Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Travel Talks

If you're in New England, today is by no means the day for traveling, but here some awesome travel quotes you can apply to your life once Storm Juno passes. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Yankee Zodiac

My symbol is stove. What is yours? Find out here: 

Image credit: Yankee Magazine 

Blogging Schedule

Till summer is here, I will be blogging on the first and fifteenth of every month. Stay tuned for February 1st! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Flying Saucer Pizza Company

Pizza is amazing. It really is versatile. Not only are there many types of pizza, but it’s great whenever. It’s delicious as a cold leftover for breakfast, and is now totally acceptable to eat while attending the Oscars! But if your resolution for 2015 is to eat healthier, I would recommend dining at the Flying Saucer Pizza Company in Salem, Massachusetts.  Their mission is to ‘abduct traditional pizza and give it a healthy gourmet spin.’ This place is not your run-of-the-mill American Italian restaurant with red-checkered table cloths; it is a sci-fi themed eatery that offers peace to all forms of life- carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free. 
Since owner Steve Feldmann and his sidekick Charlie the Space Pug landed on Earth on August 3, 2012, the Flying Saucer Pizza Company has been hypnotizing people from all over with their one of a kind pizzas. Though their pizza options are ever changing, they always use fresh and local ingredients. Their dough  is made hand-stretched everyday, and they even offer beer dough, which comes from local draft selections. According to their website, the Flying Saucer Pizza Company tends to ‘utilize darker beers for a richer, more intense flavor.’ 
The menu is daunting, and it took my friend and I forever to make a decision, but in end we ordered half Invader Zim (pesto, Saucer cheese blend, goat cheese, green pepper, broccoli, asparagus, balsamic fig glaze) and half Megatron (evoo and chopped garlic, Saucer cheese blend, ricotta, bacon, potato, cherry tomato, scallion). 

Our mouths were watering so much from all the aromas surrounding us, it wasn’t until there was only two slices left that we realized we hadn't taken a picture. The potatoes were spread evenly on Invader Zim’s and the balsamic fig glaze on the Megatron gave it the rick koch
The Flying Saucer Pizza Company isn't just a party for your mouth, but your eyes as well if you’re a fan of science fiction! 
You can read all about the Adventures of Charlie the Space Pug here: http://www.flyingsaucerpizzacompany.com/category/space-pug/

This year my goal is to try new things. Trying new things can be scary, but in turn, it enriches our lives and makes us more confident and open-minded. I think for a majority of people, trying something we've never tasted before can make us  uncomfortable because if we wind up not liking it, traces of it stay with us for the rest of the day. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little nervous to eat Megatron, but I’m glad I stepped out my comfort zone because both types were out of this world! 

Flying Saucer Pizza Company 
118 Washington Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Christmas Farm Inn

January 1, 2015 
I don’t know about you guys, but this year Christmas didn't feel like Christmas. For me, I think it felt different for five reasons- 1) my family didn't attend my aunt’s annual Christmas Eve party 2) my parents and sister requested I didn't buy them any gifts so I can focus on paying for college (as Jo March says in the first sentence of Little Women,“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents) 3) I had to work for the first time at one of the select places opened on Christmas Day, the movie theaters 4) it was two of my friends’ first Christmas without a parent and 5) there wasn't a single snow flake on the ground. Despite the fact that this December didn't feel as festive as previous ones, this isn't to say that my holiday season lacked any joy or magic. During Thanksgiving break, I got to stay at the charming Christmas Farm Inn in Jackson, New Hampshire, and it was an experience I believe every New Englander should have before they die! Set on a hillside called 3 Blitzen Way that overlooks the White Mountains, the Christmas Farm Inn is a country amenity that will literally make you feel as though you were transported to the North Pole.

