First Ride of the Season

The bike trail has OFFICIALLY thawed for the year 🙂  Thank goodness, was beginning to go stir crazy.  While this winter has been great for skiing, snowshoeing, etc., it is starting to drag on a bit.

Took Friday off so I could have a 3 day weekend for my Birthday and decided to ride out to Collinsville for breakfast (approx. 12 miles round trip).

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There is a very nice market in the center of Collinsville called LaSalle Market & Deli.  It reminds me of a Vermont coffee shop, they carry my favorite coffee, corned beef hash is on the breakfast menu, and its right off of the bike trail…what more could you ask for?!?!

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Also looking forward to checking out these two places this summer too, both are also just off the bike trail in Collinsville:

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Crown & Hammer Pub

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Francesca’s Wine Bar & Bistro

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Love,

Dora

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Skiing at Stratton

Just spent another great weekend up at Stratton last weekend.  It was a little on the chilly side, but great skiing for late March. Had a bit of snow on Saturday, followed by sunny skies on Sunday.

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20140323-222610.jpgStayed at a new place this trip. I had been staying at The Equinox the past few trips, which I highly recommend. It’s a very well kept historic New England hotel with all the amenities of a luxury resort. The covered outdoor hot tub and fireside bar are also fun on winter evenings. However, it’s doesn’t exactly fit my budget without groupon and living social discounts and I’ve officially exhausted all of those options for the season. So I tried the Bromley View Inn this time. It was the right price, nice atmosphere, and includes an awesome homemade breakfast in their dining room overlooking Bromley. It’s only a few minutes up Route 30 from Stratton and it’s on the way to Manchester, which has nice outlets and restaurants. An added bonus…I could see Bromley from the room 🙂

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Will be passing on skiing this weekend…looks like we’re in for a soggy weekend, perfect for getting a few projects done at home.  Hoping for better weather next weekend.

DW

Natchez Day 2

Toured four more houses on day 2. The houses that look smaller, and perhaps not as impressive from the outside, in the tour guide book actually turned out to be the most impressive on the inside. Since photos weren’t allowed inside, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

20140323-220903.jpgHawthorne (1814).  Tour guides were definitely having the most fun at this house.  I’d say it was also the most “livable” of all that we toured.

20140323-220932.jpgElms Court (1837).  I wasn’t a huge fan of the interior, but the exterior is quite impressive.  Also had very nice gardens.  The next few pictures show the grounds.

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20140323-221209.jpgStanton Hall (circa 1858).  Currently owned and fully restored by the Pilgrimage Garden Club.  Reminded me of a Newport, RI Party Mansion.

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In my opinion, The Burn (1832) was the nicest house of all of those that we toured.  The home is actually much larger than it appears here, but my phone died before I could get more pictures from the back. It was nice to see the owners giving the tour here, seemed to know their history quite well! This house is also a B&B and looked quite nice.

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Then after driving around for 30 minutes trying to find a place to eat that was open on a Sunday, we found this nifty little pub called King’s Tavern and spent the rest of the afternoon sipping craft beers and cocktails. It is actually located in the basement of the oldest building in Natchez (1769) and carries a lot of history…ghost stories and all.

20140323-222059.jpgNeat bar, made out of recycled barrels.

20140323-222110.jpgLoved the atmosphere, very laid back…

20140323-222118.jpgMy family 🙂

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Full menu of classic cocktails…mint julep.

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And last but NEVER least…shrimp and grits!  No trip to the south is complete without it 🙂

Hope you’ve enjoyed the photo tour.

Love,

Dora

Natchez Day 1

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Thankful to have had the chance to escape this long winter to spend a few days thawing out with my parents and brother down in Natchez, MS last weekend. Spent 2 days touring antebellum homes during Spring Pilgrimage and eating southern cuisine! Here are photos from the first day.

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Flew into Memphis and started things off right with BBQ pulled pork before heading south.

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Had dinner in Natchez at Pearl Street Pasta, definitely the best meal of the trip. Excellent red fish!

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We toured 4 houses each day. Linden (circa 1790) was the first house we toured.

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Longwood (1861) is a home that was never finished. While the outside was complete, work on the inside was put on hold when the civil war began and was never finished as the owner passed away 3 years later. While I am sure it would have been amazing to see finished, it was neat to see and take pictures of the raw structure. The grounds around the house were also nice to walk, very serene.

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Then we had lunch at Mammy’s Cupboard, and yes, you can sit and eat in her dress :-). Loved the turkey sandwich with blueberry chutney. Will have to learn how to make this once summer rolls around. The pie was also very good, and they’ve got quite the list!

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Next up was Richmond (1784), which looks like a Greek Revival from the front.

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But if you look from the side, you can see where there have been two additions in different styles of architecture.  The middle of the house was the original in French Plantation (1784), then the Greek Revival front was added (1832), followed by the Colonial addition on the back (1860).

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Last was The Elms, which is now a B&B.  House was okay, loved the huge front porch and the front yard.

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Inside of St. Mary Basilica.

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Random photo that turned out to look like a Beatles tribute.  Can you name the album?

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Had dinner at Magnolia Grill.  The river view was nice, the food was average and a bit pricey.

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Overcast evening on the Mississippi.

Stay tuned for Day 2 photos…

A Fun Weekend Outside

I am currently recovering from a very fun, very busy weekend.  However, it is nice to be tired from a large dose of fresh air and exercise rather than work for a change 🙂

Beautiful day of Spring Skiing up at Stratton on Saturday…

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The Stratton Mountain Deli is my new favorite mid-morning breakfast break.  I’ve given up on the base lodge crowds and overpriced cafeteria food.

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Then I ran a 5k with these lovely ladies in Putnam on Sunday.  It was freezing cold, but we had a great time, and got to wear these crazy socks.  The post-race burgers and beer at Corey’s Catsup & Mustard were also a great end to the day :-).

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Snowshoeing at Hill-Stead Museum

Went snowshoeing at Hill-Stead Museum last Sunday.  I had planned on going up to Vermont to ski, but ended up sleeping in on Sunday and snowshoeing around here instead.  While they only have 2-3 miles of trails, they do link up with the Metacomet Trail in a few areas – will have to keep this in mind for next time.  Best apart about it is that this is right up the street and FREE!  Also looking forward to visiting in warmer weather, their gardens look like they will be good and they have a farmers market on Sundays.

Enjoy the pictures!

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Stay warm, Spring will be here soon!
Love,
Dora

It’s Never Too Late for Baby Blankets!

I was cleaning out my iPhone picture the other day (because I am out of room for more), and realized that I never posted these.  Here are two baby quilts that I made last winter for some of my former co-workers.

Race Baby Quilt (Fabric: Amy Butler – Dots)
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Triangle Baby Quilt (Fabric: Lotta Jansdotter – Glimma)
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Now back to organizing the new craft room so that I can start quilting again.  I made a deal with myself that I couldn’t start any more projects until the new room was finished and organized.  

Love,

Dora