Monday, July 28, 2014

Pretending To Be On Vacation When Friends Are In Town

Do you ever wish you worked in a school just so you could have the summer off?!  I do during the summer.  Then I remember I would hate working in a school so it really wouldn't be worth the trade off.  Anyways since I can't have the whole summer off I just have to pretend I'm on vacation when out of town friends visit. 

Last week my friend and former roommate Stephanie and her husband came to Boston for several days.  We made the most of her time here with two fun nights out in the city!

Our first night out together we went to the Back Bay.  It was a beautiful night and we made the most of it by sitting outside for some pre-dinner drinks.  We enjoyed some delicious UFO Big Squeeze beers which is their version of a summer shandy.  So good!  We then made our way to Parish Cafe for dinner and enjoyed some tasty white sangria (don't worry we ate dinner too).  After dinner we walked to JP Licks for dessert (they have the most amazing ice cream - oreo cake batter)!

The following night we met up again.  This time we ventured to the Waterfront to check out the Harpoon Brewery.  They added a beer hall and I had not been yet so I was glad to finally get over there for some tasting (we got there too late to do a tour).  Steph, Matt and I shared a Harpoon Sampler and a UFO Sampler while we waited for Lynne to arrive.  Then we got pints of our new favorite - the UFO Big Squeeze!

We then made our way down the street to Legal Harborside.  We planned to grab a drink on the rooftop bar prior to our dinner reservation which we did but unfortunately it was crowded due to a political fundraiser in one section.  It was another beautiful night and it was just nice to be outside.  We had more sangria. . . a new one. . . strawberry which was really good!  We enjoyed a great dinner (even though I don't eat seafood) and great conversation.  If only I could convince Steph (and Matt) to move back to Boston.  So much fun but by the next morning I remembered that I wasn't on vacation but how exhausted I felt when I had to get up to go to work.  Oh well it was worth it!

Hopefully it won't be too long before I see Steph again.  Now that she has moved to San Fran I see another wine country trip in my future.  Who wants to come?!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

WaterFire Providence

This weekend I check something off my summer bucket list that has actually been on it for several summers!  WaterFire in Providence is just what it sounds like - over 80 bonfires that are lit on the river.  The event is more than just the fires on the river though. There were tents with food, drink, crafts, etc.  There were street performers too!  It was a beautiful night to walk around outside and we had such a nice time.

These blue stars were on display in a garden like area.  The lanterns on the ground have personalized messages to people's loved ones.  The whole area was so pretty and magical.  The blue stars were on sale for $40 and I think they would look so pretty in a backyard (which I don't have)!

The street performers were very cool! I can't believe they can stand so still for so many hours especially when it is hot!  I'd be curious to know how much money they make in a night from tips.

I never spend time in Providence.  Before going to WaterFire we had dinner in Federal Hill at a really cute place called Mediterraneo.  We all loved our meals and sangria!  The service was excellent and the prices were reasonable.  Oh and they serve complimentary limoncello with dessert.  I tried it again and I still don't really like it!

I didn't get home until 1AM!!! That is the latest I've been out for a LONG time!  It was worth it.

Have you every been to WaterFire?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Revere Beach 2014 National Sand Castle Festival

This weekend was the annual Revere Beach National Sand Castle Festival.  I've been a few times before (see 2012 here and 2011 here) yet each time I see these elaborate sand castles I am in awe.  They are incredible.  The detail is amazing.

Revere Beach is a city beach but they have cleaned up the area a lot over the past few years and it is quite nice.  Revere Beach is a National Historic Landmark for being America's first public beach.

The sand castle competition brings sculptors from all over the world which is pretty impressive.  The winner gets $5,000 which isn't much when you consider their travel expenses and time!  There are strict rules including only sand and water being allowed, approximately 12 tons of sand each, 30 hours of competition and only the master sculptor may work on the castle.

Since we went on Friday night the sculptors were still working on their castles.  It was cool to see them in process and watch them work!

This is the "Centerpiece Castle" and the theme this year was Stars and Stripes in the Sand (although if you ask me it didn't seem like any other castles went along with this theme)!

 This Rio 2 castle was Carter's favorite!

4th Place: Eternal Love

3rd Place: Snail Trail

 2nd Place: War - My Heart Tells Me Otherwise

 People's Choice: Time Is Running Out

Somehow I missed taking photos of a couple of the castles.  Go here to see the 1st Place Winner. I guess I wasn't that impressed with that castle since I didn't take a photo.  Haha!   

Carter loved that the army had a bunch of trucks/jeeps there for the kids to try out!

We were smart of go on Friday night because not only was the weather awesome but it wasn't too crowded.  In the past we've gone on the weekend days and it has been CRAZY! This was much better (except for the fact that the castles were not 100% finished).

The rest of my weekend was spend in a conference. . . exciting stuff for me and my career but don't want to bore you with all that!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Visiting A Cape Cod Lavendar Farm

Have you ever been to a lavender farm?  Did you even know that lavender farms existed?  I sure didn't until I came across this article and knew I needed to see this place for myself.  It just sounded so pretty and relaxing so this weekend I convinced my mom to go check it out.

The Cape Cod Lavender Farm is in Harwich and while not easy to find it is a unique and serene place to visit.  While it is 20 acres of land we only visited/walked around in a small area.  You can pick your own lavender or pick some up that the family picked that morning.  The little shop smelled amazing and immediately made me want a massage!

There were several birdhouses on the farm but I didn't see too many birds during our visit - plenty of bumble bees though!

Visiting a lavender farm isn't something I would do everyday but it was nice to visit and see other side of Cape Cod.  There are so many corners of The Cape to explore and I'm always amazed with the natural beauty.