Friday, June 26, 2015

Sailing off into the Sunset


Last weekend was jam packed with activities for me. I had something going on every day. A sunset lighthouse cruise was the perfect way to kick off my weekend.

My sister and 3 friends joined me for the evening. We were blessed with perfect cruising weather.  Not too hot and not too cold and not too windy. I wisely dressed in layers. Last year I was very cold at the end of the evening.

We were to see 3 lighthouses on this cruise. The first one was White Island Lighthouse.

This lighthouse is located on White Island, the southernmost of the Isles of Shoals. The public is not allowed to visit the lighthouse so you can only see it via boat.

I made a friend on the boat. She was on vacation in New England and very excited to be on the cruise.

Oh I love those ripples in the water from the boat's wake and the sound is music to my ears. Notice the sky, it is starting to turn to my favorite colors. Lavenders and pinks against a luscious blue. Heaven!

 We approached my favorite lighthouse when the sky was showing it's pastel perfection. The color is fleeting so you have to focus and take it all in quickly.
This is Whaleback Lighthouse. It is made of granite.

The last lighthouse was Portsmouth Harbor Light. This one was cool because the beacon was green. At this point the lavender and pink colors morphed ever so gently into orange hues.

I was playing with the settings on the camera as the boat turned. Our guide was a photographer so he had the captain change the boat's position and we were able to get shots from different angles of the lighthouse.

It was getting much darker now but luckily that green light shone brightly.

I was fascinated with the clouds. You know you need clouds for a perfect sunset.

The moon was beautiful and there was a convergence between Jupiter, Venus and the Moon. I was not able to get a good shot but believe me, it was spectacular! I heard that the peak evening to see the convergence is June 30th so mark your calendar. I will be in Rockport that evening so fingers crossed it is a clear night!

Everyone had a great time. We picnicked on the boat, had wine and then coffee and made plans for our next adventure!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Bucket List 2015

Every Summer I make a Bucket List of fun things I want to do. Since today is my birthday and Summer is just days away I should probably reveal my list.

I never complete the entire list but that's ok. Some years the list has been ambitious.  This year I am going to cheat a bit. There will be items on the list that I have already scheduled and there are some repeats of previous years. Call them Summer traditions. So without further ado, my Summer Bucket List for 2015.

1.  Trip to Kennebunkport, ME- my birthday plans for a daytrip to Kennebunkport were cxld due to rain.
2.  Attend the Lantern Festival in Jamaica Plain, MA.
3.  Sunset lighthouse cruise from Rye, NH.
4.  Antiquing in Exeter, NH and having a German Iced Coffee.
5.  Attend Waterfire in Providence, RI- what Summer is complete without a trip to Waterfire?
6.  See a fireworks display- Wakefield, Boston? Not sure where yet.
7.  Attend the Vintage Bazaar in Salisbury, MA.
8.  Take the boat from Boston to Provincetown- check out the dune tour.
9.  Attend Rockport Coastal Garden Tour.
10. Daytrip to Wickford, RI- had hoped to visit this Spring, will try again this Summer.

There you have it. My 2015 Summer Bucket List. Anything sound good to you? What are your Summer plans?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The mystery daytrip

So did you figure out where I went? It was someplace I have not blogged about at Café Chatelaine.  Was it Paris? Honestly, I would have had to take the Concorde for that.

Or maybe it was London. Maybe I spent time cruising down the Thames.

Or at a cute little pub with flowers outside on the lightpost?
No, it's not likely. Boston, Massachusetts is a little too far from England for a daytrip.

I went to Newport, Rhode Island! Honestly I have not been to Newport since 1984. Newport is less than 90 minutes from Boston so it is an easy daytrip. Count Robot, your guess was correct! You won a prize.

My sister was doing a live event painting at a wedding in Newport so she was going down there for the weekend. I decided to join her for the day.

We had afternoon tea at the Viking Hotel. The Hotel was very elegant and had a nice location.

 We looked in all the shops downtown and on the waterfront.

And took a coffee break later in the day when we met up with my sister's friend Barbara.

I have never seen a balcony in a Starbuck's!

At one of the shops, we met the resident kitty. His name was Bum.

We decided to eat at The Mooring which was right on the waterfront. We sat on a covered deck and Barbara needed her sunglasses.

We split a bag of doughnuts. That's what it was called. The doughnuts were made of shrimp, cod and lobster. Delicious!

After dinner, we saw a beautiful sunset down by the dock.

It was so peaceful at the waterfront. I love the sound of boats bobbing up and down.

We passed by an arcade and I challenged the ladies to a round of skeeball. I love to play skeeball. It takes me back to vacations at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.  Anyway, my sister won. See her great form?

We cashed in our tickets and I got two rhinestones and three plastic frogs. My sister got a bracelet since she had more tickets.

The day was not long enough. I had to go home and feed my kitties.  I am just going to have to return and do a bit more exploring.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Ah, the weekend!

Time to catch up on much needed sleep, connect with friends. explore some new places and spend time with my favorite veteran, my Dad.

I will post soon about a daytrip to a place I have never blogged about. It's been years since I've visited this seaport in New England and I am looking forward to it!

Can anyone guess where I will visit on my daytrip?  There may be a prize involved.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Shoot and Style- an Edible Flower event

I saw a post on the Boston Bloggers Facebook page for an Edible Flower event. A shoot and style workshop from 9-12 on Saturday morning. Right away I knew I wanted to go. This was right up my alley. But then I talked myself out of it.

