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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Weekender's Guide: Northwest Connecticut/The Litchfield Hills

When I lived in Utah, I had a hard time describing Connecticut to people. It's sandwiched between New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island but it truly has its own identity. The shoreline shifts from a suburb of New York to an extension of Rhode Island. The central area (especially around the Connecticut River) is quaint and iconic, filled with old towns and historic homes. The northeast corner has been dubbed the "quiet corner" and it's known for exactly that.

But the northwest corner is my favorite part of the state. It's known for rolling hills, sleepy towns, and boarding schools that resemble college campuses. This tiny corner is where you can find old covered bridges, quiet country stores, and old romantic inns. The Housatonic River snakes through the area and Route 7 offers a scenic drive of fly fishermen and summer sunbathers. Once you leave the river, you can follow 50 miles of the famous Appalachian Trail and hike to the state's highest point. It's a gem year round but my favorite time is fall. The bugs are gone, the leaves are turning, the apple orchards are open, and bonfire season is in full swing. It's an area I keep coming back to, for a day hike any time of year or an overnight excursion in the summer. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Camping with Kids - a guide, Shred Dog gear for kids, and more

Somewhere between my pre-2021 childless life and my 2022 life with a toddler, I've become an unofficial low-key ambassador for getting outdoors and living a normal life *with kids*. Sure sure, there are pro athletes and big-name influencers getting out there and sharing their stories of life with kids and it's amazing, we love to see it. But, I love sharing a side that's may be a bit more approachable to your average family. I'm your typical mom trying to balance my career outside of this space with the normal stuff like grocery lists, household renovations, overflowing piles of laundry, and weekend get-aways. 

My tone is always aimed at being approachable and it makes every minute spent behind a computer screen worth it to get messages from friends and strangers sharing their inspired stories. All the stories sort of go along the lines of  "I saw this kind of parenting and lifestyle with kids and questioned if I really want kids until I remembered you". It's a powerful statement and a title I don't take lightly. Since having Whitney in early 2021, it's been my mission to prove that kids (babies and toddlers really) aren't a death sentence to your former life and I am beyond excited to keep living this sentiment. 

So today's post is a homage to all the people who gave me a bit of a side eye or inquired with a bit of bewilderment when I told them I was taking my 17-month-old camping for two nights in the Catskills - alongside my three nephews ages 4, 6, and 8. It truly went better than I expected and I hope today's post inspires you to "start em young" and just get out there when it comes to camping with kids. 

Kids at camp

Monday, August 15, 2022

North South Lake - Camping in the Catskills of New York

One of my first trips with Adam was a little winter getaway to the Tiny House Resort in the Catskills of New York. I won a stay on Instagram and invited the man I had known for a month to spend a weekend with me in 200 square feet in snowy New York. He surprisingly said yes and we packed up the dogs and spent the perfect winter weekend hiking in New York. One of our hikes took us to Newman's Ledge at North South Lake. This new to us spot had two lakes with swimming areas, a beautiful campground, playgrounds, canoe rentals, and just about everything you need for a summer camping getaway. Quickly after that trip, the understated Catskills became one of my favorite spots to visit in just about every season. After our hike to Newman's Ledge and seeing the snow-covered lakes, we made a mental note to come back in the summer. A few years later, we finally did with our son. 

Beach/Swimming Area at North Lake
Beach/Swimming Area at North Lake

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Visiting the Azores - A Guide to Adventure on Sao Miguel

You either know about the Azores as they have been high on the radar as a spot for affordable adventure travel, or you are completely new to the name and this chain of islands. Either way, today's post is all about the main island of Sao Miguel and why it's a top destination for adventure travelers all over the world.  

The mainland of Portugal "Continental Portugal" is the small sliver of a country next to Spain on the Iberian Peninsula. What a lot of people don't know is that there are also two Autonomous Regions of Portugal, the Azores and Madeira. I've been to both and while they are both amazing locations, the Azores are a little more rugged while Madeira is a bit more resort-y (you can find my Madeira travel guide here).

Today's post is all about the Azores, an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean. The islands are about 1,400 km (870 mi) west of Lisbon, about 1,500 km (930 mi) northwest of Morocco, and about 1,930 km (1,200 mi) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.