Life of Late ~ July 2017

Let’s all have the mind-blowing realization that we are pretty much halfway through summer.  The heat and humidity have rolled in full force and we are about 7 weeks away from the start of football season.  For some reason football and fall are synonymous with one another, even if it doesn’t really cool out on the west coast.  I can recall going from cross country meets or soccer matches to football games, sweating through every single item that I owned.  Ah the good times. 😉

July has been a blast thus far filled with beach days, rainy days, and time spent in the park.   This week has actually been the first week in a long time that I was in the office ALL 5 days.  Between various summer Fridays and other PTO days, I’ve enjoyed my casual 4, 3, and even 2 day weeks!  I’m gallivanting down to D.C. this weekend, entering the swamp, and expecting to sweat out half my body weight.  Pretty much like the episode of “I Love Lucy” where she tries to steam down her weight.  Yep, totally safe.

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Current Workouts:

  • Back on the November Project schedule.  Maybe I’m not hitting up every workout but it’s good to see some friends in the morning and I really love the new co-leader’s enthusiasm.
  • SPIN!  After watching the triathlon last week I was inspired to get back on the bike.  It’s definitely healthier to balance with running and so back to some Equinox classes and Soul Cylce I go.
  • Water aerobics – Because when you don’t schedule any sort of trips on your three day weekends, you use Friday to attend water aerobics.
  • Barre + Weight Training Classes #blessed – Not sure why I need that hashtag but thank goodness for the wide array of classes offered at Equinox.  I’m trying to vary my workouts and increase those non-running muscles.  Or rather I’m trying to strengthen those muscles so when I catch the running and racing bug again, I’ll be stronger than before (here’s to hoping…)
  • Yoga and I JUST LEARNED CROW POSE!  It’s taken me about 3+ years to get there and I’ve told myself my bottom half is too heavy and I don’t have enough arm strength but I did manage to balance for about 2 seconds.  The excitement is real.  Now comes the trick to balancing for longer.

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The other day at track, I was thinking about what it means to feel normal.  Sure there is the mental side of things like going day to day with no stress or too much stress?  But then there is the physical side of things.  What does it mean to run without feeling like you are running through a swamp?  Or actually have boundless amounts of energy?  What did my legs feel like last year prior to marathon training?  Oh I could go on and on and on.  Just some food for thought.

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Currently Listening to…LOTS OF PODCASTS!:

  • Gatorade + Gimlet “The Secret to Victory” – My friend Cait works at Gimlet and got me hooked on this.  Using her own words because well, she works in marketing 😉
    •  The premiere episode of The Secret to Victory is live now! It’s Gimlet MediaGimlet Creative‘s first SPORTS POD with Gatorade. This week, we talk to Eli and Peyton Manning. But not about how Eli is still the only QB to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl (twice, sry), or how Peyton is considered by some to be one of the best QBs of all time (and pretty funny in those Papa John’s commercials). We talk to them, and even Archie about the disappointment of both of their rookie seasons with the NY Giants & Indianapolis Colts, and how it only fueled the fire that lead to greatness.  
  • Ali on the Run
  • ESPN’s 30 for 30 – This might be a direct competitor of the above Gimlet production but still cool stories and I’m an ESPN girl through and through.
  • Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield – Because we all need a little more of this in our lives.
  • Mike & Mike on ESPN – These guys have been my morning go to for the last few years.  Sometimes when I wake up and am running or getting to the gym, I just don’t care for music, so I turn to sport’s radio.  Anyways, turns out these guys are calling it quits or moving in different directions this year and I’ll miss their banter.

