back on the road to our AirBnB for the evening in southern Quebec.

We spent Sunday wandering home – we stopped at a monastery for some treats before enjoying a lovely lunch in northern Vermont with Teddy’s relatives. It was a very relaxing trip, and we’re already looking forward to our next trip to Canada! Maybe next time we’ll venture out of Quebec!

A Weekend in Vermont

This weekend I took a little road trip to Vermont! I headed north on Saturday morning and first stopped in Montpellier. Though I’ve driven though this city many times, I’ve never stopped to walk around! I’m very glad I did – the downtown area is easily covered on foot and there are a number of cute shops and restaurants to explore.

 

 

I stopped at the Knitting Studio, a local yarn store, to browse before looking for a bite to eat. Though I was quickly distracted by book stores, cooking stores and a library, I eventually found a café to grab a quick bite. This was an excellent stop, and I’d love to spend more time in Montpellier in the future.

After 45 more minutes on the road (the entire drive from Cambridge passed quickly thanks to a few Woolful podcasts) I made it to Burlington!

I was in town to visit a close friend, and we immediately sat down by her fireplace in rocking chairs and didn’t get up until we needed to get dinner supplies! It’s always great to catch up with friends.

As a light pre-dinner snack, we enjoyed a refreshing smoothie – beets, apples, kale, orange juice and bananas combined to make a very refreshing drink. For dinner we had a wonderful soup with corn, beans, potatoes and lots of spice, along with a nice glass of wine.

After dinner we decided we hadn’t had enough beets, so we made this beet cake! I’ve had several beet cakes in the past and this one was perhaps the best – so moist and light, I’d happily have this any day! We didn’t even cook the beets – blending them with the liquids gave it a lovely earthy flavor. We ended up doing cupcakes rather than two layer cakes, and it worked out perfectly.

All in all, this was my kind of evening!

 

On Sunday we went out for brunch and had fun wondering around downtown Burlington. We had fun poking in a few shops along church street and did a little shopping. The day was sunny and beautiful, so it was nice just to spend some time outside!

 

 

Before I headed home we made a nice cup of coffee and enjoyed a few episodes of Friends – a tradition when we’re together. The drive home past quickly and I was back in Cambridge before I knew it. I’m already looking forward to my next visit!