Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy-Thanksgiving

Today I’m spending time celebrating Thanksgiving with Daniel’s family in a cabin outside of Nashville. We had to fight snowy weather to get here, but it was so worth it! I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels.

In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to share ten things I am thankful for:

1. a loving husband

2. a caring family

3. a steady job that challenges me

4. a few days off to spend with family, eat great food, read books, and sleep

5. the Christmas season I look forward to all year

6. coffee

7. the ability to travel with my husband

8. our kitty Banana

9. bookstores and coffee shops – our favorite date night spots

10. the love of Jesus

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Travel with Me // New England (Part II)

I’m back today with Part II of my Travel with Me post on our early October trip to New England. Read Part I here. In today’s post, I’ll describe what we did day-by-day on the trip, anything that I would change about the trip in hindsight, and any tips and tricks about exploring this area I have to share.

What We Did:

This trip was pretty short for all the places we were visiting. As a result, we didn’t necessarily do everything we would have wanted to do had we had more time. However, I do feel like we made a great use of our time to do the things that we wanted to do the most.

I’m going to use the same rating system as I did for restaurants in Part I.  Thumbs Up! means I highly recommend that you take time during your trip to do the activity/ explore the area. Meh…  for activities/areas that aren’t bad but that I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to do/explore, and  Thumbs Down for activities/areas that I believe you shouldn’t bother doing/going to at all during your trip. Keep in mind that many of the things that we do on our trips are based off of good reviews from friends or on TripAdvisor so Thumbs Down ratings will be rare and Meh… ratings won’t occur very often either.

Day 1:

Harvard University

Thumbs Up!

On our first day, we arrived at the Boston airport around noon, and then we went straight to our hotel to drop off our bags. Once we were settled, we took the T into Cambridge to explore Harvard University, something I’ve always wanted to do. We had wanted to do this tour, but the available tour times did not fit our schedule. So, instead, we did a self-tour via the Harvard University mobile app. This tour was very long, so we didn’t do everything or read all of the available material on the app, but it was very interesting and it guided us throughout the campus in way that allowed us to see areas and buildings that we might not have caught on our own. We very much enjoyed touring this beautiful campus — it was fun to pretend to be a student again.

After our campus tour, we visited The Coop, a giant student bookstore next to campus. It was a Barnes and Noble, but it had several floors with winding staircases, so it had a different feel than a basic Barnes and Noble. We love exploring bookstores, so we had a great time here.

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Day 2:

Boston Common

Thumbs Up!

On our second day, we woke up fairly early for a long walk to brunch at The Paramount. Along the way, we explored Boston Common, the oldest park in the country. The leaves were just barely starting to change, but we got some decent pictures by a few colorful trees. We sat down and people-watched by the pond, drinking Starbucks coffees and enjoying the beautiful Fall weather. Throughout the whole city, there were pianos that had “Play Me. I’m Yours.” painted on them. Throughout the day, we say several people playing these pianos. I thought that this was a really neat thing for the community to do.

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Beacon Hill

Thumbs Up!

Continuing on our walk to brunch, we explored the Beacon Hill area. This was such a cute neighborhood! Beautiful town homes lined the streets and the storefronts were all decorated for fall. This area remind me a lot of Georgetown in DC with a New England flair. Beacon Hill was definitely my favorite area of Boston.

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Freedom Trail Guided Tour

Thumbs Up!

After brunch, we did a guided tour of parts of Boston’s Freedom Trail. Our guide was very informative and interesting. Some of the places he took us ncluded the Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, the Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel and Burying Ground, the Old State House, the site of the Boston Massacre, and Faneuil Hall. Overall, we are really happy we took this tour because we learned some interesting facts about Boston’s history and saw places that we would not have thought to visit on our own.

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Date Night

After touring around the city a little more on our own, we moved our suitcases from our downtown hotel to the airport hotel and then got dressed for our nice dinner back in downtown Boston. We took the water taxi back into the city which provided a really great view of the city at sunset. After our delicious dinner (see Part I of this post for details), we passed by the sites of the Boston Marathon bombings which were right next to our restaurant. While this reminded us of the very sad events that occurred here, we were glad to pass by and remember the people who were affected by the events of that terrible day.

Day 3:

Portland City & Lighthouse Tour

Thumbs Up!