The location was the South End of Boston, a very trendy neighborhood. In my mind, I imagined there would be all those young, beautiful, fashion and beauty bloggers in attendance. I wouldn't fit in, I would be old enough to be their mother, I am not a successful blogger. What a pity party, right?

Well, I sucked it up and went to the event and I am so glad I did. I had such a great time.

We enjoyed rose scones and lavender lemonade mimosas and had a little meet and greet.

We learned how to set a beautiful tablescape using flowers and props. A professional photographer gave us tips on photography and styling  Each attendee was given time to photograph the tablescape.

The event was held at a gift shop called Olives and Grace. The storefront is simply gorgeous.
Well, I was right.  Those who attended the workshop were young and beautiful and there were beauty bloggers there. Despite our age difference, I was conversing with many of them. After all, we had a common interest in blogging, photography, styling and flowers.

Betty Liu, a wedding photographer and blogger at Le Jus d'Orange, told us to use a foot stool and to shoot over the table for our best shots.

Meg Dubina, blogger at Bread + Barrow, gave us tips on styling the table. She was also Betty's hand model as she held the tray of scones.

I think Meg has a future as a hand model don't you? She got quite the workout holding perfectly still for several minutes.

Sofi, owner of Olives and Grace, tried her hand at modeling too. She was wearing lavender nail polish so of course she made the perfect model for the shoot. I just love the joy on her face.

Luckily, the weather cooperated. It was the most perfect day for an outside event.

We were told it is a good idea to use cutting boards if you don't have a rustic table.

Later, we photographed ice cream made with edible flowers. How did they get that ice cream to melt so perfectly?

Oh my, strawberry hibiscus and cardamom rose ice cream. We also had white chocolate lavender ice cream.

Thank you Chloe from Scoopsies. I tasted two of the three flavors and they were phenomenal.

I read on Meg's blog that there will be more collaborations with Betty. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Guest Blogging- Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism was recently looking for guest bloggers for their blog on the Mass Vacation website. I thought it might be fun to share my knowledge of cool things to do so I submitted my name and blog.

A rep from their PR agency emailed back and forth with me. I thought it would be fun to blog about some of the historic events in the area. He preferred a post that was not time sensitive so the Old North Church Lantern Lighting was not an option.

We decided I should write a post about Rockport. This was a great choice for me as I adore the town and I go there several times a year. Yes, I will show all the would be tourists the best of Rockport. I will take them with me to the strudel shop with the fantastic oceanside deck in the back of the building.

I will show them all the cool boutiques on Bearskin Neck and Main Street.  On the day I was in Rockport Eight Bells had recycled plastic chandeliers in their window. I visited many shops on my visit.

Anyway, here's the link to the Mass Vacation blog. My post went live on April 28th. Please click over to the blog and read some other posts too. Perhaps you will want to plan a trip here too.

As for me, I am already planning a daytrip for my next assignment, I will be guest blogging about a day in historic Concord.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Old North Church Boston- The Lantern Lighting Ceremony

Well hello. It's me the absentee blogger. I am so sorry for the lack of blog posts lately. The good news is I have been keeping busy with some really fun events and I will take you along with me through my posts. So there is lots to talk about in the next few weeks.

Tonight I am posting about an event I attended last weekend, the Old North Church Lantern Lighting Ceremony. If you have walked the Freedom Trail in Boston you inevitably passed by the Old North Church.

Prior to the ceremony, we spied reenacters who would later ride by the church. Surely you recognize Paul Revere and William Dawes. They saw the two lanterns in the belfry of the Old North Church and rode through Middlesex towns shouting the warning, "The British are coming!"

Single pew seats were quite expensive so my sister, our friend Debbi and I opted for the balcony seats. We had a nice overall view.

Also, we had a wonderful view of the 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps. The beating of the drum was music to my ears and went right through my body, building the excitement of what was to come.

 Minutemen from various towns processed in the church.

The church is stunning and it is overwhelming to me to think of the history associated with it. The bells were rung before the ceremony. Just beautiful!

Such a spectacular organ, and we were sitting very close to it. I really enjoyed my vantage point.

The Old North Chamber Choir sang a number of songs including America and America the Beautiful. It was so poignant.

Our new Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, was the keynote speaker. The poem Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was read. I had to memorize it for school perhaps you did too.
The two lanterns were lit and hung in the steeple.

When we exited the church, a crowd had formed on Salem Street and surrounding streets in the North End.

We saw the two lanterns hanging in the steeple and then Paul Revere rode by on his horse. I guess he saw the lanterns too.

The North End of Boston has no less than 6o restaurants lining it's streets. We walked around the area on our way back to the subway at North Station. We found a nice little café and had a caffeination break. This is my sister's hot chocolate.

I could not pass up the chocolate mousse cake. The North End cafes are known for wonderful coffees and desserts. Parking is difficult as many of the streets are narrow and one way. It is so much nicer if you take the subway in as we did.
We decided to take a particular route back to the subway so we could see the Zakim bridge illuminated. I wanted to snap a photo. It is illuminated with many colors of light so it changes from blue to red to purple to yellow.
And the skyline was as fantastic as always as we approached our North Station subway stop.


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