hiking

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We are embracing winter this year! If you’ve been reading/following me on social media, you might know that summer is far and away my favorite time of year, and I have a really hard time dealing with dark and cold.

Last winter and recently I have read articles on the Danish concept of hygge, the idea of coziness and a positive state of mind and mental well being. Hygge is about the feelings that come from creating a cozy space and positivity, and I am trying my best to keep this concept in mind.

After a very busy work week, we had a quiet Friday night in by the fire. Friday happened to be Nollaig na mBan, or Women’s Christmas in Irish. This is celebrated as a day for women, who tend to do much of the Christmas shopping and cooking, to relax. And relax I did! My husband waited on me with our favorite Indian takeout as I sat with sparkling wine by the fire. We watched The Missing (so good!) and went to bed early.

sparkling wine by the fire  

With hours of cozy sleep under our belts, Saturday morning was full of energy, and we walked to our favorite Irish bakery, Greenhills Bakery in Adams Village for giant cups of tea and a shared chocolate croissant. Hearing Irish spoken in Boston is always a delight, and we soaked up the homey atmosphere before walking a bit more in the snow and deciding a proper brunch at Lucy’s, also in Adams Village, was necessary!

Greenhills Bakery

Look at that biscuit!

The food at Lucy’s is delicious, and with snow falling outside, there was such  cozy vibe inside. We lingered over our meals, not checking phones, just talking and watching the snow fall before venturing out for our beautiful winter wonderland walk home.

 Lucy's Dorchester

snow day

  After another quiet night in, we decided that Sunday should be for hiking at World’s End. We should have brought our snowshoes, but instead laughed and trudged through the drifts to get to high points, where we enjoyed amazing coastal views. It was SO fun.

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham

Hiking always works up an appetite, and especially when it’s snow hiking, so we headed to nearby Hingham Shipyard to try Trident Galley & Raw Bar. They had live music, an incredible brunch menu, and excellent service.

Trying to be a little healthy, we shared a beet salad and the short rib hash, which was a spot-on recommendation. It was amazing.

short rib hash

I love splitting plates like this; we were full but didn’t feel awful, and we got a taste of a couple of great dishes. The live music was a nice touch as well. Covers of old favorites, not-too-loud, and uplifting, it was a lovely addition to brunch.

 

Trident Hingham

 

Hingham Shipyard

After even MORE outdoor wandering at the Shipyard, we decided we needed a little bit more time outside, and stopped at the Milton Yacht Club on the way home to capture the setting sun and beautiful late afternoon winter light.

Milton Yacht Club 

I thawed out with a hot Epsom salt bath before pouring a glass of Navarra wine and whipping up Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup (with kale).

chicken bacon stew

It was the perfect weekend. I realize I can either hate this time of year or spend more time being grateful for all I have to get through it – food, shelter, warmth, love. I think if I can keep that focus, I can make it to spring!

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Tags: brunch, cooking, Dorchester, hiking, Hingham, Nature, New England, outdoors, recipes, snow, winter

Well that was the longest blogging break I have taken since I started back in 2009! I would love to say I was totally unplugged, but the reality is that I have been crazy busy with work and spent the past 10 days working from Ireland. In between emails I got in sightseeing and family time though, and while heartsick for my favorite place on earth, I am also feeling energized to enjoy the rest of the summer and to conquer the work and travel ahead.

While in Ireland, we spent a lot of time with local family and family visiting from Boston and Italy, and we also enjoyed some unexpected beautiful weather after their miserably rainy July. I have a few posts on activities in Ireland to come, but as  I slowly reenter everyday life and shake off that heavy heart that always goes with leaving, I thought I would share some favorite photos of the trip. Enjoy!

