Friday Free-For-All – 04/20/18

Friday Free-For-All

Spring Break, baby! As of 4:30 pm today, Ben and I are officially on Spring Break. We’ll be hanging at home for the first half of the week, hopefully taking care of a few projects and just relaxing. Then Wednesday through Sunday, we’ll be in Jersey visiting my bestie and her husband, who are also expecting a baby. We figured we’d better get a visit in while we can, because we’re all about to get super busy, and who knows the next time we’ll have the opportunity to see each other?

Spring weather is finally here! The forecast for the next few days looks so wonderful and springy, I could just die of happiness. Sunshine and temps in the 50’s and 60’s. FINALLY. After the miserable, dreary, snowy, icy, rainy junk we’ve had for the last few weeks, we are overdue for spring.

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Here comes the sunnnn!

I paid off my second-to-last student loan this week. It was “only” about $1,500, but they recently jacked up the interest rate to over 6 percent, so I decided it was time to just eliminate it completely. I fully recognize that $1,500 isn’t an insignificant amount, but compared to my remaining student loan, it’s small. Regardless, it’s extremely satisfying to be one step closer to being debt-free. Obviously, it’s gonna take a while to actually get there with the mortgage we just took out, but you’ve gotta celebrate each step!

A wind storm this week knocked down a tree in our yard. Normally, this might be problematic. Fortunately, however, we had already identified this as a sick tree that we needed to cut down anyway. Problem solved! Now we can just chop it up for summertime bonfires. Thanks, Mother Nature!

Is it spring break for you and yours?

Eleuthera Vacation in (Mostly) Pictures

This recap is going to be pretty loosey-goosey. The days sort of ran together as they tend to do on vacation, so rather than trying to construct a narrative of the week, I’ll just share some of my favorite pictures, facts, and memories.

Fact: In the Bahamas, open containers are totally legal, even in a motor vehicle. After arriving at North Eleuthera airport on Monday, we got beers at the bar across the road from the airport, and drank them in the back of the truck on our way back to Amy and Harry’s house.

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Amy and Harry live on the very northern edge of the island, with a small beach literally in their backyard, and the “big beach” a whopping five minute walk away.

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Big beach

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Little beach (and Ben)

 There’s LOTS of wildlife on the island, including but not limited to, birds, snakes, scorpions, and all kinds of lizards. I can’t lie, I became somewhat obsessed with lizard-spotting, and I would say a good 25% of my photos from this trip are of lizards.

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This little lizard lives behind a painting in the kitchen and comes out at night to say hi

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Giant hermit crab

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Stripey lizard

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Blue-tailed lizard

We spent a lot of time outdoors, walking, snorkeling, and helping Harry with yard work.

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We had a dinner party, and visited Preacher’s Cave and Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve.

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And we took the mini ferry across to Harbor Island for lunch at a beach bar.

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We also drank a LOT of Kalik (delicious Bahamian beer) and rum punch. We cooked most of our meals at home. I read 7 books. I didn’t get a sunburn. We went out to a real Bahamian bar and met a lot of locals. Oh, and the no-see-ums were OUT OF CONTROL and I got so many bugbites I look like I have Chicken Pox. But other than that, it was a perfect vacation.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

Quick Post-Vacation Check-In

Hi friends! I’m back from vacation! I wish I could say that I was 100% happy to be here, but that would be a lie. I actually cried a little bit at the airport on our way home. That may have been more due to the three Kaliks (delicious Bahamian beer) that I downed in rapid succession than to actual emotions, but it happened nonetheless.

Don’t get me wrong, seeing the kitties and my in-laws and sleeping in my own bed are all glorious and wonderful, but coming back to work is less so. And going from mid-70’s and sunny with a beach literally in your backyard to cold and rainy/snowy is just rude.

Thankfully, nothing blew up at work while I was gone, I didn’t have a billion emails waiting, and my to-do list is completely manageable. I should be mostly caught up by the end of the day, because my co-workers are amazing and handled a lot of stuff while I was out.

