Monthly Archives: December 2013

Winter Getaway

In lieu of gifts this year, N and I decided to take a little winter trip. He was on vacation the week before Christmas, and I was on vacation the week of Christmas, so I just extended my vacation a little bit and took Wednesday through Friday of the week before Christmas off, too. A week and a half vacation? Don’t mind if I do!

After much discussion and stress and Groupon-induced mental breakdowns, we ended up going to the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. It’s just outside of Jackson/North Conway, and it is absolutely GORGEOUS. We got a good deal on it, too. Right before school vacation and before high winter season started.

packing, winter, mount washington

I love packing. It’s one of my many odd quirks. But it turns out I haaaate packing for cold-weather trips. So many layers! Everything is so bulky! One night away turned out in me needing a huge bag. It’s ridiculous. Winter is completely outside of my comfort zone. Anyway, I did the best I could, and we left Wednesday morning.




We drove up through the mountains and were greeted with a nice view of our hotel. I mean, come on. I wish I got a better picture. It’s nestled in the perfect spot. The hotel was built in 1902? I think? In the very early 1900s anyway. It’s never been updated, only restored, so basically it’s my dream hotel. I love old buildings, you guys. I love them. The second I walked in I knew I would love it.



And just to add to my obsession, the place was decked out flawlessly for Christmas. Like, that is the lobby you guys. It looks like the Titanic or something. There was also a giant fireplace with a moose head over it that I failed to get a picture of. One night was not enough time for me to fully explore and take pictures. Plus N didn’t seem interested (because he’s some kind of tyrannical heathen, obviously). Clearly this means I must go back.




We checked in (there was NO ONE there, the hotel was so quiet when we checked in) and an elevator man brought us up to our room. Because the elevator was super old school and the door had to be opened and closed by hand. No joke.  Oh, and our room got upgraded. So that was a sweet bonus.



Our room looked right out on Mount Washington. My phone kept focusing on the window screen which was obnoxious. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m surprised the windows even had screens. I wouldn’t think they would open. I guess in 1902 no one worried about people leaping to their deaths from hotel windows?


Anyway, we settled in and I busted out our sweet beer koozies I got us at Target. THEY ARE SWEATERS. FOR BEER. I cannot even.

Then we napped and watched TV because we were on vacation and that’s what one is supposed to do.


Once I reached the point of severe hanger we headed into Conway for dinner and drinks. We had a unplanned progressive dinner where we had drinks and apps at one place, dinner at another, and then headed back to the hotel for dessert and after dinner drinks. With a bit of shopping thrown in for good measure.




We were told we could just sit in the lobby and someone would serve us. Well alright then! Someone was already in front of the fireplace, damn them, so we settled in on another sofa and had ourselves a brownie sundae.





Thursday we woke up, checked out of the hotel (see, such a short stay!) and hunted down some breakfast. N is very familiar with the area because he is a snowboard freak, so he chose all our food locations. He did okay. I was underwhelmed with the pancakes. In his defense, he claimed he’d never tried them.

Bless his heart I love that boy to bits, but he could talk about mountains FOREVER and I’m like “yeah, another mountain, I saw one already today.” I suppose I can wax poetic about the beach for hours on end though, so I guess we’re squaresies.

After some scenic driving (including a drive through a covered bridge!) we headed over to do some cross country skiing. We headed into the ski rental place where this exchange happened:

Rental Lady: Okay, we have wider skis for beginners that will keep you from going too fast and be a bit easier to maneuver, or we have narrow skis for experienced skiers or athletic types. Have you been before?

Me: I’ve done this a bunch of times, but he’s never been.

N: Yeah, but I snowboard like, fifty times a season, so…

Rental Lady and I exchange a look.

Me: Okay, just give us the athletic ones, then.

