Friday, February 24, 2017

Weekend Wanderings: Ice Castles in Lincoln, NH

Two weekends ago, on February 12th, we went to Ice Castles! It's a tourist trap in New Hampshire! We drove there in a literal blizzard and spun out on the way home! This is all true, and honestly, it would have been underwhelming even on a beautiful day (and, I bet, crowded as hell—one godsend of going in the middle of a blizzard is that it was relatively empty, although there were still at least 15 people as crazy as we were). But during a blizzard? It was borderline insane.

And yet, having said that, I am still kind of glad we went. A lot of the time in my life, I have found myself thinking, I have enough stories. I would just like this trip to go well. But this time, I was all, it's cool. I guess that probably means I'm coming to terms with the craziness that is sometimes our wacky ideas. Roger is often suggesting fun things to do and I am often shutting them down because I am cheap or tired, which is not cool. This was a reminder that even the worst things we have done together usually turn out pretty great because we have done them together.

And, before this we had a killer good breakfast with the Montpelier/Barre HWS contingent at Down Home, and after this, Roger's bus home was cancelled and he got to stay in Vermont for an extra three days, so all in all: not the worst weekend. Plus, the ice slide was awesome and we got to go on it three times because no one else was around! If you're thinking of going, there are worse things you could waste $30 and some time on. If you have kids, probably they will really enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Weekend Wanderings - Nora Visits and We Host an Ice Skating Party!

Our friend Nora visited this weekend and brought such joy with her, even if we're all feeling horrified at the new administration.

On Saturday, we made our way down to Brattleboro to meet some of my trail running camp friends at Hermit Thrush. On the way down there, we stopped in Rockingham to see the Meeting House, which was beautiful from the outside but unfortunately was closed, so we couldn't explore inside.

Poor Nora didn't have snow boots or any stabilizers on, so she ended up crawling up the hill to get to the meeting house, and then slid down (which seemed a lot more fun than getting up it!) when it was time to get back to the car.

Afterward, we spent some time in the Vermont Country Store, tasting samples and perusing adorable if not strictly necessary items. (Who wants a Lanz nightgown? This gal!) We made our way down to Brattleboro and met up with some lovely couples. While I tasted a few beers, Roger and Nora wandered around town, stopping in at antique shops and at the Coop.

On the way back home, we stopped by the Lyme Inn for happy hour. We were hoping to see some of their rooms to decide if we want to book them, but unfortunately they were all booked for the evening, so we didn't have the chance. Then, it was a baking festival, getting desserts ready for our little ice skating party the next day.

The next morning, we took a hike up behind the house. It really doesn't get old!

Then, it was skating time! About 15 of our friends from around the Upper Valley and Montpelier came and made the trek. It was great to see everyone, and I just wish the ice had been a little smoother. (Though, to be fair, everyone else seemed totally fine with it. I think maybe I need to take a lesson or two...)

Overall the party was a success, and it was a lot of fun to see everyone out on the ice (many, many meters in front of me). My friend Erin even brought her two adorable dogs, Cedar and Fern! If you're looking for a good hot chocolate recipe for a group, this Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate was delicious and served all of us when doubled.

Thanks for visiting, Nora! Can't wait for you to come back soon!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Women's March on Montpelier

I wasn't able to attend the Women's March on Washington, but I was so glad to discover the morning of the march that Montpelier was hosting a sister march, just in time to get there. I ended up being quite close to the front of the march, and it was inspiring to be surrounded by so many passionate people. The Women's Movement hasn't been without its problems, of course, but I believe we're moving slowly toward a more intersectional and inclusive feminism.

With the inauguration of Donald Trump, we have our work cut out for us, but after Saturday's march, more than ever, I'm fired up, ready to go.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Presidential Inauguration, 2008

2008 was a hard year, for me and more so for a lot of other people. I graduated college, moved to Brooklyn, and wasn't particularly grateful for the job I would later come to love. The economy was in shambles, and this Onion article felt scarily true in some ways, but it was such a joy to feel the change in the air, scary as things were. On Election Day, we had a half day, and after voting, I went with my roommate, whose firm had been working on the campaign, to her work party. All season long, she had been told not to tell anyone but her spouse what she was working on, and she told me and our second roommate, "You guys are my spouse" and it felt like we were all part of something bigger than ourselves. At the party, everyone knew he was going to win, and the air was electric. When it was called, pretty early, I think, we all cried.

I vaguely wanted to go to the Inauguration, but didn't, and I'm not sure why. Probably money, which I didn't have a ton of back then. My office set up a TV so that we could all watch it, and we all cried again. A perhaps little-remembered fact is that Obama was sworn in on the Lincoln Bible, a Bible published (like many of the best Bibles) by Oxford University Press. I felt so connected on that day, and so proud of where I was working and what I was doing, even though I couldn't be there in person. Of all the things making me sick about today's Inauguration, the fact that Trump will use that same Bible—instead of, say, a family Bible encased in gold—is making me feel the worst.

But then, I had no idea how I'd be feeling or where I'd be today. Everything in those first years after college felt momentous and heady and so, so possible. Since then, things are feeling less and less possible as I slowly close doors in my life and move forward on one path. On Election Day this year, I felt that same electric air as my coworkers left the building to go vote and we all said, "Let's go make history!" And of course, we didn't at all, and that possibility felt, if not impossible again, then at least pushed back a while.

But seeing everything that President Obama could accomplish these past eight years, seeing everything I and my friends and my family and my country could accomplish and grow in that same time, I know that possibility isn't over or closed off. It's just a little harder to see, and that just means I need to work even harder to see it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ice Skating Weekend

More ice skating this weekend, this time with Shelby, who was visiting from Albany! I continue to be terrible at it, but I'm very slowly starting to feel a little more confident. I just wish it were brighter out when I got home from work, so that I could practice a bit during the week.