Tag Archives: summer

Day Trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

I’ve long maintained that Rockport is my favorite Massachusetts town. And that’s still true. Mostly. Rockport IS my favorite, but if I could choose to live in any town, it would be Newburyport. (If only it weren’t quite so far north!)

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Newburyport is best-known for being the first port in New England. There is a short, but lovely, boardwalk along the river where you can watch sailboats – and on the rare occasion gawk at the out-of-place larger-than-life yachts that come up from the Cayman Islands.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Shopping in Newburyport

Another reason I love Newburyport is that it is a great place for browsing and window shopping.

My personal favorite stores to poke around in are Souffles (a great little kitchen store and coffee shop), Pretty Poppy (for affordable jewelry and accessories), the Brass Lyon (for nautical themed gifts), and Vintage Goods.

There is a great men’s shop (John Farley’s) and those are hard to come by. There are a few local chains here as well – Modern Millie’s (a vintage/consignment dress shop) and Bobbles and Lace (more ladies clothing). Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

My favorite place to shop in Newburyport is Oldie’s Marketplace – it’s a huge barn at the end of the riverwalk. It’s full of old thrifted goods – everything from old bottles, to antique furniture, to old records.

Exactly my type of place that I like to hunt through.

Eating in Newburyport

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

If you are there for lunch, stop at the deli counter in Fowle’s Drugstore and get a panini! It doesn’t look like much, but it’s delicious!

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

If you’re there for dinner, another favorite of ours is Agave – for delicious Mexican fare. There is usually a wait – so call ahead!

If you are heading out to the beach, like we were, stop at the Black Duck Market for some goodies. It is located in the Tannery, which just happens to be the best (free) place to park in Newburyport.

Plum Island

Directly off the coast is Plum Island – a reserve. While many Massachusetts beaches are more cove-like, Plum Island is a tried and true Atlantic Ocean beach.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

This means the waves are bigger, the water is colder, and the drop-off is pretty quick.

While it’s not my favorite beach for swimming (at least my kind of swimming – which is more like floating in a bathtub), it’s a great beach for lounging! The long beach means the shore’s not congested and everyone is able to spread out.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

It costs $5/car to get into Plum Island reserve. While you’re there don’t forget to drive around the reservation and enjoy the beauty.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

What’s your favorite way to experience the beach?

I like a good book and a nice breeze!

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

Y’all. (Why are only Southerners allowed to say this?)

We love blueberries and this ice cream is delicious.

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

I appear to be in the minority here. That being, the minority of people who own ice cream makers and actually use them.

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

There is a great blueberry farm in the Finger Lakes that we make a trip to whenever we are visiting my family. And we are serious about our blueberry picking. This summer we managed to bring home 45 pounds of blueberries.

I even dragged my poor parents out in the rain one morning and we got soaking wet. (Aren’t they kind to indulge their crazy daughter?)

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

Blueberry Ice Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (sorry!)
  • 2 tablespoons boysenberry syrup

(You can supplement whole milk for a 1% milk or heavy cream for light cream, but the texture will be slightly icier, and certain members of your household will notice.)

First, make the blueberry concentration:

  1. Toss 1 cup of blueberries with 1/4 cup of sugar in a pot over medium heat
  2. Stir frequently and squish the blueberries with a spoon  to release the juices in the pot
  3. Let simmer until all sugar is dissolved
  4. Set aside and let cool

Next, make the ice cream:

  1. Whisk together milk and 3/4 cup of sugar in a bowl
  2. Gently stir in the heavy cream, 2 TB of boysenberry syrup and your blueberry concentration
  3. Pour into the ice cream freezer bowl and turn on your machine
  4. Let the machine run for 20-25 minutes
  5. You can eat it at this point if you like very soft ice cream! Otherwise put in an airtight container and stick it in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  6. ENJOY!!!

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

I’m sure this ice cream would taste delicious without the boysenberry syrup too. I added it at the last minute and it was a very delicious addition! We keep it on hand for pancakes and it is usually in the maple syrup section at the grocery store.

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

What’s your favorite flavor ice cream? I love to get Cake Batter ice cream!

Summer Scenes

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Boston in the Summer

In case you haven’t looked at your calendar recently, it’s August.

August is technically late summer, but pumpkins are making their way into the craft store and I can’t say that I haven’t started to wistfully think about the impending arrival of my favorite autumnal things.

Here in Boston we still qualify September as summer, otherwise we hardly get summer in at all.