I should have a February wrap up post for you tomorrow, and then a trip recap on Friday, woohoo! It will likely be mostly pictures, because that’s a lot more fun than reading my rambling thoughts, yes? Yes. Here’s a teaser:

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Friday Free-For-All – 02/24/17

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As of 4:30 pm today, I’m officially on vacation until March 8. Woooooohooooo! I have been waiting for this trip for forever, and I can’t believe it’s finally here. We don’t fly out until early Monday morning, so I still have all weekend to do laundry and pack and get myself together. I only ever take carry-on luggage, so packing for 10 days might be challenging, but I’m fairly confident in my abilities. I also think we will have access to laundry facilities, which will make it that much simpler.

I have to go bathing suit shopping this weekend. Blerg. I’ve been wearing the same one piece bathing suit (which was also a hand-me-down from a friend), for close to four years now, and it’s less than inspiring. And the two-piece that I’ve had for 6+ years no longer contains my chest. Being a busty girl makes bathing suit shopping REALLY hard, but thankfully, Athleta has some good bra-sized swim that I think I can make work. I just wish I’d gotten a new bathing suit when I still had that sweet employee discount…

Audition tomorrow. Eep! I know I said that I was mostly thinking of this as a practice audition since I don’t anticipate getting the role I want, but after listening to the music and thinking about it a lot, I’m definitely fully emotionally invested in the outcome of this audition. Crap. I feel like I’m as prepared as I can possibly be, and I’m just trying to remember that NOT getting cast will mean a relaxing summer where I actually get to have a life and do fun things. It’s basically a win-win, right? Right.

Because I will be in the Bahamas for 8 days and likely not have any wi-fi or internet access, I probably will not be posting while I’m gone. Apparently some of the bars and restaurants have wi-fi, so if I can, I’ll be posting to Instagram, but otherwise, it will be radio silence until I get back. Have a great week, everyone! ❤

 

Friday Free-For-All – 12/23/16

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I AM SO READY FOR A LONG WEEKEND. I have to work today (Ben has the day off and I’m very jealous), but then I have Monday off for Christmas, so I’m basically living for 4:30 pm. I’m very much looking forward to relaxing with my family, watching Christmas movies, sipping eggnog, and NOT being at work for three days. And then I only have to work three days next week, and only four days the week after that, so basically I don’t work a full week for the next two weeks. Score!

Christmas music has gotten me through this week. I just haven’t been feeling work at all lately, but jamming out to Christmas tunes has at least kept my mood up enough that I can perform my basic job functions. In fact, I’ve actually been pretty productive this week in preparation for year-end and quarter-end madness. I’m just trying to square everything away today so I don’t have any work anxiety this weekend.

My sister-in-law Emily is home from Prague. It’s been really fun having here here. She’s been living in the Czech Republic for almost two years now, so I don’t get to see her very much. We’ve been spending lots of quality time together playing video games, cooking, and eating. My other SIL Leah is arriving on Saturday, at which point I will be in Quechee with my folks, but she’s staying through New Year’s, so I’ll still get to spend some time with her as well. I’m anticipating some marathon games of Settlers of Catan once we’re all in the house 🙂

I started a Bullet Journal in September and it’s pretty magical. I’m not going to try to explain what a Bullet Journal is because there are so many descriptions, videos, blog posts, and general rave reviews already out there. I’m just saying, it’s been great for me. Part planner, part journal, part to-do list, part art project, it’s working for me the way other planners never have, because it’s 100% customize-able to my needs and preferences. If you like paper planners but have never found the “perfect” one, go Google Bullet Journal and prepare to fall down the rabbit hole.

Did you/do you have to work today? Are you ready for Christmas?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 02/12/16

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Remember that sports bra I got last year for review, and loved? The one from Lynx Sportswear? Well, I just ordered another one in a different style and let me tell you, it’s AMAZEBALLS. I’m not sure if it’s just the different style, or if there have been overall improvements to the design, but they pretty much addressed every single one of my “cons” and it’s now the perfect sports bra for me. Up until recently, I only had the one that was good for running, so having two feels like a luxury. I may need to get another one, though, because it really is so amazing. Busty ladies, GET YOURSELVES A LYNX SPORTS BRA. Your boobies will thank you.

