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2017-05-28 09:40 pm
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Barry Manilow rocks

 Neil and I had a fantastic time with gambling, dinner and the Barry Manilow concert at Foxwoods on Saturday!  

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What a special adventure!  

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2016-10-31 10:30 pm

20th Anniversary celebrations

Some quick notes for the record so I'll remember what we did to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

We started early and ran late, spreading the festivities out over more than a week!  

Sunday, October 23
We had a wonderful day in RI!  We had a delicious German lunch at Redlefsen's in Bristol, then headed off to the South Shore Beach in Little Compton.  It is so beautiful there!  We stopped at a farm stand going down, then at a farm coming back and another farm stand.  I found a yummy chocolate chip cookie, a honey crisp apple, caramel apple sauce and a wonderful butternut squash apple bisque at the farm.  I got a cucumber, a tomato, fresh corn and a pumpkin at the farm stand!   We had dinner at our favorite restaurant in the world - The Boat House in Tiverton.  I feasted on the raw bar sampler of oysters, clams and shrimp, then the baked stuffed lobster.  We shared the cranberry creme brûlée for dessert.  Yum! 

Wednesday, October 26 (the day)
I was off work.  We had breakfast delivered from The Neighborhood via Foodler.  We had the installation team in from NetBlazr, making real our year-long campaign to get away from Comcast.

We headed out about 6 pm to VOTE EARLY!  We went to the Police Station on 6th Street.  It was fast and easy, and such a relief to have it done.  We took the requisite selfies and posted them to Facebook.  

We had a special dinner at Helmand, the Afghani restaurant.  The service was it's usual lackluster thing but the food is so special I overlook it.  We had the pumpkin, which is, as a friend put it, "the best thing I ever put in my mouth."  I had the aushak soup and the quabalee lamb and rice dinner, had the ferreeeney for dessert.  

Thursday, October 27
I was off work again.  We went to MGH for the last of my five-year check-ups with the radiation oncologist.  He said I look fine and don't need to see him again.  YAY!  I visited the Healing Garden one last time, and had my arm measured for the lymphedema study.  

We went off to Lake WInnipesaukee!  We headed to Shipley's in Alton Bay, but they were already closed for the season.  Argh!  We drove on the Patrick's Pub in Gilford. I had the onion hooks and the shepherd's pie and pumpkin cheesecake.  It's a pleasant place but the food is not that great.  I don't need to go back there.  

We went over to Weir's Beach to Kellerhaus, the candy and gifts store.  I got some cashew turtles, butter crunch and two bracelets!  Bling!  

We went to the Belknap Point Inn to check in and crash.  Despite the rain, I could still see the lake from the balcony!  I got to nap for a couple of hours, then we made our way in the rain and cold (40s) to Laconia for dinner at Tavern 27.  We shared tapas.  The Scotch eggs with the mustard mayo sauce was the stand out.  I had a great hibiscus iced tea.  We made it back to the hotel and turned in early.

Friday, October 28
At Lake Winnipesaukee 
We slept late and made our way back to Laconia in the pouring rain for the $6 buffet at Pizza Hut!  I was surprised how many choices there were - a salad bar, a pizza bar and desserts!  I especially enjoyed the dutch apple pizza dessert!  

I drove around "downtown" Laconia, trying to get the lay of the land up there, but it was too cold and wet to get out and explore.  So we went back to the hotel for another nap. 

We had dinner at the Lyons Den, just down the road from the hotel. We had a prime waterfront table with a view of the lake and the brand new marine patrol station.  I had the crab cakes to start, then the baked stuffed shrimp with peas and rice.  We shared the pumpkin mousse cake for dessert.  

We made our way to Meredith to the Lake Winnipesuakee Playhouse, an amazing refurbished barn turned into everything a theater should be!  We saw a staged reading of "War of the Worlds" with great foley work and wonderful actors.  

