2015: Cows, California, Cafes and Chalupas

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Even if I didn’t write about them, I did have some lovely adventures and I love a sunset all over the world. Here’s 2015’s collection.

California for some calm and a birthday, Mexico for some chalupas and time with my cub, Michigan for a coney hot dog and some love, Cape Cod as a constant, rounding out the year with cafes in France, Costa Rican coffee and life in my cow town too.

Happy happy new year to all my loves.

2015: Cowtown, home again

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~Henry Van Dyke

Slushy, snowy, gun metal grey skies…. March is a tough month here in the Massachusetts Berkshires (just in case anyone thought I meant English Berkshires, alas, no). I don’t have much magic to share today. I loved my trip south to Tulum and Mexico. I ate my fill of fish tacos, topped off my Vitamin D in the sunshine and vacationed to the max.

March – the march to warmer weather has begun… the forecast today: snow. In like a LION, out like a cow, please!!

2015: New Year’s, Boston to the Berkshires

1 Jan – 1:23 AM – Hanover Street, North End, Boston: On every block, another post midnight cliche… the fighting couple, the restaurant filled with revelers dancing to Usher’s last year’s hit, the brand new couple-maybe-to-be negotiating with their friends to be able to take the only available taxi by themselves, Boston boys with Bruins hats, Happy Drunks, Sad Drunks, Waitresses and Valet Guys saying good night, Firemen coming back from a false call and an ancient old Italian man telling everyone of us Buon Anno. A slice of New Year’s Eve’s aftermath. The good, the bad… you get it.

The new year is but three days old. Have seen and spent time with a few of my favorite people. Have watched good movies, eaten delicious food.

Nothing has really changed. My warriors are still fighting their life battles – real life is like an icy cold shower these days. But… somehow, for once, my soul’s a little brighter and lighter this year. Maybe I am just older, wiser, more ready for whatever comes next – I wrote last year of hoping to find grace (here: 2013 year in review). I thought at the turn of 2013 into 2014 I had found it. As always, I knew nothing about grace. I love the way life teaches all of us that the moments we feel, hey, I really get this gig, another 364 days later, I am humbled. I only got it a bit – I was certainly grateful, and grace to navigate life is absolutely needed but nope, that was just the first glimpse. Grace yes, but let’s go bigger in 2015.

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”Alfred Tennyson

Good old Tennyson – he’s on the money this year.

To heck with Peace (not really!), I want happiness this year. I want joy. I actually may want it all. I want my family and friends to win – the lottery, their health, their marriages saved, their promotions delivered, their houses to sell, more? Everyday miracles and hard won success – have at it. Fill in your blank and I will want that for you too. Peace is great but getting that glorious goodness, well, it’s better, it’s more and call me crazy, that’s what I am asking for this go round the sun. If I don’t ask, if I don’t expect it, crave it, push for it, it doesn’t happen so bring it.

Wherever this year heads, whatever my adventures may be, I can say for certain for once, it started right.  To Life, this isn’t a challenge but whatever’s in store, make it great, make it fantastic, memorable and superb. Lighten the load for some of my people.

Happy New Year my five regular readers (thank you all for staying the course). Happy New Year to my beloveds & family. Happy New Year to friends and travelers not yet met.

Most of all – Happy New Adventures people. I hope 2015 brings goodness in abundance, all over the place.

New England 2013: All Hallow’s Eve

I love Halloween, always have always will. Always been more than candy and costumes for me. As someone who grew up New England, USA and loves fall, where we seem to have a link to the seasons that cannot be denied, this day is the line between fall and winter. The earth outside my window is going to sleep, the harvest is in and it’s time to get ready to hunker down, snuggle in and get ready for the next season.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from the Keene, NH  2011 Pumpkin Festival I was lucky enough to go to last year. Imagine… thousands and thousands of jack o lanterns, candy apples, delicious food from great vendors, really not to be missed. Here’s their website http://pumpkinfestival2011.org

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New York 2011: A New York state of mind

Sometimes, small town living is just that…. small…. slowly, everything is just too predictable and the sameness of every day begins to dent my wanderlustful soul.

When I can’t hop on a plane, what better way blow out the cobwebs than a road trip north (and a smidge west) to bask in the glory of the fiery fall leaves. I live close enough to Vermont that I could have just looked out my own window but sometimes, irrational I know, I just want to see someone else’s leaves. Fall in New England amazes me every year with it’s beauty – I could write and write about how I search the trees for the perfect orange red blast. It’s almost if Mother Nature gets her best paints out before the world goes brown and colorless.

Besides the need to get out, I know in my heart part of me needed to really take a trip somewhere so this travel blog could actually be a travel blog and not just me musing aimlessly about past glories…. a travel blog has to involve traveling somewhere other than the supermarket.

Where better to get some air than the mighty and vast Adirondack park in upstate New York. Formed in the late eighteen hundreds (became official in 1892), the park is made up of ten million acres of lakes, pine forests and craggy peaks. At one point, in 1761, the area was referred to as “deer hunting territory”. The actual name is cited in one place as a translated Mohawk word that means “they eat trees”. I’ll leave that alone and for my scholars, that was just one definition I read. Suffice it to say, there are still lots and lots of trees to eat.

The reason the park exists at all was because of what we would now call urban sprawl of the turn of the last century. Disease made the city in the summer a dangerous place to be – even at the best of addresses and so out into the wilds they went, with their many servants in tow; Americans, never ones to do anything subtly. The captains of industry also needed summer get out of town spots  that could combine the grandeur of Europe with the wonder of America’s forests. And so the hodge podge of what is called the Adirondack style was born. (take to your search engines and see all the things people did with birch bark and some twisted twigs). Today, the grand old camp style of vacationing only exists for the very few –  the Point Resort in Saranac is an example of what $2000.00 a night can get you.

For the rest of us normal folks, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, hiking, trekking, tramping (whatever you might call it), rock climbing, fishing (fly, ice and lake), skiing, snowshoeing, ski jumping, skating to name a few. It’s an adventurers paradise…. some of you could spend time earning bragging rites by climbing the 46 peaks, journeying to all the cascades and waterfalls but maybe the rest of you could spend some time sitting in the splendor and vast emptiness of much of the landscape.

This time, I decided I needed a balance of both and so I stayed in the very touristed unofficial capital of the park – Lake Placid which is better known for it’s miraculous Olympics of 1980 than much else.  I like food so I did enjoy the local restaurants (ate at the Brown Dog Cafe & Wine Bar, the Cottage, Tail of the Pup BBQ). There’s a mix of tacky – the normal coffee mug & t-shirt places (my friend from school calls those type candles and fudge shops – here you could adjust to say candles and stuffed moose shops) but also some gems selling antiques of the old great camp style.  There’s also the very lovely Mirror Lake to look at – aptly named for it’s ability to reflect the sky – and walk around.

Just a sweet simple weekend away – a few hours drive from Canada, Albany NY – it’s a spot that’s easy to get to (just head north on RT 87 for most of you) and offers so much to see and do…. or not to do…. at a number of price ranges. For me, all I needed was a simple cup of coffee and a morning sunrise, a chance to listen to the loons (the birds for once not the people) = magic.