Currently Watching:

  • The Kennedy’s on Hulu and I AM FASCINATED!  With every episode, I spend at least an hour diving into articles online, Wikipedia pages (don’t judge, they are millennial’s form of a basic encyclopedia…) and more.  For some reason this part of time always draws me in.  If you have any good books on the subject, PLEASE comment!
  • Bring it On – Just a random movie I decided to watch this week.  I’d actually never seen it.
  • Seinfeld on Hulu.  This is another classic show that I’m working my way from start to finish.  The episodes are perfect for one or two before bed and more if I’m lazy.  My mom would go to bed watching them every night so I’ve heard some of the jokes but having lived in the city, now I really GET the humor.  Not only that but I picked up a ticket to go see Jerry Seinfeld next week!  Very pumped about that.
  • OJ Simpson Hearing – Yep, I was one of those people curious to hear what happened.  Oh! I was also watching the OJ Simpson: Made in America series on Hulu.  Wow I DEFINITELY think he is guilty and am also fascinated by these turn of events.

Currently Reading:

  • The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football – Yeah…I like sports.  It’s something I grew up around and something that brings me a lot of comfort.  That being said, this book is intriguing.  I didn’t realize the extent coaches and teams went to recruit and some of the behind the scenes action players got themselves into.
  • My Not So Perfect Life – Beach read for sure but also funny to compare with today’s social media obsession.
  • Stormy Weather – Not entirely what I was expecting but still a good historical read about Lena Horne, an American jazz and pop singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist.

beach day

Tasting Table ~ “Modern Tiki Trends” ~ I’m all about hosting summer events and creating a theme around it.  Ok, maybe I’m just all about the IDEA of themed summer parties.  I don’t exactly have the space to host or even prep but having these Tiki Themed tips is giving me ideas… If you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with anything Hawaiian, tropical, or Polynesian.  Thank you Dole and Tasting Table for that.

 C’est Christine ~ “Notes on Defining Success” ~ Broken record but Christine always puts it so eloquently.  She referred to a quote that said “comparison is an addiction to losing”.  We compare compare compare and while this can be good to get yourself moving, ready to take action and work towards your dreams, it can also cause a bit of anxiety and disappointment.  People are always going to share their opinion with you – what you should do, where you should live, etc.  It’s up to you to define what makes you happy and stand by that decision.  I also loved how she ended the post, her goal to obtain “a more intentional type of success, a focus on thriving instead of just striving”

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^^ This was year #2 celebrating the 4th of July in the city and I have to say, rooftop game was on point.  I actually happened to have a 5-day weekend and really just bopped around town.  Sure I had my fair share of FOMO, looking at people’s outdoor pictures (even those who I didn’t know…lovely social media) but made the most of the weekend in my own special way.

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^^ On the hunt to sample all the classics in the city and this was a SUCCESS!  I actually made a pitstop after cheering folks in Take the Bridge: Manhattan Bridge edition.  We had gotten caught in an extreme downpour and while my friends decided to go home, I waltzed in and ordered a scoop of Taro while dripping water everywhere.  #runtoeat #eattorun

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^^ I tested out the talked about DAYBREAKER and have to say, I wasn’t that impressed.  Maybe I’m not a rave gal and can’t go for that DJ music at 7am in the morning but it wasn’t my jam.  I had woken up at 5:15 to make it for 6 am yoga (meh) and then packed as many snacks away to make up for the $35 fee.  #sorrynotsorry  In the end it was an experience and maybe would have been better if I had a huge group of friends there OR was completely solo and wanted to dance/jam out on my own.

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^^ What a view at last week’s NYC Triathlon.  I ran up with a friend, grabbed a bagel sandwich and cheered on some friends in the run portion of the race.  This is one race I had/have no FOMO over.  Swimming in the Hudson filled with dead bodies and sewage?  No thank you.  Even though I heard the 0.9-1 mi swim took people about 15 minutes to finish.  If you aren’t familiar with timing of swims, it takes me about 30 minutes in the pool to swim a mile.  Still, I don’t think I would commit to that water…

With these rambles complete, here’s to the weekend!

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“You are remembered for the rules you break” – Douglas MacArthur

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MDW ’16 in Review ~ New York Staycation

Ah Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s a relatively jam-packed with activities and of course holds a couple of meanings  The main purpose of the day, one that used to be known as Decoration Day, is to pay tribute to all the men and women who have died in military service for the United States.  To all of you, thank you.

