Tag Archives: vacation

Cape Cod Fun

Happy Friday! We just got back from Cape Cod late Wednesday night and had the best time ever! The weather was mostly fabulous and there was lots of biking, beaching, and eating. Three things that I love. 

IMG_2553The first full day we were there the weather was a little cooler and cloudy so it was a great day to take the bikes to the cape cod rail trail. We began in Wellfleet and rode the whole trail up to dennis. There was also a sandwich stop about half way. The whole ride was 44 miles and awesome!

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On Monday we took a kayak from Truro out to a lighthouse off of Provincetown. I forget the name. It was about a half hour kayak to get out there and half hour back. Spent some time lounging and swimming and exploring on the beach before heading back! That afternoon we did some shopping and eating in Provincetown.

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photo 2 copy 12Tuesday was the great beach tour of Cape Cod. Biked around to many beaches taking a look, got an ice cream from the ice cream truck at one of them, and had lunch in Wellfleet at Mac’s Seafood before heading back to Truro. Another long ride! In the afternoon we took a swim in the icy waters at Race Point Beach.

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Wednesday was our last day and it was spent at my FAVORITE beach ever: Cahoon Hollow. Now, it is a hike to get down there but once you do, it’s well worth it. Beautiful sand, big waves for boogie boarding. I wished we didn’t have to leave because I would have stayed there all day. There is also a nice restaurant to eat or have drinks at called the Beachcomber. I’m already looking forward to going back next year! <3

 

Key West Seaplane Adventures-Dry Tortugas National Park

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Okay, I know I promised this post about a week ago. The wait is over! Here is an overview of our favorite activity that we did in Florida: Taking a sea plane to the Dry Tortugas National Park.

We knew that we wanted to visit the Dry Tortugas National Park when we were visiting the Keys but couldn’t decide if we wanted to take the boat or the seaplane to get out there. We ended up deciding on Key West Seaplane Adventures simply because the total time of the trip was much less. With the boat you will spend much of your day on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Meh. Taking the seaplane is about a 4 hour trip which left us plenty of time for exploring Key West that day. 

The trip starts at the Key West Airport. The seaplane also has wheels so it takes off and lands at the airport in Key West. On the island since there’s no airport the plane lands in the water. I think if you blindfolded me I never would have known we landed in the water! The flight to the island is about 35 minutes and the pilot does a fabulous job explaining what you are seeing when you fly over it. There is also a soundtrack to go along with the flight so you get to listen to music. Since the plane flies at a low altitude (about 500 ft) you are able to see a lot. We saw lots of turtles, shipwrecks, and even a boat full of cuban refugees. photo 1 copy 14

One we got to the island we spent some time exploring Fort Jefferson and then we went snorkeling. I loved walking around the fort- especially along the edge of the moat! I heard there is a crocodile that is sometimes there but we did not see him. The snorkeling was nice too and we saw lots of colorful fish and corals. 

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photo 2On the trip back I got to sit in the copilot’s seat! SO COOL! This is definitely the best seat in the plane. If you’re first in line or no one else wants it, you will be the lucky one to sit shotgun. This was a fabulous trip and even though the tickets cost us more than the tickets from Portland down to Fort Lauderdale I was really happy that we took the trip and it was well worth the money! 🙂 17915_10101563710812901_8224500114760575690_n

Taking a trip to Fort Jefferson? Here’s what you need to know!

– I’m really happy that we took the sea plane over the boat. It is a little more expensive but I think it was totally worth it. It’s a great experience and I’m glad we didn’t spend all day on a boat.

-Take the 8 am or the 2 pm trip on the seaplane. This way you will not have all the boat passengers on the island at that time! It felt like a private island. We went at 2 pm.

– When you check in at the airport they will give you a cooler with water or sodas that you can take with you! So don’t worry about bringing your own.

-There are places to change either at the check in at Key West Airport or at the Dry Tortugas.

– If i was going to do one thing differently I would have snorkeled first and explored the fort afterwards. I think this would have been a better use of time as we walked around the fort, then snorkeled, and then had an awkward amount of time left where we didn’t have time to snorkel at another beach so we just walked around again. 

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Florida Keys Vacation

Angus and I spent the last week on vacation in the Florida Keys! It was fantastic and we did a lot but I thought I would share my favorite things that we did here on the blog. The only thing that was missing was manatees! I wanted to see one so badly and we didn’t all week. 

