Victory is ours!

We successfully summitted Mount Washington AND Mount Monroe – all in one day!

Lots of stories and lessons later – both from the hiking duo and our Cog railway buddies, mom and dad. 

For now, here’s proof of our triumph over fogginess:  
 

The mountain awaits

After months of dreaming and scheming, plotting trails and taking hiking classes, new backpacks and trial snacks and sweaty climbs on the stairmaster at the gym, tomorrow we head out for the real deal: Mount Washington. 

We’re heading to the Whites and crossing our fingers that it stays nice for hike day, Friday. I’ve never cared about weather patterns as much as I have this week – willing a cold front to make up its mind about how quickly it’s going to move across the Presidentials. We’re ready for any conditions, but I’d love some sunshine and clear views if possible. 

  

We’ll have spotty reception up in the mountains but will certainly report back, if not from the top. 

Send us sunshine-y wishes, and no stumbles – and maybe work to check something off your own bucket list this week in solidarity!

Too darn hot

When I was freezing and isolated in the depths of winter I promised myself I would remember that feeling and appreciate the warmth. But now I’m spending the official first day of summer roasting on a Greyhound bus with no air conditioning on my way home from another weekend in New York City and i can heartily confirm that the grass is always greener in another season. Also I miss the Fung Wah. 

But I did have another great trip to NYC hanging out with my college pals. We took over Priti’s apartment and enjoyed a weekend of big city life – shopping at the Strand bookstore, a visit to Brooklyn Brewery, sangria in the courtyard and brunch at a nearby diner among everything else. 

  
I also got to hang out with my coworkers at the US’s first ivory crush – more on that later!

Here’s to a long summer of adventures, cold drinks, and enough warm memories to sustain us through the next season of snow!

Weekend in the woods

The theme of this weekend at the Saltey Homestead was ice cream and goats. And it was lovely. 

  
Despite my love for Boston, I have to get out of the city every now and then – to a place where a few cars on the road is “a lot of traffic” and a $3 breakfast sandwich is expensive. Where a 40 minute drive to a BBQ is a no-brainier and the stars glow more brightly than the streetlights back home. Where chores involve checking hooves and not emails and you get a t-shirt tan if you don’t reapply sunscreen every hour (whoops!).

  
I got my fill of seedling shopping, maple bacon ice cream, and woodland wandering (including a hike today with about 10000 mosquitos for companions). At the end, I decided that I could maybe be a plant farmer but I’ll never be good at handling livestock (I’ll make an exception for a photo op though!). 

 
(This dude is five days old! And his maaaaah is the cutest thing nature ever invented.)

Now back to my concrete jungle with my heirloom tomato plants in tow!

A breath of fresh air

I’m spending my long weekend in the country, visiting my dear friend Katey on her farm in Connecticut. I can tell I’m out of the city because I’m sneezing more (hello plants and puppies) and because an ice cream sundae costs a meager $2.25. Is this 1950?

  
Expect more updates from seedling sales, goat feedings, and other rustic adventures before I return to Boston! 

How are you spending this official kick-off of summer?

Reflections on being 29-and-a-half

I started this blog on my 25th birthday, with a set of goals I wanted to achieve before I turned 30.  I had been in Boston for two years (a “long” time), had a fun and easy life, but also knew that there was more out there, just waiting for me to grab it.

I wasn’t wrong – but in the last four and a half years, I’ve reevaluated a bit.  Maybe I don’t want to be president anymore (thanks, House of Cards, for showing the dark side…).  And maybe dividing my time between a million things – scheduled far in advance – is not the route to happiness.  I’ve seen a lot of friends make similar evaluations over the last few years – one, quitting her creative/business job that related to her degree to become a dog walker and then moving across the country. Another, leaving the corporate world entirely and moving to Europe. Still others going back to school, dropping out of school, choosing love over location and location over love. It’s fascinating to see my peers come to their own conclusions about how to live this weird and wonderful part of our lives.

And it’s time for me to make some new plans, too.  So I’m retiring some of my original goals from 25 year old Sally.  Here’s what, and why:

Visit South America / see the Grand Canyon

Mark my words – I will do both these things. But not in the next six months. I blew all my travel-related savings in Europe this fall. Having the flexibility to get up and go on a grand adventure is amazing, and I have no regrets.  But I’ve also realized that just because these two places didn’t end up being on my list for these last five years doesn’t mean I’m a travel failure – just that I found other adventures. I do want to keep going on big and small trips without feeling like each one requires a year of planning – but as I’ve learned again and again, the people I’m with are more important than the places I see, so my focus this year is on hanging out with my friends and family, even just in our own hoods.

Find a place to do some steady volunteering / Run for public office

I work from about 8:30-6:30 each day. On weekends, I cook, play softball and volleyball, hang out with my friends, run, take classes, go to shows, etc etc etc. I also volunteer on an Institutional Review Board at Dana Farber and volunteer at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp almost every summer. Oh, and I am web communications chair for my college class for the next five years. So why, oh why, do I think I’m not doing enough? My goal here was to make some new connections and serve my community – both valid concepts. But I don’t think 25 year old me gave myself enough credit for all the work I already do. I almost applied to be on the historic commission in Somerville, and then I looked around and realized how much more work can be done in the areas where I’m already involved, and stopped myself (not a moment too soon). Instead, I’m chilling out for a minute, and being ready to carve out time in my life for the right opportunities when they do exist, because I’m sure they’re ahead.

Stop saying “yeah” in public settings when I really mean “yes”

Modern English is changing, y’all – this is no longer a priority anymore.  Instead, my goal is to understand the proper usage of the phrases “YAS QUEEN”, “on fleek” and “legit AF”.

Get certified in something – massage, Zumba, crepe-making?

What’s in a label? I’ve tried some awesome things over the years – Indian cooking classes, all kinds of yoga, trampoline gyms, salsa dancing, painting, guitar. I would still love to be a teacher eventually, but for now I’m letting myself be taught.

You might see a theme here: it is the same as what I’m telling my cousins who are embarking in summer between years of college. And it is this: chill out. Nothing is so serious that we need to be so strict about it and hold ourselves to a list. I don’t think that being ambitious is inherently a problem, but it can make it harder to embrace the moment, and damn if this moment isn’t worth embracing. I’m going to be working on living my life and checking off the boxes as they come, rather than tracking them so far in advance. It will all work out in the end.

What do you know now that you wish you could tell your 25 year old self?

Hiking homework

This week was my first lecture as part of the Boston chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club spring hiking course (say that five times fast!).  I expected the class to consist of 30 people who would all become my fast friends over six weeks as we shared stories of blisters and dreams of windy peaks. 

Erm, not so much. 

When I arrived at the AMC office on Beacon Hill, I was one of a dozen people all rushing in slightly late. I paid my $65 fee and was handed what can only be described as a brick of a guidebook, as well as a carefully curated handbook. Maybe this is actually kind of serious, I thought to myself as I looked for any open seat in the room that held more than 125 people. 

The goal of week 1 was to terrify you into never wearing running shoes or cotton in the woods ever again, and it definitely worked. The clothing workshop also made me realize that I need to spend about $500 just to get my basic gear up to snuff – gulp. But everyone was nice and encouraging even as they called cotton the devil. I can’t wait to see what part of hiking I’m woefully unprepared for next! 

 

(Trying not to read too far ahead in the book to keep the suspense alive!)