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Days 278 – 283

Fabulous Fall Weekend:)
We love having visitors and exploring New England with our family and friends. This weekend Claire & Caroline came in town for a quick 48-hour trip. We packed as much into two days as we possibly could.

We stayed up until 2AM Friday night/Saturday morning talking. We women can do that easily. Then we headed out Saturday morning to a harvest festival in southern Rhode Island. We got to ride on a school bus (something Claire—a teacher—does more regularly than the rest of us) from the parking lot to the festival. We wandered around and saw animals, crafts, local foods, and Kenyon’s Grist Mill which makes corn meal and flour (since 1696!).
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On the bus ride back to our car we spotted a sign for whoopie pies. Since 3 out of the 4 of us had never had them we insisted on getting some. We drove to the whoopie pies to find that they were being sold out of a cooler in someone’s driveway with a money box (kind of like the herbs). Pumpkin & chocolate flavored. We bought four and hit the road to see some harbor seals. A co-worker of mine had just told me about seals that winter off the coast of Rhode Island so we thought it would be cool to check it out.

We hiked through the woods to the beach and observed the seals via cameras and binoculars—they were too far to see with the naked eye. And fortunately for us, a seal-watching-hobbyist was there with his mega-zoom telephoto lens and he let us all look through it. We went from seeing shapes of seals on rocks (through our cameras) to counting whiskers. It was amazing. I know have an appreciation and (unrealistic) desire for a mega-zoom lens:)
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After the seals, we headed to Beavertail State Park in Jamestown. Another park we hadn’t been to, but recently learned about. We walked along the cliffs and looked out over the water towards Newport (where we were headed next for dinner). After dinner and a brief stroll through the shops on the wharf we headed home and completely crashed. 

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Sunday we hung around Providence. We went to the RISD art museum, Prospect Terrace Park, and then made lunch before heading to the airport. Caroline flew out a little earlier than Claire, so Claire and I sat at Starbucks and visited over hot chocolates:) It was a great weekend with great friends. Thanks for coming, ladies!!

claire&caroline

Days 270 – 277

Pumpkins
Andrew and I went with some of his co-workers to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at our local zoo. There were thousands of pumpkins around the zoo intricately and elaborately carved. Each twist on the path led you through another decade in American history. It was really cool. Unfortunately, my pictures do not tell that tale well. The pictures below are the pumpkins that photographed best. But if you can imagine, we walked through pumpkins with images of Native Americans & cowboys, the founding fathers, Teddy Roosevelt & the Industrial Revolution, the Roaring 20s, Jackie Robinson, John Wayne, JFK & Woodstock, and of course, ghosts & goblins.

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Breakfast @ The Duck & Bunny
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Andrew and I continued our Saturday morning tradition of trying new breakfast spots around town. The Duck & Bunny is a little cafe with cupcakes, crepes, and coffee.

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A lazy fall evening.
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Days 264 – 269

Second Fall Visitors.

I spent the weekend with Andrew’s mom, sisters (Rebecca & Katie), and Rebecca’s future MIL (Nancy) in NYC.
(Fun fact: Andrew, his sister Rebecca, and his dad all have mother-in-laws named Nancy!!)

They flew in from the Midwest and I hopped on a Peter Pan Bus and we met up in Times Square at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We spent two days in the City walking, dining, and looking at a few wedding dresses for Rebecca.

Friday night we had dinner at Brasserie Les Halles, Anthony Bourdain’s restaurant. Shortly after we ordered, we could see flashing red lights fill the street outside as fire trucks unloaded FDNY firefighters who walked through our restaurant to the back. Nobody moved, nobody fled, and none of the wait staff even flinched. It was so odd. The pink elephant in the room—as if none of the staff saw the firefighters. We weren’t sure what was going on.
Then we learned that there was a kitchen fire.
Then the fire men/women left.
Then our waiter brought us menus.
He told us our food was lost in the fire. We had to reorder and could only have items off the grill. Steak, salmon, chicken. Poor, Becca. She was really looking forward to the restaurant and it was kind of a one-shot deal. It’s not easy to get from Iowa to NYC for dinner.

Saturday we hit up a few bridal boutiques—the JCrew Bridal on Madison Avenue and another boutique in the Garment District. becca_dress copy
[Note: This is not her actual dress. Nobody panic. You’ll have to wait until July to see the dress she picked!]

 

Between dress shops we strolled through Central Park.nyc

 

And then we finished the day with dinner at a quaint, but delicious hole-in-the-wall, Sam’s Place. Definitely worth a visit.

Oh, and we were introduced to Magnolia Bakery this weekend. Some say they are the best cupcakes ever. My MIL is one of them. Andrew and I are trying to figure out how to bottle them up and send them to her on a weekly basis.

Sunday we met up with Nancy’s nephew for brunch. He lives in NYC and works in TV production, I believe. We tried to go to Penelope’s but there was a two-hour wait. Probably rightfully so. It looked incredible. It’s definitely on my short list next time Andrew and I are in NYC. Instead we went to a Belgian place nearby and then hit the road and headed for Grand Central Station to take a train out east.

Andrew picked us up in New Haven, CT and we spent a day and a half with his mom and sisters in Rhode Island.IMG_3749[Rebecca and Katie as we walked through the East Side of Providence]

Days 257 – 263

Fall is here:)IMG_35170[Cute pumpkin display on a front stoop] 


Saturday breakfast spot: Cafe Zog
Andrew got a large and delicious plate of apple pancakes. And I, again, got an egg & cheese on a bagel. It was rockin’. Even Andrew admitted it and we hate to admit when the other spouse orders the better (more tasty) meal:)
We also got a good chuckle at the advertisements posted behind Andrew’s head. Apparently, choir auditions and Mandarin lessons just can’t compete. (In case you haven’t seen these types of flyers, the bottom section is a tear-off with the the contact information on it.)
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Andrew and I were perusing a local gift shop and found a sheet of fancy “wrapping paper” of a U.S. map. We couldn’t imagine wrapping a present in it--It looked like wall art to us. So we decided to hang it on our bulletin board and put pins in each of the places we have been together. Although the major highways are not displayed on the map, it’s clear to see where they take you because most of the places we’ve been to together have been by car.
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Boys night! Andrew and a friend watched some football tonight.
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Fall decor is up! We were walking by a garage sale this weekend and scored a ton of fall decor!
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