March 10, 2017

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I have to say, as much as I miss Los Angeles, this is still really freakin pretty to me. There’s nothing like the silence of snowfall, and it somehow makes everything really quiet and peaceful. Of course now that it’s late in the day the snow is starting to melt. It’s loud again, and the day goes on as usual.

This weekend in Connecticut is expected to be really cold which really bums me out. I’m so longing to be outside hiking, and moving up hill. Well this will give me a chance to figure out what that smell is that’s coming from my fridge (it’s really bad) and hopefully cross something off my “things to see in CT that are indoors!” list. Aquarium? A museum? Something with a big fireplace to sit in front of?

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Last night I attempted to visit the Nasty Women New Haven exhibit at the Institute Library downtown. The opening event ran from 6-8p, and I arrived around 7:15 to not just a packed gallery but a packed street leading to the gallery.

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The closer I got the more congested it was. There was a long line to enter the event, and there’s nothing I hate more than a packed exhibit (makes it way too hard to really see the artwork). I’m glad it was packed, as that shows just how much New Haven cares, and from images online I’ve seen of the art, it was a very entertaining exhibit. I did not wait in the line and decided that I would come back, not on opening night, so I could really see the pieces in the exhibit. It will be running until April 8th!

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Hike: Bells Neck Conservation Lands

This past weekend (March 4th to be exact) my parents and I ventured out into the freezing cold winds to get some exercise out in Cape Cod. After a week of 60 degree temps, we were SO COLD doing this walk (as you can see from our Michelin Man layers). I feel like the photos show how cold it was, but don’t convey just how windy it was. We are lucky none of us were blown into the West Reservoir of Bells Neck. I’m sure Ill do this walk again in the summer and share the differences!

We started by parking at the lot on the right of the map and then we worked our way around the water clockwise. I want to note that this was a pretty easy walk, 50 minute walk. From the parking “lot” (only room for a handful of spots) to the Fish Ladder, it was a pretty wide path, not much close brush and had pretty views throughout. The loop from the Fish Ladder back to the car, that north side is more woodsy, and a much tighter trail. In the summer I can see this being over grown and scratchy/itchy on bare legs (in shorts), which clearly wasn’t a problem today in our arctic layers.

Difficulty: EASY level #2 (1 being a paved path – 5 being an intense up hill hike)

Length: 2.75 miles according to the website, but I imagine it depends which route you go. It took us about 50 minutes, and we stopped for pictures and to look for birds.

Best Time to go: This will be busy (limited parking) + over grown in the height of summer (ticks!). Slightly off season is probably best. Spring/Fall. It’s also a great place to kayak!

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Map Provided by the Harwich Conservation Trust

For the original map + official details about the hike click HERE. Above is my version with the pink path showing you the route we took.

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Look at the level of layers required! I think we just had an especially rough day, wind wise.

The map up above has “B”s marking the benches along the loop. It’s probably more fun to sit when you aren’t being blown over into the water.

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The plants and branches were frozen to the water along the edges.

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This is the view of the Herring River on one side of the fish ladder.

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Above is the view of the West Reservoir. So peaceful. Given the cold temps, I think we only passed one person on this trail (and another person along the bike path). So still.

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Above and below are shots of the fish ladder, currently unoccupied by herring fish but soon will have fish jumping along the ladder.

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After the fish ladder we continued on to make this a loop along the water. This route takes you by privately owned cranberry bogs. Such a fun punch of color in a wintery landscape. Keep an eye out for “trail” tags marked on the trees showing you were to jump back into the woods along the path.

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These two images above show you that the wide path snakes along the edge of the property untimely meeting up with the bike path.

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Here’s the entrance to the bike path, which also has a map of the area posted for reference. When you reach the bike path take a right and continue on the path until you see a clearly marked path back toward the water, also on the right.

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This is the view along the path- pretty!

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Above is my Dad in giant layers trying to hide behind a tiny map. Can you spot Waldo? This is the path heading off from the bike path. You can see, it’s easy to spot.

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This part of the path gets a little narrower, and you can see that poison ivy+ticks might make this part tricky in the summer.

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We did an added little loop on a peninsula that juts out into he water, and then made out way back to the car.

I was with my birding parents, so they were constantly on the lookout for birds and we did end up seeing a massive blue heron. It was good at hiding among the tall grass by the water, so I don’t have a photo of it worth sharing. Keep a lookout for them when you’re exploring the area.

As windy and as cold as it was, we were really happy to get out of the house and get some exercise along a woodsy path (that cuts down on the wind!) and with pretty views of the water. I’ll for sure be doing this walk again during a different season and show the contrasting images.

 

March 6, 2017: Locked Out

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How was everyone’s weekend? New England had a blustery weekend after such unseasonably warm weather for February, March rolled in and so did the cold WIND! This was a knock-me-over weekend of wind, for sure. I spent my weekend out in Cape Cod.. doing my best to get in some good walks/hikes (more on those later this week) while trying not to freeze. I’ve got lots outdoor Cape posts to share!