Galway St. Nicholas Church {Blue skies over St. Nicholas Church in Galway on Saturday Market Day}

 

Irish roses {One of the hundreds of gorgeous roses in my mother-in-law’s garden}

 

sunset on Galway Bay {Watching the sun go down on Galway Bay from Rinville}

 

running in Galway {Windy day on Galway Bay}

 

cows in Ireland {Mama and baby cows!}

 buskers in Galway  {Incredibly talented buskers on the streets of Galway}

 

nights out in galway

{Huge smiles and drinks to-go on a night that ended at 3:30 am during Galway Race Week}

 

Irish coffee

{The perfect Irish coffee at Pat Cohan’s in Cong}

Connemara pony {One of the Connemara ponies I tried to kiss}

Connemara

{Gorgeous Connemara beaches}

 

house in Ireland

{The gorgeous house near Carraroe, where the whole family spent a couple of days}

Gaeltacht Ireland

{The front lawn of the house, and it’s sea views}

currach county galway

{Currachs in Connemara}

 Ireland sunset {Sunset in Connemara}

house in Connemara

{The view from the upstairs of the house we stayed in}

Connemara

{Beautiful Connemara}

view from Errisbeag

{Views from Errisbeag}

 

Connemara horses in Ireland

{Horses on the road}

Abbeyglen {Abbeyglen Castle}

 

We spent two beautiful days at an amazing house in Bealadangan in Connemara and had time to play outside, go hiking, have a picnic, and cook big family dinners. Walks to the pier, wine glasses in hand, running around in the front yard, and enjoying the stunning views were top priority. We also went for a hike of Errisbeag, not making it to the top as we had the last time, due to high winds and our little hikers, but having lots of fun on a lovely Connemara day. Instead we went to the Abbeyglen Castle for cocktails and Cokes, not a bad trade off.

More to come on boating, zip lining, and eating in Ireland!

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Tags: Connemara, countryside, County Galway, Galway, hiking, hotel in Ireland, Ireland, Irish countryside, Travel, travel blog posts, travel photos

There are so many more than 10 things I want to do in our beautiful Commonwealth, but I thought a list of 40 might be too much! This list is mostly Eastern Massachusetts based; I have a ton of love for the Western part of the state too, perhaps that’s a list all on its own? A few weeks ago we were trying to decide what to do for the weekend when I started thinking about all there is to do here. Since we’re soon going on a very big adventure, we’re sticking close to home and on budget the rest of the time. Below is a list of 10 things I want to experience sometime in the next couple of years. Have you done any of the below? Or do you have a list of things you want to do in the place you call home? I would love to hear them in the comments!

Mt Greylock

1) Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – I have lived in Boston since 2002. Wow. Typing that makes me feel old! I have sent journalists on FAM tours to the museum, but somehow I have never gotten there. This is one I hope to accomplish this winter.

2) Climb Mount Greylock again, but this time spend the night at the top at Bascom Lodge with friends and great food and wine.

3) Run a race on Spectacle Island – We’ve taken the boat to Spectacle so many times and have even spent the night. I would love to run the island sometime.

4) Tea at Bond at the Langham and the Four Seasons and the TajI love afternoon Champagne tea, and I would love to explore some of the elegant and luxurious teas in Boston.

5) Spend a lazy week on Martha’s Vineyard – We spent the day on the Vineyard a couple of summers ago, and we have been talking about going back ever since. I would love to swim, cook seafood, and explore on bikes and on foot. How relaxing does that sound?

6) Take dance lessons at the Boston Ballet – I was obsessed with ballet growing up, and though I am old and inflexible and out of shape, I would LOVE to take classes again.

7) Visit the Boston Public Library courtyard on a regular basis – I used to do this when I worked in the area. That space is so beautiful, and I would love to spend more time there.

8) Take classes at Harvard Extension – I took a PR writing class there years ago and it was great. It really helped to launch my career

9) Visit the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States SenateI love the JFK Library, and I will actually cross this item off my list when I attend a GBCVB event at the soon-to-be-opened addition next month.

10) Go out to an oyster farm and get fresh oysters, learn about the process, etc. – I learned about East Dennis Oyster Farm when I worked for an agency that had the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism as a client, and I have wanted to go out with them since.

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Tags: Boston, Food, hiking, lifestyle, Massachusetts, outdoors, oysters, tea, things to do, Travel, vacation

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