Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anniversary trip

Last weekend we celebrated our anniversary with a belated trip up north. I would have loved to go to Acadia, but I can't sit in a car for that long now. So we went to Wells instead.

We started out with a stop for yummy cider donuts and pumpkin whoopie pie at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, MA. These goats were really hoping we would share with them.

Afterwards we went to the Southworth Planetarium at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. The projection of the night sky over Maine was stunning, but we both fell asleep briefly during the gas giants segment of "Eight Planets and Counting." :) Still totally worth the trip.

The next morning we woke up to high surf at Wells Beach, just steps from our hotel room.

Here's Ed hanging out on the deck near our room. Obviously this didn't last long.

We did our longest ride ever on the tandem, about 50 miles. We started at Wells Beach and took the coastal route up to Biddeford Pool, then came back inland. (The ride is the Southwest Coastal Challenge on pg. 136.) This stop was near the start of the Fireman Tri in Kennebunkport.



We stopped at the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, a local institution and a place Ed visited many times with his family on vacation. We refueled with clam strips, fries, clam chowder, and clam cakes. We resisted the whole fried clams, about which Ed said, "They fry up sea scavengers, and sell them for $40/pint... and people buy them."

We immensely enjoyed a belated anniversary dinner at Fore Street in Portland. Insanely good. Here we are about to enjoy the dessert sampler. Clockwise from pink splotch: concord grape sorbet, orange-vanilla creme brulee, dark chocolate torte w/caramel sauce, apple tartin with pear-rosemary sorbet, sweet corn ice cream, lemon-ginger pannacotta. Mmmm.

No trip to Wells is complete without a breakfast stop at the Maine Diner.

We walked on some lovely trails at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.

We finished off our short vacation with a stop at Stonewall Kitchen in York for jam and pumpkin pie soda. Mmm. Then we filled up a couple of growlers with altbier and pumpkin ale at the Portsmouth Brewery before enjoying some lovely tea and popovers. We really enjoyed our last trip as a two-person family.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Rachel and I had a fun girls' weekend in Chicago. We went out for our friend Virginia's post-wedding party and to do some sightseeing/hanging out.

On Saturday morning, we had brunch at Orange. Insanely good. We shared an autumnal omelet and an incredibly yummy flight of silver dollar pancakes. Being very light drinkers, we totally didn't get at first that a "flight" meant we got to sample all four kinds. :) We had pumpkin, apple w/marshmallow fluff, sweet potato-bourbon, and carrot-corn. Yum, yum, yum. Rachel called Josh from the restaurant just to gloat.

Of course we went to Cloud Gate (the bean) in Millennium Park.

Obligatory bean-distortion photo.

A nice couple wearing Tufts gear took this photo.

We saw some Scientology protesters downtown. I'm guessing these are the same people profiled in "The Assclown Offensive" in a recent issue of Wired.

The Chicago Tribune building was inspired by the Rouen Cathedral in France. We viewed many random chunks of other structures (e.g., a piece of Harvard, a piece of the Taj Mahal, a piece of the Kolner Dom) embedded in the walls.

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza at Pizzeria Due. We did not factor in the pizza's volume when we ordered the medium. Sigh. One of the toughest things about traveling is having to walk away from leftovers.

I helped Rach pick out a jadeite mixing bowl set for Virginia at P.O.S.H., a super cool vintage china store. After P.O.S.H. we got to check out Design Within Reach and Room & Board.

Here we are at Virginia and Craig's Wedding Afterparty. So fun! The food was so good. I had many pieces of cardamom coffee cake from the Swedish Bakery in Andersonville.

This is one of the coolest wedding gifts I've ever seen.

We hung out at the party with Rachel's childhood friend Cait and her husband Joel. Afterward we got to see their awesome downtown condo and pets. Unfortunately I didn't get a good picture of Henry the dog, but check out those crazy whiskers on Frances the cat.

The Arlington House Hostel was excellent, very reminiscent of a college dorm. Though this is probably the last trip I'll take for which I'll bring a 1500 cu. in. backpack and stay in a hostel. :)

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's River Cruise was sooo good. Here's the full view of the Trib building.

More CAF River Cruise.

Sears Tower, um I mean the Willis Tower.

