A Fall Road Trip

Fall is my favorite season. All my senses seam to go into sensory overload in a good way. The air smells different. The temperature is cooler.  Foods are suddenly heartier and flavored with pumpkin or apple and spice. And then there is the fall foliage hitting it’s peak in the mountains. When our daughter Allyson got accepted to Dartmouth, then decided to continue playing the sax in their scatter band, I envisioned my husband and I going up every fall for a football game and watching the band perform. As a band mom for four years of high school, I knew I would miss those days. Life always had other plans for us though. We always seemed to drive up too early in the season or the other seasons entirely. Fast forward to senior year we finally made plans to do it right this time.

We picked a date that worked for Al and our sister (who just happened to make the move from Boston to New Hampshire!) so she can meet up with us too. We patiently waited all summer for our little getaway. Finally the weekend came! With our mom in on the trip, the three of us hit the road on Friday morning.

The ride up was beautiful. Here in parts of PA, we still have a lot of green on our trees. NY and MA had the most vibrant red, yellow and orange leaves of the whole trip. 

VT and NH probably hit peak color last weekend but still didn’t disappoint. There is one area approx. thirty minutes south of White River Junction, VT heading north on I91. No matter what season it is, it always mesmerizes me. I posted it to my IG account. Go check it out when you are done reading!

It takes about six hours to arrive at our hotel in WRJ and we are minutes away from campus in Hanover, NH. We arrived just in time for an invite to meet up with Allyson at the football field to watch the band practice.

It was a full moon this weekend. The moon looked so big and beautiful! No matter how many times I tried to capture it, no picture did it justice. But I do like this one from Friday night a lot.

We stayed at the field for a little bit then decided to head to town where we met up with Al for a later dinner and drinks.

I call this picture Reflections. That’s our mom, my husband Dan and Al.

Saturday morning we got up early for breakfast then squeeze in a hike before the afternoon football game. Al wanted to take us to Gile Mountain to the fire tower to show us the spectacular views. 

The hike itself was about an hour. I wish we had more time to explore but we needed to get back so Al could meet up with the rest of the band.

That’s our sister in the gray jeans and unfortunately the only picture I have of her from the weekend ūüėĒ

I have video of the performances but they are long so I will spare you. But this screen shot of them marching off turned out ok.

The band has a tradition that if our team wins (and we did!), the band will parade through Hanover on then over to the campus library where they quietly march up to the Tower room, aka the quiet room, and play music while the quickly march through. Then they quietly exit the building. Being the stalkers that we are, we finally got to see that too… And of course I filmed it. 

After the game, we said our goodbyes as Al had a social engagement to attend and the rest of us were going back to our sister’s new place about an hour away, meet up with her boyfriend and get another late dinner. I hope to see the area in the daylight sometime. Unfortunately it was already dark when we arrived. Their house is cute and they have a great, private back yard with chance visits by bears and foxes. They are right on the edge of the White Mountains with prime hiking spots to visit sometime. Lucky for us, they are big hikers too.

One new place in Hanover that I have to mention since I fell in love with the vibe here was The Skinny Pancake. It’s a small food shed & crepery chain out of Vermont. All the food is local and they have a good craft beer selection as well. We stopped in for a drink on Friday night and we loved the place so much we went back for breakfast. The decore is (or looks like anyway because I am not sure) reclaimed barn wood with tin ceilings and simple light fixtures. And our bartender reminded me of a young Jennifer Tilly. When we went back for breakfast, I chose the Noah’s Ark which was 2 eggs, bacon and two crumpled sweet crepes. No stuffed crepes for this dairy challenged girl. But everyone else really enjoyed theirs! I had to top off my breakfast with a pumpkin spice latte with almond milk.


What a great way to start the day… A great breakfast and a hike. Or how about watching a football game with a colorful mountain view and ending with a family dinner? I have to say it was pretty perfect to me. It was very hard to leave this morning and come back to reality. My little corner of PA is picturesque too but nothing compares to that part of New England. It was time to make the six hour drive home, pick up the pups from the kennel and settle back in to our daily grind of life. The next time we go back up will most likely be in June for graduation. Where does the time go? I am happy that we took the time from work to make the trip happen. It’s one I will remember for a long time.


My Happiness Project ~October


This month has been so crazy! I have been wanting to sit down and write some things but for some reason, I just have not had time to devote to it. ¬†I did not want October to go by without a #MyHappinessProject recap! Considering this is the 2nd installment, that would be a total fail on my part and I can’t let that happen. ¬†So, if I was to sit with you and talk about all things happy this month, this is what I would say….

31st Pennridge Crop Walk

31st Pennridge Crop Walk

We had beautiful weather for this year’s Crop Hunger Walk and a great turn out from the community. ¬†I am still in the process of my treasurer duties which should be completed in the next week or two. ¬†As the lead speaker for the group, this year brought on not one but TWO times that public speaking was needed. ¬†This was a HUGE fear to face and I am happy to report I pulled both off very well.

Janina and Luke


Both sides of my family tree welcomed babies this month.  Janina was born on 10/22 and Luke arrived a week earlier on the 13th. Exciting times for sure!

Fall colors

Fall colors

I do not have one picture that does the fall color justice. This was taken two weeks ago as we drove up to the Pocanos to have dinner with family.  This is my favorite time of year.  Last week, the colors were absolutely gorgeous!  The leaves were at their peek and I could feel their glow within me.  Even though this picture was taken on a cold and cloudy day, any drive in the mountains makes me happy!