We drove up to Southern Maine for the third day of our trip. It was only about an hour and a half drive, and we arrived in Portland right in time for our 11am City & Lighthouse Tour. Once we arrived, we checked in to our tour and loaded a van with three other couples. Our guide took us around the city of Portland providing us with interesting facts and history of the city. He then took us out to the Portland Head Light and let us loose for half an hour to explore and take pictures. I love lighthouses, so I was thrilled to be able to see this one up close and in person. Apparently, it is the most photographed lighthouse in North America. We really enjoyed this tour and would definitely recommend it to others who just have a short time to explore Portland, Maine.

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Maine Beach

Thumbs Up!

We made a couple of stops on our way back to our Boston hotel. First, we stopped at a secluded beach that was right in the middle of a neighborhood. The views of the water and the surrounding beach homes were beautiful, and we had a great time walking up and down the beach taking pictures.

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Kennebunkport

Thumbs Up!

Our second stop was Kennebunkport, Maine, a very cute little town on our way back to Boston. When we arrived, the sun was just setting, so most of our time there was spent exploring in the dark. We just walked around, peeking into pretty storefronts and going into a few shops that peaked our interest.

Day 4:

For our fourth and final full day, we drove south an hour and a half to Rhode Island. Our main stop in this state was the town of Newport. We had heard such wonderful things about this city from both friends and TripAdvisor reviews, so I was very excited to get to see it for myself.

The Breakers

Thumbs Up!

The first place we went to in Newport was The Breakers, a summer “cottage” that was built and owned by the Vanderbilt family for many years. We did the standard audio tour of the house for $19.50 apiece. I could not believe the beautiful detail of the home and the size. My favorite part was the giant terrace in the back overlooking the ocean. Newport has many mansions that the public can tour. If we had had more time, we would have toured a couple of the others.

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The Cliff Walk

Thumbs Up!

After our Breakers tour, we walked about a mile to do the Cliff Walk, a pathway that runs along the ocean behind many of the Newport mansions. We really enjoyed taking this walk. The views of the water on the cliffs were very picturesque. It is definitely worth taking an hour or two to walk part or all of this path.

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Watch Hill

Thumbs Up!

After the Cliff Walk, we took a very long walk back to our car and made about a 45 minute drive to Watch Hill, a very affluent neighborhood in Westerly, RI.  It was a random decision to make this drive, but I’m so glad that we did. Once we arrived and parked our car, we took a walk through the neighborhood and came across a path to a small lighthouse. Once we followed the path out by the lighthouse and the water, we were suddenly surrounded by the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. This spot was absolutely breath-taking. I felt like I had jumped right into a painting. Let the pictures below do the rest of the talking (although, they really don’t do it justice). We hope to come back to this area for a weekend at some point so that we can explore a little more.

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In Hindsight…

There are a couple of things I would do differently if I had the chance to re-do this whole trip all over again.

  • I would go in mid- to late-October rather than early October. The leaves had just barely started changing colors when we were there.
  • I would explore the right area of Newport. We were slightly disappointed in the city of Newport as it just was not quite as cute as we had thought it would be (or so we thought). However, right when we were pulling away, we passed right by what was the actual city center, and it looked ADORABLE! Unfortunately, we were well on our way to Westerly and didn’t want to pay for parking again, so we didn’t get to tour that area. Next time!
  • I would move my car closer to the Cliff Walk entrance. We made the decision to walk one mile to the Cliff Walk entrance so that we didn’t have to move our car and pay for parking again, but I highly recommend moving your car and just paying again. The one mile walk to the entrance wasn’t bad, but after walking a couple more miles down the Cliff Walk, we had quite the hike left to do just to get back to our car. There were no cabs or bike trolleys waiting where we exited the Cliff Walk.

Tips & Tricks…

  • Public transportation from the airport to South Station (in city center of Boston) is free.
  • With a Charlie Card (Boston’s fare card), bus trips are $1.50 one-way and train trips are $2.00 one-way. A 7-Day Pass is $18, so if you are going to be using the public transportation system for more than a day, it’s worth it to get the 7-Day Pass. That’s what we did for our day and a half spent in Boston, and we definitely used public transportation enough for it to be worth the cost. Click here for more detailed information.
  • Book reservations at the nice seafood restaurants in Boston a couple weeks in advance. I booked our reservation at Atlantic Fish Co. two weeks early, and it was the last available option of the evening. Several other places were completely booked.
  • Parking by the water in Portland, Maine is difficult. The garages near where you first drive in are very expensive. In order to avoid paying the high cost of these garages, we drove around looking for another spot. We ended up in a Two Hour Only spot even though we knew we would probably be gone on the tour for over two hours. Later in the day, we found out that their were much cheaper parking garages just a little further down the street.