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My ride back and forth to the Cape is typically uneventful, but this visit was different. Since I drove separately from my family, I ended up arriving at 8pm on Friday (my 3hr ride had an extra 1 hr of traffic). I didn’t mind the extra traffic because I am listening to a FANTASTIC book on tape, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, and I was so engrossed in listening to this book that the time flew by. I highly recommend it for a long car ride. When I do a March book recap of what books I’ve read and listened to on tape this month, I will definitely include a write up on this piece.

Any who, back to the drive. I arrive at 8pm in Cape Cod only to find that the batteries are dead on the garage door key pad needed to enter my parents house. I also learned the hide-a-key-rock was now deeply buried due to a driveway renovation (sorry would-be-robbers). Crap. I was locked out.

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The back of Oscar’s head as he stood guard on my lap in the car, while we waited for my parents to arrive in Cape Cod with the house key.

With my puppy Oscar in tow, I couldn’t just go to the nearest pub for some dinner (and a badly needed restroom break) so I drove to the nearby Public Library just to wait in the well-lit parking lot for my parents to arrive. Thankfully my parents arrived around 9pm, so it was only an hour of waiting in the car on a cold night. This just felt like CLASSIC Bethany unlucky behavior. I did my best not to let it put a damper on the weekend getaway.

See some new changes at Life Absorbed? Now that the new header is up, Im trying to update the blog and hope you end up liking the changes. Today I added buttons along the right side of the screen to help direct new visitors to blog posts covering these topics: East Coast (covering all of my New England adventures and local explorations), Lifestyle (creative inspiration/what Im feeling at the moment/ and life updates), Hikes (+walks, to help be a guide for locals looking for a detail guide of local trails), Travel, Comedy, and Los Angeles (linking to my posts from when I lived in LA). It’s super hard to organize the posts (especially old posts) so Ill do my best to organize them from now on.

March 3, 2017: Trolley Trail Branford, CT

How do you like the new logo? Thought it was about time I jazzed it up a bit, as it hasn’t been touched in 2 years.

One thing that I miss  about my LA life is doing fun activities and blogging about them, which I stopped doing due to lack of time now that I’m on the east coast. I also noticed that I have a hard time finding important details about hikes on the east coast. I’m channeling my inner MODERN HIKER and sharing a post about a fun outdoor walk in Branford, CT called the Trolley Trail.

The Trolley Trail is a very easy, flat outdoor trail along the water in Branford, CT… specifically the Thimble Island area. The views are excellent and this one-way-out, one-way-back trail is pretty short so you can add on laps in the neighborhoods on either side of the walk (obeying privacy signs) to make it a full workout. Super easy, super pretty, so bring a camera and a picnic lunch 🙂

The Map:

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There are two areas to park (“P”). One lot is by W Point Rd & Thimble Island Rd (by a baseball field) and the other is at the end of Tilcon Rd. The walk stretches between these two lots. In my images I start by the baseball field, walk out to Tilcon Rd, and back (adding on an extra walking loop down Thimble Island Rd for more exercise). I imagine on a really nice summer day, parking would be harder to come by, but I was surprised at how generous both lots were.

Check out the RULES:

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The walk begins by taking you over a bridge (fun photo op!)

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There are excellent views throughout the walk, so be sure to look up while you stroll. See the Thimble Islands off in the distance? Bring binoculars for birding/gawking at gorgeous homes.

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A chunk of this path is even PAVED (and there are benches to rest!). I should note that there are some additional trails that go off into the woods from this trail. We didn’t explore this, but families with children were heading off to snack on the rocks overlooking the trail.

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This was a surprisingly sunny (but chilly) Sunday in February at low tide, so it wasn’t the most colorful time for plants and trees (dullsville) but there’s still something beautiful about dried muted plants.

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At one point we went under a bridge and there was a well dressed graffiti artist working his magic. I’m not sure what he was adding to these walls, but it had to be Banksy. I’m sure of it 😉

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After looping back, this is the view heading back over the bridge to the parking lot.

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On our way back to the car (just beyond the bridge) is a little trail with a tree swing and a spot to get closer to the water.

TRAIL EXTENSION:

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So to make this a longer walk (although I guess you could just do laps back and forth along the Trolley Trail if you wanted) I suggest leaving your parked car in the lot and walking into town along Thimble Island Rd. This above is a view from a little sandy beach front. If it’s warm, put your feet in!

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Above is the view from the dock where you can take a ferry boat around the Islands (in the summer). I will 100% be doing this in the summer, and I’ll share the deets with you when I do. I suggest walking down the little side streets, stop at the deli by the water for lunch (or pack a picnic and eat it on the beach) and enjoy the pretty views and gorgeous houses.

