7.29.2015

IN KILLINGTON . . .


A few months back we got invited up to Killington, Vermont, to stay a couple nights at the Killington Resort and try out the new Adventure Center! Ropes course, alpine slide, zipline ride . . . your basic nightmare for a girl like me ;). I kid! I kid! There is also a station for panning for gold, a heated saltwater pool, and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Obviously these things are right up my alley, and thankfully I got to bring my husband along too to help out with the rest of it, that lucky jerk. :) It was the PERFECT few days. We were all so sad to leave when it was over. I may have even discovered my inner athlete while there, but more on that in a minute . . . 

It's just a few short hours by car to Vermont from the city. We'd still never managed to make it up there, though I'd always wanted to check it out, so I was really excited to get a press invitation to scope things out, get some outdoors in, and do a lot of antiquing along the way.

Vermont:
1. Maple Syrup
2. Autumn Foliage
3. Buying Other People's Old Junk

Ask Brandon what our basket collection is numbering at these days if you want to see a really good eye roll. ;)

Killington! Ready?


HIKING / 


I'll lay this part out real quick: this was NOT supposed to be a hike. It was only supposed to be a five-minute walk from the finish of one gondola to the start of the next. But maps were made to be left in places and not consulted, thus is the Holbrook way. Luckily it was the perfect day for a beautiful, if not entirely unnecessary, afternoon hike ;). 


But wait did I say gondola??


I totally did, you were paying attention!!! This is us at the top. (We did finally make it.)


Wee! Holbrooks!!

ROPES COURSE /


One year at girl's camp we got to do a ropes course to find out what we were made of and exercise our muscles of faithfulness. You know, metaphor for life's trials and the reward of heaven and / or feeling like a total bad ass for finishing it. Except I was the only one not to finish. I was also the only one to stage an impressive emotional display while wearing a rope harness and dangling helplessly, which in my case meant I didn't make it to heaven. And that is all I'm going to say about that. 


I'd love to type out here that I made up for that pathetic show by finally being that bad ass this time around, except that mostly all I did was I the first level, only to show my mom I'm as tough as she is (not possible), and then I wussed on out and let Brandon take his turn. 

For Brandon's part, he and my mom took turns showing off how brave -slash- ridiculous they could be by crossing each obstacle like maniacs. At one point Brandon faked falling, hopped on one foot, then finished up by racing across the ropes like a monkey while making screeching noises, all on one obstacle. 


I was impressed, anyway. 

PANNING FOR GOLD /


After each sift Huck would peer into his tray, cross check his findings against his stone guide, then  exclaim in wonder while incorrectly pronouncing each of the stones he'd found. 

"Om-si-bbian!" 

"Ooh! Karts!!" 


There was also a fun maze for the kids. Check out these faces.


Hah!


PADDLE BOARDING /


It turns out there is an outdoor activity at which I am actually pretty decent? Good! I'd even say good!

I even steered myself over to this orange ball floating in the weeds + got to rescue the lake from some litter. WHO AM I ANYMORE.


SALTWATER POOL / 


Guys. 


Saltwater pools for lyfe.


Brandon does the classic dad maneuver where he tricks Huck into floating on his own, Huck displays the appropriate corresponding emotion:


Terror. 


I will probably never finish this book, it is far too thick. #savemejonsnow

S'MORES + SPARKLERS /


Yay, Killington!

7.23.2015

BACK TO SCHOOL


Thank you, the title, I know. This post is already pretty rad.

The thing about a cross-country move is that it's a little like moving to Mars. I've always said this. 

I can say that I've always said this because I have--I seem to move across the country fairly consistently. It's like a thing with us. And in every big move I've noticed you get a similar type of new things to adjust to, regardless of where you're going -- a new climate, possibly a different lifestyle to adopt (in this case, especially. #cars), weird regional accents + languages to figure out (shopping cart vs. carriage, purse vs pocketbook, garage sale vs. tag sale?) . . . you get it. Sometimes a move throws more into whack than just where your mail gets delivered or whether your wifi is any good. 

For instance! This move here means I probably won't get to eat a really great bagel now anymore ever.

For instance part two: This move to Moscow also means I get to have a year of Huck's childhood back.


Huck was scheduled to start kindergarten this fall here in Brooklyn. He got into one of the best schools in the city, an art-heavy program with a really great faculty and, like, cool murals on the walls and stuff. The public school dream! It's been kind of the hardest part of leaving, actually. Nobody gets into their dream school the first try. (Hah, guys. This is kindergarten we're talking about.) We'd been counting our lucky stars, even though all along I've also felt it's a little too soon for him to be starting full-time school. Out here the age cut off for starting kindergarten is 5 by 12/31, so a late October birthday like Huck gets shuffled right on in. And you don't have the option in NYC of holding a kid back a year. 

