It’s Friday, I’m in love

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I’m always happy when the weekend is here, and while I’m glad for a few days to sleep late in my own bed, I’m already missing the wonderful friends we saw last weekend.  I hope some combination of will and circumstance will bring us back together again soon.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Adrift on a sea of cheese

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One of the loveliest parts of staying in a house with a bunch of friends is making meals and eating together.  We all took turns making breakfast and dinner, and most importantly of all, cocktail hour.  Being in Vermont, those of us that hosted cocktail hours over the course of the weekend took our responsibilities as providers of cheese very seriously.  We scoured specialty shops, farm stands, and farmers markets, looking for the finest cheeses Vermont had to offer.

The Mister and I hosted on the final evening of our stay, and the weather was fine enough that we could all sit outside.  He made lemon smashes (a lemon, mint and bourbon cocktail) on demand, and we all sat around enjoying the evening light, swatting at black flies, and hoping the night and the cheese would never end.

*Note:  I put this post together for Angie’s Fiesta Friday, which is always a nice way to end the week!  Cheese is my favorite part of any party.

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Upward over the mountain

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I like a slow drive down a country road.  Slow enough to notice all the details as we pass by, slow enough to pull into any antiques shop that looks promising, or down a side street whenever something catches my eye.

It threatened rain as we made our way through the back roads of the Green Mountain National Forest in southwestern Vermont, and we dodged downpours as we stopped here for cheese, and there to browse through old pyrex baking dishes and boxes of dusty vinyl records.  Sometimes a covered bridge warranted a u-turn and sometimes we’d skid to a stop on the side of the road to admire a barn full of dairy cows.  I’d gladly spend the whole summer exploring every little road in every state, until we’d mapped them all out and seen every detail there was to be seen, just the two of us.

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Wanderings: A mountain house in Vermont

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This past weekend, we were lucky enough to be invited by dear friends to spend the long weekend in a beautiful house in mountains of Vermont.  It was a little like sleeping in a tree-house, with rooms spread across four levels, full of angles and details, and surrounded by beautiful gardens and quiet woods.  We made meals, took naps, ate far too much cheese, kept a fire going on cool nights, and used the lovely house as a home base for exploring nearby towns.

The Mister and I had the top floor room of the house, and on the last morning we snuggled in bed until the last possible moment, wishing for another few days surrounded by trees and mountains, and wonderful friends.

Edit:  Here’s a link to the house on Airbnb, if you’re interested.

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I feel it in the air

Memorial Day usually marks the beginning of summer, and I’m feeling excited about the days ahead.  We have a lot of traveling to do over the next few months, but mostly I’m ready for warm nights, the smell of freshly grilled food, and long days spent in the company of good friends.

It’s Friday, I’m in love

What are you doing for Memorial Day?  We’ve tacked a few days onto the long weekend and are heading up to Vermont to spend some time catching up with good friends.  I’m excited for fresh air and making meals with people I love.

Hope you have a great weekend!

I will bring her back to you in spring

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I’m floating away on a rosy cloud of azaleas

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Wanderings: Asbury Park

Some cities will always photograph well; I’m drawn back to the loveliness of New York and Paris again and again.  Lately though, I’m in love with small town Americana, preferably by the seaside on a cloudy day.  I like the contrast of new and old, the unabashed use of color, the giant structures tempting fate right at the edge of the waves.  I had so much fun taking photos, that I practically had to be dragged back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

Wanderings: Ocean Grove

When I’m feeling a little world weary, there is nothing more appealing to me than a quiet town by the seaside.  On our little New Jersey getaway, we spent a few hours exploring the lovely town of Ocean Grove.  The town has a history of being a religious camp destination for Christian pilgrims, and while we enjoyed stopping to watch the pilgrim tents and cottages be assembled for the summer, I was even more fascinated by the rows and rows of colorful Victorian houses in the city.  There were so many that I felt a little like a young girl, bicycling through a dream world of charming dollhouses.

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Wanderings: A quiet weekend on the Jersey shore

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Life often gets in the way of special days.  Some days, anniversaries give way to demands from work, and some years we set aside birthdays to be present for milestones in the lives of people we love.  And that’s alright.  We make other time to celebrate each other.

This year our anniversary got sidelined by demands from my job, so at the last minute we used an invitation to a baby shower in New Jersey for the following weekend as an excuse to plan a last minute getaway.  A historic hotel in Asbury Park had an open room that overlooked the sea, and before we knew it, we had rented beach cruisers and set off south along the boardwalk.

It was cool and breezy, and we spent lazy hours biking down the boardwalks of town after town along the Jersey shore, the beaches still quiet in the days before the summer season.  Sometimes we stopped for coffee or food, or to warm our toes in the sand and collect sand dollars, all the while enjoying the crashing waves and each others company.

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It’s Friday, I’m in love

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The weather is getting summery, and we’ve been celebrating the longer days and the return of the farmer’s market by having our dinners out on the balcony.  The days ahead are full of barbeques and baseball games, and if I’m lucky maybe a nap or two.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Crawfish boil

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Food events are never a hard sell for the Mister and I, so we jumped at the chance to attend a charity crawfish boil last weekend to benefit wounded veterans.  A delicious—if slightly messy—way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.

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Sorry, little guy.

Sorry, little guy.

Wanderings: Nyhavn

During our brief visit to Copenhagen, we couldn’t resist a visit to the colorful Nyhavn canal and waterfront.  The canal is well over three hundred years old, and lined with a charming kaleidoscope of townhouses, restaurants, and historic ships.  We were visiting too early on a Sunday morning for most of the usual tourist attractions like boat tours, Tivoli Gardens, or the local palaces, but those places we were able to visit, like Nyhavn, left me eager to return for a longer stay.

