Black Friday is fast approaching and if you find yourself in the market for a new, or upgraded, fitness watch, you might find yourself quickly overwhelmed by all the brands, models, features and choices that have flooded the market in the last few years. Everyone really wants you to get your 10k steps each day.
This fishing excursion wasn’t firmly on the itinerary at the start of the trip. We were all leery of being trapped on a boat for four hours with kids that might hate it, but we had a mostly empty day and ended up giving the family-oriented Paradise by the Seas Adventure Tour (facebook, tripadvisor) a shot. And we were very glad we did. It ended up being a great addition to our trip with a lot of fun memories for both kids and parents alike.
This spring we won a raffle for a round of golf and a hotel stay on the Cape. Ironically, it’s about a mile from Grammie and Poppy’s place in Brewster. It also couldn’t be used during the summer or during holidays….so, welcome to the Cape in the offseason!
The great thing about visiting the Cape in the off-season is there are no waits, no crowds, and very little traffic. Dash is allowed on the beach. Lobster rolls are $2. The sharks have moved on. The bike path becomes a moving escalator. I’m kidding about the lobster rolls.
On the other hand, visiting the Cape in that vacation wasteland between Labor Day and Memorial Day means a whole lot of things are closed. If you’re not into visiting organic cranberry bogs, you might have a hard time finding something to do. Luckily for the girls, the hotel gave us access to an indoor pool or they might have been new temporary Ocean Spray employees for the weekend
One silver lining to having a chronic disease is that you visit the doctor quite often and have your blood tested quite often. For someone that enjoys running and endurance events like I do, those blood tests can be a great tool when things suddenly and unexpectedly go off the rails during training.
Sidenote, it’s also very helpful to have a doctor that is an athlete/runner herself or is used to working with and interpreting blood tests from dedicated amateur athletes. I’ve found my doctor (a dedicated cross-fitter and ultra-runner) very sympathetic to the mental aspects of training, too. When I tell her my frustrations or need to run, I know she understands.
Alas, last week’s banana bread didn’t quite use up all the dark, dark bananas haunting my fruit basket. In a quest to clear the counter and avoid an impending fruit fly convention, I tried the banana coconut cookie recipe from the Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. to use up the remaining fruit.
I’ve made many recipes at this point from both Run Fast cookbooks and while they all haven’t come out perfectly they all were pretty tasty and worth making again. This one, however, was the first dud for me, even with chocolate chips thrown in. I’m going to have to make it again if only to see if it’s really the recipe or if it’s me.
One of the things I remember most about our trip to Sicily is the pace of life. Things are open. Things are closed. Schedules seem to have little importance. Maybe it’s the history leeching into their blood, or maybe it’s just the all the red wine, but life feels slower, almost contemplative over there.
A little bit of that Sicilian lifestyle survives today in Boston’s North End. It’s being chipped away by time and real estate prices (there’s currently a big fight about a Starbucks moving in), but it still exists in pockets. We went into the city on Saturday and tried to time a lot of our activities around lunch and getting pizza and arancinis from Galleria Umberto. Easier said than done.
Our favorite, unassuming pizza, James Beard award-winning hole in the wall is open around 10:45 – 2:30 (Tues – Sat and they take July off). And that closing time is only a suggestion given that they sell out of most items usually well before that time.
Our one big indulgence during our PEI vacation was getting a seating at the FireWorks Feast at the Inn at Bay Fortune. I was a little hesitant given the the price tag, even in Canadian dollars it’s not cheap, but after a long night of slurping oysters, eating smoked salmon, and a full five course meal, I can happily say it did live up to the hype and is worth the price. If you can’t spend your money on a memorable vacation experience, what are you going to spend it on?
One advantage to staying on the eastern side of the island is that the Inn at Bay Fortune was just a short ten minute drive from our rental house. This came in especially handy at the end of the night when we were all so full that the prospect of driving across the island to roll into bed would not have been appealing.