We checked out the spiffy new Cumberland Farms convenience store near Weirs Beach.  It is huge and had lots of different candy and munchies.  We went back to the room to nosh.  

Saturday, October 29
It was time to pack up and go off to our favorite breakfast place, Kitchen Cravings, near the airport in Gilford.  I had kielbasa!  We went on to Walmart to stock up on basics at low prices with no taxes.  We picked up coffee for Hubby at Dunkin then an iced chai for me at the Starbucks in Tilton, then hopped on I-93 and whizzed home in no time!  

I was amazed that we managed to have such a lovely retreat in the cold, wet weather, but the food and the play and the lake still made for a great time away! 

Monday, October 31
We had one last blast of anniversary treats with a trip to Malden to our favorite Asian restaurant, All Season Table.  I had the hot & sour soup, crispy honey ribs and a scallion seafood pancake!  So so good!  

So that's the story on our 20th anniversary!  Here's to many more! 

bex77: (Default)
2016-08-13 05:01 pm
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Lake W Getaway

We went to Lake Winnipesaukee!  Overnight! After 17 months of seeing my mom through her final days, jousting with calendars, and weeks looking for a lakefront room, the stars finally aligned to get us out of town to NH!  List of wonderful businesses we frequented:


Kitchen Cravings - breakfast and lunch place
Tavern 27 - tapas and piano bar
Kellerhaus - ice cream buffet, candy and gifts
Walter’s Basin - lakefront American restaurant


Belknap Point Motel

Boat tour
U.S. Mail boat Sophie C 

Our trip started a little rocky.  We got on the road at 9:30 am and 5 miles out of town it started to rain.  It got so bad I thought about pulling over!  It was totally not forecast.  It hasn’t rained all summer and we’re in a drought emergency and the one day I can be away, it’s raining?  Hard not to take it personally, but I soldiered on and re-thought our plans and it slowed down to a drizzle by the time we got into NH.   
We made it to Kitchen Cravings for a late breakfast at 11:30 am.  We often have to wait but they seated us right away.  It was my best breakfast of the year!  The people are nice and the food is wonderful and it’s got this great decor with historic photos and maps of the region!  I had the "Trainer" breakfast with a side of kielbasa and a unicycle - their french-toasted cinnamon roll delight! 

We finished at 12:30 pm and there was a showing of “Star Trek Beyond” at the cinema across the street at 12:35 pm so we dashed over there and made it in to see it for a second time, only about 3 minutes late.  It was even better the second time, as I didn’t have to puzzle over the story and could hear more dialogue and appreciate the special effects.
We went over to the Belknap Point Motel. It was a low key place - perfectly fine for our purposes - with a spectacular view of the lake and mountains!  I’ve attached a photo.  There are a lot more on my Facebook page if you'd like to wander over there. 

I went directly to the balcony, put my feet up and sat staring at the lake for over an hour.  It restores my soul.  While I was out there, the weather cleared up!  There is always something to see… boats, runners, noticing different islands and mountains and trees.  And a chipmunk!  
Hubby brought in the luggage!  He was being so good. 
We went in to Laconia and back out into the countryside to an old farmhouse to Tavern 27, a tapas place with a piano bar.  Neil’s mom played piano in restaurants in Indianapolis for 40 years, so he had a grand time talking with the pianist and remembering her heyday.  We shared the most amazing array of small plates - sweet potato chips with white bean dip (free starter), Scotch eggs with a creamy dijon sauce, French onion soup, lobster bisque, spicy grilled shrimp, duck confit egg rolls, and beef bourgeon on toast!  
There was a Dairy Queen on the way back.  We don’t have them around here so we drove through for a little dessert. 
The motel beds were quite delightful so I collapsed and slept hard.  
I woke up early and went back out to watch the lake scene.  It is so peaceful!  We hemmed and hawed about whether to stay another night.  Neil decided we should go home after dinner, so we packed up and headed out for another delicious breakfast at Kitchen Cravings.  I tried their hash with an egg and a side of kielbasa.  The hash was more like pulled pork but still tasty.

