July 8, 2019 – Joppa Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Joppa Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  Joppa Park is a small harborside Park on Water Street.  It has been in the process of being renovated and upgraded for years.  It is rich in history being a previous locations for clamming and fishing operations.

We had a scenic Adventure to Joppa Park.  I found this charming, floral “Park” accidentally as we were driving to our planned destination.  I could not resist stopping to explore this lovely location.  We were lucky to find a parking spot as there were only a few available.  We started at what I believe was a boat launch although definitely low tide.  We waded into the mud, literally almost loosing my shoes.  The view was spectacular with vivid colors from the water, to the grass, to the nearby flowers.  Boats were scattered through out the harbor creating a magical coastal scene.

From the boat launch we walked through the “Park” to the end and back.  There were many other visitors walking through the area.  Wilma immediately jumped up onto the sea wall, amazingly agile.  I found this little moment adorable, as did some others who commented on her athleticism.  Shadow ambled along a bit less enthused, thinking about his next swim, I am sure.  Our walk was short, but beautiful.  I made sure to get a close-up view at all the flowers, and appreciated all the colors.  It is amazing that not too long ago we were in winter, everything white, brown, and dried up.  Our Adventures today reminded me how New England seasons are absolutely amazing!  So not a “Park” that I would travel far too, merely due to the small size, a however spectacular Harborwalk to stroll along if you are in the area (Rating:  4).



July 8, 2019 – Plum Island Lighthouse/Newburyport Harbor Lighthouse – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Plum Island Lighthouse in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  This Lighthouse is also referred to as the Newburyport Harbor Lighthouse.   This Lighthouse was established in 1788, but later rebuilt in 1898.  The tower is made out of wood, and is approximately 35 feet in height.  The Lighthouse is now owned by the City of Newburyport, and managed by the Friends of Plum Island Light.  It is open for scheduled tours.

We had a coastal Adventure to the Plum Island Lighthouse.  We began our morning with a long walk at one of our favorite local parks before heading to the Lighthouse.  As we got closer the drive became very scenic with bright blue water, framed by brilliant green grass.  It was absolutely gorgeous, and beautifully completed by a perfectly blue sky.  We drove to the end of Northern Boulevard and located the Lighthouse on the left.  Parking was a bit unclear, but I had emailed to get additional information, and it appeared to match the parking description.  After parking we meandered over to the Lighthouse.  It was tall, and a crisp white color.  The location was simple, the lawn somewhat overgrown, but the Lighthouse structure was flawless in form.   We spent some time walking around the area and Shadow and Wilma enjoyed a nap under the shady bushes, and their expected happy, enthusiastic rolls.  Although I knew ahead of time the beaches were not dog friendly, I was still a bit disappointed.  However, so glad we were able to visit the Plum Island Lighthouse.  We will have to return in the off-season when we can romp on the beach as well.  A beautiful sunny day exploring the Plum Island Lighthouse (Rating:  3).





July 7, 2019 – Elizabeth Park Conservatory – Rose Garden – Connecticut

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in West Hartford, Connecticut.   The Rose Garden is one of the biggest Rose Garden’s in the country.  It is managed by the Conservatory, has over 15,000 rose bushes and 800 varieties of new and old roses.  The Park also holds events including summer concerts, and has a cafe on the property.  There are no fees to enter the garden, and it is dog friendly.

We had a colorful Adventure to the Elizabeth Park Conservatory Rose Garden.  I was exhilarated to find a dog friendly garden, a long, but reasonable drive.  Our plan was to visit early evening to avoid the summer heat.  The Park was very populated upon arrival, but we had no trouble finding parking and began on our journey.  There were different gardens with assorted flowers, and landscaping.  We wandered slowly appreciating the diverse variety of flowers, and of course snapping many photographs.

The property’s main attraction was the Rose Garden.  This Garden was centered by a what the Conservatory refers to as a “gazebo” covered by Virginia creeper.  There are rose colored arches leading to this spectacular centerpiece.  We sat and relaxed at this “gazebo” meeting other guests, many whom were quite curious about Wilma and Shadow.  Shadow seemed a bit displeased by the summer weather, while Wilma soaked in every guest she could pull in to her energetic world.  Both enjoyed their normal, cheerful grass roles, celebrating a new Adventure.  And although I brought water I was pleased to see a dog fountain which we stopped at on several occasions to refresh.  It was not too warm, however we still made sure to take many breaks just in case Shadow and Wilma needed an extra summer rest.

