Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2020

Cape Cod Trip 2020

Last month we met up with all three of the kids for our annual family vacay at the Cape House! 

(FYI - long post with lots of pics!!)

Despite gallbladder surgery (missG) and COVID restrictions, we all made it to North Falmouth for the whole week and then some. If you have kids, you know how hard it is to get all of them together once they are all grown up. Plus,  COVID has been wreaking havoc on everyone's travel plans. We were thrilled to have all three, plus one fiancĂ© and one boyfriend! 

We spend a lot of time hanging out at the house and on the beach together, but each year we make a point to do some new things. This year we weren't sure what that was going to look like, but in the end we had just a great of a time as usual.

We took a day trip up to Provincetown. It seemed like a good idea since tourism is down and the traffic would be lighter than ever. We were right. On the other hand, Provincetown was hopping with many more people than we expected. The Monument was closed and there was a mandatory mask zone, but we still enjoyed walking around. We explored MacMillan Pier and missD decided to join the locals and jumped off when we weren't looking! We had a drink at Ross's Grill at Whaler's Wharf - great views and nice seating indoors or outdoors. Then grabbed some food at The Canteen - basically takeaway food that you eat at picnic tables behind the shop.

Another day we went for a bike ride on the Shining Sea Bikeway to Woods Hole and back. This has become a yearly tradition and I love it. It's about a 20 mile round trip ride. In Wood's Hole, we stopped for food at Wood's Hole Market. There was something for everyone, from smoothies to sandwiches to pizza to chips and salsa! The best part was the super secret deck seating with a view upstairs. We're practically locals, haha!

When we were down to just the five of us, we decided to go play mini-golf. Cataumet Light Mini Golf was open with social distancing - easy enough on a hot and sunny day. The kids are super competitive, but we had a lot of fun. missD got the lowest score but mrC got three hole-in-ones!! We celebrated with acai bowls from Absolutely Juiced in Mashpee. 

Of course the acai bowl gets its own pic

We make a point to walk to the beach for as many sunsets as possible, although at the request of one, we limit group pictures to one night. It was sooooo windy the night we chose, but someone in the parking lot was nice enough to leave their headlights on so we could get the sky behind us without being dark figures. 

Just like last year, when we left the Cape we headed to our second favorite place ---> Newport, Rhode Island. This year, everyone was able to come for at least one day.

Our first adventure in Newport was taking a harbor tour on the Rum Runner II. Full disclosure, we were expecting a sailboat, but booked the wrong thing. However, we were not disappointed in the least with the East Passage Express tour. Great views, great information, great guides. I highly recommend looking them up at Bannister's Wharf. We had lunch at The Lobster Bar (a favorite) and dinner for the first time at Bar and Board Bistro. Our table for dinner was outside on what was formerly a parking lot because we were a large party (COVID rules), but it was nice.

We squeezed in one more group activity before half the group had to head home for that thing called work! But first, we had a big break-FAST at Belle's Cafe at the Newport Shipyard. After years of saying we were going to do it, we finally went to Norman Bird Sanctuary for a hike. There are quite a few trails so you can mix and match to do long or short hikes. My friend Nancy had just posted about doing the Hanging Rock Trail and it looked fun, so that's what we choose.

It was time to visit family in Springfield. We stopped in Hopkinton on the way in and out of town to see mrC's aunt who was in hospice (so glad we did that). In Springfield we spent most of our visits chatting with mrC's dad through the house windows, but when we started taking sibling pics on the last day, he wanted to come out. I am so glad that he did! I'm also really glad that my sister-in-law made her famous gluten-free blueberry muffins and brought some to share.

Our next stop was Portsmouth, New Hampshire to see missD and S's new condo and meet the future in-laws! The condo was beautiful and totally suits their personalities. I loved their neighborhood and that it is walking distance into downtown and the waterfront. 

While the kids were working from home, mrC and I walked. First we had acai bowls with missD at Fresh Press and then walked to Prescott Park, Pierce Island and Four Tree Island. We walked A LOT, haha! That evening, we crossed over the state line into Kittery, Maine to see the wedding venue at Pepperrell Cove (gorgeous) and meet S's parents for dinner at Frisbee's Wharf. Can you tell we like outdoor dining with a view?

What we ate. Over the two weeks, we had a nice mix of meals. At the Cape House, we have a fully stocked kitchen. This year, we rotated cooking duty among all of us for dinners and it was GREAT. The menus included baked salmon with asparagus, coconut cod tacos, GF spaghetti, BBQ chicken and squash, beef burgers, taco salad and GF pizza. 

Even though we were walking quite a bit, I couldn't go two weeks without doing some structured workouts. The FASTer Way program makes it so easy with options in the app like banded workouts, travel workouts, or I could just do the regular at home workout for the day. Working out at the Cape House was super easy because I had so many space options inside and outside and my strength bands work so well in place of weights. 

It is always hard to say good-bye after such an incredible visit, but we always look forward to the next time we will get together. 

Extra big thanks to missD for picking us up and dropping us off at the airport and chauffeuring us around for almost two weeks. The view from the backseat of the Jeep is pretty fun!

Already looking forward to next year!

Does your family vacation together or make an annual trip together?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Cape Cod Summer 2018 - Week 2

This post is loooong overdue! Between travel, becoming a FASTer Way to Fat Loss® coach and spraining my ankle, it got lost in the chaos. Anyway, because I love to look back at our time with the kids at the beach, I'm finally finishing the post!