We drove over to Weirs Beach.  We got tickets to the 2 pm sailing of the U.S. Mail boat Sophie C then wandered around the arcade, found 4 t-shirts for $20 for Neil! It was beastly hot, so we bought water and sat in the car with the a/c on for a bit.  
We had a lovely two-hour ride around the lake.  The captain is a great storyteller and historian.  We sat on the lower deck out of the sun.  There was a great breeze when we were moving.  We stopped at five islands - Bear, Birch, Sandy, Cow and Jolly!  There are summer camps at a couple of them, and the kids come down to get an ice cream or buy stamps.  As we leave, they climb up on the pier posts and dive into the water!  
We went to Kellerhaus, the big ice cream buffet/candy/gift store up the hill.  They have a/c and lovely bathrooms.  We grabbed a few snacks then headed up the road to Squam Lake.  I had not been there.  It's gorgeous!  We found a beautiful restaurant right on the water overlooking the marina - Walter’s Basin.  We had a window table and watched the boats going and coming while we ate a great American meal.  They bring out warm bread and butter, then I had French Onion soup and a juicy piece of swordfish with jasmine rice, green beans and carrots.  I heeded the siren call of the chocolate truffle mousse cake.  
I was surprised that places weren’t more crowded.  With all the hotels booked, I thought we might run into lines and crowds.  Don’t know where the people were but we had no trouble getting in places, there were only 10 people on the boat that seats 40… yay!  
From there it was a quick hop onto I-93 south, and home in less than 2 hours with a quick pit stop at the NH border at their fancy new rest stop.  We were only gone 36 hours but it felt like a real vacation!  We had a great mix of visiting old favorites and seeing new places.  I hope to get away again soon!

bex77: (Default)
2014-07-21 10:34 pm
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Lake W Day

 Neil and I drove up to Lake Winnipesaukee today!  

 We got on the road about 8:30 am.  It was a perfect weather-wise!  There was very little traffic on 93.  I ate red seedless grapes as we rolled along. 

We decided to take the scenic route along Rte 11 from Alton Bay, got a little lost making it there from 93.  We made it to Laconia in less than 2.5 hours and walked right in at Kitchen Cravings in Gilford at 11:30 am.  We had a 2-top in the middle of the dining room.  Neil had the beef burrito - huge!  I ordered The Trainer - 1 egg over easy, 1 slice of French toast, one slice of bacon and one sausage.  I had a side of kielbasa and I also shared a unicycle - the cinnamon bun flattened, dipped in french toast batter and fried.  Washed down with fresh OJ and a hot chocolate, it was divine!  If you're ever anywhere near Laconia, be sure to stop in - everything is amazingly delicious and inexpensive!  Take a jacket - this is the coldest spot around.  I don't usually notice a/c, but it was about 60 degrees in there! 

Weirs Beach
We rolled over the Weirs Beach Boardwalk.  I got my right hand henna'd.  A young black woman painstakingly drew a free-hand design of circles and vines and dots.  Neil got into the spirit and had the "Firefly" Serenity Chinese characters painted on his hand!  We checked out the "2 for $10" t-shirt shop but didn't find anything,

A Cruise 
We got on the 2-hour U.S. Mail boat Sophie C boat cruise.  It was a delightful guided tour of the lake with stops at several islands.  It was like visiting a bunch of little towns and having the locals come out to meet you - people gather at the dock to get their mail and buy ice cream off the boat!  We forgot to re-feed the meter before we got on the boat, but we didn't get a ticket!  

We drove to Kellerhaus, the amazing ice cream, candy and gifts shop.  We were very moderate, only buying a few chocolates and hard candy.  I resisted the display of Grumpy Cat paraphernalia at the front door.  