This day and ultimately weekend also serves as the start to summer, the beginning of beach days, and historically in the fashion world – the “ok” to wear white.  Now that last point has sort of gone out the window and you can see women wearing it all points of the year, especially in Southern California where the seasons fluctuate between summer and mild summer with maybe some 50’s thrown in there.

Memorial Day Weekend is one holiday weekend that I never really have had solid plans for.  Growing up we would have a fun run on Monday or possibly go up to Mammoth Mountain.  I have been to the Jersey Shore for a few days and even a trip to go white-water rafting.

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I can look at this last weekend in one of two ways.  One – I didn’t get my act together to plan a trip or full weekend excursion or two – I worked on creating some open ended plans that would allow me to relax a bit and not go into some busy weeks at work completely exhausted.  Let’s go with the latter.

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^^ Remember when I mentioned that I loved Westville’s salad so much?  Yeah well when I was given the ok to leave work on Friday, I decided to go back down to 18th street, have a solo salad and then make my way back to Central Park to meet up with Lindsay and a few of her friends for a bit.  It was amazing to see how many people were out in Sheep’s Meadow.  While the heat did get a bit bothersome at times, if you stayed in the shade it was absolutely lovely.

From the park, Lindsay and I made our way to CitiField where we were able to watch our Los Angeles boys in blue take on the Mets!  It may not have been the best start for the Dodgers as they were down 5-1 by the 8th inning.  Lindsay and I thought they were out for the count and had started to make our way back to the city on the 7 train when I got a text from my mom saying the following “Dad hopes that you are still watching the game since it’s tied 5-5.”  Well if that’s not a guilt trip…Just kidding.

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There were a ton of people on the train and we were all kicking ourselves in the pants.  I just claimed that we were typical LA fans – arrive late and leave early.  The real excitement was Saturday when Chase Utley hit a grand slam for the Dodger win!

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Saturday I decided to give myself the day off from working out and instead Lindsay and I got up early to hit the beach.  We left the apartment around 8:30, picked up some snacks and caffeinated beverages at Starbucks and were on the sand by 11:30.  Now that it’s beach season, the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) has various beach deals including one to Long Beach – $23 round trip fare and access to the beach (normally $15).  I guess they charge at most beaches in order to maintain the classiness or cleanliness.  Either way, it does make for a better experience, especially if you make it a full day.

We may have been overeager on the sun and less than smart on the sunscreen.  I had thought it would be easy to spray myself periodically with the spray bottle but apparently that was not enough.  When I got home it looked like I wore some fancy schmancy suit that had cut-outs on the sides.  Let’s be clear that I did not wear that.  So from 7pm onward I sat and applied aloe, ate Bareburger and watched Disney Channel movies from the 100th episode celebration.  Adulting at its finest.

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^^ Sunday started with my last ClassPass class at KORE.  We worked for about 45 minutes with kettle bells, TRX ropes, and our own body weight.  The music was good, the bathrooms were fancy, and the lighting was a bit too much disco-esque.  I didn’t feel it too much right after the class but boy did I feel the burn the next morning.

Once finished, I hopped back on a Citi bike, prepped breakfast for the week and got ready for day #2 of the beach.  This time we were keeping it cheap and taking the A train out to Rockaways.  Turns out we went to the surfing spot, which doesn’t exactly allow for swimming.  Good to know.

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Once we got past the loud family and two parties playing loud music (really people, is that necessary?  How about listening to the ocean waves), everything was just fine.  I had brought my second book – The Lake House by Kate Morton – and alternated between reading and napping and glaring at our neighbors.  We actually didn’t even make it into the water because an odd fog started to roll in and we took our cue to depart.

To be 100% honest – the beaches are nothing like those in California.  I grew up going to Laguna Beach and there seriously is nothing better – the waves, the color of the ocean – the cleanliness (on most…).  That or Hawaii but we can’t all have Hawaii all the time.  It is sort of hard to trek all the way out with all your goods, but that’s part of growing up and exploring new areas.  Maybe I’ll stumble across a few other beaches this summer and make a list of pros/cons.