After the Rose Garden we walked over to see several fountains displayed in a murky pond.  Shadow was hoping for a dive into the pond, and I felt quite dispirited to let him down.  We therefore did not stay long in this hopeful area, walking around and finding several scenic bridges made of rock and stone.  Nearby we found many guests picnicking, playing games, and catching up with those they knew.  There was lots of life, culture, and smiles throughout the lovely gardens and adjacent fields.

We really did enjoy the gardens at the Rose Conservatory.  I loved how the more you walked, the more you found, enjoying different gardens around every corner.  Even more special for me a dog friendly garden where I can bring my precious bundles of fur (haha).  It was so nice to have My Mom join us, creating yet another wonderful memory.  A unique and special location.  I definitely plan to be back, and highly recommend you visit these lovely gardens (Rating:  4).


July 6, 2019 – Gary’s Ice Cream – Massachusetts

Tonight Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Gary’s Ice Cream in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Gary’s Ice Cream was founded by Gary Frascarelli who is a hands-on owner, creating, designing, and selling his products.  Gary’s Ice Cream is known for making each and every flavor of their ice cream.

We had a stomach-filling Adventure to Gary’s Ice Cream. We could not resist another ice cream Adventure after a hot and stormy day. Upon arrival we were not surprised to see few visitors with the storm just barely having passed through. The dogs put in their order (haha) while I decided to go for a root beer float. I was a bit disappointed to see store bought dog ice cream, although I guess that is not fair of me to complain as they did offer dog ice cream! A treat was also added to their order!

After receiving our goodies we headed over to the picnic tables in the grass. It was raining, but I did not see any lightning so we relaxed for a bit, savoring our refreshing deserts! There was a tiny scenic bridge, and some lilies, but overall a simple setting. We walked around after Shadow and Wilma finished their ice cream.  I then decided to bring home the remainder of my very large, and sticky float. I think my favorite part of Gary’s Ice cream was their dog loving ice cream cup!  It was nice to find yet another local ice cream shop on this stormy evening (Rating: 3).


July 6, 2019 – Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts. Frederick Law Olmsted is known as the founder of American landscape architecture. He titled his estate “Fairsted”, where he established the first full-scale landscape architecture office. He famously designed thousands of landscapes around North America. The property includes outdoor quarters, ranger led tours, and an indoor museum of the estate. There is no cost to visit this Historic Site, but donations are appreciated.

We had a steamy Adventure to the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. Our journey began bright and early, as I was hoping to avoid a predicted hot and humid day. We quickly found parking, which was clearly marked by signs. We began walking down the street, and headed through a scenic awning, marking the entrance of the Site. We soon arrived at the main building where we found a descriptive brochure, and began ambling throughout the property. I for some reason expected a large manor, however it was very compact. We therefore wandered down every little path, and spot we could find. There were bright flowers, including lilies, and roses. The residence was simple, but picturesque, with green ivy-like leaves adorning the sides of the building. In several spots we were able to peer in seeing some of the museum displays. I was quite surprised how hot it was at this location, Shadow often tried to dive under a bush, while Wilma quickly was laying down and panting herself. I guess it worked out being a tiny estate, leading to a short visit.

As you would expect the buildings were not dog friendly, so we were not able to see the entire site, but enjoyed our outdoor tour. I debated blogging today, but figured it might be of interest to some visitors, especially those found of landscape architecture, and its’ history. Quite a simple Adventure today, but always pleased to visit a new location (Rating: Decided not to rate this location as we were only able to explore half of the Site.)

Throwback Adventure – Yorktown Battlefield – Virginia

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In June 2009 Shadow, Buster, My Parents, My Brother, and I Adventured to Yorktown Battlefield in Yorktown, Virginia.  Yorktown Battlefield was the site of the last battle of the Revolutionary War.  This Battle occurred in 1781 when the British Army surrendered to the French, and American forces.  This Battle officially ended the War for Independence.  Yorktown Battlefield is part of the Colonial National Historic Park.

We had a historic Adventure to the Yorktown Battlefield on a sunny Virginia day.  This was one of many weekend Adventures we had on our family vacation.  My parents and brother drove from Massachusetts, while Shadow, Buster and I drove up from our home in Tampa and we met in Virginia.  This was also the first time my family met Buster, about seven months at the time, making it quite a special memory for all.

So as you probably are aware, my Throwback memory is far from clear.  However I remember enjoying our Adventure to the Yorktown Battlefield.  The Park was very dog friendly, with bright green grass, and lots of history to appreciate.  As expected, dogs were not allowed in the buildings, but we found many shady spots to relax while our family could explore the historic buildings from the inside out.  It was really a vacation where we built many cherished family memories.  So glad we were able to Adventure to the Yorktown Battlefield.