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday. I’ve always had very mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. When I was single, it was a shitty reminder of how single I was. In my first serious relationship, he took the holiday very seriously, whereas I was leery of the forced “celebration” of our love. With Ben, we started out doing the whole traditional fancy dinner date thing, but as the years have gone on, we’ve become a lot more pragmatic about the whole thing. If we celebrate at all, we do a dinner not on the actual holiday itself so that we don’t have to worry about crowds. This year, though, I think we’re finally just saying, “Screw it.” We don’t need a manufactured holiday in order to recognize how much we love and appreciate each other. We don’t need the stress or expense of buying each other more junk or going out for a fancy dinner. We’ll probably just get takeout and watch Firefly or something.

Our office has been under construction for the last two weeks. For the most part, construction noises don’t bother me, and the construction is to improve/expand our kitchen/break area, so I’m generally very happy it’s happening. Unfortunately, a lot of the construction is happening near, around, or even IN my personal office, so it’s been tough at times to be productive and focused. Plus, our office is in a shambles. Theoretically, the construction will be done by the time Tuesday rolls around, which will be a relief.

I only have to work one day next week! Monday is a holiday and our office is closed. I work Tuesday, and then my colleague/gym buddy Freda and I are off to St. Petersburg, Florida for a conference at our corporate offices for the rest of the week. I’m excited for sunshine, warmer temps, and being away from the office for a bit. I’m also super excited because we get to see the Broadway tour of Book of Mormon while we’re there, and hopefully do some outlet shopping as well.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Who else has a three day weekend??

Manic Monday – 09/08/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and lay out a plan for the upcoming week.

This was the first week on the new schedule, commuting at least 1.5 hours every day.  So far, it doesn’t seem awful, but it’s definitely an adjustment.  We have to get up earlier, but haven’t quite gotten the whole going to bed earlier to compensate thing down, so I’m wiped.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Body Pump like I wanted, but c’est la vie.

Monday (Scheduled Cross-Training Day) 

Hauling boxes around all day counts as cross-training, right?  Originally, we were hoping to hike Mt. Mansfield and do some other fun, summery things, but we simply had way too much to do still.  The day was spent moving our stuff out of its temporary home in the garage and into our new bedroom, unpacking, putting up shelves, cleaning, and organizing.

Tuesday (Scheduled 5 x 400)

This went surprisingly well.  I decided to take it a bit easier on myself this time around, since last time sucked so bad.  I did a one mile warm up, then did my repeats at paces of 9:31, 9:22, 9:13, 9:05, and 8:57, with 400 recovery at a 10:30 pace in between.  I finished with a half mile cool down.  I have to say, I felt like I could have gone longer.  I think the combination of taking my recovery a bit slower, and starting slow and getting faster with the 400s really helped.  This will be my new tactic with 400s, starting a little bit faster each time; meaning that next time, my first repeat will be at a 9:22 pace, and get faster from there.  Yay, speed work!

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Wednesday (Scheduled Cross-Training Day)

I had intended to check out my first Body Pump class, but I was too exhausted and still had a buttload of stuff to do at the house re: unpacking.  I also needed to do laundry to prepare for my weekend away, and since Ben’s folks don’t have a dryer, this requires allowing plenty of time for clothes to air dry.

Thursday (Scheduled 4 Mile Run)

I wasn’t feeling well, so I decided to just go home, pack for the weekend, and rest.

Friday (Scheduled Rest Day)

I drove up to Shadow Lake in Glover to stay with my family at their rental for the weekend.  Arrived just in time for dinner and cocktails.

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Saturday (Scheduled 7 Mile Run)

I still wasn’t feeling well, but managed to slog out 6 nasty miles.  Between the humidity and being mildly ill, I had to take a lot of walk breaks, but at least I got out there.  I was supposed to do 7, but 6 was about all I could manage.  I jumped in the lake clothes and all after finishing, and spent the rest of the day relaxing, reading, fishing, and getting my ass kicked in Canasta.

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Sunday (Scheduled Rest Day)

What a beautiful rest day it was.  Slept in.  Woke up feeling like hell.  Sat around.  Thought about running a couple of miles, but decided against it.  Went for a boat ride. Got my ass kicked in Canasta again.  Helped clean up the rental, and drove home.

All in all it wasn’t a bad week, considering that I felt pretty gross for the latter half.  I’m still not feeling 100% today, but trying to just keep moving.  I’m not sure if it’s an actual illness or just bad allergies, but either way, it stinks.

