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17 December 2014

Road Trip!

Since I had free time in October while Owen was back in Louisiana, my aunt invited me to do a road trip with her! My (great) aunt Mimi lives right on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin during the summer and just outside of Phoenix, Arizona during the winter months. She now drives back and forth instead of flying, due to her elderly labrador retriever. Being that I am always up for an adventure, I of course said I would help out! It had been 8 years since I'd been to Wisconsin and about 19 since Arizona, so I made sure to have time on both ends of our road trip to visit both of Mimi's homes, and especially enjoy some warm sunshine in Arizona before heading back east for winter :(  I'll post a few pictures with the trip details, but here are several more Road Trip!

It was beautiful at the lake in mid October. The foliage was just at peak and there was even some sun which allowed for some gorgeous colors of leaves against the lake. There is no cell service (not even enough to send a text!) or wifi at the lake, which is a nice break from always being connected. We spent those couple days wrapping things up around town and the house before Mimi left for the winter. We went for a few walks with the dog, enjoying the foliage as there was no beach to walk on this year. Mimi treated me to her normal massage appointment while she ran some errands. I went through the old family/cabin guest books and all the old pictures. It was a fun, relaxing few days before our road trip.

We decided to break the trip up into 3 days, which was a bit of a push at about 10 hours of driving a day, but it meant another day in Arizona and less time in transition, good for everyone, especially the dog! Fortunately the trip went very smoothly, with the exception of one morning of construction delays and heavy rain, the rest of the time the was limited traffic, minor construction without real delay, and great weather. The first day we drove from Port Washington, Wisconsin to Springfield, Missouri area. The foliage wasn't quite at peak yet, but it was still a very pretty drive. The best part was driving by the Arch in St. Louis and getting stuck in bridge construction at just the perfect time to snap some photos of the Arch and foliage right from the car! The next day we drove to Tucumcari, New Mexico, which was a whole lot of nothing but empty space and cows! Then onto Scottsdale, Arizona, through some of the Arizona mountains/forest and the first glimpses of the saguaros and then desert.

We arrived to beautiful weather in Arizona! All 3 of us felt so refreshed to be in the warmth and sunshine. I took advantage of the weather and went for several runs and even sat by the pool!! Mimi and I had lunch overlooking Camelback Mountain, drove up to Carefree to see more desert and the old family house, went to a dinner for her choir group who were hosting an African choir group, walked around Scotsdale, and just enjoyed being outside! It was a great trip, everything went so smoothly with travel and it was so nice to get time at both places and some nice memories with Mimi!!

Port Washington, WI house
Front yard/Lake Michigan
Hard to believe that's a lake and not ocean!
On the road! (we were stopped, don't worry!)
Our travel buddy
St. Louis Arch
View on a lot of the drive
Some nicer scenery

Lots of trains!
Scottsdale, AZ house, spent most of my time on that patio!
View on my morning run, Camelback Mountain
Morning run, I could definitely live here!
Saguaros in the Carefree desert
One more of Camelback Mountain
Poolside at the end of October, yes please!

07 December 2014

New England Fall

It's that time again for another highlights post! I'm a bit behind on blogging, which seems to be the trend lately. So I'll give you the photo highlights of the fall happenings here in New England. There are of course more pictures at Fall 2014 if you wish to see a few more, especially of the foliage :) As mentioned in the previous post, September was a busy month with some big events, however there was also time for some fun, typical fall activities during September and October! Owen spent October back in Baton Rouge, Louisiana doing family medicine while I stayed in Connecticut. So here are the highlights and photos from my fall, enjoy!!
  • Big E with my family
  • Lots of time with Brunetti's and kiddos (babysitting, fairs, dinners)
  • Helping out in the kitchen at church again
  • Fall foliage
  • Cider Run with friends to support the Brunetti campaign 
  • A week at the lake house while Owen prepared for Step 2 CK (between rotations)
  • Halloween (Pod 1 bonfire and passing out candy, party with high school friends)
  • Trip to Boston to visit island/med school friends
  • Backpacking trip in the northwest hills of Connecticut (between rotations)
  • Wildlife sightings (bears, turkeys, coyotes) 
  • Owen and Jared finally shot the black powder pistol they built
Mums and pumpkins, my favorites!
Fair food at the Big E!! Deep fried S'mores!
Enjoying a seasonal pumpkin ale with my bro at Big E

Big E isn't complete without cute baby farm animals!
Notice the Connecticut house in the background ;) Fun times at the Big E
Valley Community Baptist Church
Baked so many breads from these huge zucchinis!
Loved spending so much time with this sweetie!!
Harwinton Fair with Brunettis
Fun times with the kiddos
Sunny fall days at the lake
Not so sunny but still beautiful
Even got some falling leaves
Boston from Top of the Hub at the Pru
Team Brunetti at the Warren 5K Cider Run
1st place in my age group, pretty sweet prizes at the Cider run!
Halloween at Coppermine Village
Halloween party with high school friends
Backpacking in northwest Connecticut
great campsite, even had a fire pit and chairs!!
Coyote in my parents' backyard