Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentine's Day Tradition


Hubby and I continued our annual tradition of visiting the New England Aquarium for Valentine's Day.  This started when Hubby and I were first married, and he planned a day in Boston at the Aquarium for me because he knows how much I love my penguins!


The salt water tank makes a beautiful, colorful tableau.



I was very sorry to see that the Little Blue Penguins were gone from the aquarium.  Thank goodness these guys are still there!


This diver is trying to feed the fish.  The manta rays were the most aggressive.  They wouldn't leave her alone!   Later on, there's a place where you can lean over and pat the Manta Rays in a special shallow tank.  I've done it many times before....but this time one of them flipped me off and soaked me from head to waist!


Hi Turtle!


We had a wonderful time staying at the Marriott Longwharf  Hotel right next door to the Aquarium.  They have a lovely pool there.  For supper, we hopped on the T and went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  (Another Boston tradition of ours.)   

Hubby couldn't decide which Valentine Card said it best.....so he got me three!


On Saturday we went to the JFK Library.   I had never been there before and always wanted to go.  It seemed like a good idea on a day when it was frigidly cold outside....not a good day to walk around the city!


The guard said this is the most photographed part of the exhibits.


A congratulatory note send to the newly elected President from the sailors on the Japanese boat that sunk  JFK's PT Boat.


A bit fancy for my dinner parties.



There were tons of videos of JFK speaking and photos of his family, campaigns and presidency.  Truly a sad thing that we lost him so young.  One wonders what our country would have been like if he'd been President for 8 years.



Sunday, September 22, 2019

Chaos and Kindness


My favorite band, Recycled Percussion, has branched out into a brand called Chaos and Kindness.  Their idea is that, "In a world full of Chaos, be sure to spread some Kindness."   

They began by creating a TV show where they go around to different people who need some Kindness and offer to do something, or donate something to make their life a little better.  My friend Sylvie's nephew Jason was the first one depicted on the show.  He had endured some devastating losses so they took him to the Superbowl!  And it goes on from there.   They have a foundation that takes donations at Christmastime and they buy a warehouse full of toys, where families can come, no questions asked,  and let their child pick out a toy.

They decided recently to open a "Chaos and Kindness" store and experience.  They chose the the town of Laconia, NH for two reasons.  One is that Justin, the ringleader of the group, was born there.  And second because Laconia needed a bit of a boost.   So they chose the most run-down area in the hopes it might revive the town. Part of the goal as well is to use the store to show people a way of giving back to others.

Sylvie, her daughter Sara, granddaughter Maddie and I decided to brave the Chaos and go up to Laconia for the store Grand Opening.   Justin always goes for the biggest, best, craziest events, so we were prepared for a huge crowd of people.   They did a great job of having remote parking, and complimentary busses to bring you to the event.  

We were delighted when we got there to have almost no line to get into the store.  (although the line stretched down the sidewalk when we came out......good timing!)



The store is divided into 2 halves....Chaos and Kindness!  Of course, the Chaos side is much more fun!


The floor is covered in confetti


The band found out that the building they bought had belonged to a gentleman named Henry who was well-known around town for always having candy in his pockets to give out to children.  So in his honor, they have a huge bin of candy so children can take a piece for free.

Maddie and the big kid, Sylvie, sorting through for the best kind!


There are 100 etch-a-sketches on the wall for you to leave a picture or message.


Sara and I left messages.....mind said "I love Chaos"...upside down!



The bathrooms are unisex....one is Chaos and one is Kindness.  The Kindness one is a normal bathroom...............


The Chaos side looks like this!  Those are slinkies hanging from the ceiling!


Also confetti on the ceiling.  


On the Chaos side you can also make your own slime, play giant Jenga and Connect Four, play pinball, and paint a big piece of glass and then smash it!

The Kindness side of the store is much more sedate. Most of the merchandise is on that side. (I bought a "legalize Kindness" T-shirt)  They do have a "Kindness Table" where you can sit and write a letter or draw a picture for whatever cause they are supporting that week .  (ie..writing letters to the troops)

After visiting the store, we went down to the area where there were food trucks and the big stage set up for the concert.   The band just bought a gigantic truck and had it pimped out in Chaos and Kindess decals. They'll use this truck to randomly drive around doing good deeds wherever they see the need.





The crowd got bigger as concert time approached.  I believe they estimated over 10,000 people for the concert.



The concert was crazy and manic as usual!!!  It was extra-fun for me because, despite their love for Chaos and Kindness, Sylvie and Sara had never seen Recycled Percussion play!!


And afterwards, as the band had advertised, was the biggest fireworks display New Hampshire had ever seen!



Awesome, Chaotic and Kindness-filled day!!!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Sunflower Farm


Our Sunday Adventure for this Labor Day weekend was a trip to Colby Sunflower Farm in Newbury, MA.    It was a beautiful day and we had a fabulous time walking amongst all the beautiful flowers!






Every once in a while was a flower that stood out among all the rest.



Hubby waited patiently like a good boy for his turn on the tractor!



They also had fields of corn and I finally got the answer to my question of how they harvest all that corn.   I really wanted to hang out behind the truck and pick up the ones they missed!




Where's Karen?


A couple of campy photos at the store.....this one seemed made for us.



From Newbury we were just a hop, skip and a jump from Newburyport, one of Hubby's favorite places.   We always have to stop in the junk store...........er.......Marketplace so Hubby can check out the latest used records.



And the boardwalk is always a great place to sit and watch the world go by.



Then just a smidge further north to Seabrook for MY favorite part of the day!   A fisherman's platter with a side of onion rings and rootbeer out on the deck.....life is good!!!!



Saturday, August 3, 2019

Boothbay Harbor 2019

Hubby and I took a short vacation to one of our favorite places.....Boothbay Harbor, Maine!

My reason for wanting to go had to do with a  Clambake....Hubby's reason had to do with Moxie!  But more on that later.

Our first stop on the way up was the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden.  We've been there a couple of times before, but always good for another look!



They're doing lots of updating, but the areas that have been there for awhile were covered in flowers.



It was a hot day, but there are lots of nice benches to relax and enjoy the beauty.


Serenity Garden





After our stop at the Botanical Garden, we made our way into downtown Boothbay Harbor to our hotel, "The Fisherman's Wharf Inn".     I was very excited to be right on the harbor, with a balcony and a view.


When we got there, we were told that a "big-ass" boat was parked right outside our room. I was pretty perturbed until we got to the room and I could see that the boat was not blocking our view.   And it turned out to be quite amusing to watch the two deck hands spit-polish everything from the outside of the boat to the anchor!


For dinner we sat out on the deck at Mc Seagull's and shared a fisherman's platter. Yum!


The next day we had some time in the morning to walk around downtown.  So we went to Hubby's favorite "60's Hippie Store"  Enchantments.



Hubby always joked around about doing a puzzle of the cover of the Beatles "White Album".  Sure enough, it was in the hippie store!!    Hubby was not quite crazy enough to buy it.


It was time for our Cabbage Island Clambake!   It started out with a 1-hour harbor cruise.  So wonderful to stand at the railing at the top of the boat and enjoy the sun and wind! (Yes, my hat stayed in my hand....I'm not losing another one!)



Cabbage Island has been a family business for 60 years.  Every summer for 12 weeks they offer a cruise and clambake every day and 2 on each of the weekend days!  



They start you off with ice tea and water, then bring you cups of clam chowder.  Then the bell rings and it's time to make your way down to the waterfront where they have been steaming our meals all morning.

We each got 2 lobsters, steamers, corn-on-the-cob, potato, onion and an egg!  (and lots of melted butter!)   Apparently, the onion is a family tradition, and the egg is what they use to gauge if the lobsters are cooked!

The meal was finished off with a piece of Maine Blueberry Cake.  



After the meal we had about an hour to wander the island.  They had a bar to purchase beer and wine, and games like cornhole set up for people to play.


The name of the boat is the "Bennie Alice".....named after the matriarch of the family who is 98 years old and greets all the visitors as they come onto the island.


No supper needed that night!  But of course we had a little snack of ice cream before going to bed. 

Hubby noticed there was an open mic, so we decided to go in and have a drink and listen.  Well......let me just say the open mics we go to around here are about 1000x better than this one.  'Nuff said.

In the morning we decided against the hotel breakfast and went to the Bridge Street Cafe. Yummy!


After checking out of the hotel, our plan was to head further north to Union, Maine, home of what Hubby called the "Moxie Museum".   In reality it is the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage, which has an extensive Moxie display.  And we figured since we were up that way, we'd go to Camden, since we've never been and we've heard it's very nice.

As we were leaving Boothbay, Hubby said, "Gee, I hope they're open today."   I looked it up on my phone and it wasn't!   It was closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.   Thank goodness we checked before drving almost an hour north!

So sadly we headed straight home.  I guess the Moxie Museum and Camden will just have to be an adventure for another day!