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Posts Tagged ‘beach’

beach reads buttonwood books

This week, the hubs and I took advantage of a summer Friday off together, and headed a little way south, to the Cohasset/Hull area.

toes nantasket beach ocean

These are “postcards” from a delicious lunch at French Memories Bakery, a delightful browse at Buttonwood Books & Toys, and some beach time.

bonjour pillow flowers window

beach rose

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pei sandstone cliffs

The shore road was “woodsy and wild and lonesome.” On the right hand, scrub firs, their spirits quite unbroken by long years of tussle with the gulf winds, grew thickly. On the left were the steep red sandstone cliffs, so near the track in places that a mare of less steadiness than the sorrel might have tried the nerves of the people behind her. Down at the base of the cliffs were heaps of surf-worn rocks or little sandy coves inlaid with pebbles as with ocean jewels; beyond lay the sea, shimmering and blue, and over it soared the gulls, their pinions flashing silvery in the sunlight.

“Isn’t the sea wonderful?” said Anne, rousing from a long, wide-eyed silence.

Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

pei north rustico harbour

On our recent return to PEI, the hubs and I stayed in a tiny village on the Island’s north shore. We were just a few minutes’ walk from the beach in one direction and the harbor (above) in the other. And though we did a bit of driving around the Island (lunch in Summerside one day, dinner in Charlottetown another night), we spent most of our time as close to the water as possible.

“You’ve made a beach bum out of me,” J said recently. I laughed and pointed out that I didn’t do anything: our trips to San Diego and PEI are wholly responsible for that change. The red beaches of PEI’s north shore, in particular, have completely captured our hearts.

pei north shore beach prince edward island canada

The Island’s north shore is quieter than the south; there are fewer towns, more long, unbroken stretches of beach. These comprise plenty of soft red sand (the Island soil contains so much iron that it oxidizes on contact with the air), and an occasional outcrop of sandstone cliffs (as in the photo at the top of this post).

I love visiting both the sand shore and the rock shore that L.M. Montgomery writes about in Anne’s House of Dreams and Rilla of Ingleside, but for spending an afternoon, the sand shore is my favorite. The sky is wide and open, the far red cliffs topped with lush green. As for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, I have to quote Jane Stuart: “I never thought anything could be so blue.”

gulf of st lawrence beach pei

We took a guided kayaking trip around the north shore one night, which was exhausting but wholly enjoyable, and a couple of late-evening walks to watch the sunset. But mostly we sprawled out on the sand with our books, getting up occasionally to splash in the shallows or toss the Frisbee. We came home with sand in the folds of our shorts and tote bags, but I didn’t mind. Those hours on the north shore, walking through the foamy waves and sinking into the sand, restored my soul.

katie pei beach

More PEI photos and stories to come.

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Summer Fri-dates

katie jer cliff walk

My husband and I didn’t do a lot of traveling this summer. Aside from a lovely anniversary weekend in Maine and a quick August getaway to Rhode Island, we stayed pretty close to home.

But our schedules were both flexible enough this year to allow for a new summer ritual: what we dubbed “Fri-dates.” Whenever possible, we planned fun day (or half-day) trips to local spots on Fridays, and soaked up both the summer sunshine and some extra time together.

On July 3, we started the holiday weekend with a trip to our beach (a mile from our house) and a little light reading.

between you and me beach

The following week, J came up to Harvard Square and we spent some time at the Harvard Art Museums – a favorite spot of mine. (The courtyard currently features this cool triangle sculpture.) Afterward, we ate dinner at Daedalus.

triangle sculpture harvard art museums

Our next adventure was quite close to home: Steel & Rye, a hip new restaurant in Milton, the next town over.

steel and rye lights sunset

The patio lights created a lovely ambiance, and the food – including this raspberry dessert confection we shared – was delicious. So fun to discover a new favorite spot in our neighborhood.

raspberry dessert steel & rye

A couple of weeks later, we drove up to Ogunquit, Maine, for an afternoon of exploring. We met some friends for an early dinner and made it to the beach (with ice cream) in time for this luminous sunset.

ogunquit beach sunset

Our next destination was Scituate, MA, a little south of where we live.

sailboats scituate ma

We explored the quaint downtown area, spent a couple of hours reading on the beach, and then ate a delicious Italian dinner al fresco (with live music!).

snicker of magic book beach summer

Next we headed to Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA.

crane beach ipswich ma

More reading on the beach, and a yummy dinner at a hip little place called Salt.

mary oliver winter hours beach

We wrapped up our string of beach dates with another afternoon close to home.

recipes for love and murder cover beach

And a few weeks later, we had an early fall Fri-date: a fascinating evening spent exploring the Science Behind Pixar exhibit at the Museum of Science.

mike sully monsters inc

I love a good road trip or weekend getaway. But it’s been nice to remember that there are adventures waiting in my backyard – and to savor them with my favorite person.

