Wanderlust: Ice Castles

Somehow last year I came across a photo of the Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire and I was all in. Except that it was almost spring so they were ending. I was sad and threw the trip on my 2016 bucket list. We (read: I) planned out a day trip, convinced two friends to tag along (poor things!) and off we went. It's a photographer's paradise and I went full touristy mode taking a billion photos and planning a thousand styled shoots in my mind. 

In the event you want to check out the Ice Castles next year, here's a few things we learned. First, pick your time carefully so that it's really close to sunset but still daytime when you arrive. (These time slots fill fast, so book early!) You'll be able to get beautiful photos in the daylight, and then enjoy the whole place lit up at night as well. Second, grab dinner after at Woodstock Station. There will be a wait, you should wait, and you won't be sorry. A few highlights are a vast selection of beers, including 6 they brew, and delicious nachos. Seriously, the nachos. I'm still dreaming about them. 

Wanderlust: One Morning in New England

I'm afraid that by writing this post or making any mention of our fairly mild winter I will jinx us completely, but I'm going to do it anyway. (And I'm going to knock on wood.) Anyone who has lived in New England long enough knows that it could be 50 degrees every day in February and we should still be prepared to get pounded by a blizzard the next day. But so far this winter we have been really lucky (knocking on wood again) which has allowed my husband and I to be out and about more than usual. (I'm not even sure if I ever left my house last winter?!) Aside from enjoying our favorite winter sports (read: hot tubbing and sitting by a fire) we've been trying to explore new places (read: I've been dragging him to new places). If you're caught up on my previous posts, you know that one thing I've been doing a lot is "summering" in winter by visiting greenhouses and pretending I'm on a tropical island. But at the risk of getting turned over to the police for loitering at my favorite greenhouse, I decided to try somewhere new this past weekend, and I'm so glad we did.

It was a perfect New England weekend. Clear skies, 50 degrees, and new spots to discover. Our first stop was Kennedy's Country Gardens in Scituate. It was adorable! There are multiple greenhouses on the property, even more when spring hits, a gift shop, garden center, a friendly cat, and parrots! Talking parrots! What more could you want? After I was talked out of buying 37 new plants (thank you Nate) we drove on to Old Scituate Light. It still has an active lighthouse keeper, which I find fascinating, and rock jetties you can walk out onto the ocean from. Here are some favorite images from our morning in New England. (Bonus points to the first person to comment what literary work my blog post is referencing!)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

While I love that I get to experience all four seasons living in New England, I definitely prefer any other season to winter. I don't really enjoy most winter activities (unless you count sitting beside a fire or soaking in a hot tub with mountain views). This winter I've been trying to find as much "summer" as possible. The courtyard of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was the perfect spot to spend an afternoon when negative degrees hit. Dangerous wind chills outside? No problem, it's always a tropical paradise in there. This visit gave me serious greenhouse envy and now I've spent the past few days researching building your own greenhouse. I smell a summer project coming!

Sharon View Nursery

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know that this year I've embarked on the 365 (well, really 366) project. I'm over a month in and I can't rave enough. Not only is it forcing me to practice my photography, but it's also forcing me to take a moment to appreciate all the little things. Not to mention, get out more and enjoy winter. Last weekend I visited one of my favorite places ever, Sharon View Nursery. It's the cutest place you've ever seen. Seriously. The owner Jim (and everyone else that works there!) is so friendly and so knowledgeable. It's never too crowded. It smells divine. They have lime trees. Lime trees! And best of all? The tropical weather inside year round! What more could you want? Ever since my latest visit, I've been scheming up so many photo shoots in my mind. Until they happen though, here is a little taste of the magic.