Beach Boy

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I finally went riding on the beach! After almost a year of planning, my friends and I finally got around to bringing Jupiter to the beach! In the state of Rhode Island, you’re legally allowed to bring horses to state and local beaches anytime between September 15 and May 15. While we had originally planned to go to Blue Shutters, we opted to go to Narraganset beach instead because of the large parking lot. Despite the fact that it was late November, we caught a nice, warm, 55° sunny day which meant that the beach was a bit crowded. So many people were taking photos and videos of us and a particular group of old people decided it would be a fantastic idea to unleash their fu-fu dogs and let them chase us! Some people have no common sense, no matter how old they get. I’m so happy I finally got to ride on the beach; it was so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again. Maybe next time Jupiter will be less afraid of the waves, LOL!

The Great Falls

Although it wasnt that long ago, my trip to Great Falls Park in Virginia feels like it happened eons ago. I can’t believe it’s just about time to head home for Thanksgiving!  While I uploaded a post about the fun weekend I had directly following it (read it here) I’ll talk more about our trip to the falls. Surprisingly, parking here was a pain in the butt but the little walk from the parking lot to the Potomac and then to the falls was pleasant and eventful. I ended up going with three friends: Hannah, Zac and Jack. Hannah and I are both comfortable in the outdoors but our two counterparts were very much not. It was so funny to watch two city slickers attempt to do the simple tasks such as step from stone to stone and deal with absolute horrors such as mud.  It’s always fun to retreat from the city with friends and I’m definitely going to start doing it more often. In under a half hour, I can be driving down a suburban country road, feeling like I’m hundreds of miles away from the city. Going here made me really want to drive over to western Virginia and get some hiking in!

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Sweatshirt (on sale!) // Jeans // Boots

Trestles and Fringe

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I love driving out to new, remote areas and adventuring through them. You never know what will be around each turn and, in this case, it was two trestles and a beautiful creek! While pulling over and exploring is fun, spontaneous and a great way to spend an afternoon, you never know what might be around each turn. While exploring the river and the trestles, I found this out the hard way. My parents and I parked the car on the side of the road, not thinking anything of it. We were in the middle of nowhere, what could possibly happen? As my Mom and I trekked down a path to the river, my Dad and our beautifully ferocious Doberman, Delila, stayed at the top of the path. A sketchy looking, run down car drove past once, then twice, before dropping off its passenger, a shirtless man who started to walk towards our seemingly abandoned car. It was then that Delila went into full watch dog mode and poked her head out of the trees, staring straight at the imposter, giving him a big doberman grin. He took one look at her and my father and turned around. Clearly, if he had been innocently walking down the road, he would’ve continued past. He was coming for our car, and had Delila and my father not been there, he could have come for us. From the top of the bridge where he was dropped off, he could only see that my mother and I were alone in the river. I don’t want to know what would’ve happened if it had been just the two of us. As he left, we quickly got into the car and drove away, down the road, and realized that we were in a very sketchy looking town. The moral of the story is to be careful, be aware of your surroundings, and never go anywhere alone. Know how to defend yourself, especially when your phone has no bars. Being spontaneous and adventuring is what makes life so incredible, but there are people out there whose intentions are not so pure, who will try to steal from you and who will try to hurt you.

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That being said… how cute is this sweater?! The second I tried it on, I put my arms out to both sides and started twisting back and forth, allowing the fringe to do its thing (see pictures 2 and 6). A simple white turtleneck is a great staple to add to your closet. Obviously, it will be loved during the cooler months but can also pass as beachy when styled appropriately for summer nights. I kept the fringe theme going in my suede booties which I paired with comfortable jeans.

Turtleneck // Similar Sweater // Jeans // Booties

What A Weekend

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Sometimes I forget that one of the main reasons I came to school in D.C. was to tourist! While I haven’t been completely off my game, realizing that there are several things I still want to do in the serves as a definite reminder that I need to get out and explore my area. So, this weekend, I enjoyed three consecutive days of (semi)hardcore touristing!

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My weekend started on Friday where I mainly sat around all day before realizing that Melania Trump had just donated her Inaugural ball gown to the National Museum of American History that morning so naturally, I had to go. With Nancy Reagan’s dress coming in a close second, Melania’s was my favorite; simple yet elegant. I thought she was very short until I googled her height and realized that she only looked short because her mannequin didn’t have a head. I even snapped a family photo with Donald and Melania, such a good-looking couple!

