Labor Day in California for Sharon's Wedding!

2014 New Year's Resolutions: 1) Be more timely with blog posts. 2) Get this thing up to date. 
I love this little blog, and yet I always seem to neglect it. There will be an adventure, I'll snap a million photos, excited to share them, and then time gets away, life gets busy, and I don't do it. I blame my computer-focused desk job, for zapping my desire to be on a laptop while at home. I blame Instagram, for making snippets easier, faster, well-enough. I blame Poppy, who I'd rather take to the park. I have plenty of excuses. But the goal for 2014 is to stop all that, and just make the time. Carve out 1 hour a week to keep this visual diary going. More for myself than for anyone else. Because I've really enjoyed being able to look back.

Which brings me to Labor Day (...4 months ago) and my high school friend Sharon Day's beautiful wedding at Spanish Oaks Ranch in Santa Margarita, California. The trip began with a visit to see Devin's new home in Half Moon Bay, and then a carpool south to San Luis Obispo, the wedding's home base. There were surfing and kite boarding trips throughout (Devin's boyfriend Brian did those things; we drank wine and watched from the truck) and the wedding was a wonderful reunion of high school friends and their families. We all danced and celebrated Sharon and Dan in the Ranch's gorgeous setting under clear California skies. I am so happy for Sharon, who married wonderful, caring Dan Monroe, and I can't wait for more weddings with this special crew. (Next up: Emily's this summer!)

Tara & Dan's Wedding in Princeton

In September Sebastian's close college friends Dan and Tara got married at the amazingly beautiful Updike Homestead in Princeton, NJ. Set amidst the gorgeous farm landscape, every detail of the wedding was impeccable (as you can see), and the party was the most fun that I have been to. This one is going to be hard to top. Congratulations to Dan and Tara, we love you!

Wehpittituck Farm, Founded 1740

Just across the street from Sarah's home in Stonington, CT is a farm that was founded in 1740. It is called Wehpittutuck, and I was told that the land was given to the farmer's family by King George II. The farm has always been somewhat functional, selling flowers and hosting livestock, but recently it has been receiving some additional attention and enhancements to make it fully operational. A local boy in his twenties struck a deal with the older farmer who owns the land, and together the two have been adding greenhouses and blocks of produce protected by deer fences. The goal is to return the farm to a level of operation substantial enough to be accepted into the Connecticut Farmland Trust (when the elder farmer is no longer able to manage it). Note: Sub-par photos taken with iPhone.

Stonington, CT

Late in August Sarah invited me to join her and her boyfriend Alex on a visit to her family's home in Stonington, CT. The town's bucolic setting is quintessentially New England, with rolling stone walls and historic farm lands bordering bright blue water. The air was crisp, and it was such a treat to spend so much time outside, with no particular agenda. We visited the beach, had lunch on the docks, explored and bought produce from a neighbor's farm, and even got to see our good pal Arianna, who has been living between Sweden and Colorado (but who happened to be in town). It was an incredibly beautiful and relaxing weekend. I'm so grateful to Sarah and her family for sharing their home.

The Adirondacks - Snell Island, Lake Lila

Last weekend Sebastian and I grabbed Poppy and our buddy Mark and took a trip up to the Adirondacks. Our goal was to camp in a remote location near some water, and Sebastian did his research the week before and found us Lake Lila. The Adirondacks are a checkerboard of public and private lands, but Lila is the largest wilderness lake (which means none of the surrounding property is privately owned). As an added bonus, no motorized boats are permitted on Lila, so we knew the scene would be peaceful. We rented a two man canoe and drove 7 miles (at about 7mph) down a very rough dirt road to the canoe carry. The carry was .3 miles, and at the end was one of the most stunningly gorgeous lakes we have seen. The Department of Environmental Conservation has dotted Lila with primitive campsites, and in addition to a number of sites around the shoreline of the lake,  visitors can also camp on each of the four islands. When we arrived on Friday night we were racing the sun and snagged the first site we found. But on Saturday morning we paddled over to Snell Island, and were delighted to find it unoccupied. We quickly packed our camp, relocated, and spent the rest of the weekend eating the island's wild blueberries and enjoying spectacular 360° views.