The Crystal Tree

Even though I don’t have kids, I occasionally cruise through a toy store to look for gifts for my niece. During my last toy store visit, I picked up a crystal cherry tree kit for myself. It looked easy to make and the tree reminded me of the cherry blossom trees I saw in DC last year.

The kit consisted of a cardboard tree, plastic base, and clear liquid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blossoms started sprouting an hour or so after I stuck the tree in the base and poured the liquid in the base. It was pretty. And the blossoms felt like foam, not crystal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the situation soon devolved…I think there were too many blossoms for the cardboard to handle. I left it up for another day and then threw it in the trash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fast and easy project to do with kids, but prepare them for the devolution.

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A Sculptor’s Summer Home

My mom and I met in the Berkshires earlier this summer, so I took the opportunity to visit a place I hadn’t been to before: Chesterwood, the summer home of sculptor Daniel Chester French. French is best known for sculpting Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in DC.

We went during the week, so it was quiet there. The location is stunning; from the terrace of the house, you can see Monument Mountain.

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Only a few rooms of the house are open to the public, so the main attraction is his studio.

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A small museum tells his story, and there are gardens and trails on the property as well. We didn’t have time to explore the grounds, but I’m sure I could have spent at least an hour walking around. All of the staff were delightful, and I look forward to visiting again sometime.

 

Culinary Adventures in Cambridge and Newton

I tried two new-to-me restaurants in one day recently. Some friends and I met for brunch at Cafe Luna. I had never heard of it, and after eating there, I was shocked that I had never heard of it. Not only was the food delicious, but the waitstaff were so friendly that we felt like we were on vacation in another city!

I had Nutella and banana French toast. I need to eat French toast occasionally; it’s a need and it is real.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boyfriend and I ate dinner that evening at Brewers Coalition. The ambiance was nice, like an upscale townie bar. We ordered beer flights, because we love to try new beers. I had a pasta and vegetables dish, which was very good (except they could have skipped the black beans, in my opinion).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That day proved a good reminder to explore restaurants outside of your own neighborhood.

Another Birthday on the Cape

I spent my birthday on Cape Cod for the third year in a row. This year’s locale was Falmouth. We had one beautiful day and one crappy day weather-wise. Allen and I spent the beautiful day exploring the art exhibits and grounds of Highfield Hall and Gardens. I love touring historic homes and grounds, so I was so pleased that the community rallied and raised millions of dollars to keep this estate safe from bulldozers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we walked to a neighborhood beach and sat for a while. I wanted to catch the sunset and a lighthouse at the same time, so we drove along winding roads to Nobska Light. We watched the sunset from a spot across the street from lighthouse that overlooks Vineyard Sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It rained on my birthday, so we took the opportunity to visit the Woods Hole Science Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They are small institutions but interesting nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a lovely Italian dinner and then drove to a nearby beach in hopes of seeing another sunset. All we saw was fog. But fog is pretty in its own way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way out of town, we stopped at Coonamessett Farm because I had read there were farm animals there. Alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens, oh, yes! I also picked some fresh lettuce to take home with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forty-eight hours of a quintessential New England vacation. A happy birthday indeed.

Visiting the Durant-Kenrick House

My boyfriend and I lucked out when touring the Durant-Kenrick House in Newton, MA, the other day. It was a gloomy Sunday afternoon and we had the house to ourselves!

The house had me at its exterior green paint, since green is one of my favorite colors.

Durant-Kenrick House

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a small historic house, but it gives a nice overview of the Durant and Kenrick families. The Durants lived there in the 1700s and the property was a working farm. The Kenricks bought the property in 1790 and established the largest New England nursery in the 1830s. One of the Kenricks was a founding member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The property was eventually sold off in pieces. Arthur Dewing bought the house from the Durant family in 1923, and his family lived there for 50-odd years. Now the city of Newton owns the property.

It’s a family-friendly place and the grounds are pretty with many large trees and gardens. If you enjoy historic homes, it’s worth a visit. The day we visited, we bought a combo pass, so we will be visiting the Jackson Homestead at some point as well.

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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