The Plan for This Week:

  • Monday:  Elliptical, bike, and abs
  • Tuesday:  Speed work (hills or tempo)
  • Wednesday:  Body Pump
  • Thursday:  4 miles easy
  • Friday:  Rest
  • Saturday:  Color Run 5k
  • Sunday:  Rest

This is a step-back week for me, and I’m really excited to do the Color Run with my friends!

When was the last time you jumped in water with all your clothes on?

 

Off to the West Coast

Hi, friends!  I sort of mentioned this in passing, but haven’ t explicitly stated it yet:  I’m headed off to San Francisco for a few days to visit one of my best and dearest friends.

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K and I have been friends since middle school, and she moved out to San Fran last fall, right as I was moving back to VT.  Talk about poor timing!  She’s been trying to cajole me into visiting for months, but I kept having to say no because of financial constraints.  Well, crazy, generous gal that she is, she up and bought me plan tickets!  I fly out of Logan tomorrow afternoon and will have a whirlwind long weekend on the West Coast!

I’ve actually never been further west than Colorado, so I’m SUPER stoked!  The weather is looking totally fabulous, and I know K will have lots of adventures cooked up!

I’ll be bringing my buddy Tigger along for the ride, sort of like a Disney version of Flat Stanley, and he’ll be sharing in my adventures.  I’m not planning to post at all while I’m gone, but you can pop over to my Twitter and Instagram feeds if you simply can’t live without me until Monday (which I sincerely doubt–I’m not that cool).  And of course, I’ll have a nice vacation recap when I get back 🙂

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Cape Cod Vacation Recap Part 2: What I Wish I Did

What?  Two posts in one day?  Well, I’m trying to get back on track after being on vacation, and I’ve got lots to talk about, so here we go…  Welcome to Part 2 of my Cape Cod vacation recap.  In this post, I’ll be talking about all of the things I usually do, but didn’t get to, or things I have always wanted to try, but haven’t yet.  I hope you enjoy!

My family has been vacationing on Cape Cod for a week every summer for as long as I can remember.  Over the years, we’ve built up a lot of traditions–things that we do every year, without fail.  Since I didn’t get to stay for the entire week this year, I missed out on a few things.  So, I’ll live in my memories a little bit and give you some more sights to see and things to do if you go on your own Cape Cod vacation!

Captain Frosty’s:  This is a fried seafood/ice cream place located right on Route 6A in Dennis.  We always go at some point to get Creemees (or, as you non-New Englanders call it, soft serve ice cream).  The sizes are generous, the prices are good, and the ice cream is great.  I ALWAYS get vanilla with rainbow sprinkles.  We cram all six of us in the car and get sprinkles and ice cream all over ourselves and each other.  Unfortunately we just didn’t make it this year 😦

Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf:  We discovered this place about 7 years ago, and keep coming back.  It’s a bit of a drive from our rental house, but it’s totally worth it.  There are actually two mini golf courses at the same location, and they intertwine around each other.  Lots of obstacles, caves, fake cannon fire and fun.  And they’ve got really cool information about historical pirates on little signs all over the courses.  Your scorecard usually has a coupon on it for a certain amount off your next game, and there’s a pirate-themed gift shop next door and a Dairy Queen across the street.  What’s not to love?

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Provincetown:  Provincetown is… an experience.  Everyone needs to go at least once.  Prepare for over-the-top gay fun–it’s kind of the gay capital of the east coast.  People are often afraid of being “accosted” by “the gays,” but I’ve gone almost every summer since I was a child and I have never once had a negative experience.  There are rainbows everywhere, and drag shows every night.  I’ve always wanted to see a drag show, but we’re never there in the evening.  It’s pretty touristy, but there are LOTS of shops and great restaurants and bars.  There’s a place, I forget what it’s called, that does homemade ice cream, and last year I got burnt sugar caramel ice cream–god help me it was the best ice cream I’ve ever had.  The best shop is Marine Specialties–it’s a cross between a tourist shop and an army navy surplus store, so it’s got a huge variety and everything is really cheap.  There’s also a museum at the end of the pier dedicated to the pirate ship Whydah that was found in the area a few years ago.  And if you’re interested, you can grab tickets on a whale watch ship, which I did once, years ago, and it was REALLY cool.  If you want great pizza, head all the way to the end of Commercial Street and hit up Spiritus.  Seriously excellent, thin crust pizza that you can buy by the slice.

