Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hot Lobster Rolls

North Beach Chatham Ma
In Part One of this post, chronicling our vacation adventures on Cape Cod this past August, I sang this popular destination's praises. Truth be told, there were a couple of things about it that took some getting used to. The main one, which snowballed into creating a few of the others, was the sheer magnitude of people there. The bumper to bumper traffic on the only highway leading to and from the Cape {especially on the popular rental house 'switch days'}, the busy supermarkets with throngs of shoppers daily, and possibly the most challenging to transcend, the slew of beachgoers snatching up every square inch of sand possible. However, with a place as gorgeous as the Cape, can anyone question why?
It didn't take us long to figure out how things worked, so we planned our days around these obstacles. Whether it meant shopping for more than one day's worth of food at a time, or learning different routes to get where we wanted to be - we managed to make the best of it.
When it came to the beach crowds, most of our mornings were greeted with cloudy skies. This turned out to be an unexpected benefit, as it caused many tourists to venture out in directions other than the beach. For us, the overcast weather brought with it an easy parking space, the possibility of better waves, and a guaranteed wedge of sand to call our own. In nearly all cases, the sun eventually made it's appearance while we sat back and enjoyed the afternoons.
Beachcomber Taxi
That was, until we had a break in our luck on our last day of vacation. On this day in particular, it happened to be glorious out. Made even better with the company of some friends of ours, who were staying with us for a few days. Of course, the usual plan was in order - get lunches, bevvies, and the beach gear gathered up, then head to the beach. What we didn't anticipate was that because of the picture perfect weather, every public beach within a reasonable distance of us would be at capacity. We were locked out, down in the dumps, and @*%! out of luck, until my brilliant friend suggested we try an alternate plan.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Cape

It's an understatement when I tell you I took a couple hundred photos while on vacation this August. A more accurate number would be in the thousands. But even so, the amount of time it's taken me to get this post up is ridiculous. As we marked the first day of Autumn yesterday, I'm sharing with you Summer Vacation...divided into two parts because yes, it's that big - and it includes a recipe!
If you've read my blog for any amount of time now you'll know that I commonly share pics from our adventures. Having this digital photo album of sorts has become more and more of a blessing to me as the years have gone by. This trip in particular was special on many levels, but most importantly, it was the first vacation we've ever taken alone as a family.
While we've traveled quite a bit together, the purpose of most vacations we take is to visit family. Namely, my family...who happen to be scattered across the country in places like Oregon and Wyoming. We also go away with friends for long weekends. We go on big family reunion type vacations with my parents and siblings. But we've never been away, just us...until now.
To tell you the truth, I was actually a bit nervous about the idea. I'm so used to being around big groups of people when we go away, would it be boring alone? But it was the exact opposite. We really had so much fun, and no vacation has ever felt more like a vacation than this one.
We rented a house in Orleans, Ma. Not far from the ocean, which sits on the Town Cove. We had water views and the most magnificent sunsets daily. The house, which I had only seen in photographs, greatly exceeded my expectations. We live near the water ourselves, so I happen to love the beach house look. Our rental was a beach oasis, with mermaids, seashells, and turquoise blue everywhere. It felt like I was living in the pages of Coastal Living magazine, and I loved every minute of it.
The homeowner loves to cook too, which scored even more points with me because cooking there was a pleasure. All the comforts of my home kitchen, from a sharp chef's knife to stainless pots and pans. Needless to say, we didn't eat out once in the week we were there. I cooked every night, but loved it! It's so rare we can all sit down every night for dinner these days, so it was a treat for us.
The following are some shots of the house, our days at Nauset Beach hanging out with seals and keeping a keen eye out for Great Whites {Eek!}, and a day trip to Provincetown for a whale watching trip. I wouldn't have remembered all this if not for a trip log posted online, but we saw 7 Humpback Whales, some Minke Whales, a few Harbor Seals, and a large pod of Risso's dolphins {apparently a rare sighting off the Cape}. It was gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Odwalla Smoothies for Kids with Weelicious

Both of my boys love fruit smoothies. In fact, as I've mentioned here several times in the past, it's one of their preferred after-school snacks. Sometimes we make our own, but there are also times when it's nice to have something conveniently packaged for on-the-go purposes…especially since most afternoons I don't see much else but the inside of my car. For those instances, we love Odwalla smoothies, who's products also helped convert my kids into fans of drinking green vegetables!
I was super excited to learn that Odwalla had released lunch box sized fruit smoothies for kids, so when Blogher asked me to share this episode of Weelicious Lunch Crunch, sponsored by Odwalla Fruit Smoothies For Kids with you, I was happy to do so. Enjoy!