Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!
After battling a 24 hour stomach bug for most of yesterday (I still managed to get a lot done despite feeling pretty awful at random intervals throughout the day,) I’m looking forward to getting some work done at my office today, retreating to my family’s home for a quiet night in with my mom and my dog- and heading to bed early! I need to get my strength up for Halloween next week, after all!
This past Wednesday night- some friends and I from work decided to get into the spooky season spirit with a beloved New England tradition- and we stopped by Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island for their annual Jack-O-Lantern Display Spectacular.
The trail, which winds through a waterfront section of the zoo- features thousands of intricately carved and painted pumpkins, Every year also has a different theme (decades, pop culture, historical moments, etc.) that artists base their designs around. This year it was the different seasons- as well as side themes of notable conservationists and a nod to Stan Lee & Marvel.
You can see some of the photos I snapped below. Click to enlarge any of them for a better view!
I had an absolute blast, and the weather held up nicely so it was great to take some extra time to really look at everything without freezing.
Before leaving, we made sure to grab some hot apple cider and kettle corn popcorn for the road- and then it was all the way back to the Valley for me!
Next week, the posting schedule will be a short one given that Halloween falls on Thursday- but I’ll have some of my favorite things from this past month up to share with you all on Tuesday- and a look back on this most wild and fun of Octobers as a whole with my “In a Nutshell” post!
But until then, enjoy your weekend ahead! I’m off to get some work done!
– Ashley –
Good Afternoon and Happy Wednesday, everyone! I love these mid-week moments!
It’s a bit of a late posting day for me- since I’ve been in an absolute flurry at work since about 7 a.m. today- but I’ve just finished for the day and am getting ready to run a couple of heavily procrastinated errands I can’t put off any longer, prepare for dinner and to say farewell to my dearest friend’s apartment since he’ll be moving out of it this weekend. We’ve had so many wonderful memories there- and respects must be paid!
It’s blowing my mind that we’re nearly at August’s end- with September looming just ahead this coming Sunday. While I’m undoubtedly excited for the Fall and all the Autumnal activities there are to do here in the Pioneer Valley- I’m still very much in a Summer mood and am trying to spend as much time as possible in or around the water before it freezes over.
This past weekend, with the temperatures cooling comfortably and my Sunday freed up after my usual early morning laundry and coffee run- I opted to head down to Newport, Rhode Island for one final Summer weekend coast-side in a community I’ve grown to love dearly over the years. While there, I visited The Breakers- since it had been quite a few years since I marveled at the architecture, the artwork-adorned walls and ceilings- and the spectacular views of the Atlantic.
I took plenty of photos of the grounds and surrounding Cliff Walk- which you can make bigger by clicking below!
It was a beautiful day and a lovely way to sort of bid farewell to Summer- although the official goodbye comes when I head up to New Hampshire for the annual Seafood Festival in a couple of weeks! Can you tell I’m excited for crab cakes and discounted beach clothes?
Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself here. On Friday, I’ll be talking about some of my favorite odds and ends from August- products, finds, buys, etc. There’s some real gems I discovered/stumbled across that I’m very much looking forward to talking about.
And then on Saturday- before I head to the Indie617 studio to host my show- I’ll be giving Summer 2019 a thorough review and the proper send-off it deserves.
Until then, enjoy your “Hump Day” and keep your heads up! Friday is nearly here!
– Ashley –
Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day,” everyone!
One of my favorite things to do during the Winter here in New England is visit some of our more popular seaside towns and attractions when they’re essentially empty/abandoned due to the cold weather. Places like Mystic, Hampton, and Newport- which are usually wall-to-wall with people during the warmer, Summer months- are just as beautiful and far more accessible from the late Fall through early Spring.
This past weekend, I opted to visit Newport, Rhode Island- which is presently hosting their 31st Winter Festival through the 24th of this month. I browsed some of the shops downtown, stopped by a couple of the local cafes and restaurants for lunch and my coffee fix- and took a stroll through the interior and the grounds of The Elms– which is one my favorite mansions in the area.
I had my camera with me, and managed to capture some of the most beautiful photos while the sun was setting. Click on any of the images below to enlarge them!
It was such a lovely afternoon and I’d love to visit again soon before the Spring/Summer gets here so that I can enjoy the peace and quiet for just a little while longer. If you find yourself in the area anytime soon- I recommend taking a day off to enjoy it!
The next couple of days are shaping up to be busy ones- with work, my part-time gigs, dinner plans and so on- but a little later on this week I’ll be sharing an accessory that was gifted to me by a friend earlier this month and which I’ve been really enjoying on the colder days before we break for the weekend and I prepare to wrap up February with a nice little bow!
Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday! We’re almost to the weekend. Just hang in there a little longer!
– Ashley –
Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone! I’m still recovering from last night’s season premiere (and 100th episode- if you can believe it!) of ‘The Walking Dead’- so my apologies for any typos in this post and on my social media today- or for falling asleep mid-conversation should anyone run into me at any point throughout this afternoon. I promise I’ll be rested up and normal again by tomorrow!
Apart from gearing up for the return of Rick Grimes & Co. this weekend- I also stopped by Rhode Island this past Saturday night. Specifically, I headed to Roger Williams Park Zoo for their annual “Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular”. I haven’t been in a couple of years due to scheduling conflicts- so it was really nice to be able to go again- especially since the weather was beautiful throughout the weekend!
Featuring over 5,000 intricately carved Jack-O-Lanterns that cover both sides (and above visitors in the trees!) of a long, winding trail through a section of the zoo/wildlife conservatory- this year’s display had a trip through time and/or time-travel theme. Featuring dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece, through the Renaissance- and a pretty entertaining walk through the the decades spanning from the 1920s through now- each section included music/sound effects fitting of the time period. There were also vendors along the path (as well as at the entrance/exit of the park) that were selling hot apple cider, kettlecorn popcorn, sweets- and light-up accessories for the kids.
Tickets are pretty cheap and there’s a lot more to do in the area, as well- like the ski-lift style ride that carries passengers over the exhibit (and the park)– and glow-in-the-dark swan boats that circle an adjacent pond just outside the zoo’s perimeter. It’s a really fun, laid-back seasonal activity that is perfect for all ages and has become a “must do” for my friends and I every October.
Below are a few of the photos I snapped along the trail!
The “Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular” runs through November 5th- and prime night tickets (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) have to be ordered in advance online while tickets on Monday-Thursday can be purchased on-site- but I highly recommend going as soon as possible before the pumpkins start getting mushy and lose their shape. Also, you definitely want to go before it gets too cold out to fully enjoy everything!
And now, I’m heading off to get some work done and try to make it through the day without taking a nap under my desk!
Here’s hoping we all power through this week!
– Ashley –