She showed us how to put on the puts and snap into the skis and we headed out. I got in front (it was groomed trails, you literally just stick your skis in the groove and shuffle-slide along) and N is behind me. Within 30 seconds he is telling me I am “sprinting” and asking if I mean “to go that fast”. I wasn’t even trying. I am just THAT good. He fell twice. I fell zero. #winning

I finally found a winter activity I am better at! He was a good sport about it and didn’t throw any fits like I normally do.




After that we headed towards home, and then went out for a lovely dinner to round out our trip. I’d rather have a one-night getaway than a material gift any day.





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Merry Christmas

may your day be merry & bright

xx, Katrina

Cures for the Mean Reds


Or, Things To Do When One is Feeling Particularly Self Indulgent

Clear your calendar. Seriously. Cancel all your plans for the weekend, take a mental health day from work, whatever you need to do to get some quiet alone time.

Do your chores. I know this seems like an odd thing to have on a list of self-indulgent things, but you’ll feel so much better once all those nagging to-do’s are crossed off your list.

Put on your comfiest clothes. This is a time for perfectly worn in sweats and super soft socks and no makeup. Embrace it. Put on that Hoodie Footie.

Read a book. Or a magazine. Or the instructional booklet for your toaster. Whatever. Just cozy yourself right up and lose yourself in some quality reading material. Bonus points if you cozy up in a chair by the fire. With hot cocoa.

Work out. Hit up a hot yoga class and leave all your worries and cares in a puddle of sweat on your yoga mat. Go for a run and don’t worry about pace or distance. Go throw some weights around or take a barre class. Whatever kind of exercise you enjoy. Because exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t shoot their husbands.

Eat some comfort food. This is the complete opposite of the suggestion above, but that’s okay. Go get yourself whatever your favorite meal is. Spend some time in the kitchen perfecting your homemade mac & cheese. Then eat exorbitant amounts of it. Or, you know, get take out. Your call. Bonus points for ice cream, though.

Binge watch something. Get on Netflix and find a TV show you’ve never seen but have always wanted to watch. Proceed to watch every single available episode. (Suggestions: Orange is the New Black, Friday Night Lights, Dr. Who). Movie marathons are also really good here. (Suggestions: Harry Potter, old school Meg Ryan movies, Disney movies, Pixar movies, holiday classics).

Take a bubble bath. Or a hot shower, if baths aren’t your thing. But really, I don’t think there’s anything more relaxing than a nice bubble bath. Get some scented oils and bubbles up in there, bring in a good book, and just soak. You can really hammer this one home if you also add in a face mask, hair mask, body scrub…really get into the home spa vibe and just pamper yourself real good.

Sleep. Have a nap in the middle of the day. Stay up late. Go to bed early. Don’t set an alarm. Most often all you really need is one really great night’s sleep to re-set a crummy mood or just to recharge. Indulge.

Chocolate and wine. If nothing else works, there’s always this.


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Katrina’s Twelve Songs of Christmas | 11

Double the fun with this one. Awesome song and one of those videos where over-achieving homeowners synch their lights to the music. You are welcome.

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Family History

When my mom was growing up (and even when I was little) my grandparents lived in a house in a city outside of Boston. Behind their single family house was a triple-decker apartment building. My grandparents yard was fenced, but the triple-decker loomed over the backyard.

The people in the triple-decker were always throwing trash and debris into my grandparent’s yard (which my aunt would then eat off the ground, but don’t tell her I told you that). It made my grandparent’s pretty peeved, as you can imagine.

My grandfather was telling us about it and said one day he was out there and a shoe came flying into the yard. So he went over there and checked every apartment until he figured out who threw it.

“I went to every apartment! Ran up three floors! But I found the guy. Third floor.”

“What happened when you found him?”

“Well, let’s just say he got his shoe back.”

Katrina’s 12 Songs of Christmas | 12

The holiday season is here once again! There are so many awesome things about the holidays (food, presents, parties, food, friends, family, food…), but none of them would feel quite as festive without some holiday tunes to wash it all down. So, without further adieu, I present to you the first of my 12 all-time favorite holiday songs:

Twelve Days of Christmas – Straight No Chaser

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