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Wanderings: Christianshavns Kanal

The first place in Copenhagen we visited was Christianshavn Kanal.  It was still early morning and the sun had barely risen.  The canal and surrounding streets were shrouded in a thick fog, and the neighborhood was nearly empty of people.  Armed with hot coffees, we slowly made our way along the cobble-stoned path, buildings and boat masts slowly emerging from mist ahead as we walked.  The silence was almost a little spooky and my mother made a few jokes about Danish vampires.  Given the atmosphere, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if we had stumbled upon one.

Wanderings: Copenhagen

On the way home from our recent trip to Paris, my mother and I had a fourteen hour layover in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Neither of us had ever been to Copenhagen, and we both jumped at the chance to spend even a few hours in a new city.  After snagging a couple of hours of sleep on some obliging benches in the airport, we took a predawn train into town.

It was early on a Sunday morning, and, except for some early risers and a few others who hadn’t quite made it to bed yet, the cobbled streets were quiet and mostly empty.  Despite not having quite the right timing to see the famous “bicycle rush hour,” the streets were full of beautiful bicycles, and I couldn’t help but stop every few feet to admire them.

It’s Friday, I’m in love

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After several weekends spent on the road, a quiet weekend at home starts to sound heavenly.  This weekend, I’m happy for the normalcy of sleeping in my own bed, going to the farmer’s market, and catching up on episodes of Parks and Rec.  There’s a charity craw-fish boil on our radar, which sounds fun and delicious, but mostly I’m looking forward to a little downtime hanging out in my city.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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A wedding party in Houston

Is there anything better than when awesome people find happiness with other awesome people?  Recently two of my favorite people got hitched, and they threw a big party in Houston to celebrate.  We couldn’t be happier for them, and were thrilled to travel down south to spend a fantastic evening eating cake, drinking champagne, and dancing the night away with friends and family.

Wanderings: Beach birthday in Galveston

We had to travel to Houston for a wedding celebration over the weekend that my Mister turned thirty.  I lived in Houston for a few years when I was very young, but haven’t spent much time there as an adult and was at a bit of a loss for things to do for a fun birthday.  Houston is a huge city and I was nervous about driving on so many highways, and getting lost or stuck in too much traffic especially on a day we meant to have fun.  At the last minute, the Mister, who grew up along the coast in New England, suggested that we drive out to Galveston and spend his birthday bumming around on the beach.  A brilliant plan!

Getting into Houston late on a Thursday night, we set out early Friday for the hour long drive to the coast.  We couldn’t have timed a trip better if we’d planned it out months in advance.  It was late enough in the season that all the spring breakers were back in school, but too early for summer vacationers, and we found ourselves with a warm, quiet island mostly to ourselves.  As a birthday treat, I sprang for beach cruiser rentals and since we were the only customers, the bike shop let us park our car in their lot for free!  We spent hours riding up and down the sea wall, taking in the golden haze, enjoying the ocean breeze, the sounds of the waves, and the frequent flocks of pelicans flying just above us.

We found a popular local lunch spot called Shrimp & Stuff—what a name!—and tucked into giant baskets of fried shrimp and oysters and hush puppies.  I chased seagulls with my camera and the birthday guy flung himself over crashing waves.  We drank giant sweet teas, chatted with locals, rode our bikes some more, and sat on our towels, staring at the ocean, losing ourselves in its sounds and smells, and tried to forget that there was anything else in the world except for us and the sun and the sand and the sea.

Bourbon and cake

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The Mister has always been a big fan of birthdays, and this year marked his thirtieth.  We knew we’d be out of town on his actual birthday for a wedding celebration, and while we made fun plans for the day itself, a thirtieth birthday is something special.  Wanting a chance to celebrate with his nearest and dearest, we figured we could throw a little shindig at our apartment the weekend before.

That Saturday night, we hosted about twenty of our closest friends for a night of bourbon tasting.  We had a few nibbles from Trader Joe’s, some amazing cheeses, and, of course, our favorite dark chocolate cake with raspberry preserves between the layers.  The real highlight however, was the ten or so bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys set out for guests to try.  The Mister even made up info sheets for each bottle with details about their make and price.

He was in his element that night, giving mini-lectures about the different varieties, telling stories about our travels along the Kentucky bourbon trail, delighting everyone with the giant spheres of ice he’d made for the tasting, and teaching our friends to make quick bourbon cocktails with his homemade ginger or burnt sugar syrups.  I’m usually more of a gin and tonic kind of girl, but that night the pretty bottle of Willett was just my speed.

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One night will remind you

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It’s that time of year again.  The Mister and I are baseball fans, so we’re excited for warm nights at the ball park, hot dogs, and racing President mascots.  Here are a couple of snaps from my first game of the season.

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It’s Friday, I’m in love

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Aren’t these baby pants just too adorable!?!  I have a bunch of friends who are expecting or just had little ones, and I had fun picking out sweet, little baby things while I was in Paris.  These teensy red striped pants went via mail to a friends who had a baby recently.  The Mister and I couldn’t get over the cuteness of the tiny little sailboat stitched onto the tiny little back pocket.

Speaking of baby clothes, this weekend we were invited to a baby shower in New Jersey, so we decided to make a weekend out of it and celebrate our anniversary while we’re up there.  I’m really looking forward to beach time in a cute seaside town.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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