Cape Cod Days {2016 Roadtrip #4 - Part 3}

Oh Cape Cod. I can honestly say that in Cape Cod, in the family house, is one of the places I'm happiest and most relaxed. And after a week of travel and suitcase living, it felt lovely to unpack and stay put for 9 days. Really stay put. Like, put my butt in a chair and only move it to get a new drink, kind of stay put.  Ha!  Not all the days of course. There was swimming and yoga, some eating out and some shopping. There were walks and a trip to visit with some friends. But yes, there was blissful amounts of relaxation and reading.

Gwen and I arrived in Cape Cod early evening on the 15th (Friday). Trav had flown in that morning, and taken a bus out, so he had a few hours on us.

The first order of business was greeting the family... for Gwen, it was all about cousin Wyatt.

We settled into our routine of lazy mornings, maybe with cartoons. Then we often went to the lake beach, though we did make sure to hit up the ocean beach one day.

Some days we fished, and we went out on the kayaks...

I did my best to get some yoga in too. After so much time in the car, it felt amazing to move my body and stretch and bend. I even did yoga on the beach one day (with a local yoga studio).

(One downside to the "order of operations" in getting my tattoo on the way up instead of the way down as originally planned, was that I couldn't expose it to the sun yet... so improvised arm coverings were the name of the game....)

Out at the bay one night, crabbing!


There were tons of seals that we went to see in Chatham one day too.

One of our favorite parts of the Cape... Four Seas Ice Cream! Its not a successful trip without a trip or three for ice cream!

I'm much more a mountains and woods girl, then a beach girl (so much sand and salt in all the places!), but there is something really nice about sticking your toes in the sand.

Friday night, Trav's Uncle and his partner arrived from Argentina, so we had a little overlap with them, which was really nice. That hasn't happened for about 4 years! Gwen was a big fan of Bob!

We left the Cape Saturday afternoon, heading out to visit with our friend Laura, and her quadruplets (the ones I used to take care of when I was in college). It had the double benefit of an enjoyable visit with friends, and getting us off the Cape without the normal Sunday morning Cape traffic! It was fastest we've ever gotten over that bridge!

We had a great dinner, enjoyed our time with friends, had a great night sleep, then headed into Boston. 

We hit up Boston Public Gardens, walking around and enjoying the birds. It was a gorgeous day for it!

After that, it was time to drop Trav off at the airport, and head back down to Pennsylvania!

This whole trip has been amazing so far, but Cape Cod is such a second home to us, it was an especially wonderful part. 


Grateful Musings on Having Birthed a Good Traveler

I have to take a minute here, in the middle of all these travel recaps, to say just how grateful I am to have a daughter who is willing to hop in the car with me and jet off to see something new. She's six, so I'm not going to say she doesn't have her impatient moments, her cranky times, or her just get me out of this damn car meltdowns. But in general, she's amazing to travel with. A front seat stocked with food/snacks, a big bag of toys and coloring by her side, and a charged kindle on reserve for hour six... this girl is ready to go.

Travel is in my blood. A home base keeps me sane, but regularly leaving that home base and striking out into the unknown makes my heart soar, and keeps my wanderlust in check. I want to see everything there is to see in this country world (but lets start with the states...), and while I'd be fine with doing it on my own, that wouldn't work for my family. Having a kid that's willing to go with me (and hallelujah, a supportive husband!), makes it not only doable, but I'd say more exciting.

Before her seventh birthday, my girl will have crossed 25 states off her list. She'll have driven across the country twice and 3/4 of the way across the country one more times. She'll have hit a national park/monument for every year of her life, with one to grow on.  She'll have spent more time camping then a lot of adults I know! And she loves it. She often asks about the next trip as we're winding the current one down.

I could go on, but lets just say, I'm supremely grateful.


Pennsylvania {2016 Roadtrip #4 - Part 2}

Oh Pennsylvania! While its only been 2 months since I've been there, its been 10 months since Gwen has been in her home state, and 10 months since any of us have seen Ro, Pat, GG, and Casey. It was amazing to have a few days there, especially knowing that after Cape Cod, I'd have a few more!

Ro and Pat were kind enough to host us for our days there, and seeing them was seriously wonderful. There was talking and catching up, and cat cuddling too.

It rained on our first full day there, so we headed to Jumpers, so the girls could blow off some steam. It was amazing for Gwen to run and climb and jump after being in the car for 3 days straight!

