Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sudbury Colonial Faire and Muster of Fyfes and Drums

Today my sister and I drove out to Sudbury, Massachusetts to attend the Sudbury Colonial Faire and Muster of Fyfes and Drums. We love historical events.

My sister plays the fife and she was a member of the Lincoln Minutemen. They were in attendance today and my sister saw some of her old friends.

We listened to a number of groups from Massachusetts and Connecticut.

This guy was the center of attention for the game Soak the Bloke. He was soaked from having water soaked sponge balls thrown about his head and face.

This man made some beautiful items and showed us how he makes spoons.

I enjoyed seeing all of his work.

Another man crafted 18th century reproductions. I loved those lanterns but a reenactor was just paying for them as I arrived at the booth. I got some cool candlesticks which will be a gift for a friend.

Here is the lantern maker. His name is Larry and he lives locally.

I always love to look at pottery shops and to see a potter in action is even better.

The potter explained how he creates his pieces.

I loved the attire for the Ancient Mariners. This man was smoking a pipe when he noticed I was taking his photo. He put the pipe down and I told him I liked the pipe and the smoke. So he made sure I had smoke in my photo!

They start them young in the world of colonial fifers and drummers.

Here's another shot of the Ancient Mariners. They were having so much fun.

This group, the Middlesex County Volunteers, was phenomenal. What a commanding presence! I love watching them. I had seen them perform at the Bedford Polecapping and I was so impressed.

After browsing at the booths and listening to the various groups, we decided to take a lunch break at Longfellow's Wayside Inn.

I ordered the Nantucket Lunchbox which consisted of clam chowder and a lobster slider. Yum! It was delicious. My sister had the healthier option, the Harvest Salad with Roasted Chicken.

Unfortunately, the trees were not showing their Autumn colors yet. Too bad, it would have been a pretty drive to the Inn. My sister reminded me that we could always come back. Yes we can, it's not that far.

Already planning my next visit!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Impromptu Afternoon Tea at Jolie Tea Company

I love spontaneous trips. Well, yesterday's "trip" to Salem was not really a trip, more like an outing. My friend Debbi and I went to Salem for the afternoon.

One thing I love about Debbi is she is always up for anything. I told her the destination was a mystery as I headed north on  Route 1.

Jolie Tea Company used to be located in Hamilton, MA but they have since moved to Salem. I had not been to their new location yet but friends said it was adorable. After visiting this tea salon, I have to agree with them.

How inviting is that banquette? Love the marble top tables and the mini Vivenne in the corner. Vivienne, for those of you who don't religiously read my blog, is my dress form who is accessorized seasonally.

I must also mention that the ladies room had the cutest wallpaper on the walls. A vibrant green with rabbits and mushrooms on it. I knew I had seen it before and sure enough, I checked the Anthropologie website and there it was! I knew these people at Jolie Tea were cool.

Anyway, about the tea. The tea selection is immense. Black, green, white, rooibos, you name it they have it. You can even take some home. I bought some earl grey lavender and two specialty teas, Sophia and Hawthorne.

Debbi had a honeybush tea with an orange blossom macaron and I had Doctor Zhivago tea and a dark chocolate macaron. I bought lemon scones for later.

This tea salon or café is housed in the childhood home of Sophia Hawthorne, wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Such history in this building! I am glad some of it is still preserved.

I am planning a small tea for some friends in September so this will be just the spot for that gathering. Jolie Tea Company has high tea, petite tea and tea flights (a sampling of three teas in demitasse cups).

Impromptu adventures often turn out wonderfully as this one did yesterday afternoon. I highly recommend Jolie Tea if you are in the North Shore area of Massachusetts!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Appleton Farms- Farm to Table and more

Friday night I rushed home from work, fed the kitties, changed my clothes and picked up my sister at her house. I couldn't wait to head up to Ipswich, MA and Appleton Farms for their farm to table dinner.  As soon as we pulled into the entrance of the property, all the tensions of the day went away.

The weather was cool, a perfect temperature for outdoor dining, live music and lawn games. What a peaceful setting.

The sign said play & have fun. I did not know how much fun we really would have.

Here's a view from the field. The tables were ready outside and there were more inside the barn.

Fences and stone walls encircled the field and property. Hay bales were set up as seating for listening to the live entertainment for the evening.

The band was named The Austin Torpedoes. They were wonderful. We really enjoyed their performance.

Lemonade was available at a self serve station.
You could buy beer or wine from the Ipswich Ale Brewery Truck. Yes, the spiggots were right on the side of the vehicle!

Meet Billy the goat, he was so gentle with the children.

The kids played on the swings, petted the goats, played badminton and ran around the huge field.

Then it was time for dinner. The food was from Bambolina. The pizza was baked on a wood fired grill. Yay! I love a crunchy crust on my pizza.

