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Monday, January 11, 2021

Hiking Hartman Park - Lyme, CT

Living on the preserve means I venture to other hiking areas a little less. It's far too easy to walk out the door and down the road than loading up the dogs in the car and driving to a trailhead. But, as much as I appreciate this large swatch of wilderness that stretches past our home, a change of scenery is always good. It was a sunny Sunday in January, temperatures topping in the high 30's and low 40's. A bright sunny day, not a cloud in the sky and a light breeze at best. January in New England can go either way and this kind of weather on a winter Sunday with limited daylight hours means you pack up the car and head somewhere worthy. 

I had been to Hartman Park a dozen times and joked with Adam I had a bit of "PTSD" from a December visit years ago. While hiking in the park, Olive and her hiking buddy (Thule the golden retriever) took off after a deer and that was the last we saw of them for about five hours. Hartman Park is sort of in the woods in the middle of nowhere and after spending hours following the trail and calling their name, asking any hikers if they had seen this dynamic duo (always no), I was beyond hysterics. The sun was starting to set and snow was falling and I left the park to go grab some bacon for a bacon burn. My parents left their hours to head to the trailhead to search the roads while we ran to the store and as they pulled up to the trailhead, our two lost dogs were there waiting for a ride home. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Hiking East River Preserve - Guilford, CT

East River Preserve is kind of the space that has everything.  Wide-open fields, lots of double-track through the woods, trails following the beautiful East River, wide gravel trails along the powerlines, quiet singletrack through the woods, and more. When I lived in Guilford, it was a spot I went almost weekly and even after moving away, it's still a preserve I keep coming back to.  It can be busy during the weekends but it isn't mobbed by any means.  There are various trailheads throughout town and it i's larger than you think.  A hot sunny morning or a grey winter's day, East River Preserve is the perfect place for a hike during any season. 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Year in Review - 2020

2020 was a year we will never forget. It was full of some of our biggest life moments which also happened to take place during such a scary time. 2020 will always be remembered as the year of the pandemic, the crazy election, the forest fires, the floods, the black lives matters movements, and so many other challenging events. At the same time, we will also remember it as the year we got married, bought a house, found out we were pregnant, and spent a lot of time at home together.  It's hard to have such conflicting feelings about a "year" - to have so many happy memories taking place in a year that was so brutal for many. 

Nonetheless, I write this post every year (you can read my recaps for 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014), and this year was an important one to look back on.  It was always my favorite post to write, acknowledging the importance of looking back and being thankful for all the memories made - an important and oh so necessary exercise in gratitude especially this year. I am thankful for all the memories, thankful for the growth, appreciative of all the happy memories but I am so excited to put this challenging year behind us. Before we welcome 2021 and all the changes (and uncertainties, let's be honest) that the new year will bring, let's look back at 2020... the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Bucket List Worthy Adventures

2020 has been a tough year for us all.  Elections, pandemic, sinking economy, forest fires, and the list goes on. If you escaped 2020 with your job, your health and your home, then you probably at least fell victim to the social impacts of this isolating year.  Holidays were canceled, weddings postponed, time with friends and family vanished, and vacations put on a standstill. 

If you love to travel, then it's been a challenging year of planning and isolation.  Ever since the pandemic hit, we shifted our gears to local travel to adventures around New England when it was safe in the summer. With the increasing cases and the second surge in the fall, we really stuck to traveling within our state lines (and it's a small state guys...).  It's been challenging with so many unknowns and omeone who loves to plan (me, me, me) can't really plan anything.  Truth be told (and the unpopular but likely truth) is that we don't know how "normal" 2021 will really be.  Vaccines are on the way but with so many individuals to vaccinate and so many unknowns, 2021 is starting to look pretty isolating too.  So instead of planning adventures for 2021 - I'm trying to stay somewhat positive and focus more on the bigger picture - building my bucket list.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Outdoorsy Girls Guide To: HOUSE PLANTS

Okay, so this might seem like a weird one in the OGG series and fine, it sort of is - But let's be honest... it's winter in New England and early December is just ugly stick season. The green is gone save for the evergreens and it's dark at 4:30. I am spending much more time inside than I want to and I miss being outside in the sunshine. It's also 2020 and the coronavirus is on the rise so we are all home a lot more than we are used to. 

COVID, winter, lack of greenery.... cue the plant collection. 
Let's face it... Crazy Plant Girl is so 2020.