Boston in the Summer

If there’s any indication of the speediness of this summer, (besides my lack of blogging) it’s the lack of photos I’ve taken! Fortunately now that I’ve moved over to the dark side (*smart phones*) I’ve been able to document some memories via Instagram.

The main reason that this summer has flown by is that we have been travel crazies. In the last 3 months I’ve been on 4 road trips (as evidenced by the picture above) 10 flights (as seen below). Yowza.

I’ve been getting my fill of palm trees this summer – a unique experience for a Northeastern girl like myself. From Italy, to Florida, to San Francisco (and a trip to Atlanta in-between) the beginning of the summer was a blur.

Should you ever find yourself outside of San Francisco in Pleasanton, CA, the historic Ruby Hill winery is a beauty! (And a great place to host events if you are an event coordinator like myself!)

And there have been many baby showers (four of them! Three baby girls and 1 TBD!) and weddings (four of those too!) to celebrate as well!

And we’ve been fortunate enough to find ourselves at the beach with friends on several occasion – a truly blissful way to spend a summer Saturday.

We’ve continued to be members of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year and I’ve been enjoying trying new recipes! This weekend I’ll be experimenting with Swiss Chard Pesto – we will see how it goes!

And the blueberries. OH the blueberries.

There are 30 pounds of them in my freezer. Come February we will be very happy breakfast smoothie drinkers.

And late-night summer road trip driving could not be more worth it when you can wake up to a lovely lakeside cup of coffee.

And the ice cream. Oh boy.

I’ve failed to make homemade ice cream so far this summer – a tragedy! Now that I think about it… the pesto can wait. Ice cream takes priority!

Do you eat Purple Cow ice cream? Is it just a New England thing?

I’ve never seen it anywhere else. But it’s yummy! Grape ice cream with dark or white chocolate chips. YUM!!

And our other favorite ice cream shoppe just came out with a new flavor – Salted Caramel and Chocolate Covered Pretzel ice cream.

Yikes, Autumn better hold a lot of jogging in store for me.

Also, I’ve invented a new game. Backwards croquet.

Spread the word.

Isn’t this a beautiful butterfly? I was taking a creative brain stretch (aka – a walk) during lunch one day and found this guy.

As you can imagine we’ve gotten very little done on our house for the last few months. I have a few projects I’m waiting to share with you, but we’ve been trying very hard to forget about the work that’s waiting for us and enjoy July and August. (This idea sounds very easy in theory, but is actually kind of difficult.)

There’s a little Saturday morning happiness to start your day. : )

What has been your favorite moment this summer? I’ve been enjoying picking lots of blueberries!

The Finger Lakes, NY: Hiking Grimes Glen and an Airport Diner

Upstate New York is entirely underrated. In case you were wondering.

The region is associated with the three snowiest cities in the United States (Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, thank you very much), but very little is it associated with the summer months!

Let’s keep it that way, eh? I like driving on an empty highway.

It is beautiful – sunshine, blue skies, budding vineyards and lots of big yellow fields that reminded me of Scotland!

A month or so ago, we spent the weekend in the Finger Lakes and spent the morning in Naples, NY. It’s right next to Rome, NY and Italy, NY.

No, really.

We had breakfast at the Middlesex Airport Diner – a small building on a small meadow that small planes fly in and out of.

While our waiter informed us we were a bit late for the usual plane sightseeing (what? 11am is too late for breakfast?) we still managed to see a few of them.

After breakfast we drove to Grimes Glen.

Grimes Glen is a hiking path in a glen. No surprise there.

It has a one mile creek walk up to some beautiful waterfalls.

Go ahead and swallow that vanity. Put on a pair of ugly nature sandals and walk all the way up the creek! (Some currents are a bit strong, but most places weren’t deeper than 12 inches of water. I was carrying my SLR around my neck).

We went on a Saturday morning and there was a fair amount of hiking traffic.

via flickr debpaul2010

Next time I think I’ll leave my camera in the car and bring my swimsuit.

There were lots of kids playing in the water. We went over Memorial Day weekend, so the water was nippy, but enjoyable! We only hiked to the first waterfall, so we were only going for an hour or two.

We spent the rest of the beautiful Finger Lakes afternoon doing a little bit of fishing, dock sitting and boating.

And of course a little bit of this:

The lazy, hazy summer afternoon was made for me!

What’s your favorite lazy, summer activity?