9.29.2012

picture time.

i'm currently uploading a summer's worth of iphone photos onto my laptop. what a reminder of this glorious summer that recently came to a close. it appears there are over 1,500 images documenting a summer of sunshine, water, local food, live music, and good company.

in other news, it's a rainy saturday. lu & i had a nice misty walk with our best friends, and i walked to the farmers market for beets, tomatoes, and honeycrisp apples. the market is full of such beautiful vegetables right now. i also saw four separate young puppies. each so adorable. hard to believe it's been almost a year since we brought home our little black ladyfriend, and i was attempting to take her to markets through the fall.

9.27.2012

fall song.

today's joys:
the sparkle of lake champlain, mumford's new album, yoga class, and a beer & burger at three penny with brett and his coworkers. 

this poem was read at the end of the yoga practice tonight. enjoy.

Fall Song

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this now, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
-Mary Oliver 

9.26.2012

home again.

the flight back east yesterday went well. i worked a bit, watched a sweet documentary about a whale, napped briefly, and wrapped up the flight with a bit of modern family.

karen & i made our way into montreal (city driving is not my forte) and found our hotel, which had been recommended by a coworker. it was a great, modern spot with a tremendous view of the city. the hotel is part of a tourism school, and i was very impressed. we settled in and then walked down saint-denis in search of dinner. we settled on fondue at an artsy spot, and had a great cozy meal before heading back to the hotel.

today we worked in the montreal office before driving home. all in all, it was an excellent trip. and yet, the feeling of returning home is one of the best in the world. pulling into the driveway, i was greeted by lu running in circles and brett chopping wood in his flannel. it felt like fall in vermont, and those two were just so happy to see me. we put a bit of the garden to bed, enjoyed a feast of cornbread & chili on the porch (thanks b!), played frisbee with lu at the playground, and then enjoyed homemade cookies (b was off today, and he was a rockstar) with milk while checking out mumford & sons' new album. oh home, i do love you.

9.25.2012

more on banff.

let's see, where did we leave off? on saturday, we headed into downtown banff to explore a bit more. there was a huge race starting, so we were surrounded by spandex and shorts. we walked all the way through town towards the river. i kept wanting to stop and take a photo looking down the street, with the sweet streets leading up to a dramatic mountain. as i stopped, i glanced back over my shoulder and discovered that there was a much more dramatic mountain right behind me! we hadn't seen it the night before because by the time we were heading that direction, it had gotten dark. i was shocked. we ran into the center barrier and snapped some photos (to follow). 

we walked along the river for a bit, enjoying the scenery and watching the racers. by the time we headed back into town, we stopped into a few shops. i've been wanting a pair of lululemon crop spandex for about a year, but can't quite justify the price. lululemon was started in vancouver, so apparently the closer you get to BC the more lulu you see. i couldn't get over how many people were wearing lulu (my travel companion included). that is some expensive clothing. the store was great- the first one i've been to- and i tried on the leggings i've been wanting. they fit wonderfully but i still couldn't bring myself to shell out the $. 

we grabbed lattes and a cookie to share and enjoyed them on a bench in the sun before heading back to our hostel. we packed up the car and headed further west! the views only got more spectacular as we headed back up highway 1. soon we arrived in lake louise, which is much less town and more mountain. the "town" consisted of a small plaza containing a few shops and markets, and a few lodges. we drove straight up into the mountains to lake louise. as i had been warned, the hub was stunning but packed with tourists. the grand fairmont hotel sits royally at the end of the lake, and the view out is spectacular. one of the most beautiful views i've ever seen. the lake is an aquamarine color due to minerals, and the vast mountains and glaciers grow up out of nowhere. we took photos and walked around, and then grabbed our hiking stuff and headed up to lake agnes teahouse. it was a relatively short hike, and the trail was a wide "hiking highway" full of other visitors hiking up and down. crowded as it was, it was very pleasant. the teahouse was a small cabin next to a small lake. the food is helicoptered in at the beginning of the season- 10,000 pounds of it! and then throughout the summer, the staff hikes out trash and brings in the bit of fresh food used. they served tea, lemonade, house-made bread for sandwiches, and a few sweet treats. we were too hot to enjoy tea, so we had lemonade and shared a sandwich. we relaxed there for a bit before heading back down. 

after finding our hotel, i suggested we buy a picnic and take it up to moraine lake. moraine is a much smaller lake, with another great view. we enjoyed bread from the local bakery, two cheeses, apples, dried figs, and a bottle of red wine. it was so peaceful and quiet there, with just a few other tourists wandering around. after, we returned to the hotel to enjoy the hot tubs & steam room. what a day!

sunday, we woke to a brisk fall morning. we packed up and bundled up, and headed back up to lake louise. it was much quieter first thing in the morning. we had seen a sign for a free yoga class being offered, so we connected with that group and had a one hour yoga practice on a grassy knoll right next to the lake. we were a little late finding the group, so we ended up being in the front of the group. i normally don’t want to be in the front, but with a view like this, i could pretend there wasn’t anyone else there with me! the teacher was calming and was great at connecting our practice with the nature surrounding us. i could not imagine a better way to start a day.