Early supper
We made our way to Meredith for an early supper at the Town Docks Restaurant.  We sat on their second floor deck in the shade near the door with an amazing view of Lake Winnipesaukee!   I ate some of Neil's lobster corn chowder.  I had clam chowder.  We shared the corn fritters with remoulade sauce.  He had the steak tips kebab.  He gave me half his corn on the cob and his watermelon slice.  I had the hot buttered lobster roll with onion rings.  I ate the sweet fresh lobster claw meat dipped in butter, but not the roll.  This was the first place there was wifi all day, so I checked in on Facebook and uploaded a bunch of photos.  You can see them on Facebook or Google+ if we're friended. 

Heading home
We set off for home down I-93 about 6 pm and made it in about 2.5 hrs, with a brief stop at the Hookset visitors center.  

So we're home safe and sound and amazingly refreshed after 12 hours away!  

For my records, this was our 4th trip to the lake.
1) 2010 Aug 6-7 at the condos in Gilford, cruise on the Doris E 
2) 2011 Aug 27-28 at the Fireside (left early due to Hurricane Irene), cruise on the Mt W
2012  skipped (I went to Brooklyn)
3) 2013 July 28-29 at the Margate. circumnavigation 
4) 2014 July 21 Day trip, cruise on the Sophie C 

bex77: (Default)
2011-10-10 10:23 pm

Marblehead Monday

Another beautiful day that beckoned me to the beach!   I didn't want to drive very far, so I did some targeted research with Google maps, scouring the shore line for a restaurant and a beach-filled drive to get there.  

We took off about 3 pm and headed north to Revere.  The tide was out and you could see beach for miles!  I made a little detour over the causeway to Nahant Beach.  Lots of people there.  Then it was up Rte 1a through Lynn and Swampscott, and on into Marblehead to Devereaux Beach and a drive along Ocean Avenue to Chandler Hovey Park with its ancient lighthouse and rocky shore and panoramic view of the harbor and Salem Sound and the ocean.  It was so clear, I felt like I could see Portugal!  

We went into Marblehead - the colonial homes and shops are lovely.  No one was around.  It was as if they'd rolled up the sidewalk at 5 pm.  We ended up at The Landing Restaurant, right on the water.  It has a fun pub, an elegant dining room with windows on three sides, and a deck.  We sat in the dining room right next to the deck.  We had an incredible meal of very special clam/corn chowder, old-style onion soup, scallops wrapped in bacon with maple dipping sauce, peking ravioli with ginger slaw, a caesar salad, then free french bread.  N. had the Asian red snapper encrusted with sesame seeds on top of pad thai, and I tried the Baked Stuffed Shrimp Mediterranean with sweet potato gnocchi.  We shared a choco-tini: dark chocolate mousse and iced brownie slices.  

We made it home in less than an hour by 9 pm.  There was so little traffic I wondered if life had been called off and no one told us?  It is so odd to come down Rte 1 in Lynn and be the only car on either side of the road!  

Here are a few photos of our adventure.

It makes me so happy to see the ocean, eat a good meal and make the best use of a beautiful day!

bex77: (Default)
2011-10-09 10:13 pm

Three State Saturday - MA, NH and ME - Oh, My!

 The weather was perfect on Saturday - completely clear, crisp sunshine, 70's, breezy... the kind of weather I can not waste!  I talked N. into going to MAINE!  

I did a couple of hours of searching online for the perfect restaurant.  Nothing jumped out until I hit upon a place in Ogunquit, so that was my target - shore drive, beach walk, nice dinner and not too far from home. 

We started out about noon and headed up Rte. 1 to Rte. 95 and then cut across to Rte 1A and Salisbury Beach.  It's an incredible stretch of beautiful beach as far as the eye can see!  The boardwalk is rather sad, but there were a few places open and we spent about 20 minutes poking around then headed on north.

We cruised up the coast into NH - Hampton Beach, Rye... It is so glorious to roll right along the shore with rocky beaches, huge homes and wacky arcades sprinkled here and there.  

