Archive | Personal RSS feed for this section

24-Hours in Maine

13 Apr

IMG_7114When I booked an overnight in Maine, it was on the heels of weeks of early AM wakeups, refusing naps, and lots of “NO, MAMA’s!” We were spent, Brian and I, and desperately in need of some time to ourselves to just breathe. If money were no object, I’d have booked a babymoon in Sanibel Island like we did for my first pregnancy, so when a Groupon deal for one of my favorite spots in York, Maine fell into my lap thanks to my wonderful younger brother, I accepted it as a sign.

IMG_7201I had the brilliant idea to plan an end-of-week “kidnapping” with some coordination from my mother-in-law who was in on it to watch Emilia for us during this sneak away.  The plan was to catch Brian totally unaware so it was a complete surprise, so I built up this multi-week, bogus toothache story that ultimately ended with him taking a day off so I could get in to the dentist. Perfection!

IMG_7352Then Storm Nemo hit. The jig was up and I had to fess up to the true plan since travel was impossible. Nevertheless, we rescheduled for a month later and had a lovely, relaxing, 24-hour getaway in early March.

IMG_7116Our suite at the York Harbor Inn was spectacular with a deep, jacuzzi tub, a separate sitting area with a fireplace, and luxurious bed linens and pillows I just wanted to dive into — and did. And it was all I could do not to snap 10,000 pictures of all the decor. Everything was beautifully coordinated but still comfortable.

IMG_7173The whole point of this getaway was to relax and unwind, not sightsee or dine out at all the must-try restaurants which is often how we travel, so I specifically chose a cozy spot we would’t want to leave and packed an excessive number of books. The in-room fireplace was a huge win too. There’s nothing cozier to me than snuggling under some blankets and reading by the fire on a cold winter day.

IMG_7147After checking in, we settled into our suite in the Yorkshire House building and I promptly threw myself on the bed for a quick nap. I wish I could bottle the feeling that the sunlight, striping in through the blinds onto the bedspread gave me because it was so peaceful, calm and serene and totally nap-inducing. I woke just in time to catch the sunset over York Harbor. Then we zipped to a really early dinner and managed to time it perfectly for a random, mid-winter special prix-fixe menu that was to d-i-e for delicious.

IMG_7322I had something beef with Bernaise sauce on it and garlic and chive mashed potatoes that all tasted heavenly. Since I’m categorically unable to pass up any kind of salad that features strawberries, nuts, cheese, and a sweet dressing (this one was poppy seed), I started with the spinach salad. I’m already planning to recreate that one at home. Just imagine me licking the plate and you have an idea of how delicious it was. I should probably mention that in lieu of lunch, we’d grabbed coffee and car bagels for the trip up, so we were ravenous by the time we arrived in York.

IMG_7055I was so full I almost passed on the included hot fudge sundae dessert, but I persevered. It’s no wonder that once we returned to hang out in our sitting area, by the time Brian got the logs lit in the fireplace, I was asleep on the couch, my book on my face and ready to call it a night.

I rallied hours later after a wonderful fireside nap and drew myself a bath. Since I’d not planned to use the jacuzzi since it’s not recommended during pregnancy, I didn’t pack any of my lovely Lush bath bombs or bubbly potions, but it was still wonderful to soak in a warm tub with candles lit and get through a bit of my book. I’d envisioned us cozied up in bed watching movies and snuggling, but I think we were both at a point of exhaustion that we’d have immediately fallen asleep if we’d attempted a Netflix marathon. As it was, while I steeped in my bath, Brian had fallen asleep sitting up in a chair by the fire.

IMG_7361The rest of the trip was a lazy combination of brunching, poking into my favorite thrift shops along Rt. 1, seeking out a roadside cafe that boasts the rare “CT-style” lobster roll (warm with butter), visiting Nubble Light, documenting the baby bump with pictures, and a stop at Stonewall Kitchen to sample just about everything that wasn’t nailed down.

IMG_7061My favorites were the jams, in particular the Organic Strawberry Vanilla, the Black Raspberry jam, and the Strawberry Apple Rhubarb. It was an incredibly restorative, albeit quick, trip but it was exactly what we needed to make it through the last leg of winter.

Here are a few more of my favorite shots:IMG_7272IMG_7209IMG_7178IMG_7165IMG_7253IMG_7286IMG_7332IMG_7230IMG_7107IMG_7198

Comedy, writing and thought

10 Jun
image: Mario Testino for Vogue
I feel like an idiot sharing this revelation, but I never realized that comedy is writing. Maybe it’s not so idiotic though since the end process of stand-up or a sitcom used to feel so separate from the writers.

I never particularly gave much thought to standup, improv or comedic writing until Louis C.K, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling or even James Lipton of Inside the Actor’s Studio came along.The latter in particular has been eye-opening because it gives such insight into something I love (films) but have, up until now, known so little about as far as the actor’s process is concerned.

Reading Tina and Mindy’s respective books shed light on their process and taught me rules of comedy that I wasn’t familiar with, like Tina’s rules of improvisation. And watching Louis C.K’s self-title show is like peeking behind the curtains as he’s working on a bit, but not just as he develops it, but as he’s on the subway, observing people. Or walking around, analyzing.

As I crave more time to write each day, I’ve realized it isn’t the act of writing itself that appeals to me; writing can be an incredbily frustrating process. But writing is expression of thought—processing; analyzing; learning. That is what I crave each day. I don’t know how I feel or what I think until I write. Talking helps too, but if I haven’t had time to think  something through with words and get it on paper (in this case, my laptop is my “paper”), I don’t know how I feel about something.

Food is Love: Valentine’s Day 2014

17 Feb

IMG_9456

We went big. Not quite as big as 2012, but as always, the day and weekend largely revolved around food. (And Brian spoiling me WAY too much.)  Since we had a very late dinner reservation, we snacked on crudites and prosciutto at home while we sipped some wine before heading out for cocktails at a cute spot Brian thought I’d like called Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge. The atmosphere was retro-glam/old-Hollywood so it was right up my ally. Any excuse to wear some fur…

IMG_9441_editdress: Cynthia Rowley/jacket: Anne Taylor Loft (old)/belt: BCBG

All their fruit purees are made fresh so I was excited to try the “Brain Teaser” with caçhaca rum, strawberry puree, lime juice, and champagne. Brian had “The Avenue” with Maker’s Mark, Daron Calvados, passion fruit puree, orange blossom water, and pomegranate. His was a little too “alcohol-y” (is that a term?) I thought, but I’ll definitely try to re-create mine at home sometime soon, it was so fresh and fruity. After we snagged two bar seats, we happily sipped our vintage cocktails before heading to dinner at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel in Boston.

20140218-231412.jpgThe wine selection at Scampo is vast and thoughtfully chosen

Dinner was absolutely delicious though we had a bit of a rocky start when we were seated 45 minutes late. Nothing a few glasses of wine and some incredibly creamy, oozy burratta and prosciutto flatbread couldn’t fix though — we’re easy to please. As much as I loved our entree, (we ordered the same), I think the spaghetti bolognese was the highlight of the night for me. Well, that and the Super Tuscan I drank with our apps.

20140218-230843.jpgSo thrilled we finished off leftover Valentine’s-themed gift wrap. Finally!

Wow, three whole paragraphs devoted to food. Priorities, right? I suppose you might also be interested to hear what we gifted each other? I’ve almost given up on ever outdoing Brian’s incredible thoughtfulness when it comes to gifting because he blows me out of the water every.single.time, but I’ll share more details on that later this week… there was chocolate involved.

20140217-083243.jpg