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Friday, April 21, 2017

Dog-Friendly Vacation Rentals and Guides

It was one of those weeks that just dragged on and in true New England fashion, the weather was all over the place.  Monday was 70 degrees sunshine and everything amazing about spring but it just went downhill from there.  45-50 degrees and raining has been the theme of the end of the week.  Luckily, warmer weather is on the horizon and I have some amazing trips coming up ranging from long weekends in California to camping trips here in New England.  Lets talk about vacations, shall we?

Today's post is the last in my "everything-dog-friendly" series and I have to say it's a good one. Today I am collaborating with Tripping.com to talk about vacation planning with your pooch.  Spoiler:  Trying to find dog friendly lodging just got a whole lot easier. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bluff Point State Park- Groton, Connecticut


If you have been reading along for some time, you probably know by now that A:  I love to travel and B:  I have had the chance to live in some pretty cool places (oh I am talking about you New England and Utah).  While I love to blog about popular spots like the vineyards of Napa Valley or visiting some of our most famous National Parks, I really love to post about the local treasures in my back yard.  This time last year my back yard looked a little different (truth:  I did not even have a back yard, I lived in an apartment downtown in a city nestled in the mountains and technically what you could call the back yard was the park where the homeless camped).  Living on the East Coast, I subbed the mountain and city views for quiet, humidity, and ocean views here on the Connecticut shoreline.  My back yard now has ocean views.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Barn Island - Stonington, Connecticut


Happy Tuesday!  Mondays 70+ degree weather has all of us New Englanders packing away the winter clothes and making summer plans.  With that nice weather comes all the planned hikes, bike rides and adventures.  Of course, all these adventures are much more fun with my not so trusty furry companion Olive.  This week, I am sharing some dog-friendly posts on some favorite places and spaces to spend time with your dog.  Today's post is a local favorite and at 2.5 miles down the road from where I live, it is an easy place to sneak away for an after work bike ride or trail run with Olive.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hubbard Park/Castle Craig, Connecticut


You know that first real day of spring.  The day the sun is shining, the birds and chirping, the daffodils are in bloom and for the first time in a long time, you can go outside in a t-shirt.  That day here in Connecticut was Sunday.  Temperatures were reaching 70 degrees inland and man did it get all of us New Englanders talking about summer plans. Talking to a gentleman about how busy all the state parks were on Sunday, he looked at me with a slight laugh and said "of course, its busy.... this is the day everyone has been waiting a long time for".   After a long winter and a rainy start to spring, Oh was he right.  

For me, the start of the warmer weather is the start of hiking season.  At the moment, the trees are still a depressive shade of leafless brown and the landscape carries the same dull brown and yellows it has been holding onto all winter long.  I am not-so-patiently awaiting the time of year when the trees are green again and wildflowers line the hillside.  With that being said, I have some work to do if I want to get into "White Mountains Hiking Shape" for the summer.  I need to get some days out on some elevation and I needed to get it fast.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Smugglers Notch Resort, Vermont


The annual "Smuggs Brewfest Trip" was always an event we looked forward to.  Twice a year,  about mid December and early April in the non-peak skiing season, a group of friends would make the 4 to 5 hour drive up North to spend a weekend up at Smugglers Notch.  Of all the Vermont ski resorts, this is one you don't hear a lot about.  Smugglers Notch is up there.  Every time I drive up to the resort I am reminded of the fact that we are basically driving up to Canada.  Smugglers is on the other side of Stowe, and is basically the last resort in the state besides Jay Peak which is nearly on the border.   The drive feels even longer in the winter when you can't cut through the historic Smugglers Notch Pass (Route 108) that connects Smugglers Notch and Stowe.  Instead, you have to go up around and cut back to get to Smuggs.  Add in the fact that we drove up on a Friday night in a heavy snow storm with speeds limited to 35 mph and it turns into the drive from hell.  But I digress.  Smuggler's Notch isn't the easiest mountain to get to but there are a few reasons (charm, variety, condos) and one big reason we make the journey when there are so many mountains closer.... the price.     

Smugglers Notch Trail Map

Friday, April 7, 2017

Scuba Diving on Grand Cayman (recap)


Before I go into my last Grand Cayman post (yes, this is my last GC post) I have to start with an apology.  I am sorry for being so on and off and inconsistent in my blogging lately.  Sometimes it can be tough to find the balance between the 40+ hour work week, adventures, and the blogging in between.  But nonetheless, I am here and we are going to recap my last Grand Cayman post.  Today's post is the finally sum up of diving on the island of Grand Cayman.  A breakdown of dive sites, the critters we saw and an interactive map with details on all our dive sites.  Happy Friday and let's talk about diving. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Moxie - Madison, Connecticut



Moxie.  People have been ranting and raving over this spot in the small coastal town of Madison, Connecticut.  After a few visits, I quickly understood why Moxie is always busy and why everyone keeps talking about it.  For starters, Moxie is home to great food at an awesome price with an impressive local beer list.  The restaurant also has a fun down to earth yet trendy vibe.  This combination, cool spot + fair prices + great food + awesome beer means Moxie is always busy and quite popular with the hipster crowd.  Well, the few that are actually in this area.  Heads up early on, you will need a reservation for dinner, especially on the weekends.  

I decided to give it a try on two separate occasions and was impressed with the food, alcohol selections and atmosphere each time.  I have to be honest, I judge a restaurant harshly on how good their fries are and let's just say Moxie is officially Katie Wanders eaten at and approved.

Let's talk about Moxie.