Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Get out of town

In a move that surprised no one more than me, I decided to go on a getaway weekend...camping. This is surprising because I'm not what anyone would consider...outdoorsy.

I also do NOT pack light. My sister goes backpacking. I don't even know how we are related.

Because we don't camp, we have not much in the way of gear and had to borrow most of it. Thanks guys! My neighbor let us test out both of her tents.

We had actually decided on the larger one hiding behind the sheets (man I love the smell of line drying, and we even get pretty lucky with the birds not leaving us presents despite the lines running right below a huge tree), but we were told it wasn't quite waterproof. We ended up bringing both (see, I don't pack light), but only pitching the little one on the right because there was a 50% chance of rain. It was....cozy, but considering this was a little getaway, we didn't mind the close quarters. I never come out on the right side of 50% crappy weather odds, but we did this time. Probably because we prepared!

We also borrowed these sleeping pads, and I will say that the blue one (similar here I think) was SO comfortable! It's self-inflating, and while I felt sort of like a moron watching it because I wasn't positive it was actually inflating, I wasn't sore at all after sleeping on just that. My husband layered two of those foam pads and said his arm and hip were falling asleep laying on his side. I took this picture to send to my backpacking sister, who also thinks the foam mats are uncomfortable. Look, it's just as small!

Anyway, I did basically no research on the park we decided to stay at, which is also a change for me. The times I've camped in the past, I spent a ton of time looking at maps and reviews and pictures of the actual sites. This time, I simply picked a weekend, found a place that had available sites that wasn't 4 hours away, and just booked it. While we did have a really nice, relaxing time, that may have been a mistake. Our site was totally not private, was mostly pit toilets, and they didn't allow alcohol?! I don't remember seeing that on the website. We went ahead and operated under the assumption that no one would care as long as we didn't bother anyone!

Isn't it strange when the man-made influence becomes so obvious even when you're supposed to be in nature?

We did manage to catch a peek of real nature as well. Two little fawns, one quicker than my camera. We didn't see her, but figured the mother must have been there as well.

Another crazy juxtaposition of the quiet and pretty empty forest to the left of the bridge, and a floating redneck trailer park on the right. I totally didn't understand all the people partying on boats...right next to the road. Trust me, you're glad I didn't take a picture.

Our exhausted little buddy. He's not been feeling so well lately, so we didn't take a very long walk. Three weeks ago he started not walking on his back leg. We had him examined, but he still wasn't using it after a week and a half. I scheduled an x-ray, so of course he started walking normally again. Luckily I was able to cancel and save a couple hundred dollars, but it would have been nice to get his teeth cleaned while he was knocked out! Oh, the breath! He's still acting sort of off though...I hope he gets better soon!

 This last one is a joke for those who know and love him - the breaker of all the things struck again! He's lashing together his folding chair with string. I guess it was "time for it to break." In the interest of full disclosure, the chairs cost about $7 each a few years ago, and the fabric on mine MAY have also ripped that weekend. I still maintain he must have sat in mine too!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Of Late

Wow. How do those daily/multiple times per week bloggers do it!? I feel like I've been so busy with life in general that there simply isn't time to upload photos, have a thought, write a post....but I've definitely been up to some things, so here's a snapshot. Or two.

We took serious advantage of a "fill your car for just $28" special at a local farm, and Halloween'ed up the cottage. I think I'll have time to carve approximately zero of these pumpkins, but I'm still enjoying the way the pumpkins make the untrimmed planting beds look almost on purpose. However this might not look quite so cute in February....since I doubt we'll actually get them cleaned up before the snow falls!

We found an amazing deal on a place to stay through my friend's aunt's friend (got that?) in Manhattan, so we were NYC-bound for a long weekend to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary! We had the most ridiculously good weather for mid-October. It was nice enough to walk around without jackets most of the time! I've been there twice before, but I haven't done the really touristy stuff either time, either because I was "too cool" or too cheap. But this time we went to the top of several buildings as well as visiting the Statue of Liberty which re-opened during the government shutdown just in the nick of time.

Pretty much the entire results of my garden...all grown without any assistance from me. The herbs that I'm drying (holy cow, how domestic am I?!) are entirely self seeding, and the little pumpkins and gourds are kind of weeds. I guess my compost doesn't get hot enough, and squash sort of comes up willy nilly, but this year I actually got some little pumpkins! The potted herbs I've actually managed to keep alive indoors all summer, which is a small miracle. Turns out houseplants like water! Who knew!

Finally in the background, I've always thought that doing a craft fair might be fun. I rejoined the devil known as facebook, and saw that a friend was doing a couple. I asked if she might be interested in a booth buddy, and she said she was! So since then, I've been busily knitting and crocheting my fingers to the bone to try to build up some sort of inventory that I hope people will like. Because I'm not super bright and the first show is in less than two weeks!! Worse comes to worse, it will be a fun way to figure out if I want to do any more of these in the future and it will basically be a win if I can sell enough to cover my half of the booth fee. Plus if things don't sell I can always put them up as ready to ship items in my shop! (and omg I'm not actually going to be selling socks at these craft fairs - that's a book that one of my knitting group members generously lent me. I would love to be able to knit my own socks, but I think I'll have time for that in approximately 3 years.)

So! Whew! That really does feel like a lot going on lately!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Visiting Ethereal Confections

Yesterday I went to visit my good friend's new chocolate shop and cafe in Woodstock, Illinois. The shop is actually a few years old now, but the cafe is new this summer. And I must say, it's adorable! Of course, this is absolutely no surprise to me. See, a few years back we worked together, and she was a pretty awesome interior designer. And as you can see, she still is!

We had this dream of being able to quit our day jobs and work from home in our sweatpants. (haha) So much so that we even started an online interior design consulting business, which turned out to be a lot of work and a sort of tough market to break into, despite our (her) credentials and (her) talent. So sadly that dream went by the wayside. But a little while later, she capitalized on the chocolate making skills she'd been earning on the side with her sister-in-law and realized the dream! Well, the quitting her day job part. I think she mostly wears regular pants.

I totally snuck taking these pictures. Because I didn't tell her I had restarted my blog lol. Actually part of the reason I took them was to show my husband how cute this place is, but the other part was because I fancy myself a bloooooogger.Which is totally embarrassing to say.

You can see more details of the making of their cafe on her blog here (wait, so if she has a blog too, why was I embarrassed to say I do?). And if you don't happen to be in the Woodstock area, never fear, because they ship their delicious chocolates all over! I'm partial to the meltaways and anything salted caramel. :)