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

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

A Love for Lobster Rolls

One of the BEST things about summertime in Connecticut is, you guessed it! Hot buttery lobster rolls!!

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Was in the mood for one of these on Sunday, and lets face it, Mystic is just too far these days to make the trek to Abbott’s or The Cove just for a meal. So I got online and found Lobster Landing down in Clinton, CT, as well as a few other new places to try from this blogpost.

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The Lobster Landing totally lived up to its rave yelp reviews. Good atmosphere (looks totally authentic), right on the water, and the lobster roll was to die for! Fresh caught CT lobster cooked to a buttery perfection and served on a crisp toasty bun (not one bit soggy!)…I think I could have ate two, even though it was piled high with lobster. Not surprising that it was perfect since this is pretty much the only thing on the menu. The staff were incredibly friendly too. Another nice perk is that it’s BYOB…will definitely be going back with beer next time.

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If you are headed down to the clinton outlets, I highly recommend that you check it out!

Have a great week and stay cool, it’s going to be a H-O-T one!

Love,
Dora

Valentine’s Day in New Hampshire

Splurged on a Valentine’s Day this year with a trip to New Hampshire.  I found a killer deal for the Mountain View Grand a few months ago on Groupon, and Valentine’s Day weekend just happened to be one of the few weekends available during ski season that didn’t have a blackout date, so off to New Hampshire we went!

The hotel was absolutely amazing.  It’s a historic hotel nestled right in the middle of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Loved this little nook at the end of our hallway…

We also stopped at the outlets and EMS in North Conway, skied 2 days at Cannon, and visited the New England Ski Museum, which was a pleasant surprise.  We didn’t even know New England had a Ski Museum, but stumbled upon it on our way over to the tram at Cannon.

And now for the knitting section of this post…it turns out the Mountain View Grand has a knitting history.  Apparently a group of women from Whitefield, NH lead by one of the owners of the MVG used to knit mittens and other winter accessories that were sold in the gift shop and through R.H. Stearns Co., a former Boston department store.  What’s even better is the skier pattern featured on some of their mittens.  Really wish I could get my hands on this pattern.  But for now, here are a few pictures from the display case in the MVG lobby.

First Annual I-91 Shop Hop

Participated in the first annual I-91 Shop Hop this past weekend, which was a tour of 11 local yarn shops all along I-91 between Putney, VT and New Haven, CT.  My friend, and fellow knitter, Catharine came down from Albany to make the road trip with me.  We had a great time catching up, scouting out some new shops, and finding some great deals on yarn!

A few of our favorites…
1.  WEBS in Northampton, MA.  My new favorite yarn store, it’s HUGE!!  We spent 2 hours there, and they have lots of interesting classes.  I will likely be making the trip back up there very soon.  I was so overwhelmed that I forgot to take a picture 😦
2.  The Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, VT.  A totally green spinnery operation…and they gave us a tour and let us jump in their wool room.
3.  Basketville in Putney, VT.  You can’t drive up I-91 into VT without stopping at Basketville.  Stocked up on some great wine and picked up a few baskets.
Looking forward to next year already!!

The Fruit of my Labor

Despite waking up to the sound of a transformer explosion and no power, it was an absolutely gorgeous morning…and with it being Strawberry season, it was a perfect morning for berry picking!  So as Burkett got ready to head in to work for the day, his mom and I made plans for berry picking.  In past years, I’ve always gone to Rose’s Berry Farm down in South Glastonbury.  It’s a very nice operation, complete with well manicured berry patches, a hay wagon ride to deliver you directly to your row, and picnic tables on the deck overlooking the farm for a pancake breakfast topped with berries.  However, on weekends like these, the place tends to be pretty crowded with families.  This year Burkett’s mom suggested going to Cavanna’s, which she frequents annually.  It was definitely a bit more rustic and perhaps off the beaten path from the typical Glastonbury orchards and farms, but the prices were great, the crowds were nonexistent, and the experience was very relaxed and enjoyable.   In fact, it reminded me of picking strawberries back in Quincy at Mill Creek Farm in its early years. 
I also stopped at several other orchards and farms in South Glastonbury on the way out and picked up some wonderful handmade soap from Belltown Orchards.  It’s made at Wind-Gait Farm, also in South Glastonbury, which is a hobby farm that raises Angora Goats for making goat milk soap and mohair yarns.  They had a rather wide selection of soap scents and I finally settled on Garden Mint.  It smells divine.  The rosemary and lavender fragrances were also very nice.  More importantly, they produce three different styles of yarn, all spun and hand-dyed at the farm in a selection of vibrant colors.  I will definitely be going back for yarn once I conjure up a few new project ideas.  I absolutely love the idea of making this year’s round of knitted Christmas gifts with locally produced yarn!
All in all, it was a nice morning and we both went home with a tray each of perfectly ripe strawberries.   I plan to enjoy a bowl of mine this afternoon poolside.
Stay tuned, I’m planning on updating my Ravelry page this afternoon.