This concludes my first Travel with Me segment. I hope that it helps make planning a trip to New England a little easier for someone or that it encourages a few of you to explore this great area of the United States. Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions for future Travel with Me posts or if there is anything in this post or Part I that you particularly enjoyed. Also, feel free to comment with any questions.Thank you for reading and happy trip planning!

 

 

The Sunday Currently, Volume 2

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Currently… 

Reading  my She Reads Truth study and still working on The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Writing  a Target shopping list for this afternoon. We have quite the list since we are making several things for Thanksgiving with Daniel’s family next week!

Listening  to the new Dave Barnes Christmas album. I love him.

Thinking  that I have to get off this couch in ten minutes if I’m going to go to this BodyPump class this afternoon

Smelling  my morning coffee and my Marshmallow Fireside candle from BBW

Wishing  for more snow! It snowed a teeny bit last night as we were leaving our Friendsgiving.

Hoping  that I can get most things ready for our road trip this afternoon. We are driving about 11-12 hours to Nashville to stay in a cabin that Daniel’s family rented. We start our drive Tuesday afternoon.

Wearing  an old Lions Club basketball t-shirt (from 4th grade ha), pajama pants, and cozy Christmas socks

Loving  that I woke up at a decent hour this morning and lots I’m kidding lots of cuddles with my kitty this morning (see picture above)

Wanting  to purchase some more fun Christmas decorations. Maybe I’ll find some bargains at Target this afternoon?

Needing  a thicker blanket. It’s cold in here!

Feeling  very much in the holiday mood. I’m so happy we are in my favorite time of year!

Clicking  Bloglovin’ and my Netflix DVD queue (moving Christmas movies to the top of the list for watching after Thanksgiving!)

I really enjoyed that again! I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s TSCs. Happy Thanksgiving Week!

This post is for the blog link up on siddathornton. Share yours and link it up!

Travel with Me // New England (Part I)

I love planning vacations. It probably is not an exaggeration to say that my absolute favorite way to pass the time is sitting down with my calendar, scouring through tons of reviews and friend recommendations, booking flights and hotels, and creating lists of things to do on a trip. I get very excited and distracted when I’m in full trip-planning mode.

One of my other favorite things to do is share my travel experiences with friends and family that are traveling to the same places as I did. I’ve been known to write extremely lengthy emails full of suggestions for a perfect vacation. Basically, I probably should have become a travel agent. Maybe I still will “when I grow up”.

While I am not a travel agent today, I thought it would be fun to take my passions for traveling, planning trips, and sharing trip ideas and combine them to create a fun series for the blog. So, today I’m going to kicking off a series called Travel with Me. In this series, I will recap trips that I have taken and will offer honest reviews of each hotel, restaurant, and activity that we did. At the end of each post in this series, I will list out the things that I would have done differently on the trip if I did the same trip over again. My hope is that you can take my stories and opinions and use them to help build your own trip.

For the first few posts in this series, I’ll be discussing trips we have taken in the past back before I started this blog or had any intention of writing up reviews. I’ll do my best to remember all that we did on those past trips. In the future, I’ll take notes and pictures during vacations with a blog post in mind, so those will probably be more detailed and more helpful.

Adventurers

To start off this series, I’m going to recap our recent trip to New England. To reach my goal of posting at least two times per week, I’m going to break up this post into two parts in the interest of time. This post will cover the basic when & where, where we stayed, and what we ate. Part II will cover what we did, my tips and tricks, and what I would change if I could go back in time and do the trip over again.

When & Where:

Daniel and I took an early October trip to the New England area. We spent about four days exploring Boston; Portland and Kennebunkport, Maine; and Newport and Westerly, Rhode Island. We both had been really wanting to get up to that area during the fall since we have heard how beautiful it is this time of year. While this trip was short, we wanted to squeeze it in before a big work project of mine started that was going to take up most of the rest of October.

