Summer Adventure: Photo Challenge

I am not adventurous by nature, so it was truly a challenge to think of photos for this week’s Photo Challenge.  I like to know where I’m going, how I will get there, and what could happen when I arrive.  I over pack making sure I have contingencies covered.  My husband, however, likes getting in the car and driving–it doesn’t matter where and it’s even better if I drive and he has no idea of our destination.

Our mini-vacation this summer was an adventure for my better half because I drove and didn’t tell him where we were going!  I’m grateful that his is willing to let me be the control freak I am. Here are some highlights of our adventure:


Land ho


View from the boat

The Honor System is Alive and Well, In Vermont

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my husband and I were in Vermont for a few days.  For the ride home we decided that instead of the interstate we’d travel some back roads south to get home.  We left the hotel at about 9:30 and had not yet eaten breakfast, figuring we would find some cool café or diner along the way.  Our first stop, as hungry as we might have been for an omelet, was a pick-your-own berry farm.

At the speed of about 45 mph it’s easy to see what’s-what on the back roads.  As I looked out my side of the car I spied what looked like farmland (I know that’s not a surprise when you’re in Vermont) with a little building and a bunch of cars in front of it.  I took the quick left turn and we pulled up to what you see in the picture below.  There didn’t seem to be anyone “manning” the picking.  We walked closer to see there was a sign posted atop a mail slot in the wooden door:  “PYO blueberries, $3.50 a quart.  Please leave cash or check here.  If you need to pay by debit or credit card the main entrance to the farm is 1/4 mile north.” We dropped a five-dollar bill in the slot and went about filling our container.

Wards Berry Farm PYO

As we were leaving there was an older woman sitting in chair on the porch, the owner we presumed.  We said hello and what a nice time we had and without missing a beat she said with a broad smile, “Happy to hear you enjoyed yourself, but I’m a fellow picker.”  After exchanging pleasantries and the normal touristy banter we were on our way again.

Today’s shout of thanks is to those people who, that without confirmation of payment, someone standing guard, or a camera monitoring the site, still believe that the honor system works!  I love Vermont!

Lovely Lakeside Views

When I was working in Vermont I went to several conferences at the Lake Morey Resort.  I never would have known about it otherwise. When I decided that the husband and I needed a getaway that would feel like a getaway, this is where I decided to take us.  I kept it a secret for quite a while, too; a whole month I didn’t tell him where we would spend three days away from the craziness.

Today’s thank you goes out to the employer that introduced to the peaceful place!

sunset 1 (1)


Steve Lakeside

Anywhere Door, I’ll Take That, Please

Pick Your Gadget: Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

boo doorAnywhere door–in the hope that it’s also is an anytime door!  And by any time I mean, when I feel like it I could be anywhere I want.  Kind of like the doors in Monsters, Inc.

Could you imagine being anywhere at any time; it would be great!  There are several places I’d go if I could, like today for instance; if I could have been anywhere but glued to my desk, I would be sitting in my friends Deb and Dave’s yard in Vermont.  Enjoying the spring breeze that smells like the evergreens swaying in the gentle wind.  Where all you hear is the air, the birds, and the occasional dog barking.

In the evening as the sun sets and the sky gets dark, you can see the stars unlike anywhere else.  More twinkles than you can count because nothing interferes with seeing them, except for the flames from the fire pit.

Absolute peacefulness.

I’m lucky to count Deb and Dave as my friends, even if I don’t see them very often anymore.  They’ve been an important part of my life, always, any-where and any-time opening up their home and hearts to me.  Thank you, Deb and Dave!!

View from the backyard, my favorite!

