Whenever I visit San Francisco, I make a trip to its Ferry Building. Now Boston has its own market full of unique and artisan vendors, and I don’t have to travel as far. Located near Haymarket and Quincy Market, the Boston Public Market is unique – it’s a culinary adventure (you can eat gourmet donuts, local cheeses, fresh pasta or drink locally made tea, coffee, or hot chocolate). It’s a a gourmet lunch spot (try the smoothies, smoked fish, Vietnamese sandwiches, or ice cream). It’s a wedding and hostess gift go-to (buy wine, jams, cutting boards made from stone, and bowls turned from wood). It’s a market (fill your basket with flowers, locally grown vegetables, meat, and fish). Read more about it here:
Are you a coin collector? Do you practice numismatists, the study of coins? Or maybe you just like to collect United States quarters, you know, the ones made for each state?
Though we started collecting quarters when our kids were little, not long after the U.S. Mint started the State Quarters Program in 1999, I still enjoy looking at them and wondering about the place, object, or person which was chosen to represent each state.
I haven’t been to every state, nor have I seen everything depicted on each state’s quarter, but I have seen Oregon’s Crater Lake and hiked up Vermont’s Camel’s Hump, I’ve driven by Nebraska’s Chimney Rock and climbed California’s Half Dome. I’ve seen New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain, walked around New York’s Statue of Liberty, and even seen a grizzly bear in Alaska. But I haven’t been to Kentucky’s Bardstown Mansion nor have I eaten a peach in Georgia. I’ve seen many American bison but never in North Dakota or Kansas. I haven’t crossed West Virginia’s New River Gorge Bridge nor been to the Indy 500 in Indiana.
Here’s a list of states with the elements depicted in each of their designs. Where have you been and where do you need to go?
When a friend first gave me her recipe for blueberry crisp, I had never heard of Annisquam. For some reason, I thought Annisquam was some place up in Maine.
It’s not – Annisquam is a beautiful waterfront village in Gloucester, Massachusetts. We visited one of its private beaches with friends on a beautiful summer day.
The next day, I realized where I’d heard the word before … in the title of one of my favorite recipes.
I’ve made Annisquam Blueberry Crisp with fresh blueberries in August and with frozen ones in January. I’ve made it with wheat flour and with gluten-free flour. Though the texture may vary slightly depending on the type of flour, it’s always yummy. The port is the secret ingredient.
Annisquam Blueberry Crisp
4 cups blueberries (or two 10-oz packages frozen, thawed)
1/4 cup ruby port
3/4 cup sifted gluten-free flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
Combine blueberries and port in a well-buttered, 1 quart baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Add butter, cut into bits and blend until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the blueberries and bake in the middle of a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Serves 6 to 8
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any of my travels. Here’s my answer to that childhood ubiquitous question.
Spring blurred into summer, beginning technically on June 21 but really on June 2 when I traveled to Tucson for an outdoor family wedding. The weather was hot, we wore shorts and ate blizzards from Dairy Queen in the town of Sierra Vista, Arizona (stay tuned for more details on Bisbee and Tucson).
In June, we took a trip to Provincetown and walked Boston’s Freedom Trail. We said good-bye to our Chilean exchange student, wondering when we would see her again, glad of the excuse for a future trip to South America.
In July, my family was consumed and overwhelmed with learning about and planning for my daughter’s through hike of the Long Trail. We explored Vermont – Manchester, Waterbury, and Stowe and hiked through the Green Mountains.
In August, we recovered from our Vermont travels with trips to the beach on Boston’s North Shore, bike rides, kayaks, and swims in local ponds. We listened to music at outdoor festivals, visited farms, ate lobster and pizza, and grilled. We picked flowers and basil and went for a ride in a plane.
Now that fall is quickly approaching, I’m scrambling to get a bit more summer in. I need at least one more trip to the beach, and many more kayaks, bike rides, and outdoor swims. I need to shop at more farmer’s markets, eat lots of tomatoes, fresh corn, and peaches, grill vegetables, make fresh salsa, gazpacho, and zucchini bread.
When the hot summer days cool off, I want to be ready. Ready to say good-bye to the heat and welcome sweatshirt weather and apple picking season, when I can still ride my bike and make apple crisp, and slowly get ready for fall.
Trip taken Summer 2015.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Happy Wanderer.”
I’m a planner. I admit it. But whether or not my children believe me, I wasn’t always one. When I traveled to Ensenada, I let my friend plan our weekend. When I traveled to San Felipe, I went with the flow. On my trip to Australia, we were free and spontaneous. We chose where to stay and for how long, money and a flight home our only boundaries. Even my first trip to Paris and Zurich were simple – I stayed with friends, brought guide books, and decided each day where I would be a tourist.
