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Leaving New England

February 20, 2012

Yesterday marked M’s final day of his contracted nursing job out east. Today he’ll start the 2,000-mile drive to Austin and officially close our New England chapter. This was an important chapter for both us—I know I learned a lot about myself. I also learned I may not be all that great at rural living. Looking back on our almost two years living on the east coast, I can fully appreciate all the awesome adventures we had. There’s something really exciting about being able to say “This is the first time I’ve ever _______ .”

(Cue the photo montage!)

 
   
My first time assisting a Hot Air Balloon team! (Also, in related news, the closest I’ve ever been to a hot air balloon). My friend’s family has been involved with ballooning for years and host a team for the annual fall festival. Last year they invited M and I to help the crew. They have the most beautiful hot air balloon….unfortunately we didn’t get to go up that day due to wind, but helping with the assembly was a really cool experience.
My first time seeing the Atlantic Ocean. M and I bought body boards that we used a total of two times because, hot damn, that water is COLD.
We did A LOT of hiking. At some point, I’ll remember exactly where this was. I do remember this was down stream from a restaurant that had the most amazing rolls on earth. M and I probably had about  5 each, I just did not want to stop eating them.
First time in Maine! This was taken at Acadia National Park–M and I camped two nights. The second night we left a zipped up food cooler outside the tent and almost peed our pants when we heard raccoons eating the eggs we had planned to fry for breakfast (though at 1:30 the crackling sounded more like bears. I love me some camping but I do not love me some extra-large wild life that close to my sleeping quarters).

This was our first time sharing Cape Cod. M joined my family for a little rest and relaxation. Well, my parents got the R&R, M and I went biking, hiking, and exploring for a decent Bloody Mary. Oh, and we saw whales!

 
The Newport Folk Festival may be my all-time favorite festival (and that’s saying a lot, remember the Balloon festival?) We spent the whole weekend jumping around from band to band–this was a really banner year. My favorites? Avett Brothers, Ben Sollee and Daniel Moore, The Swell Season, Brandi Carlie, and The Low Anthem. To top it off, at the end of the day we grabbed some delicious veggie burgers and Bloody Marys (sensing a theme there?). Perfection.
I celebrated my first meatless Thanksgiving while living in NH. I had been slowing cutting red meat out of my diet for a long time and two years ago I cut out meat all together. I was as active as ever and feeling great and for the most part, I didn’t (and don’t) miss it. Now, Thanksgiving is a different story. Food is so connected to rituals and celebration. It was just M and I marking the day together, which probably made it easier. I almost broke down a couple times to buy a turkey because the meatless options were so unappetizing. We ended up choosing the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute by Field Roast (pictured on the right bottom corner).  It completely saved Thanksgiving! We ended up serving the same roast this year at a friends’ Thanksgiving party (which also included a Turkey). It was shared around and the overall concesus from my meat-eating friends was that is “wasn’t too bad”. I’ll take it.
Manchester, NH
While I’m grateful to have had so many great memories, I’m also excited about starting this next chapter in Austin. M can’t get here fast enough!
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