We took a side trip on Rte 1 B over to Wentworth by the Sea on New Castle Island.  It was a grand old 1890's style hotel that fell into neglect and disrepair for a long while, but has been rescued and turned into an elegant resort and marina!  YAY!  I strolled along the marina in the late afternoon sunshine, marveling at the new homes along the cliff and all the amazing yachts and sailboats moored there.  MONEY!  The hotel is a sparkling white gem against the blue autumn sky.

We crossed the big bridge at Portsmouth and headed on up Rte 1 to Maine, past all the outlet malls in Kittery and took Rte 1A through the Yorks on the Shore Road.  We made it to Perkins Cove in Ogunquit right at 5 pm and handed our car over to the free valet parking attendant at Barnacle Billy's etc restaurant.  It's a lovely multi-level modern place right on the edge of the cove.  We sat out on the patio watching the setting sun, next to an elegant garden.  

We had an amazing meal - clam chowder, scallops wrapped in bacon with maple syrup, warm sourdough rolls, then the grilled swordfish for N. and the LOBSTER saute for me.  The waitress was chatty and attentive.  

We strolled down around Perkins Cove - an amazing assortment of restaurants and shops along the ocean with a cute footbridge over to the other side.  Some of the shops were still open so I looked at wacky t-shirts and hats, then ogled the lovely jewelry and art. 

We drove slowly through downtown Ogunquit which was hopping and filled with slow traffic.  I was glad for a chance to see the place.  I definitely want to go back.  I need to study where to stay and eat.  Any suggestions?  

We missed the turn toward I-95 and ended up about 5 miles north in Wells before I finally stopped at a gas station and got N. to ask for directions.  We found our way easily after that and were home in less than 90 minutes!  

What an amazing day!  

Here are few photos

bex77: (Default)
2011-09-03 08:46 pm

Triple time

I did three things today! Been awhile since I had the chance and the stamina to do that.

N. and I drove to Providence and back before noon to get the sound equipment for Theatre@First's next show. It was an easy drive today - no traffic! It's great to see the outdoor stage taking shape for the Shakespeare in the park that opens Thursday.

We took my mom to a housewarming in Arlington. So wonderful to see an amazing new home for one of the theater peeps.

Then we headed out to Rocky Neck in Gloucester. I can't believe I've been going to Gloucester for years and never discovered this wonderful enclave of artists' studios and restaurants and incredible scenery!

We went to The Rudder Restaurant. It is a hopping spot - an open air spot with a covered deck that looks out over the harbor. I had a delicious dinner. I started with a grilled shrimp and chorizo skewers over garlic polenta. I tasted N.'s clam chowder - very creamy and full of clams and potatoes. I had the seafood risotto - clams, mussels, scallops and shrimp in a garlic sauce over cheesy arborio rice. N. had tuna tartare and a grilled ahi tuna steak with a coconut risotto cake in a ginger soy sauce. I watched the sunset over the ocean... That place restores my soul!
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2011-08-28 07:51 pm

NH Idyll and hurricane idle

I got out of town! After more than a year, Neil and I were finally able to get away for a night in NH. The weather was lovely up there!

We drove up to Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday morning and had a late breakfast at the fabulous Kitchen Cravings near the airport in Laconia. We went on to Weir's Beach and I got a henna tattoo on my fingers, back of my hand, wrist and part way up my arm! We went on a 2.5 hr cruise on the Mount Washington. The views of the lake, the islands and the mountains were gorgeous! We docked in Wolfeboro briefly, then returned to Weirs Beach. We strolled the boardwalk, got N. 4 t-shirts for $10 and then drove over to Kellerhaus, the gifts and candy store extraordinaire.

We stayed at the Fireside Inn in Gilford. The staff were very friendly and the place is lovely, with large clean rooms, an indoor pool and jacuzzi with a waterfall, and an outdoor pool. I found my sister, E, J and my niece at the outdoor pool. We walked over to the Gilford idyllic spot in the late afternoon sun with huge pine trees and picnic tables.

