Tuesday, September 29, 2009

charlie's boat house

I think it's fair to say that the longer you live in a place, the more you take it for granted. The less you take advantage of all of the wonderful things that attracted you there in the first place.

So sometimes it's fun to play the tourist and do things that out-of-towners like to do.

Burlington sits on a stunning lake and there is so much to do on the waterfront, but Col and I can count on just one hand the number of times we made it down there this summer. Shame on us!

A couple of Sundays ago, we had one of those brilliant fall afternoons when the sun is still warm, but the air sits a little lighter in the atmosphere. And just about anything seems possible. Miracles can happen on those days. And miracles did happen on this one day in question, because Colin and I decided to drag our bikes out of the basement and go for a bike ride on the waterfront bike path.

I say this is a miracle, because in the 4 years that we've been together, this is the first time we've ever gone on a bike ride together. Double shame on us! (says Col)

Any-who, we set a pretty big goal, which was to ride out to the Causeway in Colchester. The Causeway is an extension of the bike path that used to be a railway track across the bay and is now just a path for bikers and runners. There's water on either side and I've always heard it's stunning, but I have never been there. Never. It's pretty far out for people who never bike. Maybe 8 or 10 miles or so out. Then 8 or 10 back.

But we did it. We rode all the way out. We took some pretty snap shots. We took lots of breaks. And we finally got to see the Causeway. My friends were right: it's absolutely stunning. And we definitely saw it in all its grandeur on that pretty September day.

Unfortunately, the novice bikers did not eat lunch and did not pack a snack and so we had to turn around as soon as we got there.

I'm not sure if we would've made it back in one piece if it weren't for Charlie's boat house that sits about half way between here and there. Charlie's is one of those places that's stuck in time. There's a loud scratchy speaker blasting old war-time melodies. A little old man (must be Charlie) and his wife sell candy bars, ice cream and soda pop out of their campy boat house shed. They ring you up on one of those old fashioned registers that dings when you push the buttons.

It's very charming and quaint. Their ramshackle boat house sits on a very special piece of property, right on the water with a westerly view. The sun was just in the right spot when we got there...

We walked in to the little shop and immediately smelled a waft of American Chop Suey from their home kitchen upstairs. Growling stomachs.

"Suppers on!" Charlie's wife yelled out, to no one in particular.

We had just enough quarters for 2 Snickers, 1 ginger ale and 1 Twizzler. Charlie's wife threw in another Twizzler.

"I don't want you guys to have to fight over it," she explained with a glimmer in her eye.

We thanked her profusely. She obviously sensed our desperation.

We sat down outside at one of the picnic tables by the water and devoured the sweets in no time. It was just enough to sustain us for the rest of the ride home.

Many days later, I'm still a little sore. But I guess what I'm saying is that if I were writing a tourist guide for Burlington, yes I would mention the bike path and the Causeway. But more than that I would mention Charlie's boat house.

But then again, would I? Some treasures are better kept a secret.

Taking a brake along the bike path:

Finally made it to the causeway, but not across it. Maybe next time:

The causeway is a dirt path; Colin practiced his skids:

The entrance at Charlie's boat house:

Eating our snacks at the picnic table:

This was on the picnic table:

Friday, September 25, 2009

good morning

It's early on Friday morning and I can't sleep. Maybe I'll actually be on time for work today. But I wanted to say, in case you missed it: it's fall. Somewhere between my sleeping and daydreaming, the autumn equinox came and went, the leaves started changing, the air shifted and it got cold. I will wear a sweater today.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

from Russia with love

So, I'm getting married in the winter. In Vermont. What to wear?? I'll have my dress, of course, but bridal fabrics only go so far to keep a girl warm. So I've been searching high and low for a pretty winter wedding cover up—one that's not furry—that's not cheesy. Do you realize how difficult it is to find wedding garb that is not cheesy?

Originally I thought velvet. Some gorgeous mossy green capelet to cover my shoulders. But I say it again: Do you realize how difficult it is to find wedding garb that is not cheesy?

But by some stroke of luck yesterday I happened upon a wonderful designer on Etsy, who makes hand-felted wedding shrugs out of wool and silk. I know that might sound a little frumpy; a little country bumpkin. But let me tell you, these things are gorgeous and refined and not at all cheesy.

The designer's name is Tiana Agapcheva (Here's her wedding shop on Etsy). She's Russian and has studied architecture, which makes sense when you look at her beautiful designs.

Anywho, last night I was going gaga over this one particular design (you'll have to wait and see). And finally this morning I just had to splurge and order it. So now it's done and a package will be coming to my doorstep from Russia with love. All for me. A wonderful one-of-a-kind piece of art to wear on my wedding day. (Let's pray for snow!) And now I can just stop trawling those terrible cheesy wedding websites.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


How could it come so quickly? How could summer end so soon?

When I was younger, I used to listen to this song by Simon & Garfunkel, "April Come She Will." It's a wonderful little folk song about the months from April to September. It is such a short song and I was always so bummed how soon it was over that I would put it on repeat and keep playing it over and over.

Do you think that's how they intended it? To make it feel so fleeting as time often feels? Still, in real life, I wouldn't push the rewind button. I love September. I love the fall. I love the chilly nights. Here we are.
April come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain;
May, she will stay,
Resting in my arms again.
June, she'll change her tune,
In restless walks she'll prowl the night;
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight.

August, die she must,
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold;
September I'll remember
A love once new has now grown old.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Today, I left work around 3 to meet up with some other folks from work at the dock a few minutes from the office. The sky was clear and big, the sun was out—not too hot, not too cold. It was a small group. Half of us went in Lisa's sailboat, half of us hopped in Jessie's lobster boat (that was my group). Some of us took the ferry. And we all met up for some drinks in Essex, New York on the other side of Lake Champlain.

It was a gorgeous afternoon. We had some food and some drinks. We laughed a lot. The water was very still. The junk in my brain just poured out and away. I haven't felt that much clarity in a long, long time.

I have to say it's been a very, very intense few weeks (months!)—with wedding planning and visitors and travel on the personal side and trying to launch a new website on the work side. The website has been a labor of love. We've been working so hard and I'm happy to say that it's up! It went live sometime between the boat ride and now (half our team had to stay at the office to make it happen, I almost didn't go myself). You must check it out: eatingwell.com. I'm a little scared to hand out the link—launching a site is scary and a lot can go wrong. So if you do see anything terribly wrong, please be kind and don't say anything. At least for a few days...

Any-who, on the boat ride today, I was thinking to myself: I feel so lucky. I live in an amazing place, I have a wonderful family and love, I have a fantastic job and I work with fun awesome people. But you know what? Luck has nothing to do with it. I have worked very, very hard to get where I am and I just need to celebrate that. I'm so glad I went on the boat... here are some pictures of just some of my awesome EatingWell co-workers:

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