Gadget Lovers:



Vermont Reflections

There are many days that I miss living in Vermont.  The calm, quiet, clean feeling of the fresh air and uncluttered lifestyle.  When I am most desperate to feel close to my Vermont “home” I take a look at pictures my friend “Bud” puts on his Facebook page.  To participate in this week’s Photo Challenge I’m sharing a “reflection” of his backyard.  Thanks, Bud!!

fall back



Bloggers’ Reflections:

Happy Wanderer (or not)


What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

MA rest areaI’m a confirmed homebody.  I’ve never been bitten by the travel bug the way others have, and one of my staff often makes fun of the fact that I don’t go anywhere when I’m on vacation. I don’t think I took my first plane ride until I was thirty!

Most of my travel has been related to work–I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve flown from Providence to Washington DC. The number of states I’ve visited, or lived in, can be counted on two hands.  The majority of my travel has been restricted to the places it takes no longer than a day’s car ride to get to.

gpsRegardless of the length of time in the car, I like to be ready.  Prior to GPS being available to the directionally challenged, I always had a map in my car, more than one in fact. I usually had a big map of New England and then several state-specific, carefully folded and worn, glove box-sized sheets of paper.  I like to know where I’m going and how I will get there planned out before the key goes in the ignition.  Even now that my phone can act as my “trip tik”, I like to check out the route on google maps to get a bigger picture than my little phone allows.

new hampshire rest areaI like to be the driver of the car.  I feel like I have more control over when I can pull over at a rest area should I need the facilities.  I can leave the music or “book on tape” selections to the co-pilot, if there is one, but the driving is all mine.  You might think of this as being a bit of a control freak…I agree, and I’m okay with it.

Family, friends and co-workers all have been along on the ride.  There have been meals at terrific diners tucked onto Main Street towns and traditional drive-through food to help pass the time. Traditional car songs and games, as well as ones made up by the passengers of the car provided for huge belly laughs and soda out someone’s nose.  I’ve done long and short car trips, through snowstorms and sunny weather, sleet, rain and dark of night; and have made it through.

Today’s thank you goes out to all my travel companions; you put up with my need to control where we’re going, when we stop, what we eat and whether not a rousing rendition of “99 Bottles of Beer” would be sung in the car.  I’ve enjoyed the trip(s) and am looking forward to more! 


The Hangover

hangover cureEvery Sunday or Monday morning I read on Facebook about many of my “friends” who are suffering from a hangover.  It really shouldn’t surprise me all that much; although frankly, it gets me a little sad.  Now, I will be the first to admit to a dozen or so mornings when the drinking from the night before contributed to lost time in my life.  My hangovers have the gamut from the mild, one-Advil-cup-of-coffee recovery, to a whopper where going to the dining hall would have made me feel a million times worse.

Seeing more than a half-dozen posts picturing cups of coffee, cans of Red Bull, bottles of Tylenol, and pints of Gatorade, reminded me that there were indeed, a few folks in my life who helped me through some of those hangovers, specifically in college. 

coffee milkI’d felt fine when I got up and was going to be on time for my 9:00 am class.  I decided that a breakfast sandwich and a big plastic cup of coffee milk would be the best way to start the day. Rather than go to the dining hall I made a pit stop at the campus center on the way across campus .  I felt fine when I got up and on the walk down the path through the dorms, I felt just a little upset stomach.  I chalked it up to hunger and carried on to get some breakfast.  The lady at the snack bar dutifully placed my order on the counter and I sat down to enjoy it.

overallsAs I stood up from my meal to head to class, I had an overwhelming sense that something was about to happen.  You guessed it, I had to duck into the campus center ladies room, and, well, you get the idea.  By the time I made it back to my dorm room, the outfit I’d chosen to wear to class was tossed into the laundry hamper; I’d have to dig out my overalls and a turtleneck to wear instead.  I knocked on my friend Karen’s door, we were both RA’s so had our own rooms.  I asked her if she’dbraids braid my hair to keep it out of my face for the rest of the day.  She obliged by making two pretty braids of my, gave me something to settle my stomach–I think she even took my “on-duty” night.

Today’s thank you goes to Karen, for taking such good care of me; and for anyone else who, over the years, gave me tips on how to manage a hangover.