The Beach

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Camping crew at the Beach!

Let’s start off by making one thing very clear; the West Coast and the East Coast are incredibly different. Of course this may be obvious to most (including myself) but it still doesn’t account for the fact that the first time I went to the East Coast beach, Hammonasset Beach, I was expecting a similar coast line. I may have been disappointed but I will never tell you to what degree.

I’ve grown up on the California coast, living there and then going every summer after tragically moving away from it. I remember the salt wind, the sometimes scary but mostly thrilling waves, the soft sand that gets everywhere, and the feeling that the ocean was alive and was meant for me. Let’s just say that the East Coast, specifically Hammonasset Beach, is a little lacking in those things.

Not to complain, I had a lovely time at the beach for our camping trip. But I felt like I was swimming in more of a salty lake than the ocean, I’m sure that is mainly because there are no waves but also because the beach is actually located in the Long Island Sound and not a direct link to the Atlantic. No waves, pebbly sand (our area was nicely sanded but some areas were rocky), and overly salty water. See, BIG difference. I still spent 90% of the day swimming in the water. Quite a bit away from the shoreline as the children were a tad out of control. The salty water made it so easy and relaxing to float around.

If the beach were closer you can bet I would be there a whole lot more often.

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Visitors, or, Staycation

I’ve just gotten over a flurry of visitors and familiarity. The past couple of weeks have been busy, exhausting, expensive, involving lots of alcohol and friends; they have been absolutely fabulous. We had my sister-in-law (one of my bff’s) and her boyfriend who is my husbands bff come stay with us for a week followed by another friend of Man’s staying for the weekend followed by another friend of mine staying for the weekend. See, exhausting and phenomenal.

 

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Four friends on the Connecticut Coast

I don’t think I ever realized the strain of having guests stay with you for long periods of time. I now completely understand how frazzled my mother used to get when we would have family in town. The stress of making sure the house looks spectacularly clean, that you have fresh towels, extra snacks and three kinds of foods for the three meals of the day for at least every day your guest is staying, just in case you decide to not go out to eat! There is also the pressure of keeping people entertained. It is like taking a stay-cation at your house with your friends but you are the concierge. You get to suggest things and take them around town and show them the sights. It really is an exciting thing because lets just be honest, you aren’t going around to see the landmarks and sight-see unless you have friends in town or are new to the area (like me!).

It was a month filled with wine tastings, tours of the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses, the 2nd best wings in the country, lots of wine and beer and gin and pretty much every type of alcohol, trips to the coast, oysters, mini golf, homemade donuts, eating too much, walks along the farmington river, and best of all laughs with some of the best family and friends!

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Even Ringo wanted to play cards.

If you didn’t already know, I love hosting and having people over. It doesn’t matter how stressful it is trying to clean, feed, and entertain people, I LOVE IT! Come visit me, I’ll take care of you. You’ll even get your own room and mini shampoos!

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Rantings of a 24 year old. Part 1

Alright, I’m going out on a limb here and posting this. Why? Maybe I’m bored…

Do you ever think that if you could just get everything down on the page that you could make things right? Or even just better?

After moving across the country to Connecticut, a place where the Stepford Wives have a hold on my mind, I was hoping that it would be the best kind of start over that anyone could have. Before we moved my fancy schmancy advertising office had a Halloween party. At said Halloween party there was a psychic who told me that Connecticut was going to be a dream come true and that I would be happy and have more friends there than I did in SLC. I mean honestly, who says stuff like that. But alas I believe her. I left the Salty City without crying with my new husband to start our new lives in a place where 12 degrees is a common winter temperature.

It took 2 planes and half a day of traveling with a rather large cat to get to lovely Farmington Connecticut where the average age is 20 years my senior. How do you find a place to live when you have never been to the area before? I can’t even imagine moving a family. Moving the cat was hard enough. When my husband’s family moved to America his mother moved a family of 6, which means 4 kids! The poor woman. Anyways, moving across the country, you would think it would be simple. Pack your car, drive away. Here is my dilema, when you are doing these things you are either moving away from home or going back home. You are moving with a box of clothes and maybe your best friend is manning shotgun as you stop at every delicious looking hamburger place on the way home. Or maybe that is just how they do it in my imagination since I never actually have.