I won over Maggie

I won over Maggie

Grandma Long

Grandma Long

Speaking of meeting up with family… Dan’s grandma is up from Florida so we got a chance to visit with her. Dan’s dad and uncle were there along with our sister Meg and her youngest Maggie. This was Maggie’s first time meeting Grandma so it was an extra special visit. ¬†It was nice catching up but my most memorable¬†part was making up stories with Maggie about the koi fish that they had in the front of the restaurant. ¬†This kid has a great imagination! We also had a balance contest. ¬†She is a natural at Warrior III ;0)

There is one¬†last thing that I am excited to share….



We are taking a road trip! ¬†We were going to plan on a trip¬†to FL to see Grandma but since she’s here, we are taking another direction. ¬†Allyson has an event in Houston on Black Friday so she suggested we drive with her instead of her flying. What a great idea! Naturally, we¬†jumped at the opportunity to have this family vacation. We do not have it all planned out yet but we know we will be in NOLA for one full day and Houston another day. ¬†Any other stop will be just for a night. ¬†For us, road trips are more about the journey then the destination. I look forward to recapping this for next month’s happiness project!

That’s it for me this month! ¬†We are not into Halloween so there are no custom ideas to discuss. ¬†I wish I was more into the holiday but since we do not have little kids in the house, it’s just another day for us.

What about you? Did you have any moments this month that made you happy?

Friday’s 5 – These are a few of my favorite Fall things


Happy first Friday of Fall! It’s been a rough week for me with not having any energy. ¬†I am sure my food choices have has something to do with it. ¬†Add in, doctor and car appointments, not sleeping well, no energy to exercise, rain… that adds to the mood of the week. ¬†So, I thought I would sit down and write about positive things that I am looking forward to over the next few months. ¬†Here we go… my latest Friday’s 5:

1. Meal¬†prep – I don’t do much prep over the summer months. We grill and meals are lite and simple. But when the weather starts to change, I like make a lot of soups, chili and stews. ¬†It’s time to dust off the favorite recipes and start making them again. ¬†Also on that list: ¬†roasted squash & baked sweet potatoes. ¬†These are two big staples of my breakfast and lunch for the next 6 months or so.

2. Crop Hunger Walk – The past three years, Dan and I have raised $1800 towards our local Crop Walk. ¬†This year we are¬†walking¬†it again! We are both on the committee to make this walk happen. Dan is helping with all the signage and I am taking on the treasurer seat for the first ¬†time! I am a little nervous about the new responsibility but excited to be apart of it all. ¬†This is our walk’s 30th year and I really hope we smash our record for donations making this the biggest year yet! In the past 29 years, our little community has raised over $640,000 and $154,000 of that has gone to our local food pantry, FISH. If you would like to help me with this goal, please click on the red words above to be directed to my personal donation page. Hunger is not a church problem. It is a world problem. 1 in 7 people go to bed hungry every night…. statistics show that most of them are women…. Moms actually. That saddens me. ¬†If you would like more information on how you can get involved in your community walk, Check out THIS website.

3. Fall hiking РThis is my favorite time of year.  There is nothing more breathtaking then to emerge from dense forest to a clearing blazing with yellows, orange and reds of the bushes and grass that surrounds you.  Add in a clear blue sky and sun shining overhead and I feel like I have found heaven.

4. Running – Fall weather is perfect… not to cold / not too hot. Need I say more?

5. Mums, pumpkins and corn stalks – OH MY! ¬†I love looking at how people decorate the front of their homes for fall. ¬†Every year I say I am going to do it too… Maybe this is the year.

What about you? Do you have any traditions or favorite activities you are looking forward to? Do you have any “to die for” recipes I need to try? ¬†If so, please share in the comments below! ¬†

Fall = New goals

How has everyone been? I am doing great! ¬†The weather is beautiful. ¬†I¬†am sort of sad that summer is over. ¬†I really enjoyed it this year ( maybe because of lack of humidity!! ). ¬†This past week was vacation for Dan and I. We spent the week camping in VT (and freezing my butt off) , hiking, taking Allyson back to Dartmouth for her sophomore year and then more camping and hiking in PA. ¬†It was a very laid-back week. ¬†There was a lot of down time which is just what we needed. ¬†We agree that this was the best vacation we have had in a long while. No Stress. No worries. ¬†No schedule. ¬†Perfection! ¬†BUT…. all good things must come to an end. It’s time to get back to work. ¬†AND¬†time to usher in my favorite season, FALL!


The view from my porch at sunrise.

Dan and I will be busy this season with our community’s annual Crop Walk ( more on this in a future post ).

Garden clean up happens.  I have really neglected the weeds and there seems to be some invasive mulberry or something sprouting up all over.  I am not looking forward to all the pulling and digging.  We also need to find a home for a birdhouse I received as a birthday gift.

I also want to get rid of more stuff that we have laying about in boxes taking up valuable garage and closet space.

As for fitness goals, I want to: 

Keep up with running. I need to get a pair of knuckle lights ~ STAT! I want to get my 10K under 1:15.

Get back in to strength training (I have really gotten away from that).

Progress further in my yoga.

I am most looking forward to:

All things pumpkin and spice

Sweaters / boots

Changing leaves

and Crisp cool evenings

Do you have new goals for fall?  What is your favorite part of the season?