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My Saturday morning started at the barn and that afternoon, I decided to rent a car and go to Great Falls Park in Virginia with some friends. While I reserved a normal car, something must have happened because I was forcibly reassigned to a minivan. I felt like a soccer mom driving around in her big, ugly, black minivan with her children in the backseat.  Bad things always come in threes, which makes sense because the first inconvenience of the minivan was followed up by two other minor disasters. First, I accidentally put the town of Great Falls, Virginia instead of the park into my google maps and didn’t realize it until we pulled up to a busy intersection just as Siri announced “you have arrived.” The second minor disaster happened moments after as the gas light dinged and we realized that whoever had rented the car before us hadn’t filled it up as they were supposed to, so we pulled into a gas station. I made one of my friends pump the gas because, fun fact: I’ve never pumped gas before in my almost four years of driving and hopefully never will. Because it was a rental, there was a gas card in the glove box along with directions. As I pulled out the direction card and handed it to my friend saying “here are the directions,” an older man pulled up to the pump next to us and got out of his car. He must’ve thought we were idiots, four young kids in an ugly black minivan, needing directions to pump gas. His initial impression of us was followed by another fantastic one. My personal gas pumper asked me to check the odometer for whatever reason and I don’t know about you, but I did not know what an odometer was so I asked. Two of the three people with me answered and I started to check, just as the cranky old coot looked at me and screamed, I kid you not, “IT’S THE THING THAT COUNTS YOUR MILES!” Um, 1. I didn’t ask you and 2. Manners much? He was so angry! Gotta love cranky old men!!

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We finally gassed up and made it to the park where we climbed on logs and rocks and got some amazing photos. While I’m sharing some here now, keep your eyes peeled for a post with even more of them coming soon!

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After, we had fully intended to go to Costco but wouldn’t have made it in time because it closed relatively early so instead went to get dinner at Noodles and Company. It was so good, fast and cheap! I’m definitely going back sometime in the near future.

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Sunday came and I was sure my weekend of touristing had ended. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Zac woke up bright and early and high tailed it to the Whitehouse to get himself a ticket for the garden tour while I stayed home and got ready for an RHA event. As I was walking over, he called me and said he got me a ticket for later that afternoon so I could go! With some sweet-talking and a fun little sob story, he even got himself a second ticket so we could go together. It was so fun to get that close to the Whitehouse and see the area surrounding it. I had no idea the garden was that big!

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We went through so slow, taking our time taking in every detail and taking as many photos as we possibly could to the point that the secret service followed us out as we left since we were nearly the last ones there!

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Again, another post with the highlights of our thousands of photos is coming extremely soon! I had such a fun weekend enjoying D.C. and the company of my friends. It was nice to have a few days off from studying and midterms, especially since next weekend is forecasted to be absolute madness!IMG_1295-1

 

Fall Bucket List

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Go apple picking

Toast marshmallows in the fire pit

Jump into a pile of leaves

Attempt baked pumpkin French toast

Visit a pumpkin patch

Go trick-or-treating

Make caramel apples

Gallop through the foliage

Take a scenic road trip with the Puppy

Make an apple pie

Visit a covered bridge

Carve a pumpkin

Maine 2017

Every July, for as long as I can remember, my family has packed up the car and driven up to our hunting cabin in Temple, Maine to spend a week relaxing, hiking, shooting and exploring. This year’s trip was just as fun as the past ones, if not more. In this post, I will be sharing what we did and where we went!

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Sunday: We packed up the car and hit the road, listening to Delila chomp out the window all the way. A couple of hours in, we made a pit stop in Kittery to pick up some cupcakes. After buying the cupcakes, I followed my mom to the rest room and watched as she, very confused, looked around before speed walking out. She’d led me into the men’s room and didn’t realize for a few moments. The worst part is, it took us way too long to find the women’s room (right next door). Maybe they should’ve opened the doors to both bathrooms to avoid confusion, and maybe we should’ve actually looked at the sign on the door. Oh well!

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Eventually, we made it to the camp and, before going to bed, saw a beautiful rainbow outside.

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Monday: This was our first full day up north. We started the day with breakfast at Homestead Bakery before driving out to Rome to hike up French Mountain. The hike was easy and the views were gorgeous! As we were climbing down, we ran into a woman who remarked that her husband and kids were behind her and that she was continuing up all alone because “they just couldn’t make it.” When we ran into them moments after, we figured out exactly why they couldn’t make it. As it turned out, her children were three and five years old, much smaller than the large rocks that the difficult end of the trail mandated them to climb!

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After we left French Mountain, we drove down the road and took a left towards the Blueberry Hill Scenic Area (it’s on the same side of the road as French Mountain). It provided nearly the same view but didn’t require us to do any hiking; we could just drive right up! After we paused to snap a family photo, we headed into town to pick up some essentials from Hannaford’s. While inside, we asked the employees behind the seafood counter about fresh lobsters. Their response: “They’re all fresh until they’re dead!” I think they misunderstood the question, too funny!

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That evening, we lit a fire to cook burgers and marshmallows over. We ended the night by polishing off an entire quart of Maine Deer Tracks from Gifford’s!

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Tuesday: We started the day with breakfast sandwiches from Java Joes before hitting the road and heading to Saddleback in search of some lupines and a hike. We were delayed on the way there, thanks to no other than Siri, who insisted on trying to send us down several washed out dirt roads and instructing us to “continue for 20 miles.” No thanks!!

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Eventually we made it and went for our hike. The lupines and view were absolutely stunning but the hike itself was not-so stellar. It was literally hiking straight up a black diamond ski slope which made for awful footing. We didn’t even finish the hike; it was so bad!