 

A Wintery Cape Cod Weekend

Sometimes you need to get away from you routine and have some adventure, which is what lead me to Cape Cod this past weekend. I was in need of escape and joined my parents on the Cape for a weekend of exploration. We arrived at their house on Friday night, and woke up early on Saturday to hit the road heading down to Woods Hole, MA.

We meandered down to Hyannis and did a drive by the Hyannisport compound of the Kennedy’s. This photo below was taken a little further down the street from the compound. What a beautiful day. Blue sky, snow on the ground and even mini-icebergs in the water. What a sight.

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While in Hyannisport we made a stop into Tim’s Used Bookstore on the main drag. They have a great collection of art/coffee table books at reasonable prices (fyi). Im trying to save my pennies, so I didn’t get anything although we did spot this hilarious book below:

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It’s trying to appeal to 50 Shades of Gray loving nuns? Why does the nun on the cover look like she’s 12?! Hilarious and horrible at the same time.

We got back in the car and continued on until we hit the Falmouth Public Library. It’s a beautiful building (with clean public restrooms). They have a fun Main Street, with cute shops and restaurants. We stopped into Quarterdeck for lunch. It was good food with generous portions and the decor is meant to make you feel like your in the captains quarters of a boat. It’s really fun and I recommend it. Below is a photo I took looking up at the ceiling over our table.

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After a quick walk around we got back into the car and continued on to where Woods Hole Rd. meets Water St. Most of Woods Hole seems dedicated to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They have many buildings and dorms dedicated to ocean and animal life research. They are often on the scene if anything exciting happens along the east coast (with respect to science and marine life). They also have a FREE Science Aquarium that is for sure wrath the visit.  I took so many photos and had such a fun time watching all the fish swim around. I could stare at them forever.

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If you’re visiting Woods Hole, the FREE aquarium is a must. When my parents visit in the summer, they bring their bikes, ride around town and then stop in the aquarium to see the fish and enjoy the AC. Given that it was snowy this past weekend, it was nice to get toasty in the heat.

Eventually we left the aquarium and did a walking loop around Eel Pond. It was so frozen over that many people were out walking, ice skating and even playing hockey on the ice. It was quite a sight!

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After a walking loop we stopped into Coffee Obsession and grabbed some coffee for the road. Before leaving Woods Hole we visited a beach off of Gosnold Road, where we saw people kite-skiing! It was insane! They were really flying around out there on the water that had frozen over. Normally that would be a sandy beach with water hitting the shore and instead it was a kite-skiiers paradise. I had no clue that was even a sport, but it looks really fun.

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Back in Harwich Port, we had a puppy cousin reunion which involved lots of white puppy hugs 🙂

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Happy Holidays from Cape Cod!

Did you notice I’ve been MIA? Do This Today Posts will be back in full force in 2015, I swear. I’ve been on a Cape Cod winter hiatus.

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The hiatus started with a nasty cold that thankfully has passed. After a few days of rest I was able to get out and explore. Stop one was an evening Brewster beach walk (photo above) and a stop into some local shops (Chatham Town Center and Brewster General Store). Shop local!

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One day we ventured out to Monomoy Nature Preserve (below) and did a fun 3+ mile loop. Winter time on the Cape means very quiet beach walks and thankfully this was a calm 40 degree day so it wasn’t too cold.

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Yesterday we drove all the way out to Provincetown and did a walk along Herring Cove (below) before shopping in town and catching the sunset. It was so beautiful, but it was around 29/30 degrees and breezy. Yikes it was cold!

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Look at this gem I found in a shop in P-town! It’s a poster ad for the Rolling Stones doing a pre-tour show at Toad’s Place in New Haven. Ticket price? $3.01! Man that would have been a fun show. What a great find!

After visiting a few shops in P-Town we caught the sunset and drove to Orleans for a yummy seafood dinner at Old Jailhouse Tavern (a family favorite restaurant).

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Up next, I recap my 2014 resolutions and then I’ll share my 2015 goals. 2015 will be a big year! 🙂

A Cape Cod Hiatus

Sorry for the lack of communication, but I’ve been hiatusing out on Cape Cod with limited internet access and plenty of cold but beautiful weather. I love Cape Cod in the winter. It’s way less crowded, expensive stores are having wild sales (yes, I will buy this at 50% off), and the colors are so unique. Desaturated winter colors are just as gorgeous to me as bright colors. Just see for yourself. The blue sky, soft clouds and golden dried grasses are some of my favorite color combinations that are worth exploring even in the frigid cold.

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Lighthouse Beach, Chatham MA

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Chatham, MA Fish Pier

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Salt Pond, Orleans MA

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Overlooking Nauset Marsh, Orleans MA

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Also overlooking Nauset Marsh in Orleans. This was more about our three shadows.

I’ll check in tomorrow and do a round up of 2013 resolutions (I don’t think I did so hot), and figure out a plan for 2014!