Category Archives: adventure

Our trip to Portland

This morning, we got in the car and headed to Portland, Maine, for a day trip. There can only be so many beautiful summer days left in the year, and we wanted to take advantage of this one. We planned to have brunch, go to the art museum, maybe Longfellow’s house; a meadery and a chocolate bar were also on the agenda, and perhaps some time sitting by the ocean; maybe a visit to the Maine potters market, and a peek into the impressive public library. Our friends had agreed to take care of the dog’s evening walk and dinner so we didn’t have to cut the day short. It was going to be great!

Let’s let the pictures tell the story.

Ben staring at his car, minus one functioning ball joint.

11:10am: Ben staring at his car, minus one functioning ball joint.

The lovely Adopt A Visibility Site, Georgetown, MA

The lovely Adopt A Visibility Site, Georgetown, MA. Who knew there was a Georgetown, MA? Or a Rowley?

Ben making friends with a caterpillar on a pine needle.

Ben making friends with a caterpillar on a pine needle while waiting for a tow truck to come.

A whole lot of pretty sky, and no tow truck.

A whole lot of pretty sky, and no tow truck.

Finally! After a mere three hours of waiting. Thanks, Liberty Mutual! Hate to think how long it would have been if it'd been snowing.

Finally! After a mere three hours of waiting. Thanks, Liberty Mutual! Hate to think how long it would have been if it’d been snowing.

The Independent in Union Square, Somerville, MA.

4:02pm: The Independent in Union Square, Somerville, MA.

So no, we didn’t get to Portland today. But on the plus side, if the car had to break down at all, this was pretty good timing: we had nowhere to be, no one to meet, the weather was as conducive as it could possibly be for spending three hours on a highway overpass. We had a frisbee and at least one of us had a book; I learned a lot about ball joints. And we got to have lunch (dinner?) in Union Square, where we never go because it’s inconvenient to get to, but it’s where our trusted auto mechanic is located (Mike!), and we were very hungry by four o’clock. (Thank you to the fine, fine folks at The Independent, who brought us tasty food speedily. Much appreciated.)

Maybe another time, Portland.

My day was great, thanks for asking.

My day was great, thanks for asking.

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Filed under adventure, animals, elsewhere, food, transportation

Greyhound Adventures

Greyhound Adventures is a volunteer organization that raises awareness of “the greyhound as a companion animal” and creates “opportunities to network with the greyhound community.” Mostly this means lots and lots of walks, including one last month in Minuteman National Park. This was our first all-greyhound outing, (if you don’t count the Greyhound Friends open house last fall), and at first Sudo didn’t really seem to see the point, but by the end she was more relaxed and social.

As an added bonus, it turns out one of our new friends is an ace photographer, and captured Sudo on camera, making a variety of expressions.

2013-09-08_Sudo_Ron

Alert.

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Open mouth smile (a.k.a. “put a bird in it”)

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Who are you and why are you touching me

All in all, a successful first outing. Thanks to Greyhound Adventures for organizing, and Ron for the photos.

 

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French Macaroons at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

Two friends joined together to get us a fantastic wedding gift: a gift certificate to the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. We chose a class on French macarons (and other pastries), and this was the result:

DSC05987

DSC05988

Well: part of the result. There were about ten of us in the class, and each pair or group made two recipes: macarons, and some other kind of French cookie (Ben and I made Linzer cookies; other pairs made Madeleines, “cigarettes,” almond cookies, and a couple other kinds).

Each recipe made a huge batch, so every person got a bakery box full to take home.  We gave some to neighbors, brought some to our respective workplaces, and still struggled to finish them all. (We did finish them all though. It would be a crime to let all that sugar and butter and flour go to waste.)

We haven’t yet “tried this at home,” so to speak, but December is just around the corner, and December means cookie swap time.

Anyway, it was a fantastic evening and a wonderful gift!

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Opening Day at King Richard’s Faire

As much as it kills me to spell “Faire” with that “e” on the end…

faire_entrance

 

…we spent a day at King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA, and it was great. It would not have occurred to me to go on my own, but it turns out the husband is kind of a fan of Renaissance Fairs (though he didn’t dress up), and since we couldn’t get down to any of the big ones in PA this summer, he allowed that this was a decent substitute.

To my surprise, everything was set up in a forest rather than an open field, so we were able to be in the shade for most of the day. Also, the first person we met when we entered was a tall man who walked around with a pewter tankard on his head. He had superb balance – we saw him later in the day and it was still there (and he wasn’t using velcro, and we never saw him spill).

It was my first-ever Renaissance Fair and I enjoyed it. Because look:

jousting

 

Jousting! For real! Well, not really for real, but there were knights (guys) in armor on horses, so even if the outcome was rigged and the falls were staged, it was still pretty cool to see.

jousting2

 

You don’t see this every day. Unless you’re in the habit of watching A Knight’s Tale on a daily basis.

In addition to the knights, there was a parade (including a girl on a pony with a unicorn horn affixed to its forehead, or as my friend said, “The happiest girl in the entire world”), games, people in costumes, turkey legs and mead for sale, bawdy wenches (seriously, don’t make eye contact unless you want to become part of the performance), a sad magician, and an impressive balancing act.

Oh! And baby tigers.

babytigers

 

Because why? Who knows! But when there are baby tigers, the “why” is less important that the “awww.” And the awe.

Here’s one about the pummel the other:

babytigers2

 

So that was our day at the fair. It was a nice adventure, even if we didn’t see these guys or this guy.

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Top of the Hub

Restaurant Week is a great invention. (Invention? Tradition? Custom? Thing.) This year we took advantage of lunch offerings as well as dinner, and went to the Top of the Hub.

There’s a great view of Boston and all of its wonderful, nonsensical zig-zagginess. We lucked out and got a clear sunny day.

I was also surprised by how good the food was. I figured it would be kind of touristy, and they might not bother with making great food since they had a great location, but I was, thankfully, wrong.

No photos of soup/salad or main course, but here is Ben’s dessert: lime cheesecake with blood orange sauce.

And here’s mine, maple creme brulee.

So delicious. Looking forward to going back!

 

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Western Mass.

We went out to Hampshire for Family & Friends Weekend, and western MA  showed all its pretty colors.

Also, llama! (We visited the farm.)

And cows. 

Running for cover: a mostly sunny, breezy day was interrupted by a brief rainstorm.

But the sun came out again.

We stopped by Atkins for cider donuts.

The trees in the middle of campus always turn the most spectacular colors.

It’s always worth the drive out – and it’s much closer to Boston than to New York, so now I can get there and back in a day. Fresh cider donuts only a couple of hours away…dangerous.

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Charles Riverboat Tour

Last weekend we took advantage of the beautiful weather to use our Groupon for a riverboat tour of the Charles.

Sailboats.

The MIT dome, site of many pranks (hacks).

Geese.

The CITGO sign, we learned, is a historical landmark, and when the Red Sox hit a home run, it lights up: C IT GO (see it go). Fun fact!

A nod to the Vikings.

The tour took about an hour; not a bad way to spend a pretty day. (I’d advise calling, though; their website isn’t the most functional/up-to-date.)

What I’ve been reading: The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson; Pretties, Scott Westerfeld

What I’ve been listening to: Passion Leaves a Trace, Black Lab; Pay Attention, Mighty Mighty Bosstones

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