Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love This Luggage

Things like this just make me happy:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 22, 2010

Men's Retreat - Mt Cardigan

Last weekend I was up in New Hampshire at our church's annual Men's retreat. During the Saturday free time I had the chance to go hiking. At lunch time someone at my table mentioned hiking and I inquired about where they were going. After some discussion they decided on Mt. Cardigan and the Holt trail.

I hike a lot with the family, but we've never been on a trail like this. These trails are part of the Appalachian trail system and maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. Two of the guys had been on this trail many times and knew their way around. The fall colors were almost at peak and really made the hike worth it. The weather on the other hand was awful. Rainy and windy and not friendly to hikers, and I did not have any rain gear. I packed cotton mostly not expecting such a hike. Here's some snow alongside the trail.

The trail started flat and easy.

But it wasn't long before i was able to experience that these eastern US trails prefer to go straight up instead of switchbacks to climb in elevation.

The rainy conditions added a degree of difficulty so we were slow and did not make it to the summit in the short time we had. But I must say I really did enjoy the hike. Rarely do I get to do something like this. I'll have to look for more trails like this when we get to Italy.

We did eventually make it to a clearing but the clouds and my iPhone camera don't do the scene justice.

I also had a great time at the retreat but I'll have to talk about that later.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Living History Museums for $1,000, Please

Could we possibly visit more of these? In the past twelve months alone we've been to Plimoth Plantation, Williamsburg, and the Ozark Folk Center, and, if it hadn't been for lack of time, we would have toured one in St. Augustine, FL). Why, yes, we can do more, so let's...
Living History Museums for $100, please Alex.
Mr Trebek: It was a cold, windy day when the Gatlins were able to visit this largest outdoor living history museum in the Northeast. (and with a mere 6 weeks left in the area, they learned that the annual family passes at this museum are 1/2 price for active duty military!)

What is Old Sturbridge Village?

Mr Trebek: Correct
Living History Museums for $200, please Alex.
Mr. Trebek: These popular games were played by children in the early to mid 1800's, and enjoyed just as much by the Gatlin children. In fact, they wanted to stay here and play.

What are Les Graces
and Hoops?

Mr Trebek: Correct
Living History Museums for $300, please Alex.
Mr Trebek: The girl in this picture is working in a horse powered mill to make this common winter beverage. Though fermented, this drink would not have been identified as 'hard' since there was no other alternative. It was drunk by people of all ages, and, because of the fermentation, was cleaner than most of the water would have been.
What is apple cider?
Mr Trebek: Correct

Living History Museums for $400, Alex.
Mr. Trebek: In the shop in the background you will find this man who is working on a mulling iron which will be used to make mulled apple cider. (yummmm...mulled apple cider--you can try some at Bullard Tavern if you'd like)

Who is the blacksmith?
Mr. Trebek: Correct!

Living History Museums for $500, Alex
Mr. Trebek: It's the Daily Double! You have $1,000, what will you wager?

Ummm, I'll bet all of it.
Mr Trebek: Okay, for $1,000, a true Daily Double, here's the answer. A family of six just rode the stagecoach (at the insistence of the youngest family member). They took a 5 minute ride around the town. The stagecoach above would have normally held this many passengers on a 12-15 hour journey.
What is nine passengers?

Correct! And now for Final Jeopardy. The category is, well, what do you know, Old Sturbridge Village! Here's the answer: These children had a wonderful day exploring and pretending at Old Sturbridge Village during the museum's Apple Days in early October. (cue the music, please, if only in your mind)

Who are Riley,

Mary Beth,

and Lucy?Congratulations! You're our new champion! What are you going to do now?
I'm going to Disney World!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beach Pizza - Summer story

This summer we spent the day at the beach in Salisbury MA with some friends. We had a great time playing in the surf and sand.

Around dinner time we decided we should order pizza. I used the trusty iPhone and Yelp! application to find something local and yummy.

Beach Pizza.

It's a square pie with very sweet red sauce and thin crust. They sprinkle a small amount of cheese as a standard and then if you ask for 'extra cheese' it is topped with single round slices of provolone. It's a very interesting combination.

I was skeptical, but the reviews from Yelp claimed it was amazing. I think this is one of those things people remember from childhood, then grow nostalgic about it later on. The stories of how good it was/is grow over time. They think back and fondly remember 'the beach pizza.'

I think another part of the memory of the great taste is that most people are super hungry from playing in the sun at the beach all day and then whatever they eat...taste's yummy.

There are two places that serve this culinary oddity...we selected Tripoli bakery. Both families loved the pizza. We ate almost 4 whole pies...and they were huge! If you are ever in Salisbury and hungry from a day in the surf - try some beach pizza.