Christmas Farm Inn Sign
CFI front door
The Cape Cod-style “saltbox," the inn’s original building, which my family had the pleasure of staying in, was believed to be built in 1778 and was the farmhouse of Rufus Pinkham family. The white main building, which has other rooms you can stay in and is where the restaurant is, was erected in 1786 and became the Pinkhead’s new home. The property had many owners before it was handed to Chase B. Perkins in 1883 who turned the place into the “Free Will Baptiste Church.” After doing some research, I learned that if you stand outside the main inn facing the porch you can see the outline of the old church. An ironic role this tranquil destination has had over the years has been a jail. During the Great Depression, Chase Perkin’s daughter sold it to a Philadelphia man who was gave it as a Christmas gift to his daughter. Naturally, she named the place ‘Christmas Farm.’ She had dreams of making it a working farm again but those goals failed so she sold the farm to Doris and Dick Welch in 1946 who renamed it to the ‘Christmas Farm Inn’. Since then, there has been other managers of the inn and they have contributed to its modern resort by importing a playground, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center, and the Carriage House and Spa. The current owners are Gary and Sandra Plourde.

Even though the Christmas Farm Inn is the winner of 'The Best 2014 Family Inn for New Hampshire' by Yankee Magazine, this place is perfect for romantic getaways, retreats, and weddings. 2014 was a successful year for this inn as it also received a 'Certification of Excellence' from TripAdvisor.com.

Besides the Christmas Farm Inn’s colonial atmosphere and generous hospitality, another reason that makes this inn authentic to New England, is its’ food! My parents and I arrived at the Christmas Farm Inn during the early evening of Thanksgiving Eve. Due to the snowstorm that occurred that day, our trip took twice as long. Needless to say, when we finally arrived, our moods were punchy, our bones aching and our muscles tight. But when our six o’clock dinner reservation rolled around, I wish that day never ended! The Christmas Farm Inn has an awarding-winning restaurant. They are under the direction of Executive Chef Stan Shafer, who won "Chef of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation. That night I ordered a quesadilla and garden salad, because I love myself some Mexican food. Even though my course was delicious, I wish I had ordered what my parents got, the Green Apple Bourbon Steak, the restaurant’s bestseller, which is without question the best steak I have ever savored! The great thing about this Christmas Farm Inn is there is something on the menu for everyone and all of their meals feature organic, locally grown ingredients. For dessert that night, my parents and I split their chocolate bag, which is so rich, you need to eat it with a group.

Of course, as a newly turned twenty-one-year-old, I can’t skip their drinks! The pub features a large whisky and Bourbon selection, Tuckerman’s on draught, as well a wide selection of bottled beers. Their Martinis and cocktails change seasonally. Before our dinner on Thanksgiving Eve, I had two Grinch Martinis and two glasses of red wine, both of which were delectable, and made me very happy during dinner.

I love this quote! I stupidly forgot to take some pictures of my breakfast during my stay, but they were hearty! They have a station for continental breakfast as well as a menu which consists of eggs, french toast, pancakes, and Belgium waffles.

Another reason to love the Christmas Farm Inn is its’ close to the North Conway shopping outlets (got to love tax free shopping in New Hampshire), StoryLand, the Polar Express Train Ride at Conway Scenic Railroad, and there are a wide of assortment of outdoor activities to do like golf, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and cross country skiing. But a must-see during your trip to Jackson is Jackson Falls. My parents have been visiting Jackson for years and it wasn't until our personable waiter told us about it on Thanksgiving morning that they had heard about it. It’s a five minute drive from the Inn and even though I got wet trekking through the snow to see it, it was SO worth it!

Jackson Falls 2
Jackson Falls 4
Breathtaking, huh? In the summertime, hundreds of visitors come to this swimming hole. As my family and I were leaving, we saw a wife take a picture of her shirtless husband pretending to take a dive into the water.

As we start this brand new year, my advice for you all is to take some time to de-shackle yourselves from your phones every once in a while and soak up what’s around you. If you’ve been following this little blog from the beginning, you will know that this post is the first one  I have written in about three months. When I went to college, I got lazy and sadly became a little uninspired by life. Though I didn't spend my Thanksgiving with my extended my family, the trip to Jackson was much needed. I was mentally exhausted and I would say my two and a half day vacation was life changing. I know now the reason why I was sad was because I wasn’t being grateful. Going to New Hampshire, I saw so many cool things and they made realize it’s the tiny moments that flutter by, day after day, that define us. The hardest part is seeing what’s right in front of you and holding on to it. New Year Day’s is often seen as a time of rebirth, the chance to start anew, so in 2015, I encourage you all to really try and look for you will be amazed by how many blessings you have, especially here in New England.

