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What I’ve Been Hiking + Remembrance Tattoo

Ben and I try to hike every Sunday if possible. We’re five peaks away from completing the 4,000 footers in New Hampshire, but we’re saving the last couple for our one year anniversary in two weeks. So we’ve been hiking some smaller stuff which is still fun.

Three weekends ago we met up with Ben’s Dad and hiked to Lakes of the Clouds hut and then over to the Boot Spur. It was such a beautiful day, practically perfect. It was a little chilly on the Boot Spur, but you couldn’t beat the view.

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If you’ve never hiked Mount Osceola on the Kancamagus Highway, you must. It’s one of my favorite hikes. The view is incredible for the relatively short hike. There are two trails up, the Greenly Ponds Trail that starts on the Kancamagus which is a bit longer, but you hit East Osceola as well, also a 4,000 footer. And the Mount Osceola Trail that starts on the Tripoli Road in Woodstock, NH.

A couple of Sunday’s ago we took the Mount Osceola Trail up and even though the day was a bit dark, the view was still amazing. Hiking is always a roller coaster for me, much the same with life. I start out happy and having fun, and then the climb starts and I get more serious, stop talking, and just push through until I reach the top, where I finally relax and let go of all the stress. I get to enjoy the view and breathe easy knowing it’s all downhill from here.

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This past weekend, Ben and I went on an adventure trying to meet up with some friends who are hiking the Appalachian Trail. They started southbound in July and were in our neck of the woods, but we couldn’t really plan anything with them. So we figured we’d try to catch them at Lonesome Lake hut, but we missed them probably by an hour or so.

We didn’t give up though. We got some beers, peaches, and fresh corn together and left a cooler for them on the side of the trail a little further ahead. They found it and were so thankful! We felt pretty proud of ourselves. Hopefully we’ll actually see them soon when they get into town.

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After our adventure, we drove to Jackson to pick some blueberries up at Green Hill (our wedding site) and I did a little posing. It was a perfect day. I love when the mountains have so many shadows on them. The reason we were in Jackson though was because I had a tattoo appointment later that day.

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This tattoo probably has the most meaning to me out of all my others combined. Although it’s tiny, it signifies a lot. There’s a little back story involved though.

About 6 years ago, my Mom took a job as a live-in caregiver for an older gentleman named Mack. Consequently, I ended up living there as well, and I loved calling it home and felt like I belonged there. Mack was an odd guy, he had done a lot of metalsmithing and welding, as well as hundreds of other things that were amazing, but he always had thoughtful things to say and I was close with him. He was like a grandfather to me. When he passed, both my Mom and I were with him to make sure he wasn’t alone.

He loved to collect things. Hammers lined the walls, knickknacks were displayed everywhere, and he always kept anvils around the house. All different sizes and types. I found it fitting to have an anvil as my tattoo, in remembrance of him, hence the M underneath.

The other M stands for Marlin. Marlin, being my golden retriever and my best friend in the whole world. He passed away last year after the vet found a tumor inside his stomach. It was devastating to me. I got him as a sixth grade project, to train him to become a special needs dog, but he didn’t pass because his hips weren’t 100%, so we got to keep him. I spent every waking minute with him. He was my best friend, and was there for me through all of my darkest days. He was the best.

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xoxo

Tayla

Life, Personal, Travel

In a New York Minute

Last weekend I visited New York City for the first time.

My cousin lives right out side of Manhattan, so it was a perfect excuse to go into the city and explore. My Mom, my Aunt, and I all went down for the day on Saturday, helped my cousin with some things, took the subway into Manhattan, walked around central park, got some frozen yogurt, took a crazy cab ride, and on Sunday, went for breakfast at the Brooklyn Bagel Co.

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Exploring the city was interesting. I knew there would be a gazillion people around, but the strangest thing was when we walked through central park. I just couldn’t believe how many people were there, all sprawled out on the lawn in their bikinis and trying to suntan. It was like they thought they were going to a beach or something.

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One of the scariest parts of the trip was our cab ride from Manhattan to Long Island City. My cousin uses Uber, which is a private taxi cab service, instead of the normal yellow cabs. It was crazy. We almost hit a biker…twice.

Above is a photo I took looking out from the harbor in Long Island City. We definitely lucked out with the weather, that was for sure.

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Saturday night we wandered through the streets of Astoria because my Aunt wanted to go to Mundo, a kind of Latin restaurant situated inside the Paper Factory Hotel. The whole place was stunning. I was pretty much in awe of how nice everything was; I guess I’m not much of a high roller, eh?

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I ordered a cocktail called a Sourbon, which was described on the menu as bourbon with date syrup and rhubarb tea liqueur. I had to try it. My Aunt had been here before and raved about the Red Sonja appetizer, so we got two of those, and tried Puro Turco (feta cheese rolls) with raspberry sauce, and the Turkish meatballs. Everything was definitely amazing.

I didn’t have a great photo of my entree, but I ordered Gnocchi al Pesto, which was also awesome. I tried making Gnocchi once at home and failed epically, so it was nice to try it somewhere more upscale to see how it was actually suppose to taste!

It was a fun weekend for sure. I really enjoyed myself, even though the city was too hectic for me. And I thought I managed my anxieties well and was able to flow with everything that was going on. It is nice to be home though, in my own little world without all the chaos.

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Food, Life, Travel