Sneak peek of what’s to come in 2016

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2015 was a fantastic year for me. I was able to save up for my first DSLR camera and take it along with me on many road trips around New England.

I got to see beautiful sights and talk with some great and friendly people along the way.

I felt the best way to end 2015 was by giving you all a sneak peek of some of the places I will be writing about in 2016.

Bridge of Flowers

 

IMG_0899This is one of my favorite places I got to visit this year. It was my first time there and I can tell you it will not be my last.

Talcott Mountain State Park

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This gorgeous view was a bit of a hike to get to but definitely worth it.

Bartholomew’s Cobble

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This is a hikers dream place to visit.

The Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge

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Beautiful flowers and a great place to watch people floating by on kayaks.

I want to  wish you all a very happy and safe New Year! Have fun tonight! See you all in 2016!

 

A hidden jem.

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The last couple of years I have been lucky enough to head to Bennington, Vermont to visit a certain park. It is a deer park! It is filled with deer of various ages. My favorite to watch are the babies. So adorable!

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The Park is called The Vermont Veterans Home Deer Park. It is an enclosed area (roughly 1.58 acre) and has 23 Fallow deer. The Veteran’s Home staff cares for the deer herd year round.

There is also a very nice picnic area in which to watch the deer and a trout pond situated at the north end of the grounds.

I found the deer to be very friendly. They do not run when you walk up to the fence and they do not seem to mind having their picture taken.

There is a spring-fed brook that runs through the deer park for a fresh water supply, which also feeds into the home’s trout pond. The deer are feed primarily hay but they also love apples and bananas.

I love to visit this park. It is nice to be able to watch some beautiful animals without having to visit a zoo or a sanctuary. I can just park my car, sit down with some food at a picnic table and watch the deer frolic and graze. It is a very wonderful and peaceful experience.

I highly recommend visiting this wonderful park (the little ones will especially get a kick out of it).

It is located at 325 North Street in Bennington, VT. You can find out more information at their website.

https://vvh.vermont.gov

Merry and Bright

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I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my favorite holiday! This time of the year is always so much fun! I love decorating my Christmas tree with all my colorful ornaments. I love driving around looking at people’s brightly lit houses.

Another thing I adore is taking a drive up to Kringle Candle in Bernardston, MA to look at all the beautiful decor. They decorate so elegantly its hard not to love it. And Bernardston is such a nice place to drive through.

Bernardston is a small rural town in western Massachusetts, located in north central Franklin county, on the border between Vermont and Massachusetts.

Kringle Candle’s president and founder is Michael Kittredge III.

You can find more about this fantastic place at

https://kringlecandle.com

Coming here during Christmas time is becoming a tradition with my family and friends.  My particular favorite place to visit is their Country Barn. It has three levels of everything you can possibly want to buy for a Christmas gift. The lower level downstairs is basically an explosion of everything Christmas. It has several gorgeously decorated Christmas trees (did I mention I have a Kevin McCallister level obsession with Christmas trees?) and other lovely Christmas items.

It is such a festive and happy place to spend a day on the weekend. You cannot be in a bad mood while looking around this place. It really does have a homey and comfortable feel to it. If you are looking for a new place to visit this holiday season I recommend Kringle Candle. You will not be disappointed.

What places do you like to visit during the holiday season that gives you the warm and fuzzies?

Knee Deep in the Snow…

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This is the first in a series about Stanley Park in Westfield, MA.

Right now Massachusetts is experiencing a snow less December. This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on if you like snow or not. I have a love/ hate relationship with snow. I love how beautiful it looks when it first snows and the peaceful calm that surrounds the area.  What I don’t like about snow is that it means we are in for a long and cold Winter and I am forced inside for a few months huddling under a blanket trying to stay warm.

The joy of the first warm day of the year is immense. I can go outside and explore the world again! The first warm day of 2015 was in early March of this year. By warm I mean about 43 degrees. To some that is still cold. To me it was like being in the Bahamas. I decided that Stanley Park would be a great place to visit that day. I live a stones throw away and the desire to see it covered in snow was too great for me to ignore.

