Sunday, June 26, 2011

Balloon Fest

Howell, MI Balloonfest
We headed over to Howell, MI last night for the Michigan Challenge Balloon Festival. This is our second time attending and the weather was much better last night than at our previous visit.

Howell, MI Balloonfest

Howell, MI Balloonfest

Howell, MI Balloonfest

Howell, MI Balloonfest

Howell, MI Balloonfest
I don't think watching ballons take off and examining their interesting color combinations and designs will ever get old! Hopefully I will overcome my fear of heights one day and take a ride without getting queasy!

See the rest of the balloon photos here.

Jon's bonsai tool wrap

Bonsai Tool Wrap
One of Jon's most favorite hobbies is bonsai. He is always fiddling with plants and acquiring new specimens. It's the perfect hobby for him because he is such a patient guy!

He had been begging me to make him a wrap for all of his tools for ages. I knew he was serious when he sent me links to wraps he found online that he liked and dimensions for his dream wrap!



Bonsai Tool Wrap
I made this wrap for him for Christmas and it went together quickly (in 30 minutes!). This project requires:
Twill tape
Backing fabric
Sturdy canvas
Doublefold bias tape

I cut out 2 rectangles of fabric in his desired dimensions (one piece of canvas, one piece of printed cotton). Then I cut out a half rectangle of canvas and lined the top edge with bias tape.
I also cut a smaller rectangle in canvas and lined 3 sides in bias tape for the top flap.
I placed the half piece of canvas over the full piece of canvas and sewed pockets for each tool.
Then I sandwiched the canvas with the fabric and edged it with the bias tape.
To finish it off, I attached a piece of twill tape folded in half on one side of the wrap.

It was a super easy project and I should have made it sooner!

Bonsai Tool Wrap

Milford, CT

Our final stop on our trip was to Milford, CT. Our newly transplanted friends, Ben and Hannah, are from Milford, so they told us what to check out while we were in town. First we had dinner at Rainbow Gardens and then we headed over to the duck pond to check out the birds.

Milford, CT Duck Pond

Milford, CT Duck Pond

Milford, CT Duck Pond

Milford, CT Duck Pond



Milford, CT Duck Pond

Milford, CT Duck Pond
See the rest of the pictures here.

Gilette's Castle

We traveled to East Haddam, CT to visit the home of  Sherlock Holmes actor and director, William Gilette. I've visited the castle a few times before and knew that Jon would love it. He did and now would like to take a castle tour of Ireland, naturally.
Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
William Gilette was an eccentric man and filled his home with lots of beautiful carvings, glass, and tricks for his guests.

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
Upstairs hallway


Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
Gilette's bedroom

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
View of the Connecticut River

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
The sumptuous library!

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
A guest bedroom

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
The conservatory and wishing well

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
The great hall

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT

Gilette's Castle, East Haddam, CT
View the rest of the castle pictures here.

Middletown, CT

I grew up in Middletwon, CT, so I took Jon on a little tour of my old town. Our first stop was at the waterfall just down the street from my old house.
Middletown, CT Waterfall
My dad used to take lot of pictures of us in front of here when we were growing up. I remember waiting in agony for him to get the settings right so we could just be done taking pictures already. Little did I know that I would inherit his annoying photographer gene years later!
Middletown, CT Waterfall

Russell Public Library, Middletown, CT
The highlight of my visit to the city was seeing my old public library. My mom used to take us here all the time and I loved exploring the place! It was fun to see where the first seeds of my career as a librarian were planted.

Russell Public Library, Middletown, CT
The adult reading room.

Russell Public Library, Middletown, CT
The youth room. The picture book shelves are such a great way for kids to browse books. I wish my library could afford to install shelves like these.

Russell Public Library, Middletown, CT
My sister, Ruth, and I hung out on this rainbow sculpture all the time!

lunch at ION in Middletown, CT
We had a lovely lunch at this fantastic vegetarian restaurant, It's Only Natural, before heading to our next destination.

 View the rest of the photos here.

Portland, ME

After Vermont, we drove through New Hampshire to Portland, ME. We had a fun time exploring the cute shops in the city, eating at delicious restaurants (Yosaku and The Green Elephant), and soaking up the bay.

Portland, ME
We drove around looking for a good spot to watch the sunset and found ourselves on a tour of luxury oceanfront property before we ended up at this public beach. After shooting this photo, we were promptly eaten alive by tons of little black gnats and got the heck out of there!

Portland, ME Lighthouse
The Portland Head Light has to be the most beautiful lighhouse I've ever seen in my life!

Portland Signs
I loved these Portland banners.

Portland Signs

sailing in the Casco Bay, Portland, ME
We took a schooner ride in the Casco Bay. It was my first time on a sailboat and it was amazing. We were clipping along at a great speed and there was no pesky engine noise to spoil the atmosphere. We were able to bring along our own food and drinks and enjoy a picnic on the boat.

sailing in the Casco Bay, Portland, ME

sailing in the Casco Bay, Portland, ME
Jon loved it so much that he's looking into starting sailing lessons soon!

sailing in the Casco Bay, Portland, ME

LL Bean Flagship store
We headed up to Freeport, ME to the headquarters of LL Bean, which is open 24 hours a day. This is what happens when we shop while we're tired...Jon lays down to test out travel pillows and gets up minutes later.

LL Bean Flagship store
View the rest of the Portland photos here.

Woodstock, VT

We headed to Woodstock, VT after we finished hiking the trail and made a quick stop to buy maple syrup and check out the town. It was the quintessential New England town...so incredibly adorable!

Woodstock, VT

Woodstock, VT

Woodstock, VT

Woodstock, VT

Woodstock, VT

Woodstock, VT

Woodstock, VT
Vermont is slowing making its way toward the top of our "let's move here someday" list. Perhaps it's just the nostalgia of the time spent on our honeymoon (we look so young in those pictures!).

View the rest of the Woodstock photos here.