On our first day, we flew into Boston mid-afternoon and spent our evening exploring Cambridge and Harvard University. On Day 2, we spent the whole day walking around all different parts of Boston. On the third day, we rented a car and drove an hour and half north to Portland, Maine, stopping at Kennebunkport, Maine on the way back to our hotel in Boston. For our final full day, we drove the rental car an hour and half south to Newport, Rhode Island and then another half hour to Westerly, Rhode Island. We flew home the next day.

Where We Stayed:

We mostly stay at Hilton hotels because I have a Hilton Gold HHonors membership due to work travel.

For my hotel rating system, I’ll use a ranking from 1 to 5 (1 – absolutely terrible, 2 – mediocre, 3 – good, 4 – great, 5 – fantastic).

Night 1:  DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston – Downtown

2.5 out of 5

It was important to us to stay our first night within walking distance to all of the activities we wanted to do in Boston.We chose this hotel for its location to public transportation and because it was one of the only Hilton hotels downtown that I had enough HHonors points to book one night free.

When we checked in, we were immediately given an upgraded room along with very friendly service. When we arrived at our room, we were slightly disappointed. While the room was very large, it was old and worn looking with tiny windows. The hotel building used to be a high school, so walking around the building definitely took me back to my days at Aledo High. It’s not exactly the homey feeling I would hope for in a hotel.

The bed was very comfortable. The hotel offered a wonderful-looking breakfast, but we did not get a chance to eat it because we ate breakfast in the city . The location is great- it is connected to a Starbucks, and it is very close to bus and subway stops.

Overall, I wouldn’t stay here again, but it was a decent place to stay for one night in Boston.

Nights 2-4: Hilton Boston Logan Airport

4 out of 5

For the remaining three nights of our trip, we wanted to stay at a hotel at the airport for easy access to the rental car center for our drives to Maine and Rhode Island.

This hotel was very clean and comfortable – probably nicer than any Hilton I’ve stayed at before. The breakfast was delicious (and complimentary for Hilton Gold and above). The hotel provided a shuttle to the different airport terminals, the rental car center, and the water taxi. The shuttle was slightly delayed both times we used it, but it wasn’t a big issue. Parking is provided but it was a hefty $30 daily fee.

My absolute favorite perk was the view from our room! We selected a city view room (versus a harbor view), but we had a fantastic view of the city and the harbor. It was gorgeous at all times of the day, but it was particularly beautiful at night with the city lights reflecting on the water in the harbor and the boats lit up. We got to see the same view from our breakfast in the HHonors lounge.

I would definitely stay at this hotel again for the comfort and convenience it offered.

Where We Ate:

For restaurants, due to the variety of types of restaurants and food, instead of giving each a star rating, I will just offer a Thumbs Up! for the restaurants I highly recommend, a Meh... for restaurants that aren’t bad but I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for, or  a Thumbs Down rating for the restaurants that I believe you should avoid at all costs. Keep in mind that we usually eat at restaurants highly recommended on sites such as Trip Advisor, so it won’t be very common for me to give a Thumbs Down rating.

Please note that at several places I don’t remember what we ordered or the prices of the order. These are the details I’ll remember to write down on future trips, but I probably won’t have much information about when I’m reviewing past trips.

Day 1:

Lizzy’s Homemade Ice Cream – Cambridge, MA

Thumbs Up!

Right before touring around Harvard’s campus in Cambridge on our first day of the trip, we wanted to get some ice cream. We had read really great reviews about several Cambridge ice cream places, but the first of these places we came across was Lizzy’s Homemade Ice Cream. It is a small shop with only one table to sit at outside. I can’t remember what kind of ice cream we had, but I do remember it was delicious. We were very glad we tried this place, and it was a perfect snack to have while walking around the campus.

Charlie’s Kitchen – Cambridge, MA

Thumbs Up!

We found this spot right next to Harvard’s campus. It was a very fun, very casual atmosphere. We were seated outside on the patio which allowed for people-watching. Daniel ordered a crabcake sandwich with fries, and I ordered a tuna melt. Both were enjoyable.

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Day 2:

The Paramount – Boston, MA (Beacon Hill)

Thumbs Up!