So here I am; 24, married, unemployed and in a new state. If you had told me this when I was 20 I would not have believed you, okay I might have believed you if you were psychic. The first thing I was supposed to do was get the house organized, unpacked, and cleaned. The second was to get a job. I was so sure that by January I would have a job set up in advertising that everything would be perfect and my biggest concern was how I was going to take extra time off so that hubby and I could go on fabulous weekend trips up and down the Eastern coast. Honestly, someone should have slapped me. Currently I find myself out of things to watch on Netflix with a desire to start reading the Twilight series over again. Help!

I have applied to jobs, as of right now 7 jobs, and I even had an interview. I’m not sure what it is about me where I have to try a million times before landing something. I’m not really surprised, this happened my senior year of college too. I think I applied to around 50 jobs before I was actually hired. I blamed it on the economy then, but, the fact that I even applied to so many places means they were available and I can’t blame the economy that much. Being a grown up is hard and it really sucks sometimes. Yes I can eat cookies for breakfast but the sad thing is that I no longer want to. I want to eat something healthy and filling mainly because with age comes weight. (Okay you caught me; I do eat cookies for breakfast.)

You would think that applying to jobs within your field of study would make it easier to find a job. I have worked in marketing and advertising for the past 3 years and somehow I still feel inadequate, as if I am still not a part of the secret club and everyone is judging me for being stupid, harsh I know. No one seems to want to give me a chance. Don’t they remember when they were given a chance? When I interview with women they judge me for being either to pretty or not pretty enough or too air headed.  When I interview with men they judge me for not being a man. At this point I am seriously considering why I even went to college in the first place. Was it for the experience? Apparently I am supposed to make more money and be valued more with a degree. But you know something, I made more money serving tables and babysitting than I did at any of my “real jobs”. Those of you who know what I’m talking about are nodding along pondering your own big kid jobs and comparing them to your college jobs, I can picture it now. Yes I am happy I got a degree and got to experience classes and learn but it could have been anything and I’m pretty sure I would still be 24, married, and unemployed living in Connecticut. So, why do I feel this incessant need to get a job that is related to Marketing? SOCIETY! Well today I am saying SCREW SOCIETY! Actually, I probably say that on a daily basis, but as of right now I am going to think of starting from the bottom up somewhere else.

Meanwhile my subconscious is in mediation mode with the mantra of “please hire me, please hire me, please hire me” repeating in her head.

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Wine Tasting: Haight-Brown Vineyard

Wine tasting round three, Haight-Brown Vineyard. Unlike the other two vineyards this one was not in the midst of houses but rather near a farm and some large open fields. The winery room was absolutely beautiful, I mean look at that pretty building! IMG_0410

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Here are some of the vineyards. It was a small one right on the side of the house but it looked like there were some more in the back. They don’t produce all the grapes for their wines, but a good amount.

 

 

We arrived right when they opened so it was not crowded. There was a group of people who did their tasting at the same time as us (you can see their lovely backs in the picture on the right). They came in from a snow shoeing adventure, which seems like a good thing to get in to.

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IMG_0419I tried to take a few photos that would show off the beauty of this place. There were about 4 long tasting tables that were upstairs. Man is nicely showing off the stairs for you.

The tastings are $9 and you get to try all ten wines and keep your glass. They also serve cheese and chocolate that they have paired perfectly with their wines. We didn’t have the chance to do that this time but our tasting partners did and it seemed like a delicious thing to do next time.

IMG_0414 This is a lovely picture of their tasting menu and below is a lovely wine glass that we got to keep as a souvenir.

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We tasted 10 wines; Chardonnay, Railway White, Covertside White, Riesling, Strawberry Bliss, Picnic Red, Morning Harvest, Big Red, Honey Nut Apple, and Applecrannie. I liked about half of them and Man liked just a few. The reds were alright and Man actually liked the Chardonnay! We weren’t able to do a tour, apparently they are only a special deal experience with Groupon. I think we will definitely come back to this vineyard.

IMG_0417 Here is us making cheesy smiles at the camera.

