Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Little Gentleman Friend

Harlow is wonderful, but I sure do still miss this little man. 
I can't believe it's been three years.

Launching Shannon

I know it's silly, but I just launched Shannon's Love Letter and I'm really enjoying this sending love to my friends thing!  I should do it more often!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dear Friend: My 40th Birthday Project

Rather than sit in my mixed feelings about turning 40, I had a project to focus on.

I forget how doing something creative and then sharing it can be scary.  You put your effort into something, and while I created these "love letters" for my friends, I hoped others will get something out of it too.  I was reminded this morning how vulnerable my work can leave me feeling when Mike and I had a texting SNAFU. I choked back tears because I misunderstood a text he sent in response to me telling him I'd launched the project.

I guess I do really care what people think. I want the people I care about to be proud of me.

One thing I didn't expect was to learn some new things about my friends. The running themes included; worry less, listen to others more, don't be afraid to do great things. I was sad to hear regret in the voices of a lot of my friends as they reflect on themselves as younger people, but also, not one seemed discontent with who they are today. Most like themselves and are more confident in who they are. More comfortable in their adult skin than their younger skin (even if we complain about that skin).

I think one of my birthday resolutions will be to aspire to be more like Suzanne who always assumes that people have the best of intentions, and Lauren who said "don't be afraid to be awesome"

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Florida Street Painting Festival

These photos from my Florida visit back in mid-February are old at this point, but I wanted to share them anyway. It's sunny today in Boston, but there are rumors of snow coming this weekend.
I am unamused, Mother Nature.

My trip to Florida was a lovely and very appreciated one. It's a great time spent with Libby, who I stay with when I visit, and a nice annual pilgrimage for me and Shannon, who travels from IL. The festival is a cool excuse to come consistently.

This year we went with an elephant. As usual our goal was to finish by lunch. We accomplished that, although the next day I was SO SORE from all the crawling around on the concrete.

(If you click on the first photo you should be treated to a slideshow). This should be a long, flowery blog entry but frankly, I'm not feeling it today so hopefully photos are enough.

Lannis, who worked with us both, and still works, at The Palm Beach Post, stopped by for a visit!

Beautiful pastries from the Palm Beach Gardens green market where Libby and I visited on Sunday

Libby chats with the spice people

One major change in WPB - lots of public art, including these musical swings. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ice Castles

I finally made it to the Ice Castles in Lincoln NH!  I have known of their existence for a few years now but for whatever reason (perhaps simply the two hour drive to get there) I didn't make it til this year.

Mike and I had planned to go a few weeks ago, taking time off from work for our adventure. Tickets are required and as we approached the day for our visit, there was no way to buy tickets. It wasn't listed as sold out that day on their website, you just couldn't click on the option to buy! So strange.

I was under the impression that the castles close at the end of February, so because of our schedules, we wouldn't be able to make it this year. "February can suck it" I told Mike.

On a whim, I looked again last week and yay! They were staying open one more weekend. I bought the tickets and off we went.

I got tickets for a 5-5:30PM window of entry (you can stay as long as you want but they stagger entrances) which was perfect because we got to see the castles in daylight, and then got to see them glow once the sun (finally) went down.

Although crowded, it was an amazing place. The ice climbed into the sky and beautiful icicles hung down as you walked through tunnels and "hallways". There were lots of little hidden tunnels for kids (and Mike) to crawl through, a slide (with a very long line of dedicated visitors), a fountain, and a throne to sit in for photos.

After about two hours, our toes and hands were frozen. It was time for dinner. We headed to The Common Man restaurant just up the street which a few people had recommended to us. The place was a mob scene with a ninety minute wait. A good sign, really. We put a name on the waiting list and headed to the bar. The Common Man knows what they're doing, that's for sure. They had a table out where you could eat all the crackers and cheese you wanted while you wait for your table. There was a huge fireplace with a large, cozy lounge area, and dining tables making use of every available space both downstairs and up.

As Mike waited for our drinks at the bar, he spotted a group getting ready to leave their area in the lounge. We, along with a family of three, took it over and were able to order dinner right there with the fire blazing next to us. And the food was amazing!

There was about a 45 minute wait but Mike couldn't resist the slide!

Obligatory selfie

The Common Man Restaurant