Cloud And Day » Lifestyle Photography by Boston Photographer Joyelle West

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I finally had the chance to cross something off my New England bucket list about a month ago. Dan and I took the Balmy Days boat from Boothbay Harbor and visited Monhegan Island. Monhegan is roughly 10 miles off the coast of Maine, about an hour and a half by boat from Boothbay Harbor. The reason that people visit? The gorgeous scenery. Coastlines with rocks tumbling into the ocean and a forest in the middle of it all. There are trails all over the island. You can see a trail map here, but be sure to buy one when you are there to support the locals (that live there year-round!). In the time that you have there with the boat schedule, it may be tough to walk the entire island. We ended up doing half of it. A few tips:

  • It can be a rough ride on the boat if you get seasick. Pack the Dramamine! Poor Dan suffered on the way there but we bought some at a convenient store on the island.
  • The convenience store on the island sells sandwiches that you can take with you on your hike. When you hit Main Street, make a right and it’s on the road to the Church.
  • If you want to hit Monhegan Brewing Company for a microbrew after your hike, hike the lower portion of the island clock-wise, and you’ll end up at Lobster Cove Road where the brewing company is located. (We skipped this as we figured that post-seasickness and microbrews didn’t quite mix.)
  • We hiked the lower portion of the island counter-clockwise, doing the hiking first and then ending up at the Lighthouse and Museum last, which was worth a quick trip.

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This summer, Dan and I met our parents in the Catskill/Hudson Valley area for the weekend. We picked it because it was an even drive for everyone involved, and we ended up finding some great little things to see and do while we were there. We rented an AirBnb in the woods of Bearsville, it was very surreal to hang out on the screened-in porch at night, listening to owls and coyotes. The town lived up to its name, as my mom got lucky and spotted a black bear one night (luckily we were safely in the car). We only had a short time to explore, so we concentrated on areas that were a short driving distance from the house, here are a few of our favorite picks of things to see and do! (All photos from my iPhone 6.)

Opus 40 – A beautiful sculpture park to walk around. It feels like an old labrinyth in a way. Make sure to wander through all of the nooks and crannies.

Saugherties Lighthouse – A short nature trail through some beautiful reeds brings you out to the lighthouse on the Hudson, where some of the locals were splashing around in the river.

Lucky Chocolates – Stop here for chocolate while you are in Saughteries.

Kingston Farmer’s Market – A great selection of locally-grown produce plus fun gifts to buy. We also ate some amazing fresh fried blueberry fritters, and tasted wine from Tousey Vineyards.

Outdated Café – A coffee shop/antique store all-in-one. I had some killer tacos for lunch and drank some iced coffee, all while I shopped for the coolest little treastures. I’d go back here in a heartbeat.

Tousey Vineyards – We didn’t make it all the way here, but after tasting the wine at the Kingston Farmer’s Market, I wish that we had! On the schedule for next time.

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Going with two of your best friends to Yellowstone National Park in the summer feels a bit like a fun summer camp for grown-ups. We slept in cabins, had microbrews on the porch, ate around campfires, and hiked to over 10,000 feet. All that plus seeing herds of mountain goats and plenty of buffalo. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it, for some old-fashioned experiences with no cell phone reception.

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Another great project that I worked on with Jessica Klein for Homepolish. I loved how this home was bright and modern and yet felt laid-back and livable. I also loved all of the amazing artwork that the homeowners had collected over the years, and the wall of maps from places that they lived (an idea that I’ve wanted to do in our home for awhile but have never gotten around to it). Also, I fell in love with these dining room chairs and now they’re on my wishlist for my own house.

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