Christmas Farm Inn
3 Blitzen Way, Jackson, NH 03846
Phone:(603) 383-4313

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Bagel World

October 1, 2014 
Bagel World
As my roommate and I crossed our college's parking lot to head to Bagel World, the aroma of Onion and Everything bagels being made enticed us pick up our pace. Although Bagel World is located on Canal Street in Salem, next to a Dunkin Donuts, one of our country’s biggest breakfast chains, it is undeniable from the outside that Bagel World is the real place the North Shore runs on. The parking lot was full, there was a line snaking outside the door, and a loop of cars wrapped around the building for the drive thru. Although it was ten thirty in the morning and the air was crisp and golden as an apple, good reasons to leave the house for breakfast, this is how Bagel World looks every day of the week, regardless of time or weather! 

In addition to its Salem store, there is a Bagel World in Reading on Main Street and two in Peabody, one on Newbury Street and the other on Sylvan Street. Bagel World is the proud winners of the 'The Top 40 of the North Shore' and 'The Best of the North Shore' awards. With twenty sweet and savoring options, from Bagel Energy Bar to Wildberry to Cinnamon Raisin, there is a bagel for everyone at Bagel World! Not only are their bagels delectable and appetizing, but affordable too, with a single bagel costing $0.84. Every bagel is served fresh and hot, and with all natural ingredients high in fiber, fat-free, and cholesterol free. 

When my roommate and I arrived, we had to wait outside for five minutes because the line was out the door. Even though we ultimately waited thirty minutes for our bagels (mines’ Chocolate Chip with homemade cream cheese and hers’ Plain with Nutella), the line is well worth the wait. After twenty minutes waiting in line, my roommate and I finally made it to the front of line where you can see their male employees bake the bagels. The bagels are baked in an area behind the bagel case and the counter where the female employees take and prepare your order. There is a large baker’s oven in the back of the store and the male employees use large mixers to mix the dough. Bagel World use the traditional method of making by using the kettle method, where you boil the prepared dough to bake the bagel’s smooth crust. The service is a bit slow, but it is understandable when you consider the amount of people that go through their door in a day. Even though Bagel World was crowded and the line out the door was nowhere near to ending by the time my roommate and I got our food, we were still able to find table at one of the seven tables that’s in Bagel World’s seating area. In fact, every time I’ve gone to Bagel World I never had to wait for a table because most people are there for take out. You can always tell who is there strictly for pick-up based by their sweatpants, sweatshirts, and UGGs. 

Bagel World operates on Mondays to Fridays from 6 AM- 3:30 PM, Saturdays 6 AM to 3PM, and on Sundays from 6 AM to 2PM. Although Bagel World doesn’t provide the friendly, homey feeling of everybody-knows-everyone (unless you’re going to Salem State, you’ll see a fellow student there) most dinners or breakfast place exude, Bagel World’s high quality, delicious homemade bagels will have you visiting there often. Skip Dunkin’s next door- run to Bagel World! 

203 Canal Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

10 Sylvan Street
Peabody, Massachusetts 01960 

246 Newbury Street 
Route 1 South
Peabody, Massachusetts 01960

323 Main Street 
Reading, Massachusetts 01867

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Flying Horses Carousel

September 19, 2014 

    The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America and it is located in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. The exact date of its construction is not known, but it previously resided at Coney Island before moving to Martha’s Vineyard in the 1880s. It was sold to Joseph Turnell in 1896 and he was the man who named the carousel, “The Flying Horses Carousel.” It is one of the few carousel remaining that still has brass rings for the riders to attempt to grab as the ride rotates. It was originally powered by steam, but was converted to electricity in 1900. It is powered by a 10-horsepower motor that is in the building’s basement. The artwork on the carousel is believed to have been designed by the Charles W.F. Dare Company, which did work on other major carousels towards the end of the nineteenth century. The carousel became a member of the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and was elected a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
    outside carousel
    Flying Horse Carousel