But then I had children. And the world became more crowded. I discovered that summer camps would fill up before spring. With a child with food allergies, spontaneity was difficult and wrought with disappointment and a hungry child. Slowly, I learned to plan. And now, I always plan.
My hesitation and anxiety about traveling to South Africa was lessened by learning more about the country, where we could and would go. Planning has allowed me to avoid long lines and eat gluten free at Disney, visit our sponsored child in Lesotho, camp at Pawtuckaway State Park every summer for years, be led by a tour guide through Gettysburg National Park, and visit the Senate on a trip to Washington.
But I still love spontaneity. And while doing a little research before traveling to a new place helps me to find the special and unique, or avoid those well traveled and touristy, destinations, spontaneity allows us to change course. To listen to recommendations from other travelers or discover new places ourselves.
Without spontaneity, I wouldn’t have attended a hearing for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, watched the surfers in Half Moon Bay, or listened to the Wave Organ in San Francisco. I wouldn’t have spent the night in a treehouse, picked strawberries in Pescadero, gone hiking with the Hobart Bushwalking Club, or danced Nia in Santa Barbara. Without spontaneity, I wouldn’t have met Terry from England who later invited me to her wedding in Athens. I wouldn’t have stayed with the dairy farmer in Auckland or gone hot air ballooning outside of Alice Springs.
The travel world is so different than it was – the internet provides information and access to so many places, and apps like Yelp can allow a little bit of spontaneity with less risk of disappointment. You can read about where to go and what to see on blogs and share your experiences on social media.
But there’s nothing quite as freeing as just setting out, doing what you feel like doing at the moment, eating when you’re hungry, and being ready to just let things happen.
Even though spring is less than 2 weeks away, when I look outside, all I see is a winter wonderland.
So I put on my skis one day and my snowshoes the next and continue to make new tracks in the snow.
And I dream of warmer places: Hawaii, Santa Barbara, Florida, where green and blue overrule white and brown as the predominant outdoor colors. Where 45 degrees isn’t balmy. Where the sun is warm on my bare shoulders.
I keep reminding myself, April will be here soon.
If you’re like me, and you like the snow, but after awhile, you long for a change of scenery, you’ve got a few options.
1) Embrace the cold and sled, snow shoe, or ski. (See my post “How to Survive a New England Winter.“)
2) Look for warmth.
In between snow storms this past week, I stopped in at the greenhouse at Water Fresh Farm in Hopkington, Mass.
I dined in front of a fire at Red Barn Coffee Roasters in Southborough, Mass.
And I visited the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market inside a greenhouse at Russell’s Garden Center in Wayland, Mass., where people ordered pizza from a mobile wood fired pizza truck, tasted wine and cheese, bought root vegetables, jams, fish, meat, and even mushrooms.
Where will I go next week? The forecast is for more cold. Maybe this time, I’ll go for option number 3 and get on a plane!
There’s nothing like getting a month’s worth of snow in a few days!
After a brief snow storm on Saturday, January 24, 2015, about 5 inches of snow fell on our outside table before the rain compressed it. Here’s what the table looked like on Saturday and pretty much what it looked like when we went to bed on Monday night.
Here’s what it looked like at 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
At 8 a.m.
At 9 a.m.
The dog still hadn’t been out. So, we started shoveling and blowing. It was 17 degrees, and windy.
It kept snowing all day. At 4 p.m., I took this photo.
At 7 p.m., I took this last photo.
We stayed warm and never lost power. Instead, we went snow shoeing. Today, after shoveling again, I’ll be out on my skis.
I first discovered Walden Pond when a friend took me there for a summer evening swim. I’d studied the Transcendentalists in college, had heard of Thoreau but had never read Walden. We walked along the trail to a place my friend knew, away from the crowds. We swam to cool off from the hot summer air.
Since then I’ve visited Walden several times. In the morning, when people gather to swim; during the day, when the beaches are crowded with small children; and on the weekends, when people from the city seek an escape from the summer heat. I’ve picnicked along its banks, hiked along its trails, swam and kayaked its cool waters. But until last November, my visits have remained in the summer months. Last November, I discovered how magical Walden Pond can be without the heat and without the crowds.
Trip taken November 2013.
It was 15 degrees this morning in Boston, and it’s not even winter yet. I’m inside by the fire, drinking a cup of coffee, and remembering a warmer day in Rockport, Mass., just a few months ago.
Trip taken June 2014.