Wollaston Beach: unsafe for swimming

Rocky Wollaston Beach

Or is it? Swimming is totally permitted at Wollaston Beach, I just…well, I wouldn’t! I talked about why last summer when I visited Nut Island (totally need to get my bike to the shop already – dying to do that ride again!). In reality it’s nothing personal against Wollaston Beach, it’s just that I’m more of a wide-open-ocean girl. When I’m on a bay or a small pond or lake, I feel like…well, like any gross stuff in that water is so concentrated that it grosses me out. Take me out to Nantasket where the water goes on forever and ever and anything that’s grossing me out is quickly swept out to sea, and then I’m happy to jump in the water! Is it just me?

Under Wollaston Yacht Club

Even if I’m not willing to swim at Wollaston Beach, I love that it’s so close by – almost exactly a mile from my front door – and that I get to enjoy it often. Our regular running club route takes us along the beach, and it’s so cool to see it through all the seasons, all kinds of weather, and lots of gorgeous sunsets. On top of that, I love to hunt for “beach treasures” (much to Pete’s chagrin) and am happy to fill an empty weekend afternoon with a loooooong wander looking for sea glass, driftwood, or pretty rocks.

Wollaston Yacht Club

Squantum Yacht Club

These photos are all from one of my recent weekend wanders. I was not the only one out enjoying the beach, there were plenty of families out for a walk – some of them even playing soccer and building sand castles – and there were more than a few adorable dogs racing about. I came home with a few small treasures, and when I pulled them out of my pocket and showed Pete he looked at me like I was crazy and said “why did you bring those home?”…when really he should have been happy I didn’t bring home this piece of driftwood that I thought was awesome! Don’t you think it would look great on my front porch?!?

Driftwood on Wollaston Beach

Got Wheels? Visit the farm Coast!

I first read about the Farm Coast a while back (I think on Lavender and Limes, but of course now I can’t find the post I remember…here is an article that she wrote about her day trip for Edible Rhody), and I filed it away as something that seemed like it could be nice to do some day. It seemed really far away at the time, but when Pete mentioned last weekend how he had been thinking about the afternoon we spent in Plymouth last December and that he thought we should do it again, I immediately said “oooooorrrrrrr we could go somewhere we haven’t been yet!” and started looking into the Farm Coast. Turns out it’s only about an hour from our house to Tiverton, which seemed like the right place to start our meandering for the day!

2012_05_19_FarmCoast_6I didn’t really expect to fall in love with these little towns when I planned this trip, but I fell hard and I fell fast. We kept driving past properties with “For Sale” signs and I couldn’t help but wonder what these properties were going for. It would be a horrid commute and it’s totally unrealistic, but it was nice to day dream about living in such a beautiful place as I was driving along. I always say “rural is rural” – driving in rural Wisconsin where Pete grew up looks just like driving in rural Pennsylvania where I spent summer vacations as a kid, which looks just like driving in rural Virginia where my parents live now. Rural is rural. But this rural? Rural that is minutes from the ocean? It is not the same rural. There are rivers and harbors that sneak up on you as you go around a bend in the road, and you catch yourself gasping at the sudden change from lush, green landscapes to sparkling, blue seascapes. It is amazing, and it is an entirely different kind of beautiful than I was prepared for. If I had been by myself, I would have pulled over a million times to take photos.

First order of business: re-caffeinate Pete at Coastal Roasters, which appears to be the place to be on a Saturday morning. Next order of business: visit the cheese store. I’m me, so the cheese store was a priority. Milk & Honey Bazaar did not disappoint, I could have spent a thousand dollars on all the tasty cheeses they had (and for the record, 10:00am is not to early to be sampling cheeses). I ended up buying two local cheeses – one from Massachusetts and one from Rhode Island – after being assured that with a freezer pack and an insulated bag they would definitely be okay in the car for the day.

We left the car at Milk & Honey and walked along to the intersection that is Tiverton Four Corners. After browsing through a few stores and a gallery in Tiverton Four Corners, we ended up skipping out on poking through most of the shops and galleries that were on our plan for the rest of the day and we focused on getting our drink on – three wine tastings and one beer tasting.

I could go on for hours about the wineries we saw, but I’ll spare you the details and summarize: our first stop was Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton, RI. Everything we tasted was pretty great, and both of the women that poured for us were helpful and friendly. We walked out with a bottle of sparkling and a bottle of white, and I’ve already finished the bottle of white. I can’t tell you how sad I was when I poured the last glass!

The next stop was Westport Rivers Winery, in Wesport, MA, which I knew was one my parents liked. They have three different sparkling wines, which I’m sure is why Mom is a fan! The wines were okay, but the tasting as a whole was the worst of the day (which is not to say that it was bad, just that it wasn’t as great an experience as these others, which were great) – they were busy and the staff seemed to be a little overwhelmed trying to keep up with the tours and sales and tastings. We didn’t love any of the wines enough to wait in a long line, so we moved on to the next stop, which was all about Pete.

2012_05_19_FarmCoast_13Just Beer is owned by the same folks as Westport Rivers, and you may have heard of them by their former name, Buzzards Bay Brewing Company. The brewery was a five minute drive from Westport Rivers, and Pete was happy to try out the beers they had on tap. Meanwhile, I played with the brewery dog, who is pretty adorable. Pete ended up walking out with two cases of their winter stout (it was discounted so they could make room for a new beer).

Our last stop was Coastal Vineyards. Which is amazing…and in the owner’s backyard and basement. It is, by no means, the quality of wine you would expect to come out of some guy’s basement. It is, by all means, our favorite from this trip. I left with only one bottle of wine, not because I didn’t want to buy more but because by then I had already spent most of the money I had set aside for the days adventure. I’ll be hunting down these wines locally so I can keep drinking them. If you don’t want to do the other two wineries in the area…fine, don’t. But do this one. It was so much fun, and the wines were great.

2012_05_19_FarmCoast_23I can’t wait to spend more time along the Farm Coast…next time including the beach! If you’re interested in visiting the Farm Coast (and I hope you are!), I found the info on at farmcoast.com to be super helpful. I also found this guide for the area on Design*Sponge, which has a lot of duplicate information with a few additions. And if all you care about is the booze, you need to check out the Coastal Wine Trail.

In case you are too far away to plan your own trip, You can find more pictures from ours over on Flickr!

**I hope this post doesn’t sound like an advertisement – it isn’t, I swear! I just like to share when I find things I love, and I found a lot of things I loved on the Farm Coast!

Winter is here?

12.18.2011 Plymouth 1

The past few months have been unusually warm. There have been a normal fall or winter feeling day here or there, but for the most part it’s just been too warm to really feel like fall or winter – it was 60+ degrees out on December 1st, and it was the second week of the month before we actually kept our windows closed and the heat on for a week straight!

Pete and I had a car for the weekend, so we decided to venture out somewhere that we don’t normally go for lunch. What started out seeming like a wasted trip to Plymouth turned into discovering a great little breakfast place, wandering through a number of consignment stores, and picking up a few treasures….and the first kind-of-sort-of accumulating snow of the winter (Halloween doesn’t count as winter)! It was the first time all month that it actually felt like Christmas – freezing our noses off because we hadn’t really intended to be outside so much and so were under dressed, flurries flying around outside, and Christmas music and decor in every store we stepped in. It turned into a pretty perfect afternoon despite the not-so-perfect start.

I went up to Beverly to hang out with Amanda for the day on Saturday and she took me all over to show me pretty places. I took a bunch of photos at Crane Beach, and I could have just walked and laid on that beach all day long and been happy. You can see some of the other photos I took here. I had a hard time picking just one to put here.