February Vacation 2017 – Things to Do

Snowshoes for February Vacation 2017

There was a time when planning things to do during school break was all about the kids.  This year, I have one girl heading to sunny Florida for a few days. The other is staying close to home to finish out her busy varsity basketball season.

So, with February Vacation 2017 just a week away, I’ve come up with a few fun things to do myself, with friends or kids – if time allows.

Five Things for February Vacation 2017

SNOWSHOEING – the snowshoes featured are those that Tony and I gifted to each other on different Christmases. Neither has been used. February Vacation 2017 will be the time!

ESCAPE – You many have seen it on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” or, if you aren’t a trash TV watcher like me, maybe you’ve heard about it elsewhere, but these escape rooms are popping up everywhere. Solve puzzles, find hidden objects and figure out clues to get out of the room.  I’d love to get a group together and give it a try.

Here are a few to look into:

READ A BOOK – Book Club doesn’t happen again until end of March. Seeing I usually cram read for that, I think it would be nice to start a book in a more leisurely fashion.

Here are three in my queue:

  • What Milo Saw by Virginia MacGregor – I met Virginia recently at a book reading and loved her presence and style.  I can’t wait to dive into this story.
  • Yours Faithfully by Ellen Alden – I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen at Helen Thomas of Andover where her book is sold, among other places. I’m inspired by her energy and success. I’m anxious to read her heartfelt story.
  • Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes – After reading excerpts from my manuscript, a blog reader suggested I might enjoy this. So happens, I own it and just haven’t read it yet.

GET A MASSAGE – This may not be a big deal for some, but I’m really not a massage person.  But with new aches and pains popping up on a regular basis, this might be nice.  I’m going to book an appointment with my friend, Doreen Sidell, at Salon Riza in North Andover. You should too!

AN INSTAGRAM EXPEDITION – Finally, I think it would be fun to visit a couple of Boston spots that I follow on Instagram.

  • Giardini Di Sole is located in Boston’s South End and has the most beautiful Instagram photos featuring the home décor and tabletop items they carry. I can’t wait to stop in and see their shop in person.
  • Dumpling House, Cambridge MA – Everyone in my family loves dumplings. One day, this image popped up on Instagram and I thought – We’ve got to go there!




I’ll be lucky if I get to one or two of these, but having a few fun ideas in my pocket makes the idea of February Vacation 2017 at home just a little more exciting.

Do you have any fun plans or ideas for school break?

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Moving Forward – A 50th Anniversary and More

Mom and Dad 1966
Mom and Dad 1966


It’s been mighty quiet around these parts lately. It’s school vacation week in Massachusetts and my neighborhood seemed like a ghost town.

While low key, my week had some highlights. Some higher than others, but even the small moments were meaningful. It may sometimes feel like we are standing still, but we are always still moving forward.

A Week in the Life…

  • We celebrated the confirmations of two lovely young ladies whom we’ve known since they were toddlers. As I watched them stand amongst more than 70 of their peers, I couldn’t help but think about time gone by. With Julia by my side, I realized she was just a year away from being part of this mature group. I felt nostalgic.
  • Speaking of Julia, she started her first real job. I couldn’t believe it when I dropped her off and said, “Have fun at work.” Where did my little 4 pound preemie go? Her life is moving forward so quickly, I can’t keep up.  I felt emotional.
  • I unloaded years’ worth of old magazine issues in which I had published articles. I’d collected multiple copies of cover stories and other contributions that I was particularly fond of. My house was overrun with magazines and it finally came time to sort through everything and let go of the extras. This was oddly hard to do – it’s as if a piece of me was in each publication no matter if I had one copy or ten, but I got the job done. I felt satisfied and a little unsure.
  • By far, the most impactful thing we did was celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. My sister, Karla, and I planned a lot of fun activities for the evening. We reminisced over old music, photographs and stories that we’ve been told before, but since forgotten. But most significant, was my parents’ telling of what has made their marriage work. “Compromise,” they agreed. We didn’t ask them to elaborate; we just listened and appreciated the message. I felt proud.
Mom and Dad still going strong and moving forward
Happy 50th Anniversary Mom and Dad 2016


No, we didn’t travel anywhere warm and exotic this vacation, yet I still came away from it feeling uplifted. Several opportunities to look at the past left me sentimental, but happy and ready to be moving forward to a bright future. All in all – a good week.

I hope yours was a good one too.

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