Everglades National Park

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Want to see a bunch of alligators? Okay. Go here. It’s actually a lot cooler than it sounds. We walked on a trail very close to the park entrance  and saw loads of alligators and birds. It was a great little detour and lots of people think of the everglades as being a swamp with a few gators. It was way better than that and I would love to have had more time to explore the areas further into the park. 

Theater of the Sea, Islamorada

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This is a cool place where you can go to watch dolphin, parrot, and sea lion shows as well as swim with the dolphins. The shows are excellent and a great way to spend a morning. I even got to kiss “Sherman” the dolphin!

Kayaking at Pennekamp State Park, Key Largo

Sadly I don’t have any pictures of this, but it was really fun. We rented kayaks and they have lots of trails that go through mangroves. We saw sharks, stingrays, and lots of fish!

Key West Seaplane Adventures, Key West/Dry Tortugas

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This is going to be in a separate post, because it was really just that cool and I have about 10 billion pictures I want to share. Look tomorrow for the post 🙂

Butterfly Conservatory, Key West

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I actually almost didn’t want to go here. Angus convinced me when he told me there were flamingos. Basically it’s a really hot room FILLED with butterflies and two flamingos. It’s pretty magical and definitely worth the 24 bucks we spent to walk around for 15 minutes.

Bahia Honda State Park

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This is a great place to go for a swim. They have a few beaches at the park and I guess that they are the only natural beaches in the Florida Keys. We took a walk out to a sandbar and even saw a few little sharks!

Sparky’s Landing, Key Colony Beach

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Key lime pie. Go get it. The food is great here and it’s a fun place to sit outside by the ocean. I also hear they have 25 cent wings and shrimps for happy hour but we never took advantage of that.

Keys Fisheries, Marathon 

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This is my other favorite restaurant. You order at a window and then get your food and sit at picnic tables on the water. Or you can take your food upstairs to the “Shell Shack” and have a great view to watch the sunset. Awesome 🙂 I had a “conchwurst” which is like a sausage but with conch. Yum.

 

 

 

Vermont Ski Weekend

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I was really excited when I got an e-mail yesterday from my boss saying that we could wear green to work today instead of the usual black. I thought this would be really fun until I realized that I don’t have a single piece of green activewear. So I’ll be wearing black, just like every day. 

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This weekend was spent up in Vermont visiting some family friends for a ski weekend. Friday night we enjoyed homemade pizzas in Bob’s brick oven. THE BEST! On Saturday the rain held off enough to get a great day of skiing in. The conditions were pretty good but man the slopes were crowded. At one point the trails were like a tsunami of skiers. We skied at Stowe and I couldn’t believe that ticket prices were 108.00! We didn’t pay that price but I’m sure lots of people on the slopes did. Unbelievable! After skiing on Saturday we visited a friend of Angus and went to see his new house that he built before coming back and relaxing by the fire with some wine. We also enjoyed this treat from Laughing Moon Chocolates in Stowe. A GIANT CARAMEL APPLE! I was in heaven.

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On Sunday we went back to the mountain for another day of skiing. It snowed a few inches overnight so the conditions were awesome! Visibility was another story though. You couldn’t see ANYTHING at the top of the mountain! And it was windy. Very windy. We skied a half day before getting ready to head back to Maine. On our way out of town we stopped at the Laughing Moon Chocolate store that was recommended to us and got a few treats. Definitely stop there if you’re ever in the area! It is fabulous. Then we stopped at the Ben and Jerry’s factory. Just because. 🙂 We took a little detour through Portsmouth on the way home and had dinner at the Portsmouth Brewery to break up the drive. Luckily we arrived home just in time to squeeze the last episode of House of Cards season 3 before bed. Why is the best episode always the last in the season?!? I can’t wait for more 🙂 

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Maine Huts and Trails Ski Trip

This past weekend Angus and I did an overnight stay at the Maine Huts and Trails. This is a really cool organization that is pretty new. They have all of these different huts that are connected by cross country ski trails. You ski into the hut and then they cook you dinner, breakfast, and give you stuff to make a lunch the next day. There are different types of sleeping accommodations but most are shared bunk rooms (sort of like a hostel). We were very lucky and only had to share our room with one other couple who were about our age as well! The staff was very nice and the food was delicious and creative.