View from near the Navy Pier, looking back toward the city. We walked around on the Magnificent Mile after the cruise. The Chicago Marathon had just finished and we saw lots of skinny limping people in space blankets wandering around in the 35-degree weather.

The internets were right. The best view of Chicago is from the women's bathroom on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center.

Shortly after I took this photo, a woman brought her husband into the women's bathroom because the men's bathroom has no view.

We had a super fun trip! But I am sick of airports. So I'm happy that there'll be no more travel... for now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lucky Number Seven

Today's our 7th anniversary! This is an especially exciting one since it's the last one we'll spend as a family of two (humans).

Here's a photo from our wedding in Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.

And here's another one we took a few days ago after we watched the second day of racing at the Gran Prix of Gloucester. It's nice to get to visit "our" wedding beach every year at the race.

I can't wait to get started on our next adventure!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The nursery

The nursery is finished. I know the little guy won't need much beyond a place to sleep and something to wear, but we love decorating and this project was a lot of fun for us.

The before and in-progress photos are pretty boring. This room was our "junk room" for a while and Betty's room when we first got her and she needed her own space. We hadn't done much with it at all. Ed painted the room a pale, creamy yellow (hard to capture in photos) and did some furniture assembly. My sister, Kris, and brother-in-law, Brad, were also super-helpful with furniture assembly and arrangement. Kris was a great shopping buddy as well!

Apartment Therapy was a huge source of ideas/inspiration.

We brightened up a boring IKEA dresser with a decal. The baby monitor is from Alison.

We tried out several chairs at IKEA and decided the cheapest one was also the most comfortable. :)

Thanks to our generous friends and family, the little guy has quite a stock of books and toys waiting for him. The wooden toys on top of the bookcase were Ed's when he was a child (with the exception of one car that I bought from a retired gentleman at the local fall fair -- he makes exquisite wooden toys).

The alphabet art took a long time to put together, but I really love how it turned out. We decided to forgo a crib bumper due to the SIDS risk.

The not-so-fun part of parenting.

Here are a few detail shots. I've already assured Kris that the sweater she made is only hanging up for photo styling purposes and that it is being stored safely in a drawer. :)

My sister-in-law, Liz, made the bunny. Isn't he adorable? I love his tie. The Harrods bear is from Miyon, who lives in the UK. The wooden blocks are from Ed's childhood friend (and our current friend, of course) Allison.

I embellished the bins with a fun fabric. It took forever and was probably not the best use of my time. :) Also here are some books we got from friends and family (Neilie/Craig, Whitney/Jen, Rachel/Josh, Cara/Eugenio, Aunt Judy/Uncle Dan, Ed's mom, SIL Paige... apologies if I left anyone out). There's a blanket from Aunt Rosie/Uncle Steve, a quilt that Ed's mom made, a quilt from my mom, and a quilt that our friends Brad and Fiona made together.

I'm happy to have the nursery done. We are so looking forward to meeting its occupant!


Paint: Benjamin Moore Natura in Citronee (eggshell)

Awesome paintbrush for edges, which eliminated the need for tape: Sherman-Williams (recommendation from Young House Love)

Wooden owl art: Maple Shade Kids (etsy)

Dresser, laptop table, floor lamp, chair, bookcase, changing table, changing table pad, laundry hamper, diaper bin, wipes holder, trash can: IKEA

Decal on the dresser: Elephannie (etsy)

Curtain rod: West Elm

Alphabet cards, canvas, and other supplies: Michael's. Cards are by Jenn Ski and the idea/tutorial is from Tiny Decor.

Airplane mobile: Pottery Barn Kids (gift from my dad, who is a flight instructor)

Crib: Wal-Mart

Elephant, giraffe, monkey canvases: JC Penney

Bedding/curtains (DwellStudio for Target), throw pillow, rug, cloth bins in bookcase, diaper organizers: Target

Fabric on cloth bins: Alexander Henry - 2-D Zoo (blue)

Froggie night light: Babies R Us (gift from Paige)


It's more fun to race, but spectating is a close second. It was super fun to cheer for my friends in the elite women's race and the men's race was very exciting. It was really great to see Tim Johnson win.

From deep in the archives, here's a pic of the podium when I won the women's B race at Gloucester in 2001. Guess who the podium boy is?