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Dupont Circle: Great Eats, People Watching, and Lots to Do

If you're an avid people watcher like me, a visit to Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. will provide you with lot of entertainment, good food, and great places to stay.

My husband and I spent a few days at Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. We stayed at The Wink which was super simple, comfortable, and accommodating. The price was right, the service terrific, and room comfortable--I recommend.

We used SpotHero to find reasonable parking nearby where we could take our car in and out. We had some great food too including inexpensive, tasty tacos at Tiki Taco, delicious fresh fish and veggies at Grillfish, and a farm fresh dinner at FireFly.

We also had a terrific opportunity to visit the Smithsonian's newest museum, The National Museum of African American History and Culture--a must-see museum for all people in the United States.

With a son attending college in the D.C. area I look forward to experiencing a number of different neighborhoods, sights, and events in the days ahead. …
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Lunches with Mom

This summer I'm using some of my vacation time to have regular lunches with my mom. Close to 90 years old, my mother still enjoys going out to lunch, telling stories, and shopping so that's what we'll do often this summer.

To lengthen the event we typically take a beautiful drive and then eat at a wonderful restaurant. A couple of weeks ago we went to Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. As we enjoyed a tasty lunch we looked out into the Inn's vegetable garden and beautiful fields. There's a patio there if you'd like to eat outside and space for weddings and special events too. Salem Cross Inn has its own bakery and both the bakery and restaurant use fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local ingredients. The service was wonderful.

Then today we went to Meadowbrook Orchards in Sterling, Massachusetts. We ordered delicious sandwiches which were served on homemade bread with farm fresh lettuce. Later we split a homemade raspberry tart. We ate on the …

Even short trips can be adventures

Years ago my husband and I had a book of side trips and places of interest in our car. Whenever we got into the car to take a trip long or short we would pull out that book and look for good restaurants and places to see. It's been years since I've thought about those books and the great excursions they led to, but now with many small road trips on the schedule, I reached out to find similar books to help us make the most of the long and short drives ahead.

Rather than stop on the highway for snack, it's great to take an hour off during a long drive to see something of interest--that breaks up the trip and reenergizes you. So even small trips can be adventures if you approach those trips with the right mindset and information.

Meet vacations with an open mind

It's true that I like to plan vacations. I've found that a well-planned vacation is typically more enjoyable as you think ahead about good restaurants and activities rather than choosing at the last minute.

Yet one can become trapped in the vacation plan without an open mind to what the vacation may hold with regard to the unplanned aspects of the event. For example, you mostly can't plan for the weather and the weather will affect your vacation. This week's vacation was an example of this--we had all kinds of daily events planned, but the weather was so beautiful that we ended up spending long days at the beautiful beach instead of the many other activities we typically engage in.

A good vacation is the right mix of planned and spontaneous events. An open mind to this mix makes for a memorable time.

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Simple Adventures

Who: Relatives and Friends
What: Memory Trips
When: Anytime
Where: Places that tell stories about your life
Why: To share family history stories
How: There are many ways to do this depending on whom you'll travel with and where you will go

Recently Mom and I spent the time driving down Memory Lane. As we ventured out, we took a number of streets in my hometown that related to different periods of my mom's life. As we drove down the streets, she told me story after story about what she and her friends, siblings, and other family members had experienced and engaged in on those streets.

I learned about her childhood hikes with her siblings to the movie theater and swimming pond. I listened to her tell me the stories of her young adult years taking the bus from her Grafton Hill three decker to her job at the magnificent downtown Worcester Court House. As she talked, I imaged here dressed up working in the beautiful building and then walking uptown to shop or meet her mother for lunch n…

Ogunquit: A Maine Treasure

Who: People of all ages
What: Beach, dining, theater, walking. . . .
Where: Ogunquit, Maine
Why: Perfect getaway in a location that has wonderful walkability
When: Anytime of year, but best in spring, summer, and fall
How: An easy drive from any northeast location or from Logan Airport

When spring arrives, I always get a case of Maine fever--the state calls me. One great place to stay and experience Maine is Ogunquit, Maine which has something for everyone. First and foremost it's a quaint, walkable vacation spot. You can reserve a room on the main stretch of this vacation hub, park your car, and spend your time walking to and along the beach and beautiful Marginal Way, dining at a myriad of restaurants and take-out shops, shopping, visiting art galleries, and spending time with loved ones and other travelers.

There's a movie theater and a musical theater nearby too, and if you want to drive a bit, there's so much more to see and do such as visiting Kennebunkport, enjoying lobs…

The Gift of a Getaway

This weekend I enjoyed the gift of a getaway. My family found an incredible deal at the 4-star Renaissance Hotel in Boston's seaport district. We celebrated a couple of family birthdays with a night at the hotel, dinner at Mother Anna's, a wonderful North End restaurant, a tour of the Contemporary Art Museum, walk along the Harborwalk, and a saunter through the myriad of holiday music/art events, food court, and shops in and around Faneuil Hall.

This was a terrific way to celebrate the birthdays, begin the holiday festivities, and clear the mind. A great holiday gift for any family member or group is a getaway where people can enjoy a local city, nature spot, or activity. In many ways, it's a lot better than any material object you might purchase.