Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hiking in Holderness

On Halloween weekend this year, Dave came up from Boston and stayed at our place so we could catch up and try a little bit of hiking in New Hampshire. We (incorrectly) expected him to be late, so we ended up being the late ones to meet him, since we spent most of that Saturday running errands and finishing up the last of our storage trips. So, Saturday was a little shorter than it could have been, but we enjoyed a nice meal at Harpoon Brewery and then Roger and Dave played a board game while I literally dozed off at the table.

On Sunday morning, we took a longer drive out to Holderness, NH to do a little bit of hiking on Squam Lake. The first trail we took, the Old Bridle Path up West Rattlesnake Mountain, was super short and had a really gorgeous pay off at the top:

It was a pretty ideal hike for anyone who wants a fast, relatively easy hike to start off with, and would be a nice spot for a picnic, if perhaps a little crowded at the top.

Since it was such a quick hike, we ended up walking down the other side of the mountain via the Pasture Trail and then did the Five Fingers Point loop before taking the Undercut Path back to the parking lot.

After the hike, we had a late lunch at Walter's Basin, which we thought was going to be a real dive bar, but which turned out to be a pretty nice and very tasty restaurant. After that, Dave made his way back to Boston, and we headed out on back roads to get home.

Definitely one of my favorite weekends since moving to Vermont! I can't wait to explore more trails this winter!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dartmouth Homecoming 2016

Do you know that I have a serious love for tradition? It's true, even though I went to a decidedly untraditional school. You can read my laments about Sarah Lawrence not having enough campus tradition from 2007 me here.

So, one of the things that most appealed to me about coming to work at Dartmouth was their love of tradition, and I was quickly able to participate in that history during Homecoming this year, which was a delight. On Friday and Saturday mornings, I staffed the Baker Tower tour group, and helped bring alumni and their families up and down to see the newly renovated clock tower, and it's incredible view.

And, it was pretty neat to see the backs of the clock faces. All of the material for the restoration was sourced in the United States, and much of the work was done by hand. It's a pretty incredible thing to have witnessed, and I'm really glad to be able to see the copper before it oxidizes!

It was also really cool to see the bonfire being built during the days before Homecoming. It's really quite the feat of engineering that it's able to safely burn so tall!

And of course, seeing the first years running around the bonfire was a blast. It was so warm even outside their circle that I have no idea how they managed to do it for those 20 laps. Troopers, all of them.

I'm so glad to have celebrated my first Homecoming (even if we lost our football game to Harvard), and I can't wait for many, many more!

Monday, November 28, 2016

1966: Truman Capote's Black and White Ball

I've been mildly obsessed with Truman Capote's black and white ball since I first started reading Capote, back before high school. It's 50 years ago today, and so it makes sense, I suppose, that Roger and I are planning our first major party: our wedding. Makes sense, too, I suppose, that I fawned over Nothing Left Unsaid and The Crown this month, wanted to buy a mansion.

Happy 50th anniversary, Truman. I suppose all your prayers were answered.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hearty Thanksgiving Greetings

I've been looking over some of my older holiday posts, and I realized how deeply similar all my holidays have been for most of my life, and what a great comfort I derive from that. Cases in point: I've dressed up as Amelia Earhart every Halloween since 2007. Thanksgiving without Friendsgiving feels just a little more dull. And my Christmas Eve dinner has hardly changed in three decades. Especially since things are changing now at what feels like a breakneck pace, these touchstones help make the years feel coherent. They tie a bow on the year, bringing it to a close.

This year, like last, I'm looking forward to spending this last, dark month of December in gratitude. I hope you'll join me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hiking the Palisades Trail in Fairlee, VT

Way back on October 23, after yet another day of trying to get the apartment looking inhabitable, Roger and I decided to take a break and check out a hike a neighbor had mentioned to us, the Palisades Trail.

This awesome trail is within walking distance of our house, and I expect we'll be doing it many times over the coming years. It's very short, just about one mile, but quite steep on the way up, so definitely not one to be underestimated.

But, after just a short trek uphill, you're rewarded with this incredible view, overlooking the highway and the Connecticut River:

And that's not even the best part, although it literally did take my breath away when we stumbled upon it. After that, there's a bit more walking through the woods before you come to a second clearing with an incredible view of the mountains over Orford, NH:

It's a little hard to tell in these photos, but over all that foliage, up in the mountains, there's snow! Honestly, have you seen a more typically New England vista?

This part of the trail is closed from March to August while the local peregrin falcons nest there, but it's a perfect autumn hike, and I can't wait to try it with snowshoes this winter!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

First Snow in New England

On Sunday night, I have my very first New England snowfall! I don't count the flurries we've had on and off since October, but since this inch or so of snow stuck to the ground overnight, I'm calling it: this was my first snowfall while living in New England. These are a couple photos I took on campus yesterday.

We'll see if I'm still this excited about snow in February. In the meantime, this seems to bode well for all the winter sports we're hoping to try out this year. I'm ready for a little snowshoeing, skiing, and skating!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Friendsgiving in Philadelphia

We had a really nice weekend in Philadelphia this year to celebrate Friendsgiving at Laura and Jeff's house. 

Roger and I ran the Rothman Institute 8k together on Saturday morning, which was a blast. It's a nice, flat course with a pretty view of the boat houses behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Our friends mostly killed it on the half-marathon course (shout out to Christine, who ran it in under 2 hours!), but I was pretty happy to take a more relaxing route. Hopefully I'll be more fully trained for next summer's Covered Bridges Half!

After the race and a bit of getting prepped at Molly's house, we headed over to Laura and Jeff's for the party. They made an enormous ham, and everyone brought really tasty side dishes and dessert. We all chatted about how our races went, what we're planning to do for the holidays, and our plans for a group trip to Europe next summer. Although it had been a balmy 70 degrees in the morning, by the time we walked back to Molly's that evening, it was flurrying, which was a little crazy.

And the next morning was a delicious brunch with more chatter about Europe, before Roger and I drove up to Mahopac to drop him off for the work week and I headed to Vermont. A long trip for a too-short weekend, but a delight nonetheless.

What a joy to be surrounded by loved ones all weekend! A joy to be thinking of the future with them.