Wolf Hollow

Well, I finished my #43 birthday list with a week to spare. #44 commences on December 1. I still have to report on eight items from #43, one of which is: Wolf Hollow.

Wolf Hollow is a wolf sanctuary north of Boston. I’ve been wanting to visit it for years, so I’m glad to have finally made it there. Visitors sit on benches and listen to a one-hour presentation about wolves while watching about six wolves wander around and interact with other staff. I was hoping to be closer to the wolves, but I understand that the several layers of fencing between visitors and the wolves is there to protect both parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wolves were so comfortable with the staff that they acted like dogs! The staff rubbed their bellies and stroked their backs. The presenter said that if you found yourself facing a wolf, it would not attack you. (Unless you provoked it.) I also learned that there are no wolves in the Northeast. (Unless they visit from Canada or other parts of the U.S.) Wolf populations were decimated by humans over the years and many types of wolves have been on the endangered species list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the presentation ended, visitors could visit two other wolf “packs” in separate enclosures. This allowed us to get a closer look at the beautiful creatures. Thanks to Wolf Hollow for educating the public and taking good care of the wolves!

 

 

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Is It Spring Yet?

I’ve lived through 42 winters and I’m none too happy about it. I guess most people are none too happy about winter, unless they love to ski, snowboard, sled, or make snowpeople.

As I prepare for a Thanksgiving/National Day of Mourning with a high of 22 degrees, I’m all too happy to remember a trip to a beach I had never been to before: Singing Beach.

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A couple of friends and I took the train north of Boston to Manchester-by-the-Sea in August. The weather was great, which meant a crowded beach. But we found a nice spot and spent a few lovely hours there. There is a cute ice cream shop on the walk between the train station and the beach, and I got one of my favorites, peppermint stick.

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I’m also all too happy to recall a fall trip to Lost Pond Sanctuary. Guess what, my boyfriend and I got lost trying to find it. Well, we found the sanctuary but we didn’t find the pond.

We rambled alongside a road that led to some municipal plant, crossed the road, and followed a path that eventually led us to a map of the sanctuary. We couldn’t figure out the map so we gave up. Maybe we’ll try again someday.

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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.

Sea Turtles

I visited a friend in West Palm Beach, FL, last month, and we went to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, an animal hospital for injured sea turtles.

The turtles were massive and adorable. Many of them were there because they had gotten tangled in boat equipment or been attacked by sharks. We saw one turtle being moved from the hospital to a tank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a museum section that featured information about the sea turtles. I had no idea that only one out of thousands of sea turtle babies make it to adulthood.

This is a super-cool nonprofit and I’m so glad that I was able to visit it.

 

2017 Birthday Trip

OK, I’ve finally made it to the last item on my 2017 birthday list: my birthday trip to Sandwich, Massachusetts.

This is the 13th year that I’ve traveled to a new place for my birthday. I decided to go to another town on the Cape (Cape Cod for non-locals), since I’ve lived in Boston for 18 years and can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to the Cape.

Sandwich caught my eye, because it’s the first town on the Cape, and I found an Airbnb that was within walking distance of the town. The trip had a rough start. I took a bus from Boston, which dropped me off at a Park and Ride lot a few miles from Sandwich. I planned to pick up a regional bus from there that would stop in downtown Sandwich. It was raining very hard as I waited in a bus shelter at the Park and Ride lot for an hour until the regional bus arrived.

Well, the regional bus arrived and blew right past me. The next regional bus would be coming by two hours later. In a panic, I tried to find a local taxi service. All I could find were charter airport buses. I was unable to download the Uber app because there is something wrong with my Apple ID. I contacted my Airbnb host to ask if she knew of any taxi services, but she didn’t respond immediately because she was out running errands.

She did respond eventually and offered to pick me up. I was beyond grateful! She was lovely as was her house. It was built in the 1700s, and our room had a secret panel that an owner built in case he had to run from the Tories during the Revolutionary War.

The rain finally stopped, so I was able to walk around downtown and get afternoon tea at a teahouse. The downtown was very small, but I enjoyed walking past a beautiful church that was featured on an Elvis Presley album cover and seeing the Dexter Grist Mill, which was built in 1637.

My partner Allen drove down the next day, so we were able to see some sites that were farther afield from the downtown area. The Heritage Museums and Gardens was fantastic. The rhododendrons in bloom were beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also an impressive car collection on display as well as a gallery of American art and a working carousel! You could easily spend an entire day there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had an early dinner and then drove to the Sandwich Boardwalk to watch the sunset. The boardwalk is 1,000+ feet long! Part of it does not have a railing, so I started feeling dizzy while walking to the beach at the end of it. But it was totally worth it. The sunset was breathtaking, but isn’t it always?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we left town the next day, we went to the Sandwich Glass Museum. Sandwich was a major hub of glass production in the 1800s. We were lucky to catch a glassblowing demonstration when we first entered. Then we spent more than an hour learning about the history of glassmaking in Sandwich and seeing hundreds of glass pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plates, glasses, vases, salt cellars, chickens…all different colors and patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandwich was well worth a visit and I was glad to spend a birthday there. So now I’m counting down to birthday list #43, which will commence in about 1.5 months. !?!??!

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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