While exploring Boston’s Beacon Hill area, we stopped at The Paramount for brunch. I had read tons of Trip Advisor reviews recommending this place, so we were very excited to try it. It was a more casual atmosphere than expected, but we really enjoyed it. When you walk in, you are directed to wait in line to place your order at the counter. They offered a variety of breakfast options such as omelettes, pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, etc. I ordered the pumpkin apple pancakes along with some coffee, and Daniel ordered an omelette. Once we paid for our food, we were seated by the window. The place was very crowded, but we didn’t have to wait for a seat, probably because it was a weekday. According to other reviews I have read, brunch on the weekends requires a long wait.

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Ned Devine’s Irish Pub (Faneuil Hall Marketplace)

Meh…

We ran across this pub after our group city tour in Boston ended. It was right in the middle of the busy marketplace we were in, and we really just needed a place to eat quickly and move on with our day. We walked in and were seated right away next to the bar, away from the dining area. I was not impressed by the atmosphere, but being secluded from the other diners might have contributed to that. Our food was some sort of sandwich and a burger. It was fine, but there was nothing impressive about it. My husband would like me to point out that he really enjoyed the restaurant and disagrees with my rating.

Atlantic Fish Co. – Boston, MA (Boylston)

Thumbs Up!

Daniel and I usually pick out one nice restaurant to go to while traveling to new places. For Boston, we chose Atlantic Fish Co. We had made a reservation several weeks in advance, so we were seated right away when we arrived. They seated us right by some open windows, so we were able to people watch but enjoy the indoor ambiance at the same time. Immediately, our server offered us drinks and told us the specials of the day. We both ordered a fish dish, but unfortunately, we can’t remember what type of fish. You can see in the pictures below how delicious the meals look! After dinner, we ordered a slice of key lime pie with blueberry drizzled on top to share. We paid much more than usual for this dinner, we had a fantastic time.

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Day 3:

Portland Lobster Company – Portland, Maine

After taking the city and lighthouse tour in Portland, we stopped off at Portland Lobster Co. to try our first lobster rolls! When we walked in, we ordered our lobster rolls at the counter. They were much more expensive than expected, but the price fluctuates with the market for lobster. We then made our way to find a seat. The majority of the seating was out on a dock. It was a really fun atmosphere and the weather was great. When we got our food, we were starving and excited to try it. Unfortunately, both of us were pretty disappointed in the lobster roll. For some reason, we expected them to be warm, but they were cold and just a little too fishy tasting. I’m unable to give this restaurant a rating because I think we just dislike lobster rolls in general. We loved the environment and wish we could go again to try something else.

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Morning in Paris Cafe – Portland, Maine

Thumbs Up!

While walking around the city on our own, we stopped at this little cafe for some coffee and macaroons. It was a very cute cafe with friendly servers and the homey environment you would expect from a coffee shop.

Coastal Maine Popcorn Co. – Portland, Maine

Thumbs Up!

Not long after our coffee break, we spotted this cute popcorn storefront. We decided to drop in and check it out. We ended up tasting several flavors of popcorn and walking away with one small bag each– Daniel with key lime and me with cheddar cheese. This was a great little “mom and pop” shop.

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Day 4:

84 Tavern on Canal – Westerly, RI

Thumbs Up!

Most of our time in Rhode Island was spent in Newport where we snacked at several places that I can’t remember enough to review. However, in the evening, we headed over to Westerly and had dinner there at 84 Tavern on Canal. This might just be one of my new favorite restaurants. We did have to wait awhile, so I would recommend making a reservation. Once we were seated, we looked over the menu and had a really hard time making our dinner choices because everything looked so great! I ordered the Whole Wheat Penne “Avondale”, and Daniel had some type of fish with pumpkin risotto.  We enjoyed our whole evening. I have no idea why I didn’t take pictures while eating here!

 

Click here to see what activities we did and places we visited in New England!

The Sunday Currently, Volume 1

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Some of my favorite types of blog posts to read are weekend recaps and “currently” posts. I am inspired by hearing about how other people live their daily lives. To join in on the fun, I’m going to start linking up with siddathornton with The Sunday Currently posts. My blog is in its baby stages, so I’m still seeking out my blog niche and purpose, but I think this series will be an enjoyable way to begin to meet others in the blog community. It will be fun to see if I can provide a little inspiration to other people as my blog grows. So, with that, here we go!!

Currently… 

Reading other blog posts and The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Writing Christmas gift ideas for friends and family and blog content for the week

Listening to coffee shop sounds and a Christmas Pandora station (shhh… don’t judge!)