    Flying Horses Carousel
    15 Oak Bluffs Avenue
    Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts 02557

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    Gingerbread Cottages

      September 12, 2014 
      Are you obsessed with Disney, Candyland: The Game, or Easter? If so, then you need to visit Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts for its pastel-colored gingerbread cottages will provoke you with a real sense you have stepped into a fairy tale.

      In 1859, the campground was organized as a summer retreat for New England Methodists. They originally resided in tents but in 1859 they started building wooden cottages along with a Tabernacle and Grace Chapel. There were 40 cottages in 1864, 250 in 1869 and 500 by 1880. Today, there are approximately 318 cottages and they are no longer used for Methodist practices. Each house is complete with a manicured garden and gum-dropping trimmings. Adding to their cuteness are there names such as “Angel Cottage”, “Wooden Valentine”, and “The Pink House.”

      During the summer, the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association has a number of event you can attend, such as community sing-alongs in the Tabernacle, campground walking tours, and family movie nights. The biggest event of the year is held on the third Wednesday of August and it is the Grand Illumination. Paper Chinese and Japanese lateens adorn the cottages and are strung from tree branches. At nighttime, there is a concert at the Tabernacle and many gathers dress in nineteenth century fashion to pay homage to the year the tradition was established, 1869. Additionally, for $2.00 you can tour one of the cottages and for an even heftier fee stay in one of them from June to early October.

      With its rich history and whimsical architecture, the Gingerbread Cottages at Martha’s Vineyard are certainly a treat for all. It's almost October, so go experience the houses you spent your childhood fantasizing about owning before it's too late!

      Devereux Beach

      September 7, 2014 

      The last gasps of my summer. 

      Marblehead Beach

      So pretty!

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      Gay Head Cliff

      September 5, 2014 

      There are many destinations in the world that take our breaths away- the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, Niagara Falls, and the Taj Mahal just to name a few. Of all the places I have seen in New England-and I have lived in Massachusetts all twenty years of my life- the most breathtaking place I have come across has been the Gay Head Cliffs, aka the Aquinnah Cliffs, on Martha’s Vineyard. 

      The brightly colored cliffs of Aquinnah were formed by glaciers approximately 100 million years ago. They rise 150 feet above the ocean and perched at the edge of them lies the Aquinnah Lighthouse. The cliffs face west, which means there are always sunsets majestically highlighting the view. Also adding allure to the Gay Head Cliffs is the half-mile beach called Moshup Beach that lies at the base.
      Aquinnah Beach
      The Cliffs are a National Historic Landmark and they are owned by the Wampanoag Native Americans. Because of this, it is illegal to bathe in the mud pools, climb on the cliffs, or remove any of the clay. The reason I say bathe is because Moshup Beach is clothing optional.

      Sadly, the Aquinnah Lighthouse, which has been on the island since 1799, is at risk. As of right now, it sits 47 feet from an eroding cliff and experts say it needs to be moved within the next two years. There is a committee you can donate to to restore the Lighthouse and on October 5th they will be hosting the second annual Gay Head 10K, which you can still register for. The committee’s goal is to make the 10K an annual tradition and once the Lighthouse is safe they plan to use the funds to the support the maintenance costs. 
      Gay Head Lighthouse
      The Gay Head Lighthouse is opened seasonally from May to September. It costs $5 for adults. Museum members and children under 12 are free. 

      Though all of Martha’s Vineyard is breathtaking, Gay Head Cliff is really something special. Right now I am learning about Romanticism in my college's British Literature course. Romanticism was an artistic movement that lasted from 1800 to 1850. The key figures of this movement loathed the Industrial Revolution because it brought to much technological innovations to the already boisterous city-life. As a result, they retreated to quiet country areas to live simplistically. If the Romanticism time period were around today, I could imagine artists and poets escaping to Aquinnah. Because of its pristine serenity and small 300-population, the Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah will make you disconnect from the your Wifi and connect more intimately with what's around you. 

