And… we’re back.

So how was everyone’s Thanksgiving?

I truly do love going home for Thanksgiving… the only problem is, when we go home for the holidays, there are so many people to visit with and only a few days to make it all happen.  Thus, we wandered around New England like nomads, sleeping in three different homes in two different states over five nights.  But we did get to spend at least a little quality time with just about everyone – family and friends – and isn’t that what going home for the holidays is all about?  We even fit in a teeth cleaning with my dad!

Since we have a little catching up to do with photos, I’ll recap our weekend as I share my Project 365 picks from the last six days… starting with Tuesday’s photo:

Photo 228 out of 365 – “Lady in Red”

"Lady in Red" - Settings: ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/100 sec, 100mm lens

I love when I walk out my door and am instantly struck with photo inspiration!  On Tuesday morning I left my apartment to head to the nursing home for my weekly art class and I came across this woman on 3rd street and B.  Obviously, I just HAD to ask her for a picture.  I stopped her on the street and asked politely if I could photograph her, to which she replied, “Why would you want to photograph me?”  Hmmmm… I wonder.  I replied, “Well, you have such an interesting and unique look, and I love capturing interesting and unique people!”  So, she let me.  She was wearing bright red pants and bright red shoes as well. She is definitely one of my favorite subjects from the neighborhood so far!

Tuesday night we got a ride to Westborough from Jess and lucked out with fairly light traffic.  We joked about our good “car-ma” and arrived home at just around 11:30.  Wednesday morning we had breakfast with my mom at South Street Diner (our favorite Westborough breakfast joint) and then headed to New Hampshire to spend the day before Thanksgiving with my sister and her family.  Because we won’t see my niece and nephew over Hannukah, we decided to do gifts over the weekend.  I got them a few things in the city before we left, including this adorable solar-powered rainbow maker.  I also bought them each their own sea monkeys, but after much discussion with Adam and my sister, and after looking up sea monkeys online, we decided they’re actually pretty gross and they were vetoed.  Instead, we decided to get the kids a better first pet… their very own Betta fish.

On Wednesday afternoon we told the kids about the fish and they were ecstatic!  We took a ride to the pet store in Portsmouth and each of the kids were allowed to pick out their fish, a mini aquarium, some colored gravel for the tank and a little toy to put inside.  Zachary decided to name his fish “Zachary”… hilarious.  And Monique named her fish “Loveyboots”.  They were thrilled and it was really enjoyable to see them so excited!

Photo 229 out of 365 – “Zachary’s Fish Zachary”

"Zachary's Fish Zachary" - Settings: ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, 100mm lens

Monique & Loveyboots

On Thursday morning, Zach and Monique woke us up around 9:30.  We have this tradition – every time we stay in New Hampshire, the kids get to wake us up (at a designated hour we work out with my sister the night before).  It is so cute… you can hear them coming from a mile away giggling their way up the stairs… then they get real quiet just before they burst into the room to wake us. This is evidently a really fun game for them.

The house was full with family a few hours later and our Thanksgiving feast ensued.  We started with some appetizers (in hindsight, probably too many before the main event) – including my all-American cheese plate, my mom’s homemade pumpkin bread and Dan’s deviled eggs!

Photo 230 out of 365 – “Deviled Eggs”

“Deviled Eggs” – Settings: ISO 6400, f/9, 1/80 sec, 100mm macro lens

I love how the macro lens captured these deviled eggs.  Aren’t they beautiful?!

The cheese plate was a total success.  The interesting part, is that everyone had their own distinct favorites!  My mom’s favorites were the Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill and the Vermont Shepherd.  My dad’s favorite was the Coupole.  My sister and Dan’s Aunt Maria’s favorite was the Jasper Hill Winnimere.  Of course everyone loved the Cabot Clothbound (Adam’s favorite) and the Rogue River Blue was a big hit as well.  Monique (my six-year-old niece and fellow cheese lover) tried every single cheese and loved them all! Even the blue!  I told her she has a very sophisticated palette.  She was pleased.