Watch a sunset on the beach:  Obviously, this is more of an experience than a place or thing, but I can’t recommend it enough.  If you’re on the bay side of the Cape, you can catch some phenomenal sunsets over the ocean.  Since we started staying at a place that’s not right on the water, we haven’t really been making it down to the beach for sunset as often, which is lame.

Dinner at Gerardi’s:  This is a recent addition to our vacation traditions.  Gerardi’s has AMAZING Italian food.  The place is tiny, so I definitely recommend reservations.  You’ll start with squishy Italian bread and an olive oil dipping sauce. The house wines are always great, but they have an extensive wine list if you’re feeling fancy.  They also often have a prix fixe menu so you can get an appetizer, entree and dessert for a very reasonable price.  Get the cannoli for dessert–you’ll thank me, I promise.  My parents went on Saturday night for their anniversary, and they promised that we’d all go as a family later in the week, but we didn’t get around to it before I left 😦

Breakfast at Sesuit Harbor Cafe:  If you’ll recall from Part 1, we actually tried to go to Sesuit Harbor Cafe on Tuesday, but we got rained out.  This place is pretty excellent.  As the name would suggest, it’s right on the harbor.  All of the seating is outdoors, so you can sit at picnic tables, eating your breakfast and watching the boats go in and out of the harbor.  It’s incredibly beautiful, and the food isn’t bad either!  I usually get a breakfast sandwich on a bagel with a side of home fries.  Yum!  Supposedly, the raw bar is quite excellent, but we’ve only ever gone for breakfast.

I wish I had more pictures of past excursions, but my phone is failing me right now…  You’ll just have to trust me that these are all awesome places to visit and things to do.

And as a bonus, there’s one place I really want to go that I just haven’t made it to yet–supposedly The Original in Dennisport has out of control good fried shrimp.  I’m a sucker for any kind of fried seafood, but shrimp is a favorite.  Next year I just need to suck it up and drive the 15 minutes to the ocean side for some tasty fried delights.  Kreme N Cone, also in Dennisport, is allegedly just as good.  I’ll have to check both out and let you know how it goes 🙂

What are your favorite things to do on vacation?

Any vacation traditions?

Have you ever been to any of the places on my list?

Cape Cod Vacation Recap Part 1: What I Did

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I will be doing a two-part vacation recap.  Part one will be all about what I actually did while I was on the Cape this year, and part two will cover the things I didn’t get to do this time around, but wish I did.  I’m going to go with a chronological format for this post, starting with the drive down Friday night.

Friday
I had to drive down by myself, which sucked.  Ben couldn’t come because it’s still during the school year, and the rest of my family carpooled because they all got to stay the entire week.  Thankfully, traffic wasn’t bad.  I blasted my show tunes and breezed south, singing my face off.  I arrived at my Aunt Beth and Uncle Rob’s place in Sandwich around 11 pm, and pretty much everyone else was already asleep.  Rob and Beth’s place is pretty small, so I ended up sleeping on couch cushions arrayed on the living room floor.  Needless to say, I didn’t actually sleep much.

Saturday
My dad is an early riser, so he was up and at ’em before 6 am.  His banging around in the kitchen woke me up, and I had a snuggle sesh with this lovely pup, our border collie, Harley.

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I decided to get a quick run in, so I pulled on my sneakers.  The thing about Cape Cod is, it’s very small and compacted.  Most of the smaller neighborhood roads are either dead ends or cul-de-sacs, so I had to run up and back on several cul-de-sacs just to get 2 miles.  It was very hilly, but I felt good.

This was breakfast pretty much every day-veggie omelet, toast, coffee and patio :)

This was breakfast pretty much every day-veggie omelet, toast, coffee and patio 🙂

After breakfast, my sister Haley and I headed over to our rental house in Dennis to drop off our cars and hit the beach.  Our rental is in a neighborhood by Bayview Beach, which is usually less crowded because the parking lot is for Dennis residents only.  We got there by 8:30 am and there was hardly anyone around.  We were joined later by one of our other sisters, Hilary (Hilary and Haley are twins), their friend Morgan, and my mom.  We stayed on the beach for several hours, soaking up the sun and chatting.  Around 1, we headed back to the house for showers and food.  Saturday was my parents’ 34th wedding anniversary (!), so they went out to dinner at their favorite Italian place, Gerardi’s.  Us kids were on our own.  We read or watched TV, and I made a delicious stir-fry for dinner.  I was in bed by 10:30 because I was dehydrated from sitting on the beach all day with no water.  I had also ended up with some weird blotches of sunburn due to poor sunscreen application 😦