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The first day we got a little lost and ended up skiing 8 extra miles (up a GIANT hill/mountain) and then had to turn around to get back on the trail that actually goes up to the hut. So, that wasn’t that awesome… and even less awesome when you’re skiing with a giant backpack… but once we got to the hut it was really nice and warm and a good place to be. We stayed at the Poplar Stream hut and it’s about three miles to get into it (if you don’t go the wrong way). It was pretty hilly to get up there but nothing compared to the wrong turn we took so it wasn’t terrible.

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The next day we went for a little ski before we headed back home. We just went a few miles further up the trail and then turned around. There were some cool waterfalls to see (a short hike from the trail) and the trails were freshly groomed that morning so conditions were perfect! Overall it was a fun trip that I’d like to try to do again! It would be really cool to do a couple of days and stay at a couple of different places.

 

Christmas 2014

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! I’m back to work today after some time off last week. I had a fantastic holiday with lots of good food, fun trips, and even a few workouts.

The weather certainly did not feel very Christmasy but I have to admit it was pretty cool being able to go for a run on Christmas morning in a Tshirt! We had my parents and their adorable boston terrier over for a  breakfast of eggs and homemade cinnamon rolls before we headed out on a run. In the afternoon we headed downtown to my parent’s condo in the sky for christmas dinner. The weather was so beautiful and the sunset at the end was amazing!

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On Friday we headed down to Boston for a birthday trip. We walked A LOT, like 13 miles in two days. While we were there we did some shopping, had dinner in the North End, drinks at Top of the Hub, and went to the Aquarium. The city was still decorated for Christmas and it was so much fun walking around and looking at the lights!

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We came back up to Portland Saturday evening for a birthday dinner with my parent’s at the Corner Room and then had drinks with one of my good friend’s from high school and her boyfriend. It was a great day!

Sunday was spent working out at the YMCA and picking up our mess of a house. Now it is back to work!

 

San Francisco/ Lake Tahoe Recap

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a week since we’ve been home from vacation. It’s been a slow week since a lot of my clients have gone back south for the winter but I know extra winter classes will be ramping up very very soon! (Not that I really want to think about winter right now…) Anyway, here’s a fun recap of my favorite things that we did while in California. One of my fabulous clients gave me a list of recommendations and we used Yelp a lot as well.

San Francisco

  • Golden Gate Bridge Bike Trip
  • Ferry Building Market- This place is fantastic. On Saturdays there is a wonderful farmers market but you can enjoy the shops and food every day of the week. Most things open at 9 a.m. with the exception of a few coffee shops (Blue Bottle Coffee!) When we went the weather was beautiful and it was fun to grab a coffee and some breakfast and sit outside and look at the bay.photo 2 photo 5
  • Twin Peaks- This is a fabulous place to drive and watch the sunset if it is not in the fog. If it is foggy you will not see anything but it wasn’t when we went so we got a beautiful view of the sunset. You can drive your car up (there also might be a bus stop nearby) and then hike about 50 feet to the top of the “mountain” and have a great view of the whole city. We brought a picnic but it turns out it’s not really a picnic place and we ate in the car. Go here but skip the picnic.
  • Off the Grid Food Trucks Picnic in the Presidio- Best food truck event ever. It’s the only one I’ve ever been to but I think it would be really hard to beat. In the park next to the Walt Disney museum, food trucks and local restaurants set up from 11-4. Bring a blanket, try some food and have fun! We got there around 2:30 and they started to run out of a few things but there was still plenty of food. Get their earlier if you don’t want to be denied a grilled cheese sandwich. They also have beer, wine and other beverages (like frozen mimosas) for sale. Don’t be scared of the lines they moved really quickly.
  • Muir Woods- This is a redwood forest right outside the city (about 30 minutes) that we visited on our way up to Tahoe. We almost didn’t stop and man that would have been a mistake. It’s 7$/ person to enter. There are nice paths to walk around and if you really wanted to make a day of it there are some longer, more serious hikes that you can do. We got there early around 10:00 a.m. and there was plenty of parking but by the time we left things were getting crazy. Go early and have a nice look at these GIANT trees!