after, we went into the fairmont to find some coffee and a pastry. we enjoyed those next to the lake as we watched tourists arrive and take endless photos, and then started our hike to the plain of six glaciers teahouse. this was a longer hike than the day before, and rather than being in the woods for most of it, we were out in the open expanse of the valley and the far end of the lake. it was a beautiful hike, and there were fewer people on the trail. we arrived at the teahouse committed to drinking tea, even though again we were awfully warm. once we settled in, enjoying the view and sipping tea, it was perfect. we walked back down quickly- and saw a small avalanche up on the glacier. fortunately we were very very far from its path!

we hiked back down, and started our drive back to calgary. we stopped to explore the small town of canmore- more “local” and artsy than banff. Then continued back to calgary. we enjoyed a good dinner. yesterday was a busy day of business! we were meeting with a team of employees who work across the four western provinces of canada to implement a grant team out here. it was a productive and fun day, and we wrapped up the day with a nice dinner together. everyone was so friendly, and it's so interesting to meet people who are so far away and work for the same company. 

in a bit, i’m headed to the airport to return to montreal. we have meetings in montreal tomorrow morning, and then i’m finally homeward bound! it’s been an awesome trip. my 48 hours in banff felt like a real vacation, and i loved all of the exploring and scenery. i'll share some photos soon (trust me, i took plenty). 

9.22.2012

greetings from banff.

my job, at times, involves quite a bit of travel. last spring, i was traveling almost monthly when i headed to phoenix (with a side trip to ohio), knoxville, and tuscaloosa. while i'm sometimes a bit jealous of my coworkers who get to travel to coffee growing regions freqently (hello, nicaragua, mexico, costa rica, and more!), i also really appreciate my travel because it has allowed me to see parts of the country that i might not otherwise ever see.

this weekend, i am fortunate to take that blessing to a whole new level. on monday, i have meetings in calgary. rather than just flying out on sunday for the meetings, and return on tuesday-- i opted to fly out on friday and travel to banff national park for the weekend! i'm joined by a colleague from our montreal office. we landed last night and drove up to the town of banff, where we spent the night.

i never knew that i wanted to go to the canadian rockies until this opportunity arose. and i am so happy to be here! hello, huge rocky mountains. hello, yellow aspens. hello, western town. it feels like being in colorado, but on steroids. the town of banff reminds me of some colorado ski towns (breckenridge, particularly), but bigger and really well done. we got in last night and wandered the main streets of town. tons of touristy shops, steakhouses, boutiques, chocolate shops, and more. all with perfect little log siding. we wanted to eat outside, so we found a burger spot with tables outside. i enjoyed a bison burger with goat cheese, garlic mayo, spinach, and bacon with sweet potato fries on the side. it was delicious. the tricky part of tacking on travel is keeping it to a budget. yes, i didn't have to pay for the flight (which is incredible), but everything else is my expense while i'm on my own little adventure. so we can't get too extravagant. we spent last night in a private room in a hostel, and tonight we're staying in a small "inn" in a hostel-like room.

we're headed out to explore banff a bit more-- perhaps a coffee and a walk by the river. then we're heading a bit further along the road to lake louise where we're hoping for an outdoor adventure. i've heard all about these teahouses you can hike to, so i am optimistic that we can do that this afternoon! i'll try to share more stories of our adventures.

9.20.2012

mumford.

mumford & sons' new album comes out on monday and i am pretty darn excited about it! i'm going to be off on a work trip, but i will definitely be purchasing it upon my return later in the week.

last week, they released this wonderful video from their show at red rocks last month. this is one of the songs off of their new album.  i adored my experience seeing mumford & sons live in portland, me this summer, and i have also absolutely loved the concerts i've seen at red rocks in colorado. live music brings me such joy.

enjoy this video--

9.18.2012

this week.

this week is feeling much more manageable. i started yesterday with my book & a cup of coffee (so leisurely for a monday morning!). my coworker from montreal was down all day for meetings. then i ended it by finishing the book in the front lawn, cooking up a tasty dinner (teryaki salmon, couscous and broccoli), and enjoying an ice cream sandwich.

tonight jenna & i are going to the movies (again). it is rainy and dreary, and i am excited.

9.16.2012

the weekend, in brief.


friday: dog walking with mom. a ufo white beer, gone girl, and a sleeping puppy on the porch (belatedly, so beneath the porch light rather than sunlight). corn on the cob for dinner.



saturday: a run in the park, a meeting, farmer's market, stationary bike forever at the gym (while reading gone girl...), and then up to burlington: adult milkshakes, tasty burgers, and then grand point north festival for the avett brothers & grace potter.








sunday: chores, a walk in the park while catching up with a dear friend, hiking elmore with jenna & the dogs, and a new recipe for dinner. and now: crawling into bed with gone girl.


the themes: good company, fresh air, and a whole lot of gone girl.