We had dinner at Patrick's across the street - a huge Irish pub. I tried their seafood chowder, caesar salad, and the lazy man lobster with rice and butternut squash. N. had a very special smoky stew - pulled pork and beans, and then a delicious tenderloin of beef. We strolled back to the hotel and sat by the fireplace in the lobby, watching a new episode of "Doctor Who" on their big flatscreen TV.

We had planned a slow drive home on Sunday with some shopping but N. got antsy to get home before the worst of Hurricane Irene hit. So we got up at 5:30 am and headed out for another breakfast. I had twin lobster tails and eggs! And a grilled cinnamon bun called a "unicycle" that was divine! I got on the interstate and we were home in 90 minutes! It usually takes over 2 hours, but there was no traffic. There was rain, but it varied in intensity and there were only a couple of very heavy patches.

We stopped in at the pharmacy and grocery across the street from our place to stock up, then hunkered down at home, high and dry on the fifth floor. It rained until about 2 pm, and the wind blew but only at tropical storm levels. We saw photos of downed trees and heard of power out, but it was nothing major. Hooray!

I hope you all had a fine weekend and weathered the storm in comfort.
bex77: (Default)
2010-07-31 07:18 pm
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Lake Winnipesaukee Wisdom?

We're headed up to NH for a few days, so I am looking for recommendations of things to do or see and places to eat and so forth. We staying near Laconia, on the SW shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. Been up in that area? Any ideas? Thanks for any clues to pep up our mini-vacation!
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2009-12-11 11:52 am
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Meatballs for sure

We had a grand trip to IKEA in Stoughton yesterday. It's rare that I get to IKEA, so the trips tend to turn into grand adventures both in planning and execution. I didn't get to my first IKEA until 5 years ago on a summer trip to Toronto. About six months after that, we popped in to the one in New Haven on our way back from seeing a Broadway play in NYC. And finally, the one in Stoughton opened...I've now been there three times.

We sailed down the Expressway in record time...I love that road in the middle of a clear day. N. tried out his smart phone talking GPS directions app for the first time with me in the car...I kept wondering why this weird voice was distracting me from my driving...oops.

My main objective was to eat Swedish meatballs. Mission accomplished! They have a $4.99 special with 10 meatballs, mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. I had a side of meatballs, too. For $1 you get 5 more...heh. Oh, and the hazelnut torte. It was divine!

We wandered around the cavernous showrooms marveling at the selection, the fun Swedish names for things, and low prices...N. got a new bookcase and drawers to further the organizing effort he's working hard to do. I hugged the wonderful plush stuffed animals, but left them to go home with someone else.

We checked out, then picked up some Swedish food to take home (yes, more meatballs) from the bistro and headed back up the Expressway, inching along to remind me why I hate this road any time between 3-7 pm.

Every time I go, I wonder why I don't go more often. I am so looking forward to having one in Somerville...
bex77: (Default)
2009-10-01 05:00 pm
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Colonial Inn and Concord Museum, Concord

The Hunter sisters turned into "ladies who lunch" and took my mother out for her birthday today. We motored out into the Autumn countryside to Concord, the picturesque Colonial town of Revolutionary War fame. We had lunch at the historic Colonial Inn (founded in 1716!) then toured the Presidential China exhibit at the Concord Museum.

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A marvelous adventure for a Fall afternoon!
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2008-10-13 04:51 pm
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Scupper Jack's, Acton, MA

Today was one of those beautiful Fall days in New England when I wanted to take my folks on a drive out to the country to see the foliage and have a lovely lunch, someplace with good food and scenery, and some shops or farm stands along the way. My parents knew about a restaurant in Acton, about 25 miles from Cambridge out Rte. 2, just off Rte 2A, so we drove out to Scupper Jack's.

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It was a wonderful outing!
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2008-10-04 06:49 pm
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A British Day

We had a very British day! First a fox hunt with the horses and hounds, then high tea!

I snapped a dozen photos you can see at

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