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!

Signs of a good trip

I’m headed home from a lovely (steamy) few days in Washington, DC. I came down for a client meeting but embraced the opportunity to stay for a few days – both to chill with my fabulous coworkers and to reconnect with lovely friends from Mount Holyoke. 

From breakfast on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to happy hour drinks (what a novelty!) to nerdy souvenirs, this trip had it all.

Thanks for a fun 48 hours, Capitol city!



Love is love

One year ago this week, I was at our lake house in New Hampshire, sobbing into the picnic table about the injustice of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and the way it would harm the lives of women across the country.

But this week, SCOTUS is back on my good side – my great side.  My pro-healthcare, pro-equality, pro-love side.  And I am ready to cry for joy, instead.

Because look at this:

This map shows where in the US gay marriage is legal.  And the answer is EVERYWHERE.

Think about what that means for the happily engaged duo who were trying to pick from a short list where to have their wedding – and who now can marry in any single state without complication.

Or the person who is about to leave this country and their love behind because their marriage doesn’t come with immigration rights.

Or the couple who have been together for 60 years and are worried that when they get sick, they won’t be allowed into each others’ hospital rooms because they aren’t technically “family”.

Or the kid, who today, can go home and dream of their own wedding without barriers – knowing that no matter who they love and where they live, they, too, have a shot at a “happily ever after.”

All each of us want is equal dignity in the eyes of the law.  And today, millions more people got it.

From Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion:

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!

The night they invented champagne

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere!

That’s how my stomach felt last week, as I coordinated the final pieces to live out a lifelong dream – going backstage at a Broadway musical. My friend Tory, as she departed Boston for the bike paths of Bolivia, connected me with her famously awesome aunt, Tony winner Victoria Clark. I’d seen her before in Light in the Piazza and Cinderella- now, she was sharing the stage with Vanessa Hudgens in Gigi (new and improved, with slightly less creepiness than its film predecessor).

Some text messages with Vicki, a call with the company manager, and a ticket to the box office later, my sister and I were off to the theater for the Friday night show, just before this weekend’s Tony Awards.

The show itself was wonderful – we sat in row K, surrounded by other friends and family of various actors. We could see the small mics on people’s faces and had a perfect view of the beautiful stage, with its Eiffel Tower set and sweeping staircase. Victoria had as many songs as Gigi herself, and the cast worked perfectly together.  The plot was… faulty… but I have to assume it made more sense in Colette’s era than it does in 2015. And really, if props are flying across the stage on invisible wires, dancers are kicking in a chorus line, and big dance numbers end in goofy grins, I’m going to be a happy camper.

After the show, we went over to the stage door, around the crowd waiting to meet Vanessa and into the queue to enter backstage.  My name was on the list (spelled right!) and we waltzed right in… and right onto the stage itself.

Backstage at Gigi

It was everything I imagined and nothing like what I pictured.  It looked so much like the boxy, black backstage where I spent so many afternoons as a stage manager in high school. The view from the wings was just that – lights in your face, and red velvet seats staring back at you. Masking tape on shelves with props resting in their place.  But when you looked out… you were on Broadway. 

We met Vicki’s dresser, Vicky (!) who told us about the shows she’s worked on and how crazy Tony rehearsals were. Then the star herself came out and we got to chat and take a picture together.

Kat, Victoria Clark, Sally

Milling all over the stage were other actors and their loved ones. Corey Cott said hi to his friends, Vanessa Hudgens gabbed with some guests, and people posed on the steps (obviously, we had to join in).

On stage at Gigi

My friends had told me to look out for Max Clayton, a Manchester native making his Broadway debut here. I caught him in between other guests and he was so sweet, especially when he found out that we were from NH. We talked to his aunts, who were visiting, and it turns out that we know a bunch of theater people in common (small state FTW).

When we left, I tried to put on my sunglasses and sneak out the stage door where Vanessa was still signing autographs, but Kat and the security guard wouldn’t let me.  Next time…

Being on stage reminded me how similar every theater is, if it’s a place – and an idea – that you love.  And it also reminded me of the magical spark I get from theater – and why I really need to get out of the seats and back into it.

This whole experience was also a massive lesson in not giving up on your dreams.  I was 100% sure I was not going to accomplish this before I turned 30, and I’m so so so so so glad I was wrong, because it was incredible and it never would have happened if I hadn’t put in the effort.

Massive thanks to Victoria Clark for the friendly welcome backstage and to Tory for helping make this dream come true!


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!