      Aquinnah Lighthouse
      9 Aquinnah Circle 
      Aquinnah, Massachusetts 02535

      Gay Head 10K Registration:http://gayheadlight.org/events/gay-head-10k/?doing_wp_cron=1409930349.4807200431823730468750

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      Tuesday, January 13, 2015

      Horn Pond

      August 29, 2014 

      photo-4 copy 2

      I feel like summertime is a state of mind. With trips to the beach and farmer’s market, people are more conscious about looking and feeling their best now than they are any other season. All summer long I have been walking Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, Massachusetts to stay in shape but as of yesterday I have found a better place to exercise: Horn Pond in Woburn, Massachusetts. 

      Before it attracted bikers and fishers, Horn Pond was home to the Algonquin Native Americans. In fact, it is also referred to by Native Americans as 'Innitou', which means "Mirror of the Spirit." Horn Pond is a glacially formed 133-acre pond and throughout its history it has served as the site for the commercial ice-making businesses, sand and gravel operations, public beaches and the Woburn Parkway. The pond is comprised of woods, marshes, and fields and tucked off the beaten path is the 287-foot Horn Pond Mountain, also known as Mount Towanda, which was once used as a ski area. Today, it is most popular for its 2.2-mile walking-route.

      If you’ve read my blog post about Lake Quannapowitt, you’re probably wondering how is Horn Pond different? After all, these two bodies of water are close in size and were both exporters of ice. Well, here are my five reasons why walking Horn Pond is a more enjoyable experience. 

      5. About 90-95% of the route is canvased by shade. 
      photo-5 copy
      What will exhaust you the most about Lake Quannapowitt isn’t it’s 3.5-mile walk, but the amount of sun of you will be exposed to. At Horn Pond, you will feel cooler because a majority of its path, including its seating, is away from uv rays. 

      4. There’s bathrooms.
      You will have to drink more water at Lake Quannapowitt to stay hydrated and you’ll have no place to urinate. The restrooms at Horn Pond are provided at the Lake Avenue parking lot. 

      3. The walkway is wide. 
      photo-4 copy
      Who doesn't hate having people up their rear? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve how to stop to let passers go by at Lake Quannapowitt. Or worse, once I had a jogger push me aside. 

      2. There are multiple trails 
      photo-5 copy
      photo-4 copy
      There are many places at Horn Pond where two roads diverge. Lake Quannpowitt, on the other hand, doesn’t have trails; it has shortcuts. Photo Credit: WoburnMaps.com 

      1. There’s a wonderful sense of community. 
      The biggest thing I noticed about my trip is how special Horn Pond is to the people of Woburn. Along its walkway, you’ll see veteran memorials and benches dedicated to the deceased, often with captions expressing how Horn Pond was their ‘happy place.’ The Pond is well preserved, and I found it lovely how much pride and joy the people of Woburn have put into it. 

      Horn Pond 
      Arlington Road 
      Woburn, Massachusetts 01890

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      Plum Island Part II

      August 28, 2014 

      I went to Plum Island yesterday and decided to share my photos from the trip. For my girlfriends and I, Plum Island is really our ‘happy place.’ 

      Plum Island Daytime
      We arrived at five o'clock. 

      I love this little's guy shell. My iPhone doesn't do the colors justice, but basically his shell made me think of the my little pony hair trend. 

      I wish I could live in one of those houses. 

      Plum Island Sunset
      The sunsets are words beyond gorgeous at Plum Island. 

      Me at Plum Island
      Just me having extremely intelligent thoughts while I stare thoughtfully out into the ocean lol.

      Stay tune for tomorrow's post. Hint: it's located in Massachusetts and is an awesome place to walk!

      Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
      6 Plum Island Tpke
      Newburyport, Massachusetts 01950

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