Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Frolicking in the Utah Lavender Again

I couldn't stay away. I love seeing the Young Living Lavender fields in Mona, Utah, all in bloom. Gorgeous purple fields! My boys love running around in them while I smell the yummy lavender and take it all in. And just like last year, I brought my dad to be my personal photographer ;) I am really hoping this is an annual thing! And it is so bittersweet seeing how much my boys have grown in just a year. Especially Dominic!

Love these pictures he snapped of me and my boys. We missed Victor though--he was out of the country. 
 ^^not too big for this ha^^
Me and my sisters! Missing Juju. 
And my awesome dad. These boys are OBSESSED with him. We all love him so much. And Utah in the summer.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Last Stop: Boston!

I have a confession: I had been to Boston before but in the late fall and winter, so I admit I just didn't like Boston very much. Visiting in the summer changed that. It was so much fun spending a beautiful summer day here before ending our epic adventure. 

We dropped the rental car off, and my mom suggested taking a water taxi into the city. That was so fun! They drop you off right in the heart of the city. We walked over to the restaurant The Paramount in Beacon Hill and took the food over to the Public Garden. A lovely picnic. 

^^A visit to the Mallard family was a must-do!^^

I need to rewind a bit to say that we stopped in Lexington on our way in, and had a surprise visitor--my dad!! He had flown in the night before and surprised everyone at the Minuteman visitors center. I was in on it, and it was pretty comical trying to coordinate the actual meet-up, which is why I'm laughing in the video. Then he spent the rest of the day with us and flew out with us the next day. I love this video ha

While Melanie toured Paul Revere's house (been there done that), I got some cannolis yum! And after that it was over to the ball park!

It has been on my bucket list for a while now to see the Redsox play in Fenway Park. It was awesome! We had such a great time. A great end to what I hope will become a tradition with my mom and sisters. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Prince Edward Island: Where We Stayed

There are a sea of options of places to stay on Prince Edward Island. All kinds of bed and breakfasts and air bnbs, but at the top of the dream spots for us was the Dalvay by the Sea. Part of the "Anne" films were filmed here, and even Will and Kate came and visited! I thought it would be way out of our price range, but I found a great deal on that was pretty much the same price as all the other options I was looking at. And as soon as we rounded the corner and pulled up to this incredibly charming hotel, it was worth it! Staying here was a major highlight of this trip. And we know the way to my mom's heart is through charming hotels, so we definitely won her over with this one!

The place is oozing with charm, and our stay was so pleasant I never wanted to leave. We had fun exploring the grounds, walking to the beautiful beach right across the street (Melanie and I took a sunset swim one evening and it was unreal! So beautiful), having afternoon tea one day, and playing chess and drinking hot chocolate in the lounge. 
^^My mom's cute little room up in the west gable^^
^^our room on the balcony above the lobby^^

^^yes that's a big purple jellyfish. no stings thankfully^^
^^So we noticed that the lawns on PEI were purple. Some kind of purple plant that would take over the whole lawn. Then we picked some and realized it's thyme! Pretty cool I thought^^
^^the little balcony on the middle floor was our room^^
Funny side story. My sister Camille commented about the hotel "I just wish I had a boyfriend or husband to come stay here with--it's so romantic!" To which I replied, "I just facetimed with Victor and was so excited to show him this awesome hotel, and he did not care nearly as much as me. So you should always stay at these awesome places with girlfriends and sisters and moms who will appreciate it just as much as you do!" I still stand by that. Guys just don't live for the charm like we do ha! That being said, I would still love to come back with my little family because this place is fun for families too. 

Oh, the Dalvay, I love you! If you ever visit PEI, I can't recommend this place enough. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Pilgrimage to Green Gables

"It's delightful when your imaginations come true, isn't it?" --Anne Shirley

We had an absolutely delightful time exploring the property that inspired L.M. Montgomery to create the Anne series. The house and property were her cousins, and she stayed with her grandparents across the road. The house was decorated to represent things like "Matthew's room," "Marilla's room" (complete with amethyst broach on the dresser), and of course, "Anne's room." Yes, these are fictional characters so they aren't really their rooms, but we did not care! And neither did any of the other Anne fans who journey there every year ha!
The house is part of the PEI National Park, and thanks to Canada's birthday this year, was free entry, as well as the other places like Cavendish Beach: where you see the classic PEI coastline of red sand dunes and cliffs. Thanks, and happy birthday, Canada! My advice if you plan to visit? Get there right at opening like we did--no lines and not many people. The line was out the door and around the house when we were leaving. 
The property around the house was so beautiful. Lots of "scope for the imagination." We took walks through the Haunted Wood, and Lovers Lane of course!

Enjoying some raspberry cordial. Yum! Don't worry, we didn't get drunk ;)
"I just love bright red drinks, don't you? They taste twice as good as any other color." --Anne Shirley

Meeting Anne! Diana was also there. Once again, when we were leaving, there were huge lines to take pictures with them. Crazy!

Jenn should get a summer job playing Anne

Just down the road from the house is the cute little "village" of Avonlea. It's a bunch of original buildings from the time that have been moved and turned into shops and restaurants. It was a perfect little lunch spot. Super touristy in all things regarding Anne, but did you see our shirts?? Is that not why we came?? Ha!

And our last stop in Cavendish was the cemetery where L.M. Montgomery is buried. Her mother and grandparents are also buried there, and I just loved their headstone. I love the finger pointing to "God is Love" at the top. 
Such a fun and memorable morning exploring, and meeting people from around the world who love Anne as much as we do. (lots of Chinese and  Japanese people there who came all the way to PEI for Anne!)

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” --Anne Shirley