Summer Cram

Today is August 26.  I think I’ve been in shock since August 1 rolled around and I just haven’t kicked it yet.  How in the world is it the last month of summer and, for that matter, how is it the END of the last month of summer.  I’ve never been one to wax nostalgic (which is disappointing because I’d love to be able to use that phrase more) but time has been one tricky bastard this year.  It continues quietly on it’s way, unassuming, undetected, and then WHAM, it slaps you in the face with Labor Day weekend.

Not all hope is lost here though, friends, chins up.  We spent last Saturday doing all the summer stuff we could think of in Maine with our friends Fred and Becca.  Becca missed out on almost all of the usual summer activities while she was working up at Lakes and, naturally, we were happy to play catch up with her!  Lucky for us, Collin is from Kennebunk A.K.A. vacation central USA.  For all the jokes and frustrations that come from living in a tourist town, Kennebunk is a gorgeous space to call home.  Mash every iconic picture you have in your brain relating to summer in New England and the mental collage you create will pale in the comparison to the excellence that is Kennebunk.  I kid you not.

ME perfection

ME perfection

We used Collin’s parents’ magical vacation-land house as a jumping off point.  We put the 4 of us with a badass picnic in a canoe and boated down the river to Parson’s beach as the tide was going out.  We ate, napped, surfed, and played in the sunshine all afternoon before the boys battled back up river at low tide.

4 hooligans in a canoe

4 hooligans in a canoe

Collin and the driftwood

Collin and the driftwood

Our picnic consisted of watermelon gazpacho (which we do not recommend and therefore will not be sharing the recipe), gin and tonics in a water bottle (highly recommended), a lot of pita bread, and one little bottle of water for the 4 of us to share.  This was the only flaw in our brilliant summer adventure plan. Always bring more water.  Always.

We ended the day back at the house with a fire pit and a delicious home cooked italian (and vegan!) meal courtesy of Mama Mia herself (Thanks!) with Collin’s parents.   It was a fantastic and delicious way to spend a sunny Saturday.  I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer yet and, after this toasty week, maybe summer’s not quite ready to say goodbye to us yet either.

Stay just a little bit longer, summer.

Stay just a little bit longer, summer.

 

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NH 48

Where we live in NH is just 2 hours from the White Mountains. Like a fool, I barely took advantage of this during my 4 years at UNH. Luckily it didn’t take me too long to realize the error of my ways and we’ve spent most weekends of this summer hiking in the mountains.  Collin decided in May to go for the NH 48 – hiking the 48 4000′ peaks – in 2014.  And so, we’ve been hiking.  A lot.

So far we’ve done 12 peaks together and he’s done another 12 with other friends.  Going for the 48 has been an outstanding challenge and an awesome way for us to explore new trails every time we go to the mountains.  It’s been the perfect way to choose our trips so we’re not overwhelmed with the options.  Especially since we are not the most decisive people on the planet.

I can say, without a doubt, that the day we did the Kinsmans and Cannon has been my favorite so far.  It was a 13 mile day and we pushed to do it in 7 hours which made me feel like a rockstar.  To finish a day like that and still have energy and a positive attitude at the bottom is so rewarding.  My  family was all about hiking when I was a kid- we only went on 2 non-mountain vacation in my entire childhood, I swear!- and I mostly remember just suffering to the top every single time.  When it feels good to work to get to the top and you just want to go harder- that’s when it clicks and you realize why people do this.

Being gross on the top of Cannon

Being gross on the top of Cannon

2 weeks ago, after hiking Willey, Tom, and Field, we were very fortunate to get to spend a night at the Lakes of the Clouds hut below the summit of Mt. Washington.  A good friend of ours spent the summer working up there for the AMC and we were so lucky to enjoy an experience that most people  have to pay more than $100 a night for.  We hiked up the Ammonoosuc trail with them and stopped to play in a waterfall/mountain pool along the way.  I did not jump in after being informed that the water was “f***ing cold”.

Playing in the mountain pool

Playing in the mountain pool

We spent a magical night up at Lakes.  The weather up there is usually startlingly bad- cloudy, windy, rainy, cold.  The night we were up there was definitely windy and brisk but it was so clear we walked out to the lake Saturday night without headlamps under the full moon.  Does it give you chills?  It should.  If you ever have the opportunity to spend the night up there, do it.  I promise you won’t regret it.

On Sunday we hiked around the alpine zone with our friends for a couple hours before heading back down via the Jewell trail.  The alpine garden trails were rad and the flowers!  Look!

Me and green stuff!

Me! Flora!

On Labor Day, Collin and our same two friends are doing the Presidential Traverse which is 10 peaks over about 23 miles.  It’s a marathon of hiking, essentially, and I’m so excited for Collin to crush it!  Send good vibes his way on 9/1, he’ll be working hard.

We’ll have just under 15 to go after Labor day and I can’t wait for some gorgeous fall trips!  NH is a magical place, we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Starting Again

I spent all of yesterday and most of today trying to decide if I should start over 100% with blogging.  I thought about creating a new name and a brand new site.  I came up with a few ideas, but every time I wrote something down, I came back to this quote; one of my favorites.  “Turn your face towards the sun, let the shadows fall behind you”*.  It was an important mantra when I started this blog 3 years ago as a nervous and naive student in Rome and it’s just as important now, a year and a half out of college, living with someone our second apartment, and working my first full-time job.  I realized that there was no better title and no reason to start 100% over.  Thus I am resurrecting my one time travel blog…ish.  I am starting again.

I’ve been toying with this idea of blogging for awhile.  Mostly, I just don’t see who would want to read about my day-to-day and if no one’s reading, I had a hard time seeing the point in writing.  But, I’ve also been lacking an outlet and needing a hobby and came to realize (with some help and encouragement) that it doesn’t necessarily matter who reads and enjoys this if I enjoy creating it.  So, for now, this is for me.  And you, if you like it.

Since last we met, I graduated from UNH in December 2012, spent 6 weeks driving around the country with my roommate, and now live back in the seacoast area of New Hampshire with my boyfriend, Collin.  We’ve been dating and living together (read: doing ridiculous things) for about 1.5 years.  I’ve been working as a legal assistant for a little over 1 year and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

Here, I plan to recount our weekend adventures, home DIYs, experiments with our recent foray into Vegan-ism, and general hopes/dreams/ideas in the random order that these things tend to come to the surface.

So!  Here’s to a beginning of something.  Here’s to experimenting with something new and picking up something old.  Here’s to you and here’s to me.  Here’s to starting again, for the hell of it.

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*Maori proverb