Archive for Traveling

Ornaments: Travels

I think I mentioned somewhere that Mr. Cookie and I have a tradition of buying ornaments whenever we travel somewhere new.  It’s one of my favorite family traditions and one of the few that is ours completely.  It’s not something that was passed down by our families or anything like that.  No, this is one that we came up with early(ish) on in our relationship.  I adore it.  Each year when we decorate our tree, we get to see the ornaments and relive all the places we’ve been.  We save the new ornaments for nearly last and then solemnly decide where these new baubles will go on our tree.  Read on to discover some of the places we’ve been!

Now, let’s see if I can remember what order these trips went in (I’m sure once Mr. Cookie sees this he will make me change many dates.  His memory works better).


The first trip we ever went on was to the Berkshires, the summer of 2002.  Our favorite memory came from Tanglewood, where we went one evening for a concert by the BSO.  We have two ornaments because this is where Mr. Cookie later proposed in July of 2007 (we don’t normally double dip on ornaments from one place, but this seemed fitting).

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Learning to Relax

I am writing to you from Lake Brome in Quebec.  Currently, I am sitting on what was doubtless a very expensive couch from Pottery Barn or some such store while look out at the rippling waters of the lake.  Music from my Ipod is playing throughout the house on the built in sound system.  In the corner of my eye, I notice the sauna and hot tub (in ground) that Mr. Cookie and I spent so much time in yesterday.

When Mr. Cookie’s cousin offered us her “cabin” outside of Montreal for however long we wanted it, neither of us was expecting anything quite this fancy.  It’s pretty clear that unless his cousin miraculously has way more time off from work than we know about that this “cabin” has seen the touch of a designer.  It’s beautiful.  The kitchen is about the size of mine but so much better laid out (it doesn’t hurt that the living, dining, and kitchen are on an open layout).  

We’ve both had trouble relaxing lately.  For me, work has been uncharacteristically stressful.  For him, work has been uncharacteristically lacking (I guess that’s what happens when you quit your job).  So, once we got here I made the decision to call in sick for today (oh the horrors!) and make it a long weekend.  We’ve become professional relaxers.  Saturday, we spent a day wandering around Montreal.  If we saw something interesting, we went in.  If we got hungry, we stopped and ate.  We climbed Mont Royal (half in a car, half on foot) and looked out at the city.  We strolled slowly while joggers, cyclists, and parents with active kids and dogs zipped by.  We basked in the hues of the foliage.  At the end of the day we had clocked 7 miles, according to Mr. C’s pedometer.  Not that we had a goal.

Yesterday, we didn’t hardly leave the house.  I had a short workout in the basement, we used the sauna and hot tub, we went for a short drive around the neighborhood and went into a local grocery store (guess what, guys:  Canadian grocery stores have just as much crap food as US grocery stores).  In the evening, we went out for dinner where we tried escargot and duck from Lake Brome.  Verdict:  both were delicious.  I had the pork tenderloin and both Mr. Cookie and myself were stunned when I was asked if I wanted it “rose” (that should have an accent over the e) or well done.  Not in the US!

An evening was spent by the fire that my husband built and we read with big mugs of hot chocolate.  Then, when we tired of reading, we watched a movie and had some wine.  I feel so calm and happy.  Sometimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hullabaloo of life and forget to enjoy the moment.  But we’re learning.  

Slowly and surely.

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Driving up to Mount Dessert Island, home of Acadia National Park, I was hit by the memories of a time when, as a young and vulnerable child I had my first contact with difficult times.  We moved to Downeast Maine when I was just finishing up 5th grade.  My aunt lived up there and we were excited about the prospect of being close.  It was hard on all of us.  A depressed local economy combined with insular communities and our first contact with public schools made for a tough 2 years for the whole family.  We left that place at the end of 7th grade and life suddenly became good again.  I didn’t realize how much of that pain I had retained though, until driving with Mr. Cookie through towns I hadn’t seen in years.  Thankfully, confronting those painful memories and creating new, wonderful memories mean that I have reclaimed this area for what it should be:  an incredible place to visit.

When asked if we wanted to join our friends and their family on their annual “campetition,” we jumped at the chance.  We knew there would be camping, kayaking, hiking, bike riding, and great community.  We were not let down.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Today, Mr. Cookie and I are trekking up to Acadia for a week long camping trip.  I’m looking forward to hiking, bike rides, kayaking, wonderful food and friendship shared with the family of one of two great college friends, and sleeping in a tent looking up at the stars.

I adore living in the city, but sometimes I miss the stars.  I promise that we will take plenty of pictures and there will be a lengthy blog post about our trip upon our return.

Yay camping!!

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Seward’s Folly

This is going to be a long post, so pull up a chair and grab a cup of tea.

You may have heard it said that everything is bigger in Texas.  And, it’s usually true.  However, when compared to Alaska, Texas doesn’t really hold a candle to the grandeur that Alaska possesses.  So:  an amendment.  Everything is bigger in Texas unless you’re comparing it to Alaska.


Mr. Cookie and I arrived in Anchorage exhausted.  It had been a long day of flying and we were ready to pass out.  TnT (mom an her then fiance, now husband) met us at the airport and we immediately returned to our hotel.  Mom promised us a great view upon waking and, oh man.  She was not kidding.

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Sometimes, it’s important to take a step back and breathe deeply.  Especially when you’re mired in the frustrations of May in middle school.  So, when I got Sister Cookie’s invitation to come up to Maine for a barbecue in honor of two of her sons, I readily accepted.  Mr. Cookie was out of town and, wanting company for the long drive, I asked our good friend Campy to come with me.  We had a lovely day.

We saw this:

(he really was happier than this… I just didn’t get a good shot of it)

One of these:

A little of this:

And of course we can’t forget this:

Happily, there were also some of these:

And these:

Yes, Vati.  I just did that.  J9 can beat me up later.  You two look lovely.  And at least I didn’t use the one of you sucking face kissing.

Once we left the barbecue, he asked if we could take a road trip to OOB (Old Orchard Beach, for you non-Mainers).  I agreed and off we headed.

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Top of the World

Okay, so maybe Alaska isn’t exactly on top, but it’s the closest I’ve gotten to that distinction.  Mr. Cookie and I just got back and it was heartening to see that you guys didn’t abandon us completely in the long period with no posts.  For now, you’ll have to wonder what the answers to the following questions are until a real post with pictures comes out:

* How many types of animal did we eat?

* What was the largest elevation change Mr. Cookie conquered on a run?

* What types of wildlife (and their poop) did we see?

* True or False:  we discovered a book titled Tracks and Scats

* Did Mrs. Cookie make friends with any taxidermied animals this time?

* Did  we see Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, or anyone else with the last name of Palin???

* Did we abscond with Mom Cookie and her fiance’s adorable dog, Flash?

* add your own questions and we’ll try to answer them!

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