Sunday
Since I missed my long run Saturday, I got up at 7 on Sunday and hit the pavement.  I had planned out a 5 mile loop that I could repeat twice for 10 miles.  Unfortunately, I got mixed up somehow and my loop ended up only being 4 miles.  This worked out fine, because I was dehydrated and hot, so 8 miles ended up being more than enough for me.

As would be the case pretty much everyday except for Tuesday, my parents went out on Rob’s boat to go fishing and we kids were left to our own devices.

After breakfast and a shower, I decided to meet up with my Uncle Kevin, Aunt Julie, and cousins Mike and Michelle at Crowes Pasture.  This is a nature preserve with a drive out beach past the sand dunes.  One of the things I love most about Dennis beaches is that there are sandbars that go really far out, so there’s a lot more room to spread out at low tide.  I picked up a sandwich at Tedeschi’s on my way over, and then spent a glorious 3 hours on the beach with my family.

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We headed to our respective homes around 3, because the plan was to meet at the Black Cat Tavern in Hyannis to see Smitty, the Fishin’ Musician.  We’ve been listening to this guy play for years, and he goes fishing with my Uncle Rob a lot.  I had 6 oysters on the half shell and several cocktails.  My family gets a little rowdy when the booze starts flowing, and we love to sing and be the center of attention, so things got a little silly.  Thankfully, my dad was the DD, so I got home safe and sound.

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Sister selfie-me and Haley

Sister selfie-me and Haley

Sister selfie-me and Hilary

Sister selfie-me and Hilary

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Smitty-the Fishin’ Musician

Dinner was a pretty simple affair with hamburgers and potato chips after all that, and once again I was in bed early.

Monday
I was up and out the door by 7:30 to get in a quick 4 miles before another beach day.  It was still hot, but I managed just fine.  The route I planned out is pretty hilly, but at least 40 % of it is nicely shaded, and the first part has some beautiful beach views.  After breakfast, my cousin Michelle picked me and Hilary up to go to Chapin Beach, which is a couple of miles away from our rental.  Since Michelle’s parents live on Cape, they’ve got a Dennis beaches sticker that allowed us to park at any beach we wanted for free!

Since it was Monday, there was literally NO ONE ELSE on the beach for the first hour we were there.  The weather wasn’t perfect–it was a little overcast and cool, but the sun came out for an hour or so, and we just listened to music and enjoyed ourselves.  When it started to cloud up again, we decided it was time for ice cream!  Michelle suggested Sundae School, which was fine with me.  I’ve been hearing for years how awesome it is, but we’ve never gone.  You know how you just get comfortable with your favorite places and you’re reluctant to try anything new?

Anyway, we picked up my older sister Jessica (yes, I have three sisters, no brothers), and headed over to Sundae School in Dennisport.  This place is seriously cool–they have an old player piano that actually works, and an old fashioned soda fountain on display.  I got 2 scoops of coffee Oreo ice cream, and it was PHENOMENAL.  I mean, I’ve had coffee Heath bar, but coffee and Oreo is a whole new level of awesome.

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Monday night, Aunt Beth and Uncle Rob came over for dinner.  We had shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, rib eye and salad.  I was the designated bartender for dinner and I made some mean margaritas.  I was stuffed and tipsy by the end of the night, but gosh we had a blast.  My sister busted out the frozen daquiris and frozen margaritas after dinner, and there were some hilarious conversations:

Hilary:  Do you want another one?

Dad:  If I do, it’s lights out.

Hilary:  So, do you want another one?

Dad:  Well, yeah!

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My family, ladies and gentlemen…  I went to bed very early Monday night.

Tuesday
It was cloudy and threatening rain in the morning, so we decided that we all (Aunt Beth and Uncle Rob had stayed over) wanted to go out to breakfast at Sesuit Harbor Cafe, and then go to Provincetown.  Unfortunately, right as we pulled up at Sesuit Harbor, it started pouring.  Since they only have outdoor seating, we had to find an alternative.  Rob suggested the Red Cottage, a diner not too far away.