I’d like to say we went home and got dressed to go party but that would be a lie.  I sat right down and applied aloe and watched some excellent Disney films.  1) Johnny Tsunami, 2) ZENON and then 3) Teen Beach Movie, which seemed like a mash-up of modern day Johnny Tsunami (mostly for the poor kids who will never watch it) and Grease.  I was actually highly satisfied with all three and then got 8+ hours of sleep.  Now that’s an awesome weekend.

Monday Monday Monday.  After waking up to a cool apartment at 8:15am, it was off to the gym for a spin class and barre class.  I was supposed to go biking to a brewery but with 100% chance of showers, that plan was busted.  Once I set off for the gym a funny thing happened.  IT DIDN’T RAIN ALL DAY.  Get that meteorologists.  Anyways, it was probably for the better because I was able to stock up on some cleaning supplies, work through the apartment and get prepped for the week.

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I did meet up with my two friends that I was supposed to bike with and we tested out a new brunch spot instead.  I had selected this place (Jane) based on the reviews of the burger and bloody mary.  I did not get the burger and was actually not a fan of the bloody mary but did love the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for what it’s worth.

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And that folks was a New York staycation.  A bit hap-hazard of a write-up as there was no real itinerary but we made do with our resources and it was one to remember.  Oh and for one little teaser of where I wish I could be – Curacao – with this view.  This is what a couple of my friends have seen for the past week.  Sunsets (NO FILTER) like this on the daily with plenty of sun and perfect surf to go around.

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“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

Montauk ~ The End of the Line

Ah Montauk.  It’s a part of New York that I had only dreamed about going to – mostly because it’s been built up as this Atlantis-like place in my head.  A beach to beat beaches, so far out of the city that it’s practically a world of its own.   People told me that you really should make friends that have a house in the Hamptons and that it’s THE place to be in the summer, etc., etc.  Well, since finding friends in the city who have those said homes has not been easy and I’m not the type of person to keep saying “one day.”  Carpe diem.

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Sure, I admit that growing up in Southern California has spoiled me in terms of which beaches I like to go to.  The sand and the sea do vary as you go up and down the coast and of course one has to gauge how public or private the beach will be, along with how many thousands of people will be scattered along the water (the hotter the day = the more people you have to fight for space).  While I didn’t spend every single weekend at the beach (probably due to some lovely soccer tournaments and other trips), we did make it a point to go down for a few Sundays.  Boy do I miss those lunches at my grandparent’s house and afternoon on the sand.  I would wander around the coves looking for sea glass and dive in the water to cool off from the hot Southern California sun.

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 Well, a year after arriving in this big city, I decided it was about time to make the trek.  We woke up around 6:30 and took a cab over to Penn Station for the 7:45 LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) train.  With one stop and transfer at Jamaica Station, we were on our way out to the end of Long Island.

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People told me that it takes forever to get to (please people, let’s remember I’m from L.A. aka traffic and we casually take 5 hour trips to visit Mammoth when I’m home) but that it was oh so worth it.  Oh yes INDEED.  I have been to a couple beaches out in Queens and Long Island and even Ocean City, New Jersey, but this felt just like home.  The pristine beaches, the waves, and chill in the water.  It was exactly what I needed on a fine summer afternoon.

IMG_2081We were out on the beach and dipping in and out of the water for a good two hours before it was time for a late lunch.  Of course, it being Montauk, we had to go with the classic lobster roll sandwich.

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^^ Lindsay went for the classic Connecticut roll and while it was tasty, mentioned it fell just below our lobster roll at the Polo Bar and Restaurant.  Hm, good to know Ralph Lauren has his food priorities straight.

FullSizeRender^^ I decided to go rogue since lobster just isn’t my scene.  I’ll do salmon, I’ll do tuna, and I’ll even do crab.  Lobster, clams, oysters, and shrimp I can do without. Hey, makes me an inexpensive date 😉

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To top it off, we stopped by Buddha Berry for a lite refreshing treat.  Five or so flavors of sorbet packed under organic unsweetened coconut, mochi, and dark chocolate chips.  Divine, simply divine.  (maybe if I always get dessert I’m no longer an inexpensive date…)

From there, we walked the mile back to the train and boarded up for the ride back into the city.  Until we meet again Montauk (and I do hope it is soon).

