Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, October 2018

A few weeks ago, we took a trip to New York City for the weekend.  New York, while incredibly urban, does have some amazing gardens to visit.  One of those is the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. (This a link to a fellow bloggers page which shows the gardens in summer.)

The outside area is several acres in the corner of Prospect Park and contains many wonderful greenhouses and outdoor spaces.  There are several large interconnected greenhouses which are partially below ground- each is entered from a central gathering area.  The rooms are separated into different climate zones which contain plants from all over the world.

the tropical room
the sub-tropical room

There are various tropical, temperate and desert rooms, all with amazing plants.

Outside, there is a spectacular rose garden built in 1927.  There seemingly hundreds of varieties of roses from all over the world.  Many of the varieties are decades old.


I have seen some wonderful roses in England, but this garden is truly an equal to anything I saw over there.  The range and variety was stunning.  (I will also point out that it was October, and several bushes had finished blooming for the year, but even so, it was totally stunning.)

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If you are in the area, this is a can’t miss experience.

Happy Travels!

“Trained” fruit tree
A sample of the Bonsai Collection


White Mountains, New Hampshire, September 2018

Hi! I have taken a bit of a break from posting lately as life has become slightly busier with the start of fall.  I did have a great trip up to the White Mountains a couple weeks ago which I would like to share.

My family and I have been members of the Appalachian Mountain Club for a number of years.  They have several huts in the Presidential range which you can stay at if you make reservations ahead of time- they are wonderful.  A crew (or “croo” as they are called historically) makes you dinner and breakfast and you sleep in bunk rooms.  We hiked up to one of the huts, Mizpah, on Friday.  (Below is me outside the hut on a previous trip.)


We then went up a very steep trail which lead us to the top of Mount Pierce with spectacular 360 degree views of the White Mountains.


The trail to Mizpah is perhaps one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  I remember this moss garden from childhood and feel so lucky to be able to return as an adult and see it still in tact the same as I remember it being.


The hikes in the Whites are hard and steep- but well worth the views.  On Saturday, my boyfriend and I decided to hike down from the top of Cannon Mountain after taking the tram up…


As you can see below, it was quite a steep mountain!


The hike down was one of the hardest I have ever done…. there was some serious scrambling and several times I had to abandon all dignity and slide on my bum.

(As you can see from Matt’s height above me here, it was quite formidable.)IMG_9807

We successfully made it down however in good spirits.  I would recommend this hike with a caution- it is hard going and you should bring plenty of water and give yourself plenty of time.  If you are planning on taking the tram down, make sure to start no later than 1 pm or so.  The last tram leaves at 5pm, and it would not be fun to get stuck on this mountain if you are inexperienced.

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The Maine Coast, July 2017

In light of the holiday yesterday, I thought I would share some pictures of a trip my boyfriend and I took along the coast of Maine at this time last year.  We had no plans, but we had a tent and a Jeep and an idea that we wanted to explore the Maine coast a bit.  We ended up spending one night in Bar Harbor which was beautiful.IMG_6713


The next day we took a hike up a trail in Acadia National Park called the Beehive.  It had spectacular view overlooking the ocean….

The cliffs were very precarious and steep, but the breeze coming off the ocean was not to be missed. We then went to the beach far below for a quick swim…


I was not brave enough to go swimming- the water was FREEZING, but my boyfriend did and found it to be really refreshing.  Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the Northeast.  It was a pleasure to explore-  full of fun interesting roads to drive, and hikes through Pine forests.  The trails are well maintained and easy to traverse.  (Be sure to take plenty of water, though, I made the mistake of not bringing enough which caused us to prematurely end our hike.)

We then drove along the coast to the picturesque town of Camden.  It was very quaint and typical of towns along the Maine coast: full of cute little stores and restaurants. We had a delicious dinner on the dock overlooking the harbor.  (Below).


This was a magical trip that we took last summer.  I hope to go back sometime soon!
Happy Thursday!

Pine Cobble Trail, Williamstown, MA September 2017

Last summer, we took a beautiful hike up the pine cobble trail in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  It was communicated to us as being a “mild walk over a ridge.” We had visions of it being a quick up and down again- but it ended up being much more of a hike than we expected.  ( I think it took about 4 hours total.) Part of the hike was along the Appalachian trail.  This part of the AT was unknown to me as I have ever only encountered the section in the presidential range of the White Mountains.  I was pleased to find that it was well marked and full of interesting thru- hikers who were all very friendly.   We had a blast and it was a lovely adventure.   I wanted to show some pictures of this wonderful day.


The view from the top of the ridge was spectacular.  Below you can see Williamstown itself.


Finally, on the return down the other side of the ridge we came across an old mill pond. The sound of the water running in the woods along the trail was so peaceful.  If you are ever in the Williamstown area and looking for a (relatively) easy day hike I totally recommend it.  Have a week great everyone!


Lake Waban, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Lake Waban is not a long journey from my home, but it is a very special place.  I grew up nearby and learned to swim in this lake.  My mom sent me this spectacular picture of the sunset last night and it looked so tranquil I had to share.  If you are ever in the Boston area and looking for a beautiful place to take a walk, I highly recommend it.  There is also a beautiful topiary garden which I will write about more in another post. Happy Thursday!


Seattle, Washington May 2018

Greetings! This past weekend I was lucky enough to have the chance to visit some family in Seattle.  I had previously been there in 2016, and was eager to return and do some more exploring.  On this visit, I spent some time on Bainbridge Island and did a hike up Rattlesnake Ridge.

Bainbridge Island


The Ferry ride over to the Island was very short and easy.  We got in line, without any reservation, and were soon on our way across to the island with only minimal waiting as we took a car across.  Above is the view of the city from the ferry- sadly no Space Needle in this picture.

We took a walk along a beautiful beach in Fay- Bainbridge State Park. This beach featured some old dead logs that presumably washed up on shore after falling off of a boat.  This seems to be a feature of the Pacific Northwest- on our previous visit we spent some time exploring a beach on the other side of the Olympic Mountain range which had the same type of logs:


We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the town on the Island. It was very reminiscent of many little island towns in New England- cute, charming shops and cozy little restaurants. We then took a ferry back to the city.  Again, it was smooth and easy. (This is surprising to me, as I am used to the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard which requires reservations to be made months and months in advance when taking a car across.)

Rattlesnake Ridge

We spent the second day of my visit hiking up Rattlesnake Ridge– and we were not alone. The walk up was slightly less crowded, but going down it was practically a moving line of people.  It was understandable, as this was a beautiful day of a long weekend, but it did diminish the sense of solitude that the woods can provide.

The hike is a lovely gradual path up switchbacks through the forest. Unlike hiking in New England, the path was almost totally devoid of rocks which needed to be scrambled over. (I am not such a fan of that aspect of hiking in New Hampshire).  The contrast of this flat, smooth, even trail was quite astounding.


The trees were really spectacular- they towered over us, seemingly 10 stories tall.


The view from the top of the ridge was of Mount Si on one side- (far too steep for the likes of me.)


And the other view point was Rattlesnake Lake.  I began to get very nervous about how precarious the cliff was and the number of other people who were there- it seemed like it would be quite easy to fall off the edge!


As it turns out, tragically, there have been numerous accidental deaths here- several people got too close to the edge and fell off, so my apprehension about getting too close was well justified!

I had a fantastic time in Seattle and the visit was all too brief. Until next time! (Above is a picture of my brother Josh and I being goofy and a view of the Olympic Mountain Range from Golden Gardens Park.)