 

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sandals rocks beach

Angles and curves. Rocks and water. Exploring a new beach on a weekend adventure in Rhode Island.

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snicker of magic book beach summer

Yesterday’s August Break prompt asked for five facts about me. I posted this photo, taken on a beach a few miles south of where we live, and shared five facts inspired by or related to it:

  • I’m a book addict.
  • I love the sunshine.
  • My favorite color is red.
  • I believe you’re never too old for great children’s books. (This is one of them.)
  • And I take a lot of pictures of the sky.

Happy weekend, friends.

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palm trees san diego

A few weeks ago, the hubs and I hopped a plane to the West Coast. After a long, bitter winter and a packed early spring, we’d planned a much-needed getaway to see our friends Allison and Duncan, former New Yorkers who moved back to their native state a couple of years ago. This was our second trip to see them in San Diego, and it was utterly lovely.

We stayed again on Coronado Island – walkable and gorgeous. We ate Mexican food four times in three days, including burritos from Clayton’s and fish tacos from Allison and Duncan’s favorite food truck. I snapped a photo of this pennant at Seaside Papery, because the sentiment was so perfect.

tacos pennant

We wandered down to the beach at least once a day, even though our first full day there was chilly and rainy. We dipped our toes in the Pacific, and came home with sand on the soles of our sandals and in the creases of our jeans.

toes beach san diego

Last winter, on our first trip to San Diego, everything was new. Neither J nor I had ever been to SoCal, and there were fresh delights around every corner. This time, we made sure to revisit some favorites – like Clayton’s, the beach, lunch at Burger Lounge, and browsing the gorgeous Bay Books. It felt good to savor some things we already knew we loved, as well as exploring some new neighborhoods (and trying a few new restaurants).

We still haven’t made it to the zoo, but we did drive to Balboa Park one afternoon for a quick tour through the Museum of Photographic Art. They’re currently showing an amazing video project called 7 Billion Others, and we lingered until closing time. The project involves interviews with people from around the world, but also included this video mosaic screen – you can see yourself reflected in a mosaic of faces, which I thought was amazing on so many levels.

katie mopa video mosaic

We stopped by MooTime on Coronado for ice cream – before dinner! – on our last day. And, of course, we enjoyed every minute of being with Duncan and Allison: trading stories, sharing old inside jokes and creating new ones, sipping tea around the kitchen table, and catching up on our lives. I wish they didn’t live so far away – but if they can’t be close by any more, at least they’re living in a place I love to visit.

katie jer beach san diego

San Diego, you are lovely. We’ll be back (again).

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pei red fields blue sky

Much of the beauty of the Island is due to the vivid colour contrasts—the rich red of the winding roads, the brilliant emerald of the uplands and meadows, the glowing sapphire of the encircling sea. It is the sea which makes Prince Edward Island in more senses than geographical. You cannot get away from the sea down there. Save for a few places in the interior, it is ever visible somewhere, if only through a tiny gap between distant hills, or a turquoise gleam through the dark boughs of spruce fringing an estuary.

—L.M. Montgomery, The Alpine Path

pei beach

The colors and contrasts Montgomery writes about were everywhere on the Island – from the famous red clay soil to the vivid green of fields and trees, and the lovely blue of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Though our first two days were cloudy, the sun eventually emerged to stunning effect, and we spent much of the second half of our vacation on the beach.

katie cavendish beach pei

The Cavendish shore is a very beautiful one; part of it is rock shore, where the rugged red cliffs rise steeply from the boulder-strewn coves. Part is a long, gleaming sandshore, divided from the fields and ponds behind by a row of rounded sand-dunes, covered by coarse sand-hill grass.

The Alpine Path

pei rock shore cavendish beach

We explored both parts of the Cavendish shore, and found them equally lovely.

jer rocks cavendish beach pei

The rock shore reminded me of Anne’s first meeting with Leslie Moore in Anne’s House of Dreams. And the sandshore – red sand under a stunning blue sky – was just as breathtaking.

red sand beach pei

jer skipping rocks pei beach

sand dunes pei beach

We didn’t go all the way in the water (too cold), but I’m inclined to agree with Montgomery’s assessment: the sandshore is “a peerless spot for bathing.” (And wading, and gathering shells, and reading, and soaking up the sunshine.)

k & j pei beach

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