Lake Tahoe

  • Road Bike Around the Lake- This is a 73 mile ride with over 3000 feet of climbing. Oh, and you start at 6000 feet elevation. Yep, I was tired after this one! There’s not a ton of road biking around Lake Tahoe so this is sort of the ride to do. We rented bikes from the Village Ski Loft in Incline, NV and were able to get some nice road bikes similar to what we ride at home. Great views! Apparently the local thing to do is to ride around the lake at night but I don’t get it…

  • Sand Harbor Beach- I think this place can get sort of crowded during the summer and on weekends but it was dead when we went there since it was the week after labor day. Crystal clear water and a very cold lake! There’s also a cool boardwalk you can walk along the shore on.

  • Campfire on Whale Beach- I forget if this place is called whale beach or nudist beach or maybe it’s not called either of those. Who knows. But we had some local knowledge (my brother in law and his girlfriend) and we were able to have a campfire on this cool beach. I don’t think you’re actually supposed to but it was fun anyway and no one seemed to mind because to get to the beach you have to hike 15 minutes down this giant steep path that’s really hard to find. We grilled some sausages, made s’mores and watched a beautiful sunset!

Golden Gate Bridge Bike Trip

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We just got back from our San Francisco/ Lake Tahoe trip and this activity was probably the highlight of my time in San Francisco. I’ll have a general overview of places to see and things to do tomorrow or Tuesday but first: Golden Gate Bridge biking!

Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge is probably on everyone’s checklist of things to do in San Francisco and it was definitely on ours as well. Even though we did the trip on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend it really never felt too crowded. There are bike rental places all over the city but we started our trip at the Ferry Building because on Saturdays there is a great farmers market there and we decided to check it out first and grab some snacks for the trip:pluots (a hybrid between a plum and apricot) and cinnamon roll biscuits.

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The ride starts flat along the coast and it is nice and flat. You bike past all the touristy areas like fishermans warf and the sea lions and then there are some nice parks and then great views of the bridge! Even though every tourist in the city is renting a bike to do this, don’t expect a super easy ride. There are some steep hills! Once on the bridge you ride two miles and then in another few miles you will reach the beautiful sea side town of Sausalito. It’s a great place to have lunch or do a little shopping. The best part? You don’t have to ride your bike back! There are ferries that take you and your bike back to San Francisco! It’s a nice way to get a boat ride in and see the city from the water.

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Sausalito is great but we decided to keep riding to the next town: Tiburon. This part of the ride wasn’t as great and we had to ride along some very busy roads. If I had known what it would be like I probably would have just stopped in Sausalito and waited for the ferry there. Tiburon is a smaller town but we still managed to find an ice cream place and ate ice cream while we waited for the ferry. When I saw how many people were trying to catch the ferry I was worried we might not make it on and have to ride the 20+ miles back on bikes. Boy was I wrong. These boats fit HUNDREDS of people and their bikes and they just stack up the bikes and pack them in. It wasn’t as chaotic getting the bikes back as I thought it might be.

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Tiburon

We had fantastic sunny weather for our bike trip but I know that’s not what the weather is always like in San Francisco. Check the weather before you go because the trip might not be as fun in the fog and cold…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ski Weekend

What a week it has been! Last weekend we traveled to Twin Mountain, New Hampshire for a weekend of skiing. Good food, good friends, good skiing. On Friday Angus and I took advantage of Wildcat’s 2 for 1 ticket prices and went for a Valentines Day ski in some fresh powder. And wind. Probably the windiest day I have ever seen on the slopes. After skiing we went out for a romantic pizza dinner at Flatbreads in North Conway complete with tons of screaming (excited for vacation) children running around.

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Saturday all of our friends arrived at the house and we went to the Mount Washington Hotel for chocolate skiing. Chocolate skiing is something I’ve done just about every year since high school and it was always amazing! Long ski + stops to enjoy homemade chocolates is probably the best situation I can think of. This year the chocolate ski was organized by someone else and it was LAME. There were hardly any chocolate stops and everything ran out. AND it was more expensive than year’s past. We complained and got our $ back and some free trail passes to come back another time. Squeaky wheel gets the grease!

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On Sunday we hit the slopes again but this time at Cannon. It was warmer, not as windy, and a perfect ski day! When we got back to the house we enjoyed some drinks and a delicious feast of soup and grilled cheese.

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By Monday my legs were pretty toast but we had those free tickets to go back to the nordic trails at the Mount Washington Hotel. Angus and I went for a fast and chilly skate ski and hit the road to go back home to Portland. After a fabulous four days of skiing I’m now teaching bunches of spin classes this week and MAN do my legs want a break! I would also like a break from commuting in the snow. Snow is great on the trails but not on I95.

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