Stanley Park is located at 400 Western Avenue in Westfield, MA. It is a privately owned 300-acre park. It was established in 1945 by the philanthropist and benefactor Frank Stanley Beveridge.  You can check out their website at:

https://stanleypark.org

As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed I was only one in about 5 people there. This made me excited because normally in the warmer months this place is packed so I would get to experience the place all by my lonesome. It was so lovely and quiet.

I made my way down to the Duck Pond where all the ducks and swans are.

The ducks looked like they were having a grand time playing around in the snow! I next wanted to turn left and walk over to the covered bridge. I stepped off the little bridge that goes over the Duck Pond…and found myself in knee high snow! Oh my! Thank goodness I bought tall boots! I trudged my way over to the Covered Bridge and was met with a beautiful view.

The Covered Bridge has never looked so good!

The next stop on my walk was to be the Colonial Pond. The ducks and swans swim there, also, and are feed by visitors daily. My favorite to watch are the little kids. They always have huge smiles on their faces while watching the ducks eat.

Unfortunately, that knee high snow I mentioned earlier had become almost thigh high snow now. It was becoming an issue to get through.

 

My lovely and quiet stroll through the park was now becoming a workout! I decided to clean off a bench and just sit for a while and listen to the sounds of the park. The ducks were busy quacking away, the swan was gliding through the Duck Pond and the wind was blowing slightly. It was a peaceful way to spend a part of my day. After about 45 minutes I decided it was time to go home and have some tea. I left the park feeling invigorated and excited for the slowly impending Spring.

What do you do when the first warm day of the year arrives?

Lets start from the beginning..

 

As I sit here at my kitchen table listening to it softly rain on and off outside, a thought occurred to me. I cannot even start to tell you about my travels around New England until I explain where my story began.

I was born and raised in Tampa, FL. I was an only child. I adored the sunshine and running around outside for hours on end until I was called in by my Mom or Dad. I had a very active imagination (which still exists today). I would watch television, movies or read books (I love to read) and imagine I was right there with the characters on their various adventures. I told myself that one day some how I would go on my own adventures and see as many beautiful and exciting places as I possibly could.

When I was around 7 years old my family and I moved up to western MA. A member of my Dad’s family fell very ill and he wanted to spend as much time with her as he could. She passed away a few months later. By that time my Dad had found a very nice job and we decided to stay up in MA.

Boy, what a change it was for me to get over! First was the weather. Now in Florida it doesn’t get what you Northerners call “cold”. The closest thing to what would be described as cold that I had experienced was about 40 degrees. That is still tee shirt weather to the people in New England! We did not also have this thing called snow. I had seen snow in Christmas movies but that was about it. Second was the clothes. My usual wardrobe consisted of open toed sandals, shorts (or skirt) and a tee shirt. Maybe a light jacket when I needed it. Now I had to go out and buy a winter jacket, mittens, scarves, a hat, sweaters etc to stay warm in. I hated wearing all those layers! I wanted to just run outside and play without having to put on about 10 lbs of clothing.

Now it wasn’t all bad things that I had to get used to. There were also really great things to New England that Florida did not have to offer. For instance, Fall, especially the gorgeous sight of the foliage changing color. I have seen pictures of this in magazines and books but never in person.

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What a sight to behold. If you ever hear someone tell you that they don’t like looking at the fantastic reds, yellows, golds, oranges, etc that Mother Nature gives us in Autumn then I will tell you that person is insane. This is my favorite thing about Fall.

The moment I got my first point and shoot camera as a birthday gift I knew what the first thing I wanted to take pictures of. And I took countless photos. That first camera,a grey Nikon Coolpix, was the first in a long line of cameras that came with me on countless hikes in the forests, parks and basically anywhere my legs would take me.

I hope that you will come along with me as I continue on these countless hikes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to my little world!

I have spent the last year traveling with my camera just exploring New England. The sights I have seen have really inspired my inner photographer and wanderlust. I now have an insatiable desire to find new places to go and all the things they have to offer.

2015 brought me on some fantastic road trips to places I have never been. Including Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York border…but this is only the beginning!

2016 is a new year and this coming year I want to share the journey, so come along with me!