We munched on the apps while we watched the Patriots defeat the Detroit Lions 45 to 24 – GO PATS!  Then we sat down for dinner… all the usual favorites… turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, butternut squash soup, green beans, roasted veggies…  enough to feed an army.  We also had a few unusual touches, including some venison that my brother-in-law caught himself and a French-Canadian pork pie called Tortiere, made by my brother-in-law’s father!  Everything was delicious and of course we all ate too much.  But not too much for dessert, which included key-lime pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie along with some fresh fruit and homemade fudge!  There were many utterances of “I’ll never eat again!”  Ahhh… you gotta love Thanksgiving.

On Friday we went to my dad’s office to get our teeth cleaned and then drove to Newton, where we caught up with a bunch of relatives from my mom’s side of the family for a family reunion.  Then we took off for Groton to spend the night at Faye and Mike’s beautiful new home out in the country.  We drooled a little over their huge kitchen, two guest bedrooms, enormous basement and acre of land (one makes certain sacrifices when living in Manhattan).  Later in the night, Mike made a huge fire out in the fire pit in the backyard and we enjoyed the wintry air and gazillions of stars while we kept toasty in front of the fire.   It was pretty awesome.

Photo 231 out of 365 – “Faye Watches the Fire”

"Faye Watches the Fire" - Settings: ISO 6400, f/2.8, 1/25 sec, 100mm lens

On Saturday we had a delicious pancake breakfast then went on a hike through the woods around Faye and Mike’s development.   It felt so good to be out there in the crisp cold air!  Mike led us to this pond – and all around were signs of beavers!  I had never seen this before, but Mike pointed out how the beavers gnaw down the tree trunks through to the middle until they tip over. Then they use the branches to make dams in the water.

Photo 232 out of 365 – “Beaver Dam”

"Beaver Dam" - Settings: ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, 100mm lens

Here is a photo of one of the trees the beavers were working on… there were probably thirty or forty trees that looked like this… those beavers were BUSY!

Beaver Tree

No trip home is complete without at least a little shopping time with my mother – so after our hike we drove to Natick to meet up with my parents at the mall.  I bought an awesome new winter coat (pretty much a sleeping bag with arms) – so now I’ll be armed and ready to walk around the city taking pictures all winter.  Adam bought a pair of UGGS, which I am currently wearing as I sit here typing away in my apartment… they’re so freaking comfortable.  It’s funny… in all the years that UGGS have been around, I haven’t bought them.  At first, it was a protest of sorts… I felt they were so trendy and expensive and that they had become more of a status symbol than a practical boot.  I refused to buy them.  Now, I’m over it.  They’re super cozy and I love all things cozy… so I’m probably going to suck it up and buy a pair this month too.

But… I digress.  After dinner with the folks we stopped by Erin and Jesse’s house back in Westborough, where I got to catch up with my other friends from home.  Even though things are different now (husbands, babies, etc.) it’s always great to see my friends from growing up in Westborough.  There was tons of food there – including the most addictive buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips, made by Steph.  I brought cheese of course… Bonne Bouche – a goat’s milk bloomy-rind cheese from VT, and Gruyere Reserve – a raw cow’s milk mountain cheese from Switzerland.  Both were a hit.  I get so much pleasure out of introducing people to new cheeses!

Then it was Sunday.  We had another fairly lucky ride back to NYC with only minor traffic.  I’m a total fan of being in the car anyway – especially when you’ve got great company (which I did).  I took a bunch of photos from the backseat of the car… a few of which I like quite a bit!

Photo 233 out of 365 – “Painted Sky”

"Painted Sky" - Settings: ISO 800, f/13, 1/1600 sec, 100mm lens

 

Welcome Back to NYC

Car Door Interior

So now we’re all caught up!  Adam and I are back in town today and tomorrow and then Wednesday morning we’re off again to the Bahamas for the Bahamas International Film Festival!  I’m super psyched – neither of us have ever been to the Bahamas before and the festival is putting us up at the Atlantis for five nights!  I feel like a VIP.  I must admit I’m not exactly feeling bathing suit ready though… putting on a bathing suit the week after Thanksgiving is not typically a good idea.  But whatever… if that’s my biggest problem, bring it on.  There just a little more of me to love. 🙂

By the way… I know a few friends of mine planned their own Thanksgiving cheese plates – what were the favorites at your tables?

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2 thoughts on “And… we’re back.

  1. I didn’t even know you took that pic of me at the fire! You’re becoming a photo ninja 🙂 We miss you guys and loved having you guys stay with us. Let’s plan another weekend – maybe some time in the winter when there’s snow everywhere!

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