I had never tried bacon butter before but now that I had it on a roll I am a fan.

Here's the evening's menu from Bambolina.

I loved watching the kids play and just be kids. This little girl was stylish.

I loved the rustic, casual atmosphere of the evening. It was a great way to unwind from the work week. Sitting in the open air, enjoying a delicious meal, listening to some fabulous music, and having fun with some of the kids.

 Here's the view from the inside of the barn looking out. We had dinner at community tables.

The goats and sheep had their own special area.

Here's my dinner. Appleton Farmer Pizza (roasted garlic cream, harvest vegetables, pecorino and mozzarella).The entrée was fire roasted chicken galantine with chard and ricotta stuffing, toasted orzo, ratatouille. and of course, that whipped bacon butter and a roll. For dessert, dark chocolate mousse with espresso jelly and cream.

We ate dinner with this couple.

And this is Benjamin. He was pretending to be a walrus. His little sister Morgan and twin Hadley joined us too. Their mother told us they attend the farm dinners often and the kids were going to farm camp at Appleton too.

Billy was taken for an after dinner walk.

We saw cows on the farm too.

There was a cow parade after dinner as the cows were herded to another section of the farm for the evening.

Here's the cow parade.

The band hardly took a break and kids and their parents danced to the music.

Oh, and here is a display I liked in the barn. I love riding boots and that trunk was fabulous!
So I am crossing my second item off my 2016 Summer Bucket List. I had a great time at Appleton Farms. Have a feeling I will be back.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summer Bucket List 2016

It's a little late in the season but I have finally created my Summer Bucket List. I don't have too much on it. I do reserve the right to add some events if something really cool comes up.

Here they are in no particular order:

1.  Hull Illumination Night- illumination of Hull Harbor, Hull, MA   7/30
2.  Fourth of July fireworks and parade- Wakefield, MA   7/4 Done
3.  Farm to Table dinner- Appleton Farms, Ipswich, MA  7/8  Done
4.  Daytrip to Brewster, MA and Susan Branch book signing   7/28 Done
5.  Lobster BLT @ Stonewall Kitchen, York, ME  9/1 Done
6.  Attend a Waterfire lighting, Providence, RI 7/23
7.  Play skeeball and view the fireworks at Hampton Beach, NH  July or August
8.  Melrose Summer Stroll- Melrose, MA 7/29 Done
9.  Rockport illumination night and fireworks- Rockport, MA  8/16
10. Dinner at the Colony Hotel at sunset- Kennebunkport, ME  August

I plan to post about these events as the Summer progresses. How about you? What's on your Summer Bucket List?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Melrose Urban Farms Tour

The sign in the window stated that there would be a Melrose Urban Farms Tour on June 25th. Melrose had farms? How is that possible? It's a city.

Well I can attest Melrose has at least 12 urban farms and every one of them is fantastic in their own unique and whimsical way. Mike in the photo above certainly got into the spirit.

Those of us on the tour learned about beekeeping and got samples of honey from the very bees in the backyard of this woman's home.

Some urban farmers grow their vegetables in their front yards in raised beds they created themselves.

Others really do plant happiness or at least they share happiness. I was quite taken with the homeowners and their lovely gardens.

Some gardens were so downright pretty, fun, and colorful they made me smile.

Others had refreshments available and a backyard oasis so gorgeous it invited lingering just a little bit longer.

It was fun to see all the decorations in the gardens and farms. A small front yard and large backyard was a common theme.

We saw plenty of chickens and hens and the cool enclosures that house them and protect them from the elements and predators.

Some of the spaces were very zen.

And the goats were very zen too. This home had a backyard petting zoo.

This goat house looked like the Tiny Houses I've seen on HGTV!

Some of the entrances were so interesting you just knew the backyard would be cool.

Some of the gardens/farms were dedicated to family members and were well planned to maximize space.

Others can laugh at themselves.

These chickens were babies. They needed assistance to reach their water bottles.

Some adorable little girls were more than happy to show us their fairy garden. There were of course fairy lights for nighttime ambience.

Raised beds and some netting were the keys to keeping some critters out.

Some had native plants and were sanctuaries for wildlife.

Yes, beekeeping is very popular in Melrose.

This raised bed has been pressure treated so no vegetables will be grown here. The gnome protects a lavender crop instead.

We appreciated the little touches from some of the urban farmers. At this garden, we had a choice of lemon or cucumber water.

Fountains, lilypads, koi ponds, so much to see at some of the homes.

And even a screech owl house. The screech owls have yet to use it I was told by the homeowner. She thinks the house is too "new". Perhaps next year.
The Melrose Urban Farmers Tour was inspiring and educational. Who knew Melrose was such a hot spot for urban farming? Certainly not me. By the way, there will be a tour next year and new farms have already been added. Can't wait to see what next year brings!


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