The glorious weather continued to bless us all through our second week in North Falmouth. Vacations are always so relaxing, but also seem to fly by. I love the way we blend new adventures, down time and exercise, but my favorite thing is just seeing all of us together again!

Interval Training: 
I took full advantage of the cool mornings to do my workouts outside on the driveway. Even on vacation, it feels good to move my muscles and sweat a little. mrC joined me every day and by the time we finished, at least one kid would join us for a cool down walk.

Strength Training: 
I'm so glad that we had the Fit Simplify bands so we could keep up with our strength days. They seriously were so convenient! Side note: I did accidentally break the yellow band pictured below, but FS replaced it!

Wednesday evening we checked out Cape Cod Winery. This place was pretty amazing ---> beautiful outdoor space, live music and a great vibe from the owners. It's a work in progress and we plan to return again next year to see the updates.

On Thursday we continued our summer tradition of hanging out with Fancy Nancy's family. Her family is so cute and always feed us the best food! This year Dev got to join us.

Active Recovery:
We spent our final rest day on a bike ride to West Falmouth. We stopped in a local market for a beverage and sat on the front patio chatting and enjoying every single second we had left together.

Every year we have a great Cape Cod vacation and writing this very late post has me already looking forward to our next one!!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hiking: Discovery Bay to Mui Wo via Tiger's Head

Just two days after hiking Dragon's Back, the kids decided that they wanted to tackle Tiger's Head ---> a peak that looms over us here in Discovery Bay. The name Tiger's Head comes from how the peak looks from the top - what do you think? Does it look like a tiger is watching over DB?

The best way to describe our hike from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo via Tiger's Head, is to break the 9km into three parts:

The first 3km was all climbing and I mean serious climbing right up to Tiger's Head peak at about 460 meters. It is hard work (made easier than our first time by the cooler weather) and in some places it feels like you are going straight up. But if you take breaks, it is completely manageable.

Lucky for us, we had a beautiful day to hike. The reward for the climb is the amazing views, especially once you push past Tiger's Head up to the ridge of Lo Fu Tau Country Trail.

For the next 3km we followed the Lo Fu Tau Country Trail across the ridge to its beginning. This part of the hike was pretty easy since the trail was mostly flat. We soaked up the views and the sun and didn't even let the crazy trail runners bother us ;)

Along this part of the trail we found the famous rock formations: turtle rock, sword sharpening rock and peach rock. According to online articles, none of these are man-made although they look like it.

The final 3+km began around the junction of Lo Fu Tau Country Trail and Olympic Trail. We took a short snack break at the pavilion before starting our descent into Mui Wo.

On this part of the hike there is lots of shade, at times it felt like we were walking through a forest. We spent a few minutes at Silvermine Cave and Silvermine Waterfall Garden before finishing up in Mui Wo.

We celebrated our hard core hiking skills with lunch at our favorite spot in Mui Wo, The Kitchen.

Other Discovery Bay area hikes:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hiking: Dragon's Back (Family Edition)

I've hiked Dragon's Back, aka Hong Kong Trail stage 8, a few times and it never gets old. This time was my favorite though because it was a family affair. It's been so fun having middleC and littleC in Hong Kong hiking with us. I think I'm going to feel a bit lost when they leave.

Super windy on the top!

Since they have been enjoying the hiking (see previous hikes here and here), we wanted to make sure that they did the most popular hike in Hong Kong. This was my first time acting as hike leader on a big hike. All the other times I tagged along and followed the group. With the kids in town, my knowledge of Hong Kong has really been put to the test and I'm happy to say that I'm doing pretty good so far.

To give you an idea, here's what it took to get to the start of the trail:

We took the ferry from Discovery Bay ( on Lantau Island where we live) to Central (on Hong Kong Island) ---> took the MTR to Shau Kei Wan ---> caught bus #9 toward Shek O to the To Tei Wan stop.

Once we hit the trail head, all we had to do was follow the signs. This meant I had a break from leading until lunch at the end.

This hike was the perfect choice to increase both length and difficulty for our visiting hikers. It has the great views of the trails rated difficult, but with a much more moderate climb. A lot of the hike was on dirt trail which was kind on the legs and feet.

Reaching the 284 meter peak was semi-quick. We did climb a section of pretty steep steps, but with a few breaks they were quite manageable.

And after every section of climbing, we were greeted with amazing views over the Shek O Bay area. These were great spots to take a rest ---> and lots of people had the same idea. The trail was very crowded the day we hiked.

After reaching Shek O Peak, the undulating ridge top that is the trail's namesake begins. Steps have been built in to make the descents as easy as possible.

It felt really good to make it to the end of the trail. This hike was about 8km long and took us just over 2.25 hours to get to Big Wave Bay. The Hong Kong Enjoy Hiking website, rates Dragon's Back as very difficult, but we think that is a bit harsh. Using their own grading reference system, we think it should be labeled moderate. It's definitely a great choice for people who are ready to take on a little more challenging hike.

We checked out the beach at Big Wave Bay and used the convenient facilities there before hopping on the bus to Shek O for lunch.

What activity does your family like to do together?

I'm linking up with Deb for the Wednesday Word - CHOICE!