It is Thanksgiving in the US today, and I am spending the day with my family up at Lake Winnipesaukee (quite the mouthful – eh?). If you observe the holiday, I hope you can have yourself a relaxing, fun-filled day with friends and or family.
When I started my first blog, I focused on personal events like vacations and time with family. That has changed but this weekend is the 20th anniversary of my grandfather’s death, and I couldn’t help but reflect. Without getting melancholic, I wanted to point out that while I don’t think of my grandparents every day, they really are never far from my thoughts.
Grandpa Len and Cape Cod Nana
My father’s parents lived in Cape Cod when I was a kid and to differentiate my paternal and maternal grandmothers we called my Dad’s Mom, “Cape Cod Nana”. I don’t get any bonus points for creativity, but I’m glad it stuck because whenever Cape Cod is mentioned, she always comes to mind. Likewise, although “Grandpa Len” was retired when I was alive, his long career at Jordan Marsh – a Boston-based department – makes me think of him whenever I pass through Downtown Crossing or visit the South End coffee shop, Wholy Grain, which sells Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins.
Nana and Papa
My mother’s parents outlived my paternal grandparents so I have more memories of them. Nana and Papa played host to more sleepovers than I can hope to count. Backyard barbeques, holidays, family celebrations and more meals than one could ever imagine were had at the family house in Winchester and dominate my childhood memories.
The best gift my grandparents ever gave me (aside from my parents) is the memories I have of my time with them. I’m not one to fixate on loss and I prefer to think about all I’ve gained from having them in my life. They have certainly enriched it – even twenty years later.
BosGuy family photo
In the past I’ve mentioned that my parents have a lake house about 15 minutes outside of downtown Wolfboro on Lake Winnipesaukee. This past weekend Sergio and I went up to see my brother, sister-in-law and niece who were visiting from California.
My parents built this house about five years ago and earlier this year they finished the basement, adding a second family room complete with a bar. Lucky for us, our bedroom and bathroom is down there – away from the morning chaos that is inevitable when there are young nieces and nephews in the house. We spent the weekend relaxing with the entire family.
Here are a couple photos from the weekend.
Sergio Kayaking on Lake Winnipesaukee
Happy Fathers Day to three of the best Dads I know: my father, brother and brother-in-law. I hope all Dad’s have a great day.
Love you all very much Dad, Tim and Travis.
My niece, Abby, turned 5 last Friday and on Sunday my sister arranged for the family birthday party at their house. Abby’s only request for her birthday party was that everyone dress “fancy”.
I had to laugh when I heard the request and thought this was a request Sergio and I could manage easily enough. So earlier this morning we woke up, pulled out our tuxedos and drove up to New Hampshire to celebrate Abby’s milestone birthday.
As you can see Abby was dressed quite fancy. I have also included a photo Sergio snapped before we walked in to celebrate Abby’s birthday.
I wanted to take a moment to say Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom, my sister Elizabeth, my sister-in-law Ashley and all the other wonderful women I know who have taken on the toughest job I can think of, motherhood.
Fortunately, I don’t suffer from the same “mother” issues Albert Brooks does in this 1990s movie. Must be because I have a fabulous Mom.
An excuse to visit my brother, sister-in-law and my youngest niece brought me to Carlsbad, CA last month. For those unfamiliar, wikipedia describes the Southern California town as, “an affluent seaside resort city occupying a 7-mile stretch of Pacific coastline 87 miles south of Los Angeles and 35 miles north of downtown San Diego.”
If you have the cash and like suburban life this may be the perfect place. While I look forward to returning to visit my family and enjoy the temperate climate, I think I’m too much of a city kid to ever feel comfortable in such a setting for more than a few days. However, the accommodations, family and the allure of a new place made the trip one I’ll remember for quite some time.
During my stay I did find a few places I enjoyed. Perhaps the best find was Cafe Elysa, which has a large assortment of pastries replenished each morning from its sister cafe called French Pastries Cafe. Cafe Elysa is one block from the beach and has a large covered patio that also includes fire pits to help keep you warm when there is a chill in the air. I enjoyed the coffee, pastries and breakfast foods through out the day, proximity to the beach and people watching. Another cafe just a few blocks away in what looks like an over sized strip mall called Vinaka Cafe was also good and although I didn’t try it, the local chain coffee house, It’s a Grind looked like it was worth trying. If you like chocolate, check out the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar, a lovely shop that sells chocolate and wine (I wish Boston had such a shop). Since we didn’t eat out much for dinner I only had the opportunity to try The Compass, which I’ll review in another post.
Something I didn’t expect and enjoyed was the murals painted on the sides of shops, in parking lots and around the town like this image from the wall of a parking lot in Carlsbad.
If you are planning a trip to Carlsbad, CA and you have any questions leave me a note in the comments section of this post or feel free to email me. I have more information about some of the places mentioned above.