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Saturday, June 11, 2022

Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk - Paved Recreation Path in Madison, CT


 I always appreciated a good rec path and this summer I started thinking about including a rec path section on KW. Why do I love a good recreation path? They are often flat, in a super scenic area, and provide a safe place for you to walk, bike, run, walk your dog, rollerblade, or whatever you want to do outside (without a motor). Once I had Whitney, I learned to appreciate these dedicated pedestrian lanes even more as a safe place to run. Exercise is a priority for my physical and mental health and finding the time to fit it into my busy day usually involves bringing Whitney along for the ride. I run around our neighborhood a lot out of pure convenience (right out the door) and safety (quiet roads with cul-de-sacs). The only problem is it's very hilly and sometimes you just need some flat roads and a change of scenery. 

I started upping my mileage to include some long runs and knew I was bringing Whitney. It had been a while since I visited Hammonasset State Park a few towns over in Madison, Connecticut. It's known for its paved rec path through the park, beach access, campground, and nature center. It's all in the details like the rentable pavilions here families host birthday parties, the playground along the path, water stations along the trail (attached dog water stations included), boardwalks, a nature center, and some trails through the park. It's a great family-friendly place and truth be told, it's a great spot for a longer run. Safe, restricted paved path, bathrooms, a snack shack, a view, and flat terrain.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Farmington Polo Summer Saturdays


It's polo season here in Connecticut. It sounds pretentious but the thing about heading to Farmington for a polo match is it can be anything you want. Bring the kids and the dogs and hang out with the family. Dress up and bring your girlfriends for a picnic. Bring your friends and some wine for cocktail hour before dinner. Bring nothing and grab food and drinks there and relax. I've been a few times and every time we go we plan it picnic style. We bring the dogs, pack a few chairs, bring a picnic-style dinner, and enjoy a sunny summer Saturday here in New England. It's relaxing, social, and a fun way for the kids to blow off some energy and the adults to mingle. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Road Trip with a Toddler

If you read my last post, you already know that we went to Maryland as a trial run for traveling with a toddler. Just when you think you have it all figured out, they are out of one stage and into the other and you have to pivot or even completely change your strategy. Traveling with a newborn vs a 6-month-old vs a 1-year-old is all very different. Gone are the days of sleepy babies happy to nap in the car or at a restaurant. Here are the days of a mobile toddler who hates to be restrained in any type of way and demands all sorts of food at all sorts of times. If you are nervous about traveling with a toddler, I can't stress a trial run enough. This road trip gave me confidence that we can travel with him as he moves through his toddler stages and we had the chance to test out some new gear and new strategies. Today's post is all about some tips and tricks that worked well for us. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Weekender's Guide to: Northern Chesapeake Bay, Maryland


Today's Weekender's Guide was a chance to visit Maryland and a trial run of sorts. We are going to Portugal next month and traveling abroad with a 15-month-old (his first flight will be nearly 7 hours) was giving me a boatload of anxiety. Whitney is in that age range where traveling with him is a complete wild card. He is on the move, full of attitude, and on a schedule. Gone are the sleepy, immobile days of traveling.  

I was especially terrified of "naps on the go" as we can't rush back to the Airbnb for 2-3 hours every day while we are out traveling. We traveled a fair amount his first year but he has changed a lot since some of our last trips. I needed the confidence to travel with a toddler out of his element and routine. He is an amazing sleeper at home but he is conditioned to that dark quiet room and his crib in his room. I really needed him to be able to nap in his stroller or in the car on the go. More importantly, I needed to prove to myself that I could do it.

Downtown St Michaels, Maryland
 

For our "trial run" and weekend getaway, we decided on a road trip to the Northeastern Chesapeake Bay of Maryland. I had never been to the state (besides driving through) and I was excited about spending time on the water with Adam and Whitney to kick off the summer. I'll share a separate guide on a few things that really helped us road trip with a toddler (through temperatures ranging from 60s to 90s). But this is a travel guide. This is a Weekender's Guide, the things worth seeing, the food worth eating, and a few things in-between. It focuses on the northern/central portions of the pay, visiting Chesapeake City, St Michaels, Easton, and Annapolis. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Charles River Running Path, Boston, MA


2022 is the year that simply put, work got crazy. 

I started a company in 2020 a few months before we found out I was pregnant and right when the pandemic was in full force. After working from home for a few months, the small company I worked for decided we all had to come back into the office, pre-vaccine. The second stipulation was my dog was no longer allowed to attend. She had been there with me from the day I brought her home as a 10-month-old puppy and 9 years later, the rules had changed.  The "office" was a windowless trailer in a warehouse where 3-5 people would work. Safety measures at the time were two pieces of tape to make "social distancing" in our tiny trailer and I would have to bring Olive to daycare every day. 

I felt it was unsafe to return to this kind of environment and frankly, there was no need. The world was adapting to remote work and it was working really well. Having people back in the office seemed to be a matter of control and it simply wasn't safe. 

I always wanted to start my own consulting business focusing on a small sector of the environmental consulting industry. I decided a recession and global pandemic was a terrible time but also the push out of the security nest I needed. I gave my notice and got to work creating a company. 

The first year was slow and I focused on the logistics like the website, insurance, taxes, and logos. The second year I had a newborn and took a few small jobs with the idea that "I would let work find me" while I took a maternity leave. Six months into my maternity leave I decided it was time to grow the business and I actively reached out to other companies and clients and started to grow the business. Whitney is a year old now and I can't keep up with the workload finding its way to my desk. A lot of my work over the last few months has involved site visits all throughout the northeast and I've spent a lot of time driving all around New England.

I was spending long days behind the steering wheel and quickly decided to always pack my running sneakers and a sports bra when I headed out the door in the morning. My goal was to try to find a new place to stretch my legs in between jobs, a way to stay active and do a little bit of Katie Wandering in the meantime. It's been a fun way to prioritize my workouts and give them a little refresh with a change of scenery. It's also led me to check out some pretty cool spaces and places, especially the designated rec paths throughout New England. 

So I guess this was the long roundabout way of saying "I went to Boston for work and ran the Charles River Rec Path while I was there".