Thinking that I’m thrilled I’ve finally started to write blog posts and am participating in the blog community. It’s about time! Especially since I have been a blog lurker for over two years

Smelling coffee and pastries in the local coffee shop I’m working at this afternoon

Wishing I had made it to that 10am BodyPump class at the gym today. Now I have to drag myself over to the 4:30pm class in a little bit when I really just want to take a nap

Hoping that I can keep up with my new blogging schedule as well as my workout routine this week. It has been tough to keep up any type of routine with the traveling I’ve been doing lately.

Wearing my favorite GAP jeans, a long sleeve Baylor t-shirt, cozy scarf, and Sperrys

Loving spending time with my husband on a relaxing Sunday afternoon in a coffee shop

Wanting to see my family. Since we currently live in the DC area, and our families live in Texas, that doesn’t get to happen nearly enough.

Needing to cross more things off my weekend to-do list than I will be able to do.

Feeling very tired. I’ve been staying up way too late for the past three nights. Looking forward to some early nights in for the next few evenings.

Clicking Amazon (for creating a wish list and planning out Christmas gift purchases for others), Instagram, and Bloglovin’. 

That was fun! I’m looking forward to doing this each week.

This post is for the blog link up on siddathornton. Share yours and link it up!

Lazy Days with Banana // 01

We have an orange cat named Banana. He is a furry little ball of joy that I look forward to going home to everyday (along with my husband, of course!). We adopted him a little over a year ago, and he came to us with the name Banana. At first, we were hesitant and wanted to change his name, but then it grew on us. Now I absolutely love how his name makes people chuckle, and it just seems to suit him in an unexplainable way.

Daniel and I take pictures of Banana all the time. He never ceases to crack us up with his funny poses and adorable faces. He acts much like a dog – begging for cuddles and people food, waiting at the door for us to come home from work, and always striving to be the center of attention.  He is also quite fat and loves to eat plastic and lick windows. He is a strange one. But we love him!

I decided that I’d like to share a glimpse into the life of Banana with a monthly series called “Lazy Days with Banana”. While these posts won’t entertain everyone (feel free to click away), I think that these photos may provide amusement for some. Welcome to Banana’s little world!

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Our Fall Weekend

I love Fall. I long for this season all year long – through winter, spring, and summer. Now it’s here. It has been here for over a month. In the blink of an eye, it’s almost over.

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(Dearfriendshop.etsy.com)

Lately, I’ve been in the habit of making dream lists for each season—basically bucket lists that ensure I’m appreciating the little joys each season brings. For Fall, I had built up so many ideas, and my Fall dream list grew much larger than the lists for the other seasons. At first, I was checking off the small, easy things very quickly. I made a Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt cake I had discovered on one of my favorite blogs Mix & Match Mama early this year. I took several evenings walks before Day Light’s Savings ended. I have intentionally driven to work on the George Washington Parkway more than usual just to pass by those gorgeous fall-colored trees. I ordered a bright-colored fall coat.

Last Fall, I made a similar list, but I failed to cross off a couple of my most anticipated “to-dos”, the most significant of which was taking a roadtrip to Skyline Drive and taking some incredible pictures. I was not about to let this opportunity slip past me again this year, so my husband and I declared the weekend of November 1st our “fall weekend.”  We escaped into the mountains of southern Virginia to a B&B in the middle of nowhere. We enjoyed the incredible colors of fall that surrounded us while completely unplugged from the busyness off life (literally – our B&B had no internet or TV in the room). Parts of Saturday and Sunday we drove about two-thirds of Skyline Drive, and we have the most fantastic pictures. At some of the look-out points, I felt like I was staring down at a vibrant water-color painting. It was just breath-taking.

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While out for our drive on Saturday, we also stopped at an apple orchard to cross yet another thing of my dream list: apple-picking. Unfortunately, everyone else within 100 miles decided to join in on the fun, so we didn’t have time to pick any apples, but we did enjoy some warm apple cider and apple cider donuts and took some more fun pictures of piles of apples and pumpkins and Fall-loving families.

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After spending a full day enjoying the outdoors, we went back to our B&B and explored before snuggling up by the fire in the living room to read and enjoy the peace and quiet that a crisp fall evening in-the-middle-of-nowhere Virginia has to offer.

I have fallen even more in love with Fall now. I’ve seen it in a way I never had before, and I’m surely a better person for it.