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Finally, after what felt like ages, we got back to the car and before we knew it, had arrived back in town. We picked up dinner: 3 Bean BBQ Chicken Chilli Soup from Soup For You. If you ever find yourself in Farmington, you absolutely must eat here. It’s consistently delicous and is always an excellent choice!!! We ended the night again with Gifford’s Ice Cream, this time in the flavors Maple Walnut and Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Yum!!

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Wednesday: I started my morning with a one mile hike up the road with Delila before heading out for breakfast sandwiches. Afterwards, we didn’t really know what to do. We had planned to go to the coast but were all tired and not in the mood to spend upwards of four hours in the car. While we decided plans, we ran some errands in ‘The Wal-Mart’ and had way too much fun doing it. Maine Wal-Marts are just better. They have more stuff and are so much more amusing. I found stick on war-paint stickers and a black spiked helmet and thought they were the greatest things.

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Finally, we decided on taking a day trip to Smalls Falls. It was so beautiful! After exploring the falls, we headed back and picked up some lobsters for dinner. The day ended in typical Koski Vacation fashion: with Gifford’s Ice Cream. We had Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip and Caramel Caribou. Yum!

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Thursday: We woke up to a rainy day with predicted highs of 54°. We took this as an excuse to sleep in before heading out to breakfast and picking up some brownies. After, we went to some antique shops. In one, we found a fun cleaver, some deer legs and a creepy, large doll. The kind and friendly shop owner took some time to talk to us about the past and share a beautiful song with us that his friend who had passed sang.

We then returned to the camp and I started to knock a couple of items off my Summer Reading List. Later that evening, we feasted on Soup for You and several amazing fudgey brownies stuffed with chunks of toffee and walnuts.

Friday: The forecast had predicted today to be a complete washout, which is why when the sunshine woke me up, I was so pleasantly surprised. The weather turned out to be beautiful: sunny, clear and in the low 70s. We grabbed some bagels for breakfast and headed down to Wilton. Delila and I played on the playground, specifically the merry-go-round (I nicknamed her the Merry-Go-Hound) while Dad inflated our flamingo floatie! I then took it for a dip in the lake and was thrilled when I found the water to actually be quite warm despite my expectations of a frigid ice bath! I splashed and floated before my mom and I explored a nearby dock. On our way out-of-town, we checked out a local bakery just to see what they had; you can never have too many dessert options!!

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That night we ate, well, a lot. We grabbed a quart of ice cream from Gifford’s before returning to the camp and by 3pm had already devoured a half quart of their newest flavor, “Moo Slide,” a coffee liquor ice cream with chocolate chips and a fudge swirl. For dinner, we had lobsters (again) before moving on to our next round of dessert, toffee packed fudge brownies which were followed by some more ice cream, this time Maine Deer Tracks!

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Saturday: We debated going home a day early since today’s forecast was again predicted to be rainy and miserable, but, because we got a late start, decided to stay in Maine. We got brunch and by the time we finished eating, the skies were clear and the sun was shining. However, we were all completely exhausted so we decided to spend the day at the camp, relaxing, reading, shooting, and roasting marshmallows.

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We demolished some beer cans with our gun before having our favorite Three Bean BBQ Soup from Soup For You for dinner. When we went in to pick it up, the usual people weren’t there but two humorous employees were. While we were waiting to order, we heard one say to the other “Well, this is the best interpretation of this that I can do!” as they were making sandwiches. They kept glancing up at the description on the menu boards to figure out how to make it! Fortunately, the food was fantastic as ever. We ended the night visiting with family and eating 5 brownies.

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Our final night at the Camp in Maine ended the same way the first one began, with a rainbow.

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Sunday: We got an early start, packed up the car and hit the road, stopping for breakfast sandwiches along the way, of course. We decided to take a long, scenic route home along the coast through Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, York, and finally Kittery, for more cupcakes. My dog Delila had her first ever beach trip on the rocky shores of Kennebunkport and was fascinated by the smells of the salt, seaweed, rocks and roses. We took some time to explore before getting back in the car and continuing south. We were not impressed by either Ogunquit or York, which was quite frankly, a total dumb.

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Finally, after eight nearly consecutive hours in the car and a quick stop for groceries, we arrived home. With yet another Maine trip under our belt, we’re already planning next years adventures!

 

Flamingo Floatation

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When I saw this floatie online a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to have it. I may have a slight addiction to cute floats. I already own a seven-foot white swan and a four-foot pink donut so obviously when I saw this pink flamingo, I just had to order it. I can’t get over how cute it is. The tube is just wide enough to comfortably recline but still be able to move around and adjust positions. Even my dog loved it!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time relaxing in it at Wilson Lake in Wilton, Maine. The water was just warm enough to not be freezing, but still cool enough to be refreshing. The stunning backdrop of mountains coupled with the adorable “FLamingOATIE,” as I’ve nicknamed it, made for the perfect afternoon float.