Check out their website here: http://haightvineyards.com/

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A Connecticut Winter

When I think about winter the first thought is that it is probably the same everywhere. Now I know it doesn’t snow in California, but the states where it does snow it would seem like the snow would be the same. Maybe that is a naive thought and now after seeing two different kinds of winters I’m realizing that of course they are different. They have some similarities of course, one being the temperature. It is a lot colder in Connecticut then Utah from what I’ve experienced. Also, I have never had the pleasure of experiencing a 26 degree weather that actually feels like 14 degrees. That isn’t a thing in Utah that I have had to deal with.

Here are some pretty pictures I have taken with the ever changing Connecticut winter.

These two are the views of the two lakes near my house. It was raining and the ice on the lake started to steam, absolutely beautiful. IMG_0288IMG_0289

This was just a few days ago right before experiencing some more lovely rain. It is so erie and reminds me of Sleepy Hollow.

IMG_0360Now we are getting some snow and while it doesn’t look to terrible out the schools are closed. In Utah, the schools never close. Probably because the women with 6 children need some down time, but who knows. I remember walking to school in 3 feet of snow in second grade and watching movies all day because it took kids hours to get there. Milo and Otis were our saviors.

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Above are a couple of photos I took in the midst of a Connecticut storm. The one on the left is of our back yard during the storm and the one on the right is one of the roads right after the storm. Literally half of the roads were white, people lost their minds. Now, only a few days later and it is pouring rain. Weather has to be one of the weirdest things in life.

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First Christmas

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Our first Christmas on our own in Connecticut, away from family. It wasn’t all that bad to tell you the truth. Here we are in front of our little lake next to our house before setting off to New York. We drove up to Glens Falls to spend the night in a cute little Bed and Breakfast called The Glens Falls Inn. We stayed in the Garden Room. It was absolutely adorable and sparked my desire to run my very own B and B someday.

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We stayed in the smallest room available and it was very charming. Each room had it’s own theme; The Captains Room, The French Room, The Victorian Room, etc. We were able to explore the house a little because we were in fact the only ones staying there. It was like we were staying in someone else’s rather large house. In the morning some little Elves brought us some muffins and juice so we were able to have a Christmas breakfast, it was very sweet.

We stayed at The Glens Falls Inn for Christmas Eve night before going to stay with a friend. They took us out to a small local attraction, the “light” house. Basically every year one local family puts up an extreme amount of Christmas lights that has become a local attraction. I only took a few photos.

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It was a christmas to be remembered! Be sure to check out The Glens Falls Inn website here: http://www.thegfinn.com/

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Wine Tasting: DiGrazia Vineyards

 

Last weekend we had the opportunity to not only visit one vineyard, but two. The second was DiGrazia Vineyards. It is a family owned and operated winery in Brookfield Connecticut. This winery is also located in a suburb so once again thank you to google maps for not getting us lost!

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The winery is very nice and homely. Inside they have so many wines available for purchase, along with all sorts of other homemade goods and wine paraphernalia. Their wines have also won a lot of awards, it is always nice to backup a nice tasting wine with a legitimate award!

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We were able to taste 6 wines each which was perfect because there were 12 wines to try. So, naturally we chose all of them between the two of us. Tastings are $8 and you get to keep your tasting glass. Hooray! Another glass for my new collection. The tasting list below gives you some nice descriptions for all the wines we tried. My favorite was the Wild Blue. I can’t wait for summertime because I am absolutely going to make a blueberry ice cream utilizing this wine, it was delicious. My next favorite was the Autumn Spice. It is supposed to be really good heated; a mulled wine without all the work! My least favorites were the White Magnolia and the Blacksmith Port. The brandy that is added is not as subtle as the Wild Blue and I could not handle it. Brandy is clearly not my favorite.

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After our tasting we asked if we could get a tour of the winery. They offer them for free, all you have to do is ask. The girl who gave us the tour is the daughter of the owner! Below are some of the pictures I took of their back room, their chemistry lab so to say. This is where they make the wine, where it sits for months on end, and where it is bottled. Pretty neat!

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The vineyard overall was a pretty cool experience. They feature live music in summer and I’m sure the patio is absolutely adorable and inviting when not succumbed to winter temperatures. Find out more information at their website listed below!

http://www.digraziavineyards.com/

When we were leaving we saw this cute fox, so I took a photo to share. I have never seen a fox in real life before! They are pretty darn cute.

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