9.14.2012

love those lumineers.

checking back.

i thought it might be appropriate to check back in with you all. you might be concerned that at this point i'm eating cereal for every meal and frantically scrambling around.

fear not: i'm just fine.

it's definitely been a busy week (from sunday night to wednesday night i was home for a total of 4 awake hours), but it's calmed down and i've also enjoyed some really wonderful things. on tuesday night, i gathered with two generations of great friends for a potluck dinner. it was a beautiful evening of laughter and delicious food. my parents have created a community that has truly become my vermont family, and it's relatively rare that the whole clan gathers together. much of the crew was together on tuesday and it was such a treat!

wednesday i was busy at a conference, and then a follow up dinner meeting. in between, i managed to sneak out for a 20 minute run in the park with lu. the sun was shining and i had to enjoy it! it was perfect.

yesterday i traveled to the community of johnson to observe a literacy event that we funded through my work. it was a really pretty drive into the northern mountains, a morning of enthusiastic children & great books (two of my favorite things!), and then an afternoon spent working at home. i was able to squeeze in lunch with brett (an extreme rarity!)before starting my work, and then enjoyed a dog walk with jen, accomplished two loads of laundry, centered myself with a yoga class and cooked up two new recipes that i highly recommend (tomato-basil bread pudding & delicata squash). brett got to go canoeing & fishing with his best bud. and then we ate jenna's famous chocolate chip cookies with milk. so, we were all pretty darn happy. though i was still scrambling to clean up, pack up, and get to bed last night, i felt restored and back on track.

today might be the last hot & sunny day of "summer" so i just enjoyed lunch outside with some coworkers, and i'm looking forward to a good walk with lu tonight.

9.12.2012

lovely.

9.11.2012

slow down.

oh hello there. forgive a few days of silence. we enjoyed a wonderful few days on the cape- sunshine, relaxing, quality family time, good food (donuts + seafood), and lots of water time. then we drove home for what felt like a million hours.

i jumped into another busy workweek, and i'm having a little bit of a hard time catching up. the days seem to be one step ahead of me, and i can't get enough crossed off on the list. i have all day offsite commitments for the next two days for work, so friday will be another scramble of a day.

to emphasize what my week looks like:

we had eggo waffles & bacon for dinner. i ate a turkey veggie sandwich for breakfast. no, you didn't read that backwards.

i need to grocery shop, do laundry, sweep the house and be home for a little while. that's not going to happen until thursday at the earliest.

until then, bear with me!

9.07.2012

cape time.

brett, lu & i drove down to the cape last night. it was a smooth drive with little traffic, as the cape quiets down dramatically after summer "officially" ends on labor day. when i was itty bitty (pre-school age) my family would come down for this week- when there is still great summery weather, but the people have packed up and returned home.

we listened to van morrison in the car, channeling drives with dad. we stopped for ice cream at the bridge, channeling drives with mom. we arrived just in time to give gran a goodnight hug, and share a drink on the porch with robby.

today, brett & lu were up early for the sunrise and a drive to get donuts. we read with our coffee, and we walked/jogged to the lookout. now it's time for a kayak. we'll see how the dog does in a boat!

9.04.2012

monday on a tuesday.

tonight i went on a little movie date with jenna. i've been going out to the movies a lot lately, and i've really been enjoying it. it just feels like such a treat-- and it's fun to jump into another life for an hour or two. tonight we saw celeste & jesse forever. cute, bittersweet rom com.



i came home to beet-goat cheese spinach salad, grilled burgers with goat cheese, chimichurri and tomato, and corn on the cob. oh the tastes of summer!

9.03.2012

more summer fun.

sunday: a trail run with brett & two dogs, the usual household chores, finishing a book in the hammock, a glass of lemonade, and a really delicious lobster dinner on the front porch (!!!).

monday: my first day off with brett since the end of july. we went sailing with my parents, and it was another spectacular summer day. the most perfect breeze, the best of company, and a bold blue sky. ice cream sandwiches on the way home. a lovely walk with two old friends, and one of my favorite recipes for dinner. i made it for the first time last summer after hearing about it from jenna & kim. it came out even better this year. it's rich, but delicious and fresh and summery. i substituted half & half for part of the cream, spinach in place of arugula, and added shrimp and basil. go make it immediately.

enjoy.

9.01.2012

the start of september.

sept 1:
writing a verse to a sleeping puppy. singing it on repeat. coffee, and a new pancake recipe (coming soon). a run in the park: damp, pine-scented, and sparkling blue sky with sunbeams streaking through the mist. a stop for bread & brie. a drive with mom. hiking mount philo with the parents. what a great, quick hike for a most ideal vermont view. a most splendid sail: strong winds, sunshine, good company, a picnic. book on tape time driving home. a field trip to the mad river valley with brett & the pup: one new truck cap, an incredible tree house, a quick burger date night. and the first mojito of the summer. a drive home in the truck with the big bold moon, npr, and a sleeping puppy in my lap. full circle.

whoever thinks summer ends with august has no idea. we've got a few more perfect summer days ahead, my friends.