This was a new one for us, and it was kind of a mixed bag, in my opinion.  Jess got some insanely good cinnamon french toast, and I got a delicious breakfast burrito, but the home fries were super bland, and Haley’s veggie pocket was under cooked.  Apparently, the “Cottage Fries,” which are home fries with ham, mushrooms, sour cream and a bunch of other stuff mixed in are really amazing, so maybe pay the extra to “upgrade” your home fries and you’ll be happier?

With the rain, we decided not to go all the way out to Provincetown (a good hour long drive), and to go home and regroup instead.  Rob and Beth went off to do their own thing.  For a while everyone was sort of grumpy and out of sorts, but Dad, Hilary, Haley and I ultimately decided to go to some thrift stores to try to find movies and board games to occupy our time, and Jess and Mom were gonna go shopping in Dennis.

I scored a really adorable mini-dress for $5, and a great Forever21 cardigan for $2.  While we were out and about, Mom called and said that Rob and Beth had picked her and Jess up, and they were on their way to Chatham, so we decided to thrift our way over there.

Chatham is (in my opinion), a hoity-toity, touristy town with lots of overpriced shops and bars, but there are a few places I ALWAYS go:

Chatham Penny Candy:  Obviously, there’s no such thing as “penny candy” anymore, but they have lots of bulk candy.  I always get chocolate covered gummy bears.

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Ben Franklin:  Sort of a cross between an old-timey five-and-dime, a craft store, and a tourist trap.  You never know what you’ll find.

Yankee Ingenuity:  This store has just about anything and everything you could ever possibly want in a tourist shop, and lots of stuff you never knew you needed.  It’s also pretty reasonably priced.

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It’s tradition to stop into the Chatham Squire for a cocktail and some oysters, and Rob and Beth were all about it.

Above the bar at Chatham Squire

Above the bar at Chatham Squire

But this time us girls just weren’t feeling it, so Dad suggested we go down to the harbor to see the seals.  This was brand new to us–apparently the seals hang out in the harbor because with the fishing boats come in, they toss overboard all the small or bad fish and the seals eat them!  Guys, this was seriously so cool.  There were two harbor seals just swimming around, doing rolls and popping their heads up, waiting for the boats.  And when a boat came in with a load of dogfish (small sand sharks), we got to see the seals right up close eating the cast offs!  It was amazing, and I’m so glad we did this instead of sitting in a bar.

Photo Jun 10, 2 12 55 PMPhoto Jun 10, 2 14 00 PM

Dinner on Tuesday night was pretty mellow–leftover hamburgers, pasta salad and chips.  Dad, Hilary and Haley played games while Mom and I watched old movies and drank wine.  It was awesome.

Wednesday
I was hoping that I would be able to get a few more hours on the beach my last day, and thankfully, the weather cooperated.  It was very breezy and only about 65 degrees, but I hauled my butt to the beach at 8:30 anyway–once again, I was the only one there!  I read and sunbathed and tried to soak up as much of the ocean breeze as I could.  Mom, Hilary and Haley joined me after about an hour, and we all hung out until around 11:30, then headed back to the house.

Photo Jun 11, 8 29 34 AM

I showered, ate lunch, and got my stuff together.  It was really hard to leave when I knew everyone else would get to stay and enjoy three more days without me, but alas, all good things must end.  The drive home was rainy and lonely, and I’d gotten a bit of a sunburn on my butt, so it was pretty uncomfortable too.  I was mostly just grouchy having to leave the Cape.

But when I pulled in at home and my kitty and my man were waiting for me, everything was better, and I was ultimately happy to be home.

Whew!  So there you have it.  Part one of my vacation recap.  Stay tuned, because next week I’ll be putting together a post about the things I wish I’d gotten to do, but didn’t because I didn’t get to stay the whole week.

As an aside, I’m sorry I don’t have more pictures for you, but it’s my philosophy to be more “in the moment” than try to document the moment.  Maybe that makes me a bad blogger, but it’s how I roll.  I don’t have a fancy camera and I’d rather watch seals cavort than be fussing with my camera trying to get the perfect picture of them.  I’m sure you understand 🙂

What’s your favorite vacation spot?