In Idaho the cut off is the beginning of September. And thus my baby will stay a baby, and my chief partner-in-crime, for one more year. 

It's actually kind of wonderful.


This post was written in partnership with Schoola because they're cool-a.

7.21.2015

IN MAINE . . .


Get atrociously sunburnt and daydream of a windswept shack perched along the bluffs of the sea . . . Maaaaaiiiiiine!! 

I liked Maine. I think I liked Maine best. Ughhh I looooved Maine. I liked just about everything about it. Except for maybe lobster. But I mean that only insofar as I didn't like their flavor. I think on a friend-to-friend basis we'd actually do just fine. 

Maine was so flippin picturesque that I practically broke my phone taking so many photos. And then I promptly broke my brain when trying to narrow them down. So instead there's a jump to preserve the sanity, and if you decide to spring for it, there are enough photos and thoughts and what-we-dids to last you an entire 10 minutes, easily.

Let's break this up into sub-segments so as not to overwhelm the senses. Ready?

EATING LOBSTER & NOT DYING /


In classic Natalie fashion I did some solid pre-stressing about my maybe-allergy to lobster before we left for the trip. It's a long story. Basically, I think I'm allergic? Based on anecdotal evidence? And how was I going to enjoy myself properly in Maine if I couldn't partake of the red devil with my family? What would I be missing?!? I even tried to get an allergy panel done so I would know scientifically whether or not I would be dying, but it didn't come together so I decided to be brave and just eat one already and maybe die, maybe not, but at least I'd have my parents with me.

This story ends mostly anticlimactically because I'd gone just one bite into my heroic "try-it-and-see" stunt when I decided I didn't really like the way it tasted all that much, and therefore, none of it really even mattered. 

So I finished everybody's potato chips for them instead. 


Brandon took his Good Dad duties to another level this trip. This one-lobster marionette was a rather high-class act. Many fart jokes. Occasional lobster parts in your face.


EXPLORING THE TOWNS /


We stayed in a cute Airbnb in South Portland and spent a day driving about to the various vacation towns to try out their fudge shops. Kennebunkport, York, Ogunquit. Each town was somehow more beautiful than the last, it was insane.


And a bit more of South Portland . . .


South Portland was the only town that included half a bear sticking out of a flatbed.


Dogs in scuba gear, however, did require some traveling.


Wait wait--


Worth it. 

EXPLORING THE DOCKS /


There is just something so romantic about these quaint fishing towns. I could do it, the moody New England weather and the buoys on the water and that constant smell of fish guts. I could do it this second. 


WATCHING THE SUN SETS /


Maine pulls together some really spectacular sunsets. We somehow managed to be outside in a place that was gorgeous every night as the sun went down. There might not be a bad spot for beauty in the entire state.


BEACH DAY /


I brought my instax along and very much enjoyed all my consistently crappy shots. It's like a skill to do this that badly. If it wasn't over exposed it was under exposed and some of the time they just came out black. Fun.


Seagull Story Time: On the walk over to meet the boys at the beach, my mom + I picked up a few cookies from the local coffee shop. Once we got settled, here comes this turkey, waltzing right up like he was going to be cute, before sneakily grabbing the cookies from my bag in his beak--the whole stack of them!-- and then flying off over the water AS IF he even knew what to do with those things once he got inside the saran wrap. I sprinted after him with my arms waving, all, "oh no you don't!" until he dropped the suckers + flew off + I realized the entire beach was staring at me.


But the cookies were worth it. 

WALKS ON THE COAST /


Oh come onnnnnnn.


I want to be this guy when I grow up. 


And I want to live in that shack.


And I want to kiss that grouchface on the cheek.


All this gorgeous scenery gave me such a jonesing for a trip up to Prince Edward Island. Wouldn't an Anne of Green Gables pilgrimage be the only thing that could improve upon this view? I sincerely think that is going to have to happen. 


OCEAN BY DUSK /


This water was frigid.


But we enjoyed it anyway.


Gross! ;)


We all got fully soaked + sandy + salty. It was absolutely perfect.

PORTLAND ACROSS THE WATER /


Too busy seeing the lighthouses to remember to see the actual city? Good work, us.


Brandon was up before the crack every morning to investigate the lighthouses + capture these ridiculous photos of the day's first sun. 


We rational people had our explorer take us to his favorite spots a few hours later :). Sunrise appreciators, us Lovins. Not partakers. 

HEY THANKS, MAINE /


The End.