A Hike in the Whites.

Thank you all so very much for the Happy Birthday wishes!! ¬†You guys are the absolute greatest. ūüėÄ

Yesterday’s hike turned out more than fabulous.

It was one of those perfect New England fall days.

The morning air was crisp and cool, softened lightly with summer’s lingering warm breeze and sun. ¬†There were leaves zig-zagging across the air with a comical sort of ease. ¬†There were silent morning bikers, fellow hikers with their big goofy dogs, and the smells of pine and dirt and leaves.

Instantly, I felt peace.  Instantly, I felt home.

One of my life goals is to achieve and conquer each of the forty eight 4,000ft. mountains of NH. ¬†It feels a little overwhelming, a little out of reach, but both my Dad and my brother have accomplished it, so I’m determined that I can to.

(My brother also completed the Appalachian Trail, which I’ll forever be in awe of!)

Climbing Mt. Cannon has made this the 11th. ¬†A long ways to go, but I’m enjoying each step of progression. ¬†The views at the top were absolutely breathtaking, and I’m so glad that I could enjoy such a fabulous birthday experience with the family. ūüėÄ

The hike was a toughy (i.e., very steep!) but the views completely made it worthwhile. ūüėÄ

When we made it down to the base of the mountain, we were all starving for food, and so we hit the local pizza shop. ¬†Nothing beats a salty slice of pizza and an all-you-can-eat fresh salad buffet after a long day of hiking. ūüėČ

My 24th birthday was unbelievably delicious and fun.

Yes.  The absolute, most very best.

QUESTION: Favorite autumn activity?

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the effects of warm weather.

The heat and humidity have packed up and left, being replaced with a cool, dry breeze that makes you feel as if you’ve just jumped out of a very hot steam room, right into a cool shower. ¬†Refreshing. ¬†Absolutely.

And this is a very good thing.  Yes.  The temperature switch came just in time.  Why, you ask?  Well.  The heat does funny things to me.

For example—and I think you will agree—it’s¬†not entirely normal to laugh hysterically while making silly poses for no apparent reason in the middle of a frisbee game.

(although it WAS kind of fun)

And, it is very unlike me to wake up grumpy in the morning.

It’s not normal for me to laugh so hard that I cry, ending up in a fit of hiccups.

Well.  Okay, okay.  This actually, honestly, really is kind of normal.

It’s not normal for me to not have an appetite. ¬†To want nothing to eat but salads and yogurt and ice cream.

That’s not to say that I couldn’t eat ice cream every day of my life and not be happy, of course.

And it’s completely unacceptable to always wake up with frizzy hair every. single. morning. ¬†Not even the blow dryer and flat iron with a gazillion products could have protected me this week.

Thank goodness for hair ties and hats.

Yes.

The cooler weather came just in time.

As did breakfast.

I love oats after they’ve sopped up all the liquids and delicious flavors!

I have been eating breakfast out on the deck every single morning this past week. ¬†There’s something special about dining al fresco with nothing but chickadees, robins, and the little black cat next door for company.

A deliciously refreshing start to my day.

This weekend has been a pretty active one.  I went canoeing and swimming on Friday.  Biking (for my first time this YEAR) on Saturday.  And hiking yesterday.

I think today I need a nice long walk and some yoga to stretch out those hamstrings and arms. ūüėÄ

Spicy Breakfast Cookie (serves 1)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked, old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 banana, mashed (save the other 1/4 for a topping)
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax
  • plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (adjust to preferences)
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. milk (as needed)
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together oats, banana, peanut butter, flax, spices, and salt if using.  Add small amounts of milk, if batter seems too dry.  Smash well with a fork.
  2. Transfer batter to a plate and spread out to the edges, creating a “cookie pattern.” ¬†Cover plate and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next morning, uncover, slice the rest of the banana on top and serve.  Top with coconut or sliced almonds if desired.  ENJOY!

QUESTION: Are you a cold weather person or a warm weather person? ¬†I’d much rather be pleasantly cool than too hot. ¬†But I also hate being cold. ¬†I’m horribly picky! ūüėÄ

Canada: Day 2

It was if I had fallen in love upon first sight.  And then.  I found myself having to say goodbye the very next day.

I didn’t want to leave Fredericton, NB. ¬†It felt like a home away from home. ¬†I felt the deliciousness of the city as I walked my way through it. ¬†A city after my own heart.

But, alas, time marches on.  It was time to pack up and move on.

My breakfast was completely portable.  Plain yogurt with a whole wheat pumpkin raisin muffin, a handful of fresh blueberries and a packet of barney butter.  Nutritious, delicious and easy.

Three more hours in the car and we finally arrived at our cottage in Richibucto, NB.

A toast to a wonderful week!

(Matthew was hungry and was hoping for more than just tea. ūüėČ )

The very first thing I wanted to do upon my arrival was to scope out the area.  There was a horse barn right down the street from our cottage, and a nice long, private walkway to stretch the legs.

And, best of all, NO HILLS IN SIGHT!

Which was fabulous for running.  We went out for some 4-6 mile runs throughout the week and they felt so much easier than back at home.  I could get used to this. :mrgreen:

We also tested out the paddle boat.  Right away.

We went so fast, I’m pretty sure we broke some sort of paddle boat world record. ¬†Just sayin’. ūüėČ

I indulged my love of Canadian maple leaf and Ginger cookies this past week.

Truth: Sometimes I still crave them.

Double Truth: I’m kicking myself for not stocking up!

I’ll just have to wait until the next time I visit. ūüėČ

The rest of the day was just about relaxing and unwinding from our long trip.

I’m pretty sure that this is the best “television show” I have ever watched. ¬†The clouds were magnificent. ¬†Absolutely stunning. ¬†And each night they were slightly different in size and color.

As the day began to darken, we lit up a fire.

We shared stories and laughed and joked.

And then we made some s’mores.

Heaven.

Yes.  It was tough leaving Fredericton.

But Richibucto was deliciously beautiful and brimming with delight surprises as well.

Canada, I love you.

QUESTION: Have you ever traveled out of your home country?  Where did you go?