Friday, April 29, 2016

Baldface Circle

On Sunday we decided to explore the Evans Notch area in NH, and we hiked the Baldface Circle which is a 9.5 mile loop hike over South and North Baldface peaks. This is one of the hikes on the "52 with a view" list and it did not disappoint us. 

The day was clear and sunny and after a later than planned start we hit the trail at 11am. The first part of the hike took us through deciduous woods to a lean-to. We met a couple on the trail who had turned back when they saw a black bear near the lean-to!  After that the trail gets much steeper and scrambles up over some rock slabs. Eventually the trail emerges on the ridge leading to South Baldface. From here we had fantastic views in all directions, and a very strong wind to contend with. 

From here it is a ridge walk to North Baldface and then the trail descends on the other side of the valley. On the way up we were ahead of the guidebook schedule but we soon started to lose time on the steep descent. We reached the car at 5.30pm after a great day of hiking and lots of fresh air and spectacular views. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kokee on the Mend

Kokee had surgery just over two weeks ago to repair a torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament (ACL in humans).  The repair went well according to her surgeon, and her knee had no sign of cartilage damage or arthritis.  This all makes for a good prognosis for a return to her normal activity level.  The stress of the surgery however kept her in the hospital a little longer than expected so she could recover from severe anemia and diarrhea.   We were very happy to have her home after nearly a week in the hospital.

Since she has been home Kokee has been a trooper. We walk her with a leash and use a sling to support her body weight.  She is limited to 5 minute walks 2-3 times a day. She has been a willing patient, taking meds, allowing us to ice her knee a few times a day and is accepting that she is confined to our office which has a carpeted floor to keep her from slipping.  Oh, and the cone of shame... she has been tolerant of that too!

 Koke in her recovery room at Hangman Hill

Icing the joint 

The start of week 3 of her recovery means slightly longer walks, using the sling only on slippery surfaces.  She also had her sutures removed.  We found some "sticky" socks for her so she is starting to roam around the first floor of the house which means she has access to her favorite spot looking out the sliding glass door at the birdhouse and with views to the adjacent fields where the deer roam.

No slip socks for roaming

Kokee's recovery room in the chalet even has a bed!
There may be no going back to the dog bed on the floor?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Une visite de la famille de hancock

Last weekend we enjoyed a visit from Michael, Margaret, Alex and Charlotte Hancock who stayed with us here at Hangman Hill.  Michael, Bruno's cousin, and his family live outside of Paris.   They were spending the school vacation here in New England, and were so pleased they spent some of their time with us.

We were very lucky to have warm weather with abundant sunshine so that we could take them to East Beach in Westerly, one of our favorite spots. Alex and Charlotte braved the waters, build sand forts and collected shells. Michael and Bruno launched a kite which flew easily in the brisk April winds.  There was also a contest for the best shell collection, as presented by Alex and Charlotte  The judges declared each a winner, with Charlotte having the most diverse collection and Alex with the most unusual specimen.

After a morning on the beach we picked up sandwiches at Sandy's, a local favorite for fine foods and take-out lunches.  We took our  sandwiches to Dave's Coffee in Charleston, RI for a picnic.   It was  a relaxing way to enjoy a leisurely lunch outside and enjoy coffee from a local roaster.

Before heading back to Hangman Hill for an evening meal, we stopped at Wilcox Park in Westerly to enjoy the cherry blossoms and flowers.  The pond was full of goldfish and we spotted a few turtles swimming or sunning themselves on logs. Charlotte and Alex were able to get a spot on the much loved rabbit which resides in the middle of the park. We drive by the park frequently, but rarely take the time to enjoy it.   It was so nice to have an excuse to stroll through the park.

It was a short visit with the Hancocks, and we truly enjoyed their company.  We hope to visit them in France one day soon.

Collecting shells

Charlotte braves the Atlantic in April
 Warming  up after a swim

 Bruno and Michael flying  a kite

Watch Hill lighthouse from East Beach

Fun in Wilcox Park

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Arcos de la Frontera, Spain

In early April we took a week of vacation to explore south-western Spain and enjoy some warm weather.  We rented a small home in the hill-town of Arcos de la Frontera (about 1 hour south of Seville) and invited Nick and Pam (Bruno's parents) to join us.  We spent a few days exploring the town of Arcos and its ancient buildings and quaint shops.  We also made day trips to Cadiz (a seaside town), Seville, and the picturesque mountain town of Grazalema. By the end of the week we had barely scratched the surface of all the possible adventures available, but we felt well rested and relaxed.  We even managed to read a few books and sample the local tapas and wines!

 Our home in Arcos


 The view from our terrace

Enjoying paella in Cadiz 

 Exploring in town

 In the mountains

 Arcos views