August 2017 Recap

I’m so embarrassed that it’s taken me an extra month to write this recap! I’m concurrently working on a September 2017 recap to go up next week.

August was an excellent month. The big news: I spent 2.5 weeks on a New England / Canadian camping road trip that included theater, a wedding, Canadian National Parks, my first visit to Toronto, and precious time with family I don’t get to see too often. And some adventure… I spent two nights camping on different islands in rain and thunder, one more severe than the other.

But I’ll get to that in a bit. Here are the things I did in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and NYC at the start of the month. We started the month on Cape Cod:

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Rainy day beach walk in Chatham with my sister, parents, and one of the pups (Oscar).

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Chilling with the other pup (Missy) while playing board games:

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Delicious salmon dinner followed by Peeps s’mores for dessert:

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Summer hike at our favorite spot on the Cape — Cliff Pond at Nickerson State Park.

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The following week we celebrated my mom’s birthday — we ate dinner at One 6 Three in New Haven.

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Birthday cocktails at my sister’s apartment after dinner (this was a raspberry cucumber smash):

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Chocolate carmel cake for the anniversary of my mom’s 29th birthday! She likes to say that 29 is her forever age.

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Cuddling with Missy and Oscar:

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Family photo:

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I went into NYC to see some shows — Pipeline at Lincoln Center was especially moving. I hear it was recorded and will be presented on PBS in the future, which is fortunate for audiences outside of NYC to have access to this important play. On the right below is a Playbill insert from the playwright — my first time seeing something like this. Love it.

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I also caught Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 before it closed on Broadway. Very impressive staging and design elements supported by a surprisingly shallow plot. Also… I ate dinner at Babeth’s Feast followed by s’mores bread pudding at Magnolia Bakery.

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I enjoyed walking around the prep school in my hometown (Choate Rosemary Hall) before school started up again.

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I read my book in an Adirondack chair by a pond while sipping coffee. It was delightful.

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One evening I met some high school friends for cocktails and dinner on the shore in Madison, CT — we started with drinks at Moxie (would LOVE to return there to try the food) followed by a scenic meal at the Madison Beach Hotel overlooking the water.

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Here’s Harmony and Danielle!

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The food at the Madison Beach Hotel’s restaurant is outstanding — we got the tuna tartar to share:

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And I ordered the salmon for dinner. It was legit outstanding and everyone’s meals were mouth-watering.

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Harmony’s husband Jack surprised her with a special dessert for her birthday:

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A shot of all of us! So great to catch up with you guys!

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Also enjoyed a nice dinner at Viron Rondo Osteria in Cheshire, CT with my parents:

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And here are a few photos my sister sent me of her dog, Oscar. I’m obsessed with him and have to share them here. What a flirt!

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And then I kicked off my camping road trip!

First stop: my camp friend Julie got married at Look Memorial Park in Northampton, MA.

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The wedding was Broadway-themed(!!!)… I was so flipping excited.

Julie and her wife Anna bow after their first dance:

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Here is our group of camp friends! What a joy to see them outside of camp, and to celebrate Julie & Anna together.

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I managed to see two excellent theater productions while in that neck of the woods — the first was Company, starring Aaron Tveit at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. It was outstanding all-around. The book of that show is so solid.

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The second was The Legend of Georgia McBride at the Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont. I didn’t realize until I bought my ticket that this show is about drag culture — it was SO much fun. Loved every minute of this play. It’s currently on the list of top 10 plays produced in the U.S., so odds are it will make its way to a regional theater near you if it hasn’t already.

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Colorful scenery from nearby Manchester, VT:

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I drove through Lake George, stopping to walk around the main lakefront area for an hour. My first time here!

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I spent my first night in the Adirondacks on a remote campsite at Forked Lake:

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I spent the next night at John Dillon Park, which is the Adirondack’s best kept secret:

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And then I did a tour along the NY / Canadian border at Thousands Islands National Park. Very pretty. Spent the night in Kingston, Canada — a charming city on the water. (More photos to come in a full post — I’m just sharing my absolute favorites here.)

One of my favorite campsites of the trip was this spot at Pog Lake Campground in Algonquin Provincial Park:

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The same campsite by day:

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It was surrounded on two sides by water, with people occasionally canoeing or kayaking past my site. This is the face of a happy camper:

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The next day I rented a canoe and paddled out to an island on Lake Opeongo for the night… except it rained the whole time which really put a damper on things.

After that, I headed to the Muskoka region of Ontario — which I utterly loved. Did you know that in Canada they call these chairs Muskoka chairs? This photo was taken at the Cleveland House Hotel.

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Next I drove to Bruce Peninsula National Park. Here is an impressive vantage point of the Blue Grotto:

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And I took the boat out to Flowerpot Island and camped there for one night (which almost turned into two when a storm unexpectedly rolled in and they cancelled boat service the following day). Here is one of the main flowerpots:

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One of the highlights of the whole trip was getting to catch up with my college friend Brenna and her new husband Jordan, who live outside of Toronto. What a joy to spend time with them!

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Brenna and I took the ferry out to Centre Island for an afternoon. I love this view of the Toronto skyline:

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And the three of us ate at O Noir — it was one of the most fascinating dinners of my life. You eat in a pitch black room as your meal is served by a blind waiter. There are some surprise courses (you can pick between vegetarian, seafood, and meat) where you don’t know what you’ve got until you start eating. It’s an opportunity to experience the world as a blind person for an hour or two, and I was grateful to share the experience with Brenna and Jordan so we could talk about it together as it was happening. Highly recommend this place if you’re in the Toronto area (they also have a Montreal location).

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After a few days exploring Toronto, I passed through Niagara Falls briefly:

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And caught a matinee of the Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ play An Octoroon at the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake — it was OUTSTANDING. Cannot recommend enough. It closes October 14th and if you have any way to get there, do it.

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Then I crossed the border back into NY and spent the weekend with my cousin Julie and her beautiful family. And get this — they got a new dog while I was visiting. His name is Duncan and he’s the cutest. And I loved getting to spend time with Julie’s daughter Haley — she loves musical theater so we had a lot to talk about! She’s quite an accomplished performer for her age and is also a delightful person to be around. I am so proud to know her!

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And my cousin Julie opened her own acupuncture business after many years of working on her degree (extra impressive as she used to be a lawyer — she is incredibly smart). It’s called Radiant Sun Acupuncture and it’s located in Penfield, NY not far from Rochester.

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Here’s a shot of me and Haley, and a photo of my great uncle Duane and his wife Jean — they have traveled all over the world and this was the first time I got to spend time with them since my travels!

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I stopped at Cornell University on my drive back to CT — my uncle went here and gave me a list of places to visit while on campus. What a gorgeous place to live for four years.

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One more pic — this is a room in the library. Can you imagine studying here?

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And I got to catch up with my college friend Thom over lunch! And meet his lovely wife Bevin, who runs the Kitchen Theater Company in Ithaca. Can’t wait to go back and see a show sometime soon.

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And that wraps up August!

I’ll have more posts on the Canada road trip soon.

September recap coming up next!

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