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“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Dog Days of Summer Streets

There’s a little thing New York likes to call Summer Streets.  Every year for the first three Saturdays in August, Park Avenue is blocked off from 72nd street all the way to the Brooklyn bridge – simply for pedestrian.  It’s backed by practically every NYC organization and lasts only from 7am-1pm.  Apparently in 2014 there were over 300,000 people that came out to experience it and of course the earlier you head out, the less crowded it will be!

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#iphone6 (photo creds to Marnie)

While it’s common to see runners and bladers all throughout Manhattan, it’s unique to see them taking on the entirety of Park Avenue.  There are vendors and rentals and people galore!  I was able to entice one of my friends to come in early from Brooklyn and travel down the route with me.  I had 8-9 miles on the books (half marathon training), so I figured we would start all the way at the top and work our way downtown.

IMG_1785 IMG_1782^^ Necessary photo opp.  Because when else will you be right in front of Grand Central without hoards of taxis zooming by?

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^^ Hi my name is Kaitlin and I like free things and silly pictures 🙂

As we made our way towards the Brooklyn Bridge, I ran into at least three of my November Project friends AND we stumbled upon the Vita Coco “beach” in Foley Square.  There were chairs and a water slide and of course free samples galore.  Marnie and I went for the lemonade flavor as it’s 1) my favorite and 2) lemonade is always something I crave during long runs.  I think this stems back to high school when we would run in the summer and would usually finish with ice-cold Simply Lemonade.  Vita Coco seems to have a little more recovery power and better nutrition buuuut I don’t discriminate too much against lemonades.

IMG_1783Since down to the bridge was only around 5 miles, we decided to continue onto the Brooklyn Bridge, dash around hoards of runners and tourists and even spot a proposal (and help take post-proposal pictures!!) Also, me clutching my phone on a bridge telling myself “don’t drop the phone, don’t drop the phone”

IMG_1779 Of course running just over the Brooklyn Bridge still didn’t have us at the right mileage so into Brooklyn and back over the Manhattan bridge we went.   Total mileage for the day ended up around 8.8 (with a short jaunt to Juice Press for the weekly JP Run Club) and an average of 8:30 pace.  Not bad considering we had a bit of stop and go, allowing some cars to cross over Park (I guess they can’t block off all of Park Avenue, chaos might ensue) and other shenanigans.

It’s days like this that make me so happy to live in the city – it may not be picturesque like the mountains or west coast beaches, but it’s quite a sight to see hundreds of people going up and down the streets of Manhattan.

IMG_1787Later in the afternoon, I regrouped with Marnie and our other friends Naomi and Hillary to spend the afternoon at Rockaways Beach.  While it did take us almost 2.5 hours to get there and 2 hours to get home (not ideal), sitting by the water with a nice breeze totally made the trip worth it.

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 “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” – Victoria Holt

Summer Days at Coney Island

Because what else do you do when you have a free Friday off of work?  Since no one else I knew had the day off, and I hadn’t gotten around to scheduling any weekend trips, I thought it would be neat to travel outside my home-base borough and into the realm of Coney Island.  Home to the Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, a couple amusement parks and a seaside resort.

Just a hop, skip, and a jump – or more realistically 45 minute subway ride, and you are there.  To be exact, this was my second trip to Coney Island – my first occurring after last year’s Brooklyn Half Marathon.  This time there were plenty of people on the beaches, but far fewer crowds to battle, open lines at Nathan’s Famous, and I had the most important accessory – my camera.

IMG_7652 IMG_7653 ^^ If you are lucky and in town during the 4th of July, you can stop by Nathan’s to watch the annual hot dog eating contest.  Not sure if it’s a blessing or disappointment that I missed that event.

IMG_7656 IMG_7659 ^^ Nathan’s is obviously known for their hot dogs, but it’s also a hot spot for their waffle/crinkle cut fries and come with their own little skewer fork.

IMG_7663 IMG_7667 ^^ One day late for National Hot Dog day but let’s be real, when you are in Coney Island, every day is hot dog day, right?

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After chowing down, I set off to explore the boardwalk.  There even happened to be a little section of the popular  Smorgasburg right here in Coney Island (Brooklyn’s flea food market – food extravaganza where a number of mom + pop or hipster food shops set up booths in a parking lot or park)

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Boardwalk along the westernmost part of the barrier islands of Long Island with plenty for all ages.  There are restaurants, games, rides, and even a couple of bars for those looking for an overpriced adult beverage.  Got to love tourist season.

~ Coney Island History ~ Coney Island Tours ($25 cash) ~ Mermaid Festival ~ Movies at Coney Island (w/ Friday night fireworks during the summer!)
~ Beach ~ Rides ~ Aquarium ~ Minor League Baseball ~
Subways: D, F, N, Q

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^^ Beach + ice cream go hand-in-hand, right?

IMG_7689 IMG_7694I decided to walk all the way down the boardwalk to Brighton Beach and then headed back into the city.  For some reason, the afternoon felt like part of a dream – just looking around me and soaking in all the experiences and cultural differences; differences between coasts, boroughs, and even between 10 or so blocks.

“If Paris is France, Coney Island, between June and September is the world” – George Tilyou

Sights By The Sea ~ A Trip to Cape Cod

One of my many lofty goals is to explore the entirety of the east coast.  On a grander level, I would love to explore each and every state, as many countries as possible, and maybe even a road trip or two with pit-stops at random eateries and national parks.  But for the time being, I’ll stick to east coast based locations that are a hop, skip, and a jump away.  As a matter of fact, a month or so back, I waslucky enough to spend the weekend with my grandparents up in Cape Cod.  Yes I have been hoarding this recap in my drafts folder and so now it’s time to share the love.  

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While I don’t actually have any family that lives on the east coast, I do have lots of loving relatives who are willing to make the trip out from sunny Southern California.  Also, this might be a complete east-coast-ignorant statement but when I first proposed visiting the Cape, I had no.darn.clue how many places that potentially included.  Here I was thinking it was all one beach town.  Noooope.

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To be exact (wikipedia exact), there are 15 different towns {Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown}, each with a number of different villages.  Well thank you to my good friend Sarah, who has extensive knowledge of the area, I narrowed it down to Chatham and that is where we traveled.

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Once we selected the town, it was time to figure out where to stay.  Thanks to my dad’s excellent travel research skills, we stumbled upon possibly the most adorable B&B I have ever visited or seen before. The cute couple has been running this B&B for almost 20 years and they certainly have it all down to a science.

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The Old Harbor Inn
22 Old Harbor Rd, Chatham, MA 02633
(508)945-4434

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^^ perfectly decorated bedrooms filled with little snack baskets, the most luxurious mattresses, chocolates on the pillows, and an endless stream of snacks, cookies, coffees and teas one could ask for.

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^^ Even a daily breakfast selection by the hostess.  The night before, you will find a perfect little menu printed on your bed with all the potential options and boy is it delicious.  I certainly had way too much fun playing with the Nespresso machine.  Who wouldn’t?

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~ united states coast guard ~

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^^ on the first day that we were in town it happened to be 1) raining and 2) we were sans electricity as some fuse had blown out.  So instead of sitting around, we decided to drive out and around the various cape towns.  Lucky for us the sun decided to shine by the time we reached the tip of the “arm” (how some like to describe the shape of the cape)

grandparents on the beach

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^^ traveling out and around the coast to Provincetown is a must

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On Saturday morning, the sun was shining bright and early, so once we were finished with our lovely B&B breakfast, we set out for a walk about town.

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^^ salt water taffy, another must when you find yourself on any coast

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^^ a Massachusetts and northeast classic

IMG_6706^^ with so many different mom and pop stores to wander, I was in seventh heaven.  While the weather might have edged on the chillier side, it was lovely to travel and walk around town without all the tourists.  You know the overwhelmingly obnoxious tourists, not us of course 😉

More to come on some of our delicious eats!

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many many thanks for making the trip!

“Life is like a camera focus on what’s important and capture the good times” – unknown