We got Chinese food, and watched movies, and had a dance party in the living room. It was all the best parts of our trips to Ro and Pat's while living here, without the worst part - the heading home!

We slept very well every night!

Thursday Pat, Gwen and I headed up to the Lehigh area, so I could check one more thing off of my PA travel agenda...

Hello beautiful... (5 hours in the chair, 80% complete, 100% in love!)

We also got a dinner visit from Apurva, which was such a treat. Then, all too soon, Friday arrived, and it was off to Cape Cod!


The Journey East {2016 Road Trip #4 - Part 1}

Nebraska (check), Iowa (check), Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and finally... Pennsylvania, check check check.

Ironically, as you read this, we'll have passed 5 more states to be in Cape Cod for the week (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts)... though those 5 states took a lot less time to pass!

But lets talk about those top 6! Gwen, Daisy, and I left July 10th, only a week after I returned from Wanderlust, hopping into the car and heading towards Iowa (our first stop), by way of Nebraska.

The whole ride was really pretty smooth! It passes as quickly as a 3-day drive can go. Nebraska was LONGGG.

We stopped in Iowa, at a cute campground called Arrowhead Park, where we camped next to a lake and Gwen got to run around catching fireflies. The humidity was killer after becoming used to Denver, and we had trouble falling asleep, but overall it was a nice stop.

The epic firefly chasing was really the highlight. :-) 

After that it was through Illinois and into Indiana for our second stop, this time at a girlfriend's house! The stop over was a restful one after the sleep troubles the night before.

It was a fun one for Gwen too, since it had some built-in playmates! 

The next day was our longest so far, leaving Indiana and traveling through Ohio, the top corner of West Virginia, and crossing the whole of Pennsylvania to arrive at Ro and Pat's place at 7:30 p.m. after a quick stop to drop Daisy off with ReRe. It was a very long day, about 10.5 hours in the car. 

Seriously, why is PA so long?!

After that though, it was finally time to enjoy a few days in one place. A very good place at that!


Rustic Raspbery Tart {Recipe}

Many months ago, I found myself with some Meyer Lemons, and no idea how to use them all up. I had been eyeing up a lemon honey jam, so I decided that was the way to go. I was wrong! I'm not going to give you the recipe, because I was just not happy with the jam. It was too bitter, even with extra honey, and the honey didn't come through in the flavor the way I was hoping. So, I ended up with a jar of Meyer Lemon Jam that just wasn't ever going to get used as jam (I teared up thinking of all the naked pieces of toast and naked biscuits in my future).

Fast forward a month or two, and I knew I needed to figure out some recipe for the jam because I wasn't going to just throw it away. What a disappointing waste that would be!

I had an idea in my mind for a tart of sorts. Combining some lovely sweet raspberries with the lemon jam, creating a dessert that had a nice play of sweet and tart (I had other recipes in mind, but I'll tell you about them later).

I used puffed pastry for the crust because I love it so much more then most regular pie crusts, and because its so very easy to work with.

I apologize for not having step-by-step pictures here, but its very much a bit of this, bit of that, make it your own recipe.

Rustic Raspberry Tart

1. Pre-heat your oven to 400*.  Pull one puffed pastry from freezer to thaw (takes about a half hour). The rest will take you 10 minutes, so relax for a few minutes.

2. While your puffed pasty finishes thawing, smash about a pint and a half of raspberries in a bowl, until broken up. Add (approx) a tsp of vanilla, a Tbsp of coconut sugar, and 2 Tbsp flour, and stir to combine. Add a heaping cup of Lemon Jam/Marmalade, and stir until well incorporated.

3. Roll out your puffed pastry and then transfer to a baking sheet. Make a circle of the raspberry mixture in the middle of the pastry, then fold up the sides, crimping to keep them folded (fold more then you think... it opens a bit in the oven!). Sprinkle the pastry with cardamom and cinnamon.

4. Pop in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned. Remove from oven, use a fork to puncture any bubbles rising in the middle section of your tart, then cover with foil and bake for another ~5 minutes, until the filling is starting to thicken.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Top with the other 1/2 pint of raspberries, then carefully transfer to a serving plate.

6. Let cool completely before cutting, so the filling has a chance to thicken and set. Slice and enjoy, alone or with a scoop of ice cream (cardamom would be amazing).

This is a